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5 most common SEO mistakes and how to fix them

Updated on August 22, 2016

#1 Duplicate Content

Still the most common and easily solved issue out there is duplicate page content. Whilst there does not appear to be a major penalty for duplicate content on your pages, the issue occurs when your pages start competing with one another for positions in Google and you may start to see pages you did not want to rank for certain keywords competing with those that you do want to rank.

SEMrush point out that approximately 50% of websites suffer from this issue.

To fix Duplicate Content: Use a Canonical URL that tells Google – I have various pages using the same content but index only this one – and pass the power to this one.

The line of code you need to insert into your page with duplicate content is:

< a href="http://www.mywebsite.com/duplicate-version-of-page/” rel=”canonical” />

#2 Duplicate Title Tags

This is the text that appears across the top of your browser. Your title tag should be used to tell search engines and your visitors, who will click on this in search results, what your page is about.

SEMrush points out that 35% of pages have duplicate title tags, 8% of websites are missing them and 15% of them use too much text in the title tag.

To fix Duplicate Title Tags: Simply rewrite all of your page title tags to be unique to the page that they are on and keep to below 55 characters in length.

If you edit your website through a Content Management System (CMS), for example WordPress, then you will have the ability to edit your pages Title tag through your editor.

If you edit your website using code, at the top of your code document within your tag you should have a tag that says . Enter your title tag here and close it with the tag.

E.g. ALT Agency – Web Design Agency based in Birmingham

#3 Broken Internal Links

Meta titles are hidden in your code, usually beneath your Title Tags, and they are used to provide a description to both search engines and visitors about what your page is about. Meta descriptions are typically the few lines of text you see on search engine results that briefly explain what the page is about.

#4 Duplicate mete description

Duplicate mete description from Google
Duplicate mete description from Google

Meta titles are hidden in your code, usually beneath your Title Tags, and they are used to provide a description to both search engines and visitors about what your page is about. Meta descriptions are typically the few lines of text you see on search engine results that briefly explain what the page is about.

According to SEMrush 30% of websites have duplicate meta descriptions and 25% have no descriptions at all.

To fix your Duplicate Meta Descriptions: Beneath your title tag code is typically your description code.

If you use a CMS such as wordpress then you will have a predefined area to enter your description.

#5 Missing H1 tags

Header tags run from H1 all the way down to H6. They are used to create a hierarchy to your website within your code. Typically your websites headline, the first thing that your visitors read and the most important sentence on your website, is set in a H1 tag. Your H1 tag should only be used once and then your content should be organised using H2-H6 tags in order of importance.

SEMrush point out that 20% of sites have multiple H1 tags and 15% of them have duplicate H1 tags.

To fix your Missing H1 Tags: Go to your websites code and around your pages most important content, typically a headline add in a

tag and close it with a tag.

Example:

<h1>This is our main headline text</h1>

Be sure to style your H1 tags in the CSS so that it looks visually pleasing.


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