On-page SEO is one of the most important aspects of SEO. Although backlinks, page authority, and website age all play essential roles in your SEO rankings, it all starts with on-page SEO. Various on-page SEO mistakes can cause your blogs and articles to lose their rankings.
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to improve your on-page SEO almost instantly. Today, I will show you eight on-page issues that you can fix right now. Let us get into it.
1. Duplicate Content
Having duplicate content is one of the worst things you can do to your SEO rankings. You might not even notice you have duplicate content; you might not be copying other people’s content intentionally.
There can be a few reasons you might have duplicate content. For one, you might be copying previous press releases of yours that appeared on PR news sites. You may be copying press releases from other businesses. You may even be inadvertently using phrasing that is similar to that used by another blog without realizing it, which can still hurt your rankings as Google might think you are plagiarizing.
If you are copying a previous press release of yours, make sure to tell Google not to index any page which has duplicate content. Use a tool like Yoast to ensure that the page is not indexed. To avoid using language that is similar to that used by other sites, use a tool like Copyscape or Grammarly to check for plagiarism, and change the wording until it passes the plagiarism check.
2. Ineffective Title Tags
Title tags are HTML elements that show search engines the title of a page. If you don’t optimize your titles for SEO, your default meta title tag will be your article title. However, there are problems with that.
First of all, your article title might be too long. The meta title tag can only have a certain number of characters, and if it is too long, it will get cut off. Since the title tag is what will appear as the page title in the Google search results, it is essential for it not to be cut off. You want searchers to see an optimized title that they will click on.
It is best to keep meta titles between 40-60 characters so that Google doesn’t cut it off. An optimized meta title should have your target keywords in it, so Google will rank your page for them. Having target keywords in the meta title will also cause people to click on it. The more people click on it, the more your rankings will go up. Your meta title should make people curious to learn more so they click on your article.
3. Confusing Content Hierarchy
Your content hierarchy should be simple and easy to follow. It should make it easy for people to find the content they are looking for. A good content hierarchy will also help Google and other search engines figure out what each page is about and rank it accordingly.
For example, you can create different categories and subcategories and write articles under the appropriate category.
It can look something like this: yourwebsite.com/category/sub-category/article. This helps Google understand that the article is related to that specific category and that all other articles under that category are also talking about a similar topic.
Google uses AI to figure out what articles are talking about and rank them accordingly, so you can get specific articles to rank under the category keyword. Sometimes, a meta tag or category will rank on the first page of Google.
4. Missing Alt Tags and Meta Descriptions
Like the meta title tag, the meta description is a snippet that shows up in the Google search results. It describes what your page is about. Like the meta title, it should be optimized for SEO. You should write your own synopsis of your article for the meta description. It should include your target keywords and a call-to-action at the end.
Keep your meta descriptions under 160 characters, so they do not get cut off.
You should also be using alt tags to your advantage. Did you know that Google “reads” images by looking at their alt tags? While uploading an image to WordPress, you will have the chance to edit the alt tag. Include your target keyword as the alt tag to help your article rank. If your alt tag is empty, you are missing out on a valuable opportunity to increase your rankings.
In addition to including your keyword in the alt tag, I would recommend changing the file name of the image to include your keyword. You should do this before uploading the photo. For example, on your computer, you can change the image file name from screenshot2020.png to yourkeyword.png and then upload it.
5. Broken Images
A common problem that can ruin your SEO is having broken images. Usually, this happens when the media file URL is not being pointed to or the wrong URL is being pointed to. This can occur if the file moves location. Usually, all you need to do is update the file name on your website when the media file gets moved. You can also just upload a new image if you can’t find the old one.
6. Broken Links
Broken links are perhaps more challenging to spot than broken images. While a broken image might show a grey square or an Image Not Found error, you won’t always know about a broken link until you click on it.
Broken links are links that no longer work. Usually, this happens when the destination URL changes or moves. Here are some of the most common reasons you might find broken links on your site:
- The destination website went offline.
- The destination website updated its URL.
- The destination website updated its site structure and moved the page.
- You misspelled the URL when you first linked to it and never noticed until now.
Broken links can be outbound or inbound links. For example, if one of your pages goes offline for whatever reason or you delete it, and you are linking to that page from another page, that link will now be a broken link.
Broken links are bad for SEO. They are also bad for the user experience, as they make your site look outdated and neglected. Fortunately, it is easy to find and fix broken links. If you have WordPress, just use a plugin like Broken Link Checker. Not only will it scan all outbound and inbound links and inform you of broken links, but it can also mark those links as nofollow so that the search engines don’t pay attention to them, even before you get a chance to fix them.
You can also check for broken links online using a tool like Dead Link Checker. Just enter your website URL, and it will crawl it for broken links.
7. Low-Quality Content
Low-quality content can hurt your SEO, but it is fixable. Instead of focusing on putting out new content only, I would recommend that you spend some time going through your old content, finding blogs and pages that have low-quality content, and revising them to improve their content quality.
Here are some types of low-quality content:
- Short articles that only superficially cover the topic
- Content that isn’t short but is very wordy and has too much fluff
- Content that doesn’t target any keywords
- Content that doesn’t have any images
- Long blocks of text that are hard to read
- Bad fonts that are hard to read
You can go over previous content, add more content, add images, include outbound links, break up blocks of text into paragraphs, fix your subheadings, start targeting more keywords, embed a video, and more. All of these things can help get those low-quality pages ranking.
8. Low Word Count
Although a low word count is not the only thing you need to worry about – you also need to focus on quality as opposed to just quantity – short articles don’t tend to rank well, especially if you are competing with competitors who write long blog posts. Your articles should be at least 1,000 words long if you want them to rank, but it would be even better if you can write a few thousand words.
Just make sure to include quality content. Don’t add words just for the sake of it – Google can tell when you are repetitive and including fluff for the purpose of inflating your word count. Find ways to delve deeper into the topic you are covering or cover it from another angle.
In conclusion, here are the eight things you can fix right now to improve your site’s rankings:
- Remove duplicate content or make sure Google doesn’t index it.
- Optimize your title tags.
- Fix your site structure.
- Add alt tags and optimize your meta descriptions.
- Fix broken images.
- Check for broken links and fix them.
- Revise low-quality content.
- Add words to short articles.
By doing those eight things, you can get your rankings to increase in a short while, leading to more traffic and conversions.