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Common SEO Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)

Updated: May 31

Common Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Mistakes

Search Engine Optimization


Search engine optimization (SEO) is a key component of any website, but it takes time, effort, and a lot of practice to master all its intricacies. Even if you’re working together with a team of highly trained specialists for your company or relying on what seems like a fool-proof, automated web design platform, mistakes still happen with SEO. However, many of the errors that slip through the digital cracks of your website are quick fixes, and the experience of working through them is a formative part of the web design process. Here are some common SEO mistakes that can happen on your website and, of course, some advice on how to fix them.


Slow Loading Times


Slow loading time is one of the more common issues in SEO, affecting big corporate companies as much as small local businesses. When your content isn’t quickly accessible, you risk losses in two ways: potential clients moving onto your competitor’s websites and falling in Google search rankings. A fast website is an indicator of quality, so you should take the extra time to optimize your loading times and preferably aim to get your site loaded up in under four seconds.


Google Page Speed Insights

Fixing slow loading time comes down to measuring it with a tool like Google PageSpeed Insights (pictured right; courtesy of pagespeed.web.dev) or the integrated metrics of your design platform. Large images are usually the culprit of lagging websites, but you can quickly optimize them by resizing, removing, or swapping them for smaller images. At the same time, redirects, caching, and other aspects of website code can also cause slow loading. For the more complex elements of your site you may not be able to fix on your own, seek help from an expert.


Lack of Mobile Optimization


Smartphones have proven themselves to be the browsing devices of the future, and your website needs to take that into consideration with its design. Google and a number of other search engines are now using mobile-first indexing to evaluate websites and decide which ones are worthy of a high rank on a results page. While you may have a seamless desktop version of your website with easy navigation and accessibility, the lack of mobile functionality will be reflected in both your business performance and your SEO rankings.


Thankfully, Google has a mobile-friendly test (pictured right; courtesy of developer.chrome.com) that can check how well your website works on a mobile device. The test will examine the crawlability of your site along with indexing and other factors important to mobile browsing. However, you don’t necessarily need to even use a mobile testing site: just open up your website on your phone! Take a minute to browse your own site and interact with all its elements. Does everything open properly? Are there any design formatting issues? If you step into the shoes of your mobile client, you can quickly understand how to improve this component of your SEO.


Too Many Keywords on a Single Webpage


Keywords are crucial for high-performing SEO campaign. Each page should have well thought out terms that were identified through keyword research and then implemented using keyword mapping to prevent overlap. While you do want to feature a variety of keywords on your webpages, it can be harmful to have too many keywords that don’t make sense together. Instead start with identifying a single, and secondary, terms that you want to target for each page. Then ensure you have optimize the following:

Examples of keyword Stuffing

  1. URL

  2. Page Titles & Meta Descriptions

  3. Content (Headings, and body content)

  4. Internal Linking


Many websites used to fit as many keywords and numbers onto a single page as a strategy for manipulating SEO, but search engine algorithms now pick up on keyword stuffing and penalize your search ranking accordingly.


Ignoring Technical Foundations


The technical foundations of every website plays a vital role in how search engines crawl and index web pages. Therefore, when you are building a website it's important to consider the factors that will improve search engines ability to crawl your web pages.


This is where, internal linking, canonical tags, duplicate content, manual penalties, JavaScript, crawl budget, etc... all play a role. The aim is to make sure all of your pages are indexed and visible within the search results. Each eCommerce platform brings different challenges and solutions, so it's worth researching and connecting to Search Console, to obtain as much information as possible.


Working with an agency can help identify these issues, to help improve the chances of your web pages and content not appearing within the search results.


Avoiding Expert Help


SEO really isn’t easy to manage on your own. While you may have designed and developed your website completely by yourself, there will still be frustrating obstacles and challenges along the road ahead. Even with access to countless analytics tools and online resources, it never hurts to talk to a real person with SEO experience. Speaking with an expert by no means reduces the great work you might have already done on your website. Rather, it shows your willingness to learn and make your website the best it can be.


Ask the SEO Experts

At CodeMasters, we are always here to provide expert advice to new and existing clients about how they can better optimize their websites and online marketing strategies. Our approach places you, the client, at the forefront of the design and development process, and we are committed to helping you grow both your online presence and your business as a whole.

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