SEO is a murky science: many mistakes that could easily be avoided are still being made in 2021. The positioning of websites suffers while a little more time and attention to SEO would be enough to make them jump in the search results.
Many website owners do not seem to have yet assimilated the techniques of natural referencing optimization. The proof is in the study conducted by SEMrush on 100,000 websites and 450 million pages, and which allowed us to identify the most common (and unforgivable!) SEO errors (but not irreversible: it’s never too late to get back on track).
Duplication of content, too long or short meta titles, broken links… Small mistakes that can be costly.
Among the sites analyzed by SEMrush for its study, 50% contain duplicate content. But what does that mean? Let’s rely on Google, which is still the best place to define duplicate content: “large blocks of content that are completely or substantially similar to other content present within or acrossdomains.”
Duplicated content is severely punished by Google, which prefers unique content. Similar content on several of your pages will make you your own rival! Google does not know which of the two pages to choose, so it will opt to penalize both.
Just like the textual content, each image must be considered in terms of natural referencing. However, the study concludes that 45% of sites underestimate or are not aware of the importance of optimizing images.
ALT tags are especially important for image search. They tell Google and other search engines verbatim what it is about visually. Textual descriptions of images, they allow search engines to classify them correctly. Finally, they add value and therefore improve the user experience. The user experience. The one that Google is so concerned about. The same that will cause the search engine giant to downgrade your site if it contains too many broken images since they will be like dead ends and result in a poor user experience.
Search engines use meta titles to determine what the page is about. This title tag appears at the top of the ad in the search results and therefore helps people to get interested and click on the link. The meta title is also one of the most important elements of SEO: properly optimized, it has a significant impact on SEO. However, the SEMrush study shows that the title is not yet fully mastered:
Length is an important criterion as it determines how the title is displayed in search results. Its length should not exceed 70/71 characters. Beyond that, the title will be cut off in favour of suspension points. It is therefore essential to condense all the information and keywords into this range. As for missing or duplicated title tags, they confuse Google, which will prefer to relegate to second place an irrelevant page that provides unclear information on its content.
Unlike meta titles, meta descriptions do not directly influence the positioning of a website in search results. However, they are still important from a marketing point of view as they help Internet users to identify the content of your page. In this, the meta description must be inciting, attractive and push to the action. And relevant, always.
If a 404 redirect page is well implemented, as is the case for 10% of the websites evaluated in this study, broken links do not pose a major problem in terms of SEO. But if hundreds of links are broken, that’s another matter. When there are too many broken links, there are two major problems:
A site that contains more HTML code in the back-end than text readable by Internet users is problematic. A low text-to-HTML ratio can be a sign of a poorly coded site, hidden text or slow loading. Whatever the reason, it is important for the SEO health of the site to correct this problem.
The H1 tag corresponds to the title of the page header. Each page should contain only one. The H1 tag creates a hierarchy in the structure of a page, both for search engines and for Internet users.
One of the most common mistakes is to have an identical meta title and H1 tag. Be careful not to confuse them! The meta title appears in the search results, while the H1 tag is the title that the visitor sees on the page.
Many websites have several pages with too few words. The ideal word count is not an exact science. Just be aware that Google has a penchant for deep pages and content is an indicator of depth.
Relevant, useful and high quality links can give your SEO a big boost by improving the user experience. But you must not try to do too much, at the risk of weakening the value of the site and sending users elsewhere. Get rid of all the links that do not add value to your page.
It’s no news to anyone: on the web, there are no borders. This is why it is important to declare the default language of the text. A tip that ensures several points:
Redirection is a great way to let Google and other search engines know that a page has been moved. Thus, the pages do not lose the authority acquired. However, a distinction must be made between permanent redirects (301) and temporary redirects (302). The SEO impact is not the same. A 302 redirect can indeed push search engines to continue to index a page not up to date, while ignoring the redirect page.
So don’t let SEO problems build up to a snowball effect, and be aware of all the things you need to optimize for your SEO.
And if, in spite of all these tips, you are having trouble and the whole thing seems too complex to put in place, don’t hesitate to contact us: Alioze is an agency specializing in natural referencing.