7 poor habits of on-page SEO setup
We live in the digital age, and almost every business understands the importance of SEO. SEO can be the reason behind the success or failure of a business online. If our website does not show up in the top ten Google search results, our website is as good as invisible.
We can do a million things to get higher Google rankings. However, we must make sure to get the basics right first. Following SEO best practices can help us lay the groundwork for our site to increase its visibility during Google searches.
Everyone talks about implementing SEO best practices, and how important they are. What about SEO practices we must avoid? Poor SEO practices can cause people to bounce away from a page, bringing the site’s ranking down.
Here are seven poor SEO practices that we should try and avoid:
1. HTTP pages that have HTTP images
One of the top priorities of Google is protecting the privacy of its users. In 2014, the tech giant had announced that it would be using HTTPS as a ranking signal. Did you know that HTTPS websites have a higher advantage of ranking over HTTP websites?
Since the boost is real-time and per-URL, a website that is created entirely over HTTPS will result in an SEO boost for the whole website. If our website only has HTTP pages with HTTP images, it is bound to hurt the website’s SEO.
2. Poorly written Schema data
Schema data is a type of code that makes it easier for search engines to understand the information on your website. Google finds it easier to understand structured schema data as compared to semi-structured or unstructured data that many people use.
What does schema data do? It communicates to search engines what the data on the website means. Without proper schema data, search engines may be able to tell what the data on the website is, but they have to work far harder to determine why it is there. Structured schema data helps search engines analyze the content more easily. When we make it easier for search engines to crawl our websites, we get a distinct SEO advantage.
3. H1 to H6 tags not in order
HTML header tags, H1 to H6, make it easier for both search engines and people to understand what a website page is about. What do header tags do? Header tags are mostly used for summarizing text. They give search engines as well as readers a gist of the content by conveying the main message.
Besides offering an opportunity for keyword placement, header tags also offer two benefits- clarity and hierarchy to the content. Each header tag has its own level of priority, with H1 being the most important and H6 the least. By using the header tags in the right order we can boost our website’s SERP ranking to a great deal.
4. Improper canonical URLs or no canonical URLs
A canonical URL is the one that we want Google and other search engines to index and to rank. It helps prevent problems caused by identical or duplicate content appearing on many URLs.
There are many identical or duplicate content available on the internet. When search engines crawl through these, there is a high probability that they may miss our unique content. Large-scale duplication can also adversely affect the ranking of our website.
Without a canonical URL or with an improper canonical URL, search engines may pick the wrong URL as the original, even if the content ranks.
5. No H1 tags
H1 tags are probably the most important of all header tags. Contrary to popular belief, the main header of the page need not always be H1. The H1 tag could be any heading that provides an overarching summary of the content on the page.
H1 tags improve user experience, which in turn can improve our website’s ranking in search results. The presence of desired information and adding relevant keywords to the H1 tag can improve the website’s SEO. Not having an H1 tag is a missed optimization opportunity.
6. Poor LSI setup
LSI means – Latent Semantic Index. LSI keywords are words and phrases that a search engine sees as semantically-related to a certain topic. It helps the Search Engine to show the results which is what the user is intended to search.
In the early days, search engines like Google would determine the topic of a certain page based on the keywords used on that page. However, search engines have become much smarter these days, and they aim to figure out a page’s overall topic. They depend largely on LSI to understand the content on the page at a deeper level.
The right LSI setup can help Google, and other search engines, better understand the content on our website, thus boosting the website’s ranking in the SERPs.
7. Missing call to actions
This is not a direct SEO mistake. But an important marketing mistake. A call to action is a way to encourage a user to take some desired action. CTAs are an effective way of avoiding confusion among your audience and directing them exactly where we want them to go.
Placing a clear call to action throughout the website can help visitors better understand what action to take next. Not having CTAs on the website may cause visitors to leave without learning more about the business or without leaving any follow-up information.
If we want to transform our website traffic into new leads for our business, we just can’t afford to miss out on CTAs.