5 Biggest SEO Mistakes You Must Avoid in 2021
SEO is Dead???
The fight to outrank your competitor and stand at the top of SERP has been a tough battle since SEO’s evolution in the digital industry. The concept of how SEO works has entirely changed from gathering countless chunks of spammy links to acquiring a single yet authoritative link from top and quality websites.
With every year passing by, the challenges in digital marketing are changing, and that’s the sole reason why many businesses shut down after sprouting in the battleground. Understanding the SEO trends and executing them accordingly has become a challenging task for every webmaster and SEO expert.
If you are already in the market for years, you are already aware of the competition and how the increasing companies are becoming a hurdle in sticking atop and generating organic leads, traffic for your website/client.
Now, without hovering much, let’s deep dive into the pain point that every webmaster faces, i.e., no results from excessive SEO efforts. This isn’t any new story; Instead, almost every SEO expert faces this problem and looks for a powerful yet effective solution. Here we have gathered the most comprehensive and detailed list of common SEO mistakes you shouldn’t commit in 2021. Even if you have made any of these mistakes, we do provide you with an appropriate solution to rectify them and start acknowledging the best organic results through your efforts.
NEGLECTING HTTP RESPONSE CODE ISSUES:
For newbies in the SEO field, HTTP response codes indicate the outcome of how a server responds to client’s query. There are different response codes that you must know. Common status code classes:
- 1xxs – Informational responses: The server is thinking through the request.
- 2xxs – Success! The request was successfully completed and the server gave the browser the expected response.
- 3xxs –Redirection: You got redirected somewhere else. The request was received, but there’s a redirect of some kind.
- 4xxs – Client errors: Page not found. The site or page couldn’t be reached. (The request was made, but the page isn’t valid — this is an error on the website’s side of the conversation and often appears when a page doesn’t exist on the site.)
- 5xxs – Server errors: Failure. A valid request was made by the client but the server failed to complete the request.
Best way to diagnose these issues is high-end tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush, etc. that give you the detailed report of HTTP response errors.
If you encounter Errors or warnings, don’t wait further and rectify them ASAP.
Among all HTTP Code errors, the most critical errors to attend are:
- 4xx Errors: Fetch the entire list of links with client side error. Prefer redirecting (301 – Permanent Redirects) important pages to homepage. For unnecessary urls, it is highly recommended to remove them from Search results.
- Broken Links: Search out the list of broken links and rectify them to ensure user doesn’t return back and complete the user journey.
- Pages Not Crawled: Check if your pages are not crawled and diagnose what restricts them to reach into the SERP database. Cross-check the robots file, meta robots or htaccess and correct them to allow Search Engine properly crawl your web pages.
- Broken Internal Images: Numerous reasons results in broken internal images that affect user behaviour. Prefer changing the images or correct the image URLs.
- Temporary Redirections: 302 HTTP response code is considered as temporary redirection. Temporary redirection means both the URLs (new and old) are eligible for indexing. Hence, you should focus on the existing url and permanently redirect broken URL to the existing ones.
NEGLECTING PROPER META TAGS OPTIMIZATION:
Yes! Many digital marketers underestimate the potential of meta tags. It’s always good to provide additional knowledge to the Search Engine if you have available resources, and using meta tags is one such practice.
For newbies, meta tags are the additional content about your website that helps search engines understand your website’s content. Meta tags aren’t visible to users. Instead, they are made to elaborate your website to the search engines better. Different meta tags are used on any website; however, some are highly recommended from the SEO aspect. There isn’t a single mistake associated with metal tags. Instead, marketers commit multiple errors that you shouldn’t make to outrank the organic competition in 2021. Below listed are mistakes marketers make when optimizing meta tag:
Not Using Meta Description: Fibbers are those people who claim that meta descriptions aren’t useful anymore. The truth is that meta description is the brief information shown in the SERP (Search Engine Result Pages). Google shows web content instead of meta description only if the description doesn’t seem to provide adequate information to the user.
Flooding Meta Description with Keywords: Why Google show content from websites instead of meta description? Keyword stuffing in your meta description is a significant factor behind this. If Google considers your description inappropriate or incomplete to explain the website, content is used. So, I prefer writing the best description copy and let Google show a meta description for high CTR (Click Through Rate).
Using the Same Title on All Pages: Every webpage has a different identity; hence their title must also differ. However, many digital marketers skip creating different & unique titles ( HTML Tag: <title>Title Here</title>) and hence fail to rank on relevant keywords.
Avoiding ALT Attribute in Images: Firstly, you must know that ALT is an attribute of Image tag (E.g., <img src=” image-URL-here” alt=” image-alt-text-here”>. ALT attribute is shown to the user when the image faces an issue in loading. However, ALT is simultaneously used by the search engines to understand the image content. Still, marketers skip using appropriate ALT tags and miss the traffic from Image Searches.
NOT OPTIMIZING CONTENT CORRECTLY:
Content is king, and everybody knows this. But what does the content include, and how should you optimize it to outrank the competition? Content optimization is a smart practice where content (audio, video, plain text) is optimized for the user and search engine.
Still, many people commit content optimization mistakes that result in unexpected results and cause direct harm to your business. Below listed are the content optimization mistakes that you shouldn’t commit in 2021.
Using Duplicate Content: Running copied content on your website is a giant mistake that harms your website with negative results. Many webmasters unintentionally put duplicate content to update their website; hence experience a drop in rankings gradually. Thus, keep your content unique and highly relevant to your niche.
Neglecting Interlinking: Interlinking is a great way to understand your website better. This doesn’t mean making links irrelevant. Interlinking to relevant pages always increases website authority and build link web, which is beneficial to crawl every web page.
Over Optimizing the Content: Optimizing your content is good, but over-optimization isn’t a good practice when you are looking to get massive organic traffic. Numerous businesses consider using LSI or similar keywords but fail to distribute them appropriately. This results in the Keyword cannibalization problem. I prefer making the content for users and sprinkle the keywords wherever it fits best.
High Page Load Time: The addition of rich content (Audio, Video, etc.) is a new trend to engage the audience. However, improper usage leads to high page load time, and hence your website degrades from UX aspect.
CREATING ISSUES THAT HALT WEB PAGE CRAWLING:
If you are updating a webpage, it’s essential to check whether the search engine correctly crawls the changes or not. Problematic issues on the website/webpage can restrict web page crawling and directly affect your website’s ranking. There isn’t a single mistake that results in crawlability issues; instead, numerous there are numerous mistakes. Some of the prominent mistakes are listed below;
Incorrect URL Structure: Using hyphen (-) in the URL structure is a highly recommended practice. Simultaneously, using the exact URL for interlinking/link building is equally important. Yet SEO experts mistakenly use the wrong URL structure that results in a 404 or 4XX error. In short, your web page is no longer available for crawling. Hence, always keep a keen eye on every URL that you are using for interlinking/link-building.
Not Using Canonical Tag: Canonical tag is one such HTML tag that lets the search engine know about the primary page and pass trust/weightage to that page. Canonical tag is highly effective in curbing the duplicate content issue in websites (mostly Ecommerce websites) where the same content/products are listed under different URLs. It’s highly recommended to use the canonical tag to avoid content duplicacy and pass authority to the genuine web page.
Not Using Sitemap: Sitemap isn’t a ranking factor in SEO. But wait! Missing a sitemap can result in a low crawling rate. In some cases, search engine bots won’t reach your website or internal pages. For such situations, sitemap.xml works as a gem. So, you should prefer adding a sitemap to your website and submit it to Web Search Console for quick crawling. Further, it will help you diagnose any URL-related crawling issues in the GWT.
Blocked via Meta Robots: One of the biggest mistakes many digital marketers commit is neglecting meta robots’ potential and using them without acknowledgment. Meta robots tag is always used on the webpage level. Further, it is only used to add restrictions (index/noindex, follow/nofollow, etc.) on individual web pages. Hence you must check your webpages and ensure essential pages aren’t blocked via meta robots tag.
Keeping Pages as Orphan: Search engine bots can crawl your web pages only when it is visible to the search engine. Keeping web pages orphan is a big blunder that keeps your web pages hidden from search engine bot’s eyes. Hence, keep track of all URLs and ensure they are linked to the website in some manner. Use Screaming Frog to dissect your website and check for orphan pages.
NEGLECTING WEBSITE PERFORMANCE:
SEO isn’t all about writing SEO-friendly content, keyword optimization, and building links. Neglecting the web site’s performance is yet another aspect that marketers skip when executing marketing strategy. Not many of you know Google Page Experience Update is soon going to make the UI/UX the crucial ranking factor.
Considering site performance and rectifying the pain points can help you get high visibility in search results. Prominent mistakes related to the site’s performance include:
Slow loading HTML: Numerous reasons contribute to a slow-loading webpage. The best way to diagnose the lacking point is page insights, which can give you a detailed report of how your website performs and which page components take the maximum time.
Not Using Cached Version: It’s completely illogical for returning customers to load the website from scratch and add load to the server. Instead, take leverage of a cached website and decrease the website loading time. You can either use third-party plugins to introduce the cached version of your website or code manually to increase the cached time.:
Not Using CDN: Another common mistake that most webmasters commit is skipping CDN (Content Distribution Network). CDN helps the websites load faster, and hence you should choose the right CDN that decreases the server load and boosts your website loading.
So, if you are one of those marketers who still believe that SEO is completely dead, you need a break from the digital industry, or it’s better to switch your job profit and find a low-challenging field.
If your website is still struggling to rank at the top and your SEO efforts are not delivering you the desired results, take the help of a digital marketing consultant that can help you understand what your digital portfolio needs and how you can enlarge your organic traffic.