3 Common SEO Mistakes

Ranking your web pages on search engines are usually the foundation to any digital marketing strategy. Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to properly execute a solid SEO plan. This article is meant to provide you a quick and easy list that addresses the top 3 SEO mistakes and how to fix them.

SEO Mistake #1: Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is one of the most seen problems with a website’s SEO. Webpages are considered duplicate if they contain identical or nearly identical content. Excessive duplicate content may confuse search engines as to which page to index and which one to prioritize in search results. Using duplicated content across multiple pages may lead to traffic loss and poor placement in search results, and it may even provoke search engines to ban your page. Keep in mind, duplicate content can obviously be due to writing the same content on various pages, but it can also result from duplicate pages or internal issues.

How to fix duplicate content:

  1. Provide unique content on the webpage.
  2. Remove duplicate content.
  3. Add a rel=”canonical” link to one of your duplicate pages to inform search engines which page to show in search results.

SEO Mistake #2: Duplicate and missing meta-descriptions

A meta-description tag is a short summary of a webpage’s content that helps search engines understand what the page is about and can be shown to users in search results. Duplicate meta descriptions on different pages mean a lost opportunity to use more relevant keywords. Also, duplicate meta descriptions make it difficult for search engines and users to differentiate between different web pages. It is better to have no meta description at all than to have a duplicate one.

How to fix duplicate and missing meta-descriptions:

  1. Remove duplicate meta-descriptions and provide a unique description of the page
  2. Provide a unique, relevant meta description for each of your webpages.

SEO Mistake #3: Low text-HTML ratio

Your text to HTML ratio indicates the amount of actual text you have on your webpage compared to the amount of code. This warning is triggered when your text to HTML is 10% or less. Search engines have begun focusing on pages that contain more content. That’s why a higher text to HTML ratio means your page has a better chance of getting a good position in search results. Less code increases your page’s load speed and also helps your rankings. It also helps search engine robots crawl your website faster.

How to fix low text-html ratio:

Split your web page’s text content and code into separate files and compare their size. If the size of your code file exceeds the size of the text file, review your page’s HTML code and consider optimizing its structure and removing embedded scripts and styles.

In Conclusion

There are a significant number of other issues that can arise when optimizing your site for search engines, but begin addressing the one’s mentioned above and you’ll notice a difference. Just remember to take your SEO fixes one step at a time. Patience will go a long way when it comes to SEO.

If you don’t have these 4 things, you need a new website.

Online shopping has become one of the easiest and efficient ways to shop. That’s why more and more people are going online to look for products and services rather than going to a physical location. That means your company’s website is crucial to keep up with the times and capture your consumer’s business.

First impressions are everything

I’m sure you’ve heard that expression before. The same goes for your website. Consumers need good experiences so if someone goes to your website and it looks outdated or they can’t find anything, they will more than likely go somewhere else. You may not be hearing complaints about your website, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a problem. If you had an updated website, you could be getting even more traffic, leads, and sales. What we tell customers is to redesign your site every 2-3 years with periodic updates to ensure you’re giving your customers exactly what they want: content, user-experience, and appealing design.

Is your website optimized for mobile?

If not, you need a new website. Something to keep in mind is the importance of mobile. Whether you’re a manufacturing company or a retail company, your customers have phones. There are a vast number of searches every day on mobile devices so that means your site must be designed as such. Responsive design for mobile devices will ensure your consumers have a good experience wherever they look at your website and services.

Is your site SEO capable?

If not, you need a new website. Search engine optimization, or more commonly referred to as SEO, is where your site will appear on search engines. Consider this, you have a solid website, enticing brand messaging and a cool logo, but your website isn’t optimized so no one will ever find you to even see that. That makes all your previous efforts meaningless. Having a site that is ready for SEO is huge so if you don’t have a site that gives you that ability, you are already way behind the game.

Does your website take forever to load?

If so, you need a new website. If your site is slow, your rank on Google will be drastically lowered. Not to mention, people want things exactly when they want them. If your page takes forever to load, people will bounce off your site and onto your competitor’s.

Can you link social media on your website?

If not, you need a new website. We mentioned people go to your website to look at your services and may look up your website on their mobile device, but we haven’t talked about the power of social. A large number of people also want to know what other people have to say about you and whether they want to do business with your company. That means they may go to social platforms to make their decision. It’s important to be on social to funnel your potential customers back to your website. If you aren’t on social, that’s an opportunity to gain even more business, but if you are on social and don’t have a website that links with them, that’s just as bad!

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of reasons to update or get a new website, but if you don’t believe us, just look at your competitor’s website. Technology is always changing and so is the way people do business. If you want to ensure your business is future-proof and continues to do solid business, you may want to consider updating your website.

At Atomic, we build many of our clients’ sites using publishing platform WordPress. WordPress is easy to learn, and offers great design and customization options—meaning we can help our clients build great-looking sites, no matter what look they want.

But like any system, WordPress is occasionally vulnerable to intrusions. And attacks on WordPress-hosted sites have exploded in the past couple of months. Most of these hacks are what’s called “brute force” attacks—and they’re exactly what they sound like. A network of infected computers or servers (a “botnet”) attempts username/password combos over and over—at a rate of hundreds of thousands of guesses per second. Sooner or later, the botnets break in. Then, they make themselves right at home.

If you haven’t taken steps to safeguard your site, you could become a hacker’s next victim. Fortunately, there are a few super-easy ways you can protect yourself—no programming knowledge required. Think of these as your alarm system, your attack dog, and your pepper spray.

1. Make sure you’re running the latest version of WordPress.

Easy enough, right? WordPress releases updates regularly, so it’s important to install updates as soon as you’re prompted (a reminder usually pops up when you log in to your Dashboard). Most intrusions are caused by bugs that have already been addressed by a WordPress update, so do yourself a favor and keep your site current.

If you do need to use an older version of WordPress for some reason, make sure the version is hidden from your source code. (Learn how to do that here.)

2. Get rid of the ‘admin’ username.

When bots scan possible username and password groupings, they go first to names people are most likely to choose. WordPress accounts come with a default ‘admin’ username, which hackers assume (rightly) that most people won’t bother to change.

If you’re still using ‘admin,’ it’s an easy fix: create a new user with admin privileges (using a new email address). And stay away from usernames like ‘editor,’ ‘moderator,’ or ‘administrator’—they’re also easy targets. Log in with your new account, delete the old ‘admin,’ and assign all of the old account’s post’s to the new user. Piece o’ cake.

3. Use a strong password.

You’d think we’d have learned our lessons by now. But accounts get compromised all the time because of passwords like “1234” and, well, “password.” It doesn’t take a powerful botnet to crack that code. Try for a password that’s moderately long (12 characters or more is ideal) and contains some combination of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Another good rule of thumb is to avoid using your name, your company’s name, or common dictionary words—the zanier and more unheard-of, the harder it’ll be for bots to crack.

Not sure if your password is totally ironclad? Try out this handy password security testing tool, which tells you how long it would take a desktop PC to learn your password. (“atomic1” gets cracked in 19 seconds. “AtomicIzAwe5ome,” on the other hand, takes around 6 billion years.)

There are many other measures you can take to protect your site, like security plugins, restricted permissions, and secure login pages. (And if that all sounds like gibberish, we can help.) But following these simple steps should keep you safe from the majority of WordPress attacks—plus, they’re good habits to form for all of your online activities.

We can’t hope to prevent every intrusion or thwart every attack. But if we can throw at least a few roadblocks in hackers’ path, we’ll do our best to stay one step ahead.

Got questions about your WordPress site’s security? Contact Atomic, and we’ll make sure you’re safe and sound.