Search engine optimization is one of the more complex, confusing aspects of the modern digital marketing dance.
Google, which wields immense power in determining how businesses rank online, is notoriously secretive about the inner workings of its algorithms. They don’t fully reveal the rules of the game, and, as anyone who follows SEO knows, Google’s guidelines are quite fluid.
There are, however, certain rules that don’t change. MarketingProfs posted an infographic that lists 40 common SEO mistakes, along with descriptions of how bad each bugaboo is for your website. The graphic, originally created by SEMRush, features data pulled from audits of 100,000 websites and 450 million webpages.
Highlights from the study include these:
- The graphic notes that 33 percent of the websites analyzed had broken internal links, which can seriously ding your SEO.
- If you don’t have a site map, or if it’s not configured directly, fix it soon. As the infographic states: “The site map gives search bots the right path and keeps them from overlooking something important.”
- As for on-page optimization, duplicate content is a major issue. Nearly 66 percent of the websites analyzed had duplicate content.
- Other common on-page issues have to do with image optimization, meta descriptions, title tags and H1 tags.
- Slow page loading speed is one SEO feature Google openly addresses. So is mobile optimization. Test your page speed here, and make sure your site is mobile-friendly here.
- If you have Flash anywhere on your site, just don’t.
SEO is a bear to wrap your head around, but you can reap magnificent marketing fruit with minor tweaks to your site. Have a look at the rest of the infographic below for a crash course on the finer points of SEO.