Welcome to your Daily Concept from Exclusive Concepts – Today is SEO Monday. Just as a reminder, you can subscribe to our daily, informative video series by signing up at exclusiveconcepts.com/blog.
My name is Scott, an SEO Analyst at Exclusive Concepts, and today I’ll be covering part 1 of 2 of the top 10 common SEO mistakes that all site owners should avoid.
We’ll start at number 10 which covers poor site navigation. Good navigation is important on any site for two reasons: usability and spiderability. From a usability perspective, good navigation is important so the user can find what they are looking for on the site in as few clicks as possible.
For SEO however, spiderability is the important issue. Spiderability is the ease at which spiders can crawl a site and index its pages. The deeper a site is, the harder it is for spiders to effectively crawl pages and find the deeper content. For ecommerce site owners, a general rule of thumb should be that category pages are be reachable within 1-2 clicks from the homepage and your product pages within 3-4 clicks. If you have a large site and find it impossible to make products available within 3-4 clicks, another approach to help encourage spiderability is by targeting interior pages when acquiring external links. Targeting interior pages such as a category or subcategory through links from other sites can help boost your sites popularity, but it will also help spiders find these pages and continue crawling into your deeper content.
Next, we’ll move on to the issue of a site having two identical pages with different URLs. The most common example would be having a homepage that has both a www URL and non-www URL, as shown on the bad site. The problem with having two different URLs for homepage is that these are seen as different pages to search engines even though they might seem the same to the average visitor. So why should you care if the search engine sees it as two different pages? Well, the biggest issue that can occur is its potential impact on your popularity score from inbound links.
Let’s say you have 500 links pointing to www.site.com and then another 350 links pointing to site.com. In the eyes of Google, these two pages are different with separate inbound links, therefore the popularity score may not be as high as a site that has all 850 links pointing to one page. By having your site set to resolve at one location, which can be done through a canonical URL tag, it will allow all links to be directed to the one, appropriate page.
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Next, we’ll move on to number 8 which covers the poor use of anchor text hyperlinks some sites employ. How many times have you been to a site and have seen a hyperlink that says something like, “Click Here”? For SEO efforts, this is a waste of a hyperlink which could be much better optimized by using one of your target keywords in the anchor text of the link.
Next, number 7 covers the issue of sites using images instead of text, which often occurs in the navigation bars. When a site uses an image with text in it, it may be visible to the site visitors, but the text goes unseen to search engines. Rather than using images with text in them, sites should try to use anchor text when appropriate, and especially when there are opportunities to include target keywords.
While we’re on the topic of images, let’s move on to number 6 which concerns sites that don’t use alternative text in their images. I just mentioned that when a site has an image on the page, search engines can’t see what is on the image. However, when images are used on a page, using alt text tags gives an opportunity to incorporate relevant keywords for these images which are visible to search engines. Although alt tags aren’t weighed too heavily for SEO, it does carry a little weight, so why not use it in every image you have?
Well that wraps up part 1 of the Top 10 Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid and I hope you’ve found it helpful for your business! Here at Exclusive Concepts we work with our clients to make sure mistakes like these are avoided at all times and that sites are optimized by employing SEO best practices through a service we call Advanced SEO. Please feel free to give us a call or fill out an audit request to get more info on how we can help your site realize its full potential. Thanks for watching and please tune in next Monday as we count down the top 5 mistakes in part 2 of the Top 10 Common SEO Mistakes.