5 common SEO mistakes

Many websites are created without much consideration for search engines initially. If we want to improve these websites related to SEO, we should eliminate the following errors.

  1. Same web page title shared by 2 or more web pages
  2. A page does not have a description meta tag. Or the same description tag is used for many pages
  3. Page URL’s are cryptic.
  4. Using generic anchor links like READ MORE, CLICK HERE and so on
  5. Not using robots.txt or not using robots.txt wisely

1-Same web page tile shared by 2 or more web pages

This is the <title> tag that is written within the <head> section of a web page.  We can look for this error by look at the source code for various pages on a website. Each browser has a function “View Source”, which will display the source code of the web page. Here is the “View/Page Source” function of the Firefox browser.

View Source function of a Firefox browser

View Source function of Firefox browser

Many instances, a webmaster would create a title of the company name and use the same title for all pages. For example, West End Restaurant may reuse the same title line on all web pages of the website, <title>West End Restaurant</title>.

Each page should have a unique title which reflect to the page’s content.

2-A page does not have a description meta tag. Or the same description meta tag is used for many pages

A description meta tag allows the author of the web page to describe what the web page is about to major search engine: Google, Yahoo and Bing. This meta tag is within the <head> section of the web page.

<meta name=”description” content=”description about the content of the page appears here” >

When a web page does not have a description meta tag, search engine may decide not to index the page at all.

Also, a negative mark rank by search engines may happen as well when the same description meta tag is used for multiple pages.

3-Page URL’s are cryptic

The URL of a page should not be like http://www.businessname.com/index.php?section=3+id=25.

It should be friendly to human visitors. For example, it should be http://www.businessname.com/our-services.html

4-Using generic anchor links like READ MORE, CLICK HERE and so on

All generic anchor links like READ MORE, and CLICK HERE should be revised to be more meaningful links.

Yahoo home page is an example of good practices of meaningful anchor links. There is no generic link found on the home page. Links are more meaningful like “Where the deals are  >>”, “Watch the startling video >>” and so on.

5-Not using robots.txt or not using robots.txt wisely

Wikipedia.com describe robots.txt file well. It is as follows:

A robots.txt file on a website will function as a request that specified robots ignore specified files or directories in their search. This might be, for example, out of a preference for privacy from search engine results, or the belief that the content of the selected directories might be misleading or irrelevant to the categorization of the site as a whole, or out of a desire that an application only operate on certain data. (wikipedia.com)

In a way, we can use robots.txt to indicate which part of the website search engines should not visit, for privacy reason or other reasons.

For example, we may have a directory on our website dedicated to our business partners and it should not be publicized by search engines.

Further-reading list

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