In today’s digital marketing landscape, a strong SEO campaign is an indisputable requirement for ranking on Google and other search engines. There’s a lot that can go right with SEO. However, there are many issues that can be detrimental to your campaigns, especially as Google becomes more careful and thorough in determining which sites are worth ranking over others.
The following are some of the most common problems you may encounter in SEO and the ways you can overcome them.
1. Poor Web Page Indexing
We want our websites to rank high in Google, but if your pages are invisible to site crawlers, i.e., bots, those pages won’t index and be visible to search engine users.
You can use the Google Search Console to identify any indexation issues. Most of the time any issues pertaining to indexing will be internal. For instance, a page might not appear in a robots.txt file or someone added a NOINDEX tag to the page.
However, 404 and DNS errors are some of the more common reasons for indexation problems. You’ll see both error types labeled as such in the “Error” column on Google Search Console.
You can make sure that the page is in the robots.txt file and that the NOINDEX tag is removed if you want them to rank, followed by allowing Google to crawl the site again, which won’t be instantaneous and may take some time.
On the other hand, if you find that your pages aren’t performing the way you want them to despite being indexable, this could be indicative of a manual penalty. You can identify the issue by conducting an SEO audit for your site to look for any weak points or red flags that you need to address.
2. Slow Page Loading Times
Page speed has been a ranking factor for some time, especially when it comes to mobile optimization. Many businesses understand the importance of page loading speed in attracting and retaining visitors, but it can be a challenge to remember certain crucial elements that contribute to a faster load speed.
The fact is that you will lose many prospective customers if your pages don’t load quickly enough. The maximum length of time your page should take to load is around three seconds, but should ideally take no longer than two. You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool or another auditing tool to determine how fast your pages take to load and optimize accordingly.
You should make sure that your design is generally optimized to load faster on both desktop and mobile devices, which may entail compressing or removing certain images, making changes to your code, deleting excess elements such as comments, or taking other minor steps to include only what’s necessary on the page.
3. Cannibalization of Keywords
Many businesses want to dominate every ranking in their industry, which may mean covering just about every topic and subtopic imaginable. The problem with this is that if you’re not careful, you may use the same keywords on multiple pages, leading to cannibalization.
Cannibalization occurs when several pages rank for the same keyword, which can confuse Google and lead to the search engine choosing to rank one of your pages over another that might be more relevant.
The best way to avoid cannibalization is to develop an effective comprehensive keyword strategy that monitors all keywords you wish to rank for, designates those keywords to specific pages, and subsequently avoids using the same keyword on multiple pages.
One of the most effective strategies to prevent cannibalization without the need to track multiple pages is to create a single long page that covers a broad topic and all subtopics within it. Doing so will consolidate many unnecessarily separate pages into a single page that ranks for all relevant keywords, without leading to too much confusion about which page is ranking for which term. However, you should still make sure that these long pages, also known as pillar pages, are readable and easy to navigate for users who find them.
4. Inadequate Internal Linking Strategy
Although your website’s core navigation may be a primary focus, internal linking helps supplement your navigation by directing users to specific pages you want them to visit to perform a certain action, whether it’s to visit a contact page that they can find in the navigation or to another page for additional information that may not appear in the core navigation.
You can also bring more attention to those supplemental pages through your core pages with an effective internal linking strategy, which many businesses neglect as they focus on linking between those core, also known as “money” pages.
You can prove to your audience that you care to inform them and lead them in the right direction by linking to supplementary content in service or product pages, including links to how-tos, complete guides, and other content that helps your prospects learn more about what you have to offer.
If you want to cohesively connect your core pages, you should try to incorporate internal links in phrases that read naturally instead of using valuable keywords as anchor text.
Keeping all of these potential mistakes and their respective solutions in mind, you can effectively optimize your website and rank where you want. At the same time, you’ll leave your prospects and existing customers more satisfied with the user experience.