Your website traffic is down and you have no idea why. Today I’m going to go through some of the most common SEO mistakes that you can hopefully fix anything that might be wrong with your website.
The first thing that is people just block, their entire website with robots.txt. So if you go to example.com/robots.txt, you do not want to see that your entire website is disallowed. Check for that first.
The next thing that is there might be rel=canonical going to the wrong page. So if you have a page on your website and you want that to rank but you have something in the code called rel=canonical which points at another page, that’s going to make it so that page won’t rank. So look in your code, see if you have a rel=canonical pointing at the wrong page.
Search Engine Optimization Process
Google URL removal tool
The next thing is the Google URL removal tool has been used, so Google has a tool called the URL removal tool and this tool will take any URL out of the index and keep it out until you put it back in. So look at that tool and make sure nobody is removed any URLs from your website.
No index on the site
The next thing is somebody has a no index on the website or no index on the page. So look in your code, make sure there’s not a no-index and there is not a no-follow. The no index is the most important, tells Google doesn’t index the page. The no-follow means don’t follow the links on the page. Look for a no index, make sure it’s not inside the code.
A disavowed file
The next thing is somebody created a disavowed file that blocks way too many links to the website. So a disavowed file tells Google, don’t count these external links, block them, don’t use them to think about how my website should rank. A bad, older SEO company might have put way too many links in there and disavowed them and so that makes your website just drop. So make sure you Google disavowed file, make sure you check the correct sub-domain inside a Google search console, sub-domain of your website inside a Google search console and then see if they’ve over disavowed links.
Change of URLs
Another huge mistake people think they can just change URLs and 301 redirect them, and it’s okay. it’s not okay. Don’t do that, if you do that you’re going to lose between 10 and 30 percent of your traffic for 1 to 4 months. So never change URLs if you can help it.
The next item is the URL parameters. Check your URL parameters do not use them if you don’t have to because it’s not the best way to do it. It’s much better just to have a clear, clean site structure your parameters are really the lazy way to go about it.
In my opinion, the next thing you have a hacked website look in your source code. Do you see Viagra? Do you see Cialis? If you go inside of Google Search console, does it say you have security issues? Make sure to check that because hacked websites, in many cases, can hurt your rankings.
Incorrect base URL
The next thing that could be an issue is having an incorrect base URL. The base URL is something in the code that tells Google, use this as the base URL if you have relative links relative links, mean it would just forward slash a URL. The base URL tells you what to append to that relative URL, make sure that’s correct because if it’s too long, it’s too short, it can really mess some stuff up.
Build a progressive web app
My next item is building your entire website, as a progressive web app inside of Angular or some other Web technology like that, that can really mess some stuff up, Google, other search engines, they are really not ready to fully index those types of websites. You need to do certain things like use push date, use pre-render.io, or create an HTML base allows Google to rank that HTML base and load the progressive web app on top of it. Watch out for progressive web apps, if you have questions on that.
Merged with a bad domain
Maybe you buy another domain and you merge that into your domain, but the domain that you bought had a terrible backlighting profile and had a bad history, that is now associated with your website. Watch out for that, you never want to merge a domain with your domain especially if it’s got a bad history.
Too much anchor text
Next thing, to watch out for is building too much exact anchor text, so if somebody has linked to you too many times with a certain term, then you will not rank for that time. So, watch out for building too money, too much anchor text with a specific term.
Next thing, don’t cloak a page, meaning don’t show one thing to Google, and another thing to users cloaking can get you a penalty.
Next thing, make sure you’re using Copyscape or another tool to make sure somebody hasn’t stolen all your content. The other day we had a client who came in and they were they needed some help with some diagnosis because they had lost all their traffic. We use Copyscape and some other tools, we found out that there were 30 other websites who had stolen the content on their site and thus, they were ranking much better than them. So watch out for that.
Set up sub-domains inside Google search console
Another mistake is people don’t set up all of their sub-domains inside a Google search console. Google search consol works on a sub-domain by sub-domain basis, so make sure you set them all up because you could have a penalty on one sub-domain and not even know it.
Use of the wrong keyword
Next item, selecting the wrong keywords from the very beginning can be a huge issue. So make sure you’re selecting the right terms from the beginning.
Publishing content that’s not original, so you’ve got a thousand products, and all of those 1000 products have the exact same content that is on thousands of other websites. That’s not going to help your site. That could even hold you down a bit. Original content that’s 100 percent optimized, well optimized, is going to be the right way to go.
Too many redirects
Having too many redirects in place, do you have one redirect that goes to the redirect to another redirect? That’s not good, if your website does not have too many redirects in place, try to keep one direct to the page that you’re going to with this simple clear 301 redirect as often as possible.
An hreflang tags
Next item not having returned tags on your hreflang tags. An hreflang tag is a tag that basically is used for international SEO. You have to make sure that they all map correctly to each other, if they don’t, you’re going to get an error, so that’s something you need to watch out for.
Okay in search engine optimization, there’s a lot of mistakes you can make. I just ran through some of the bigger ones, some of the clearer ones to see.