SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It is the process of improving quantity and quality traffic from the free/organic search results on search engines. Businesses go through these to ensure that their site ranks high in the search engines for relevant keywords and phrases.
The sites rank in search results in the unpaid section (also known as the 'organic results') when users search for specific words and phrases. To make sure your content reaches your target audience, you would need to optimize your page content so that it will show up as a top result for anyone who searches related keywords and phrases.
As you know, people nowadays usually just type in a keyword or a simple phrase on Google when they need certain information, and Google shows you millions of results in less than a second. These results are based on what Google thinks will be the most helpful information for you, based on the keywords you entered.
By improving your SEO, you are actually expanding your visibility on the search engines, which helps you reach your target audience.
The sites that rank on the first page did their SEO well, which makes Google understand what their content is about. So if you want your target audience to find your site, you need to do the same.
Duplicate content refers to page content within or across domains that have 85% matches with other pages content. As Google will only show one duplicate page to the users, filtering other pages out of its index and search results. Hence the page that brings you traffic may not be the one you want to rank. Having loads of duplicate content can cause Google to influence your rankings negatively, hence affect your SEO performance.
Alt tags (alternative text) provide image descriptions of a webpage; these tags live in the HTML code; they are not visible on the webpage itself. Having these tags allow search engines to categorise the images, pick up their descriptions, and therefore allowing Google to understand what the images are about, hence rank it accordingly.
Search engines are very concerned about user experience. Hence, having missing Alt Tags can lead to a higher bounce rate, therefore causing poor search engine performance.
Broken images cause the same issues as broken links (we will explain in point #5). It causes search engines to downgrade your website because they create a poor user experience.
A title tag is an HTML tag that exists in the head section of every webpage. These issues mainly occur when the title tag of a webpage is missing or duplicated; result in not providing users and search engines with relevant information about the page content. Google always wants to deliver unique content to users, so we must make sure that every page of our site has a unique title that describes what's the page content is about.
If you are using WordPress, you can use SEO plugins to help you to distinguish duplicate, long, short or missing title tags.
A meta description is an HTML attribute that provides a summary of a web page. Meta description issues occur when the webpage description is missing or have duplicate description, just like the issues of Title Tag in point #3. Search engines will display the meta description in search results. Hence, if your description is not informative enough for the users to click, it will affect the click-through rates of your site.
You can use SEO plugins to help you to ensure that all your webpage has a meta description.
Broken links refer to links that are no longer exists, hence showing users a 404 error page.
Having one or two broken links, it's alright, but what if you have more than a hundred? When your website visitors see a 404 error page on your site multiple times, they will see your site as low quality, and they can't even continue to explore the other pages. Hence result in spending lesser time on your site. In the long run, it will cause traffic dropdown. Eventually, search engines will give you a lower rank as it assumes that your website is not providing good user experience.
The five issues we shared are some of the common ones which are affecting many sites. Therefore, you need to be aware of such problems, as they will be affecting your website traffic and your site credibility. We hope you find this blog post helpful! You can get more information on Google SEO starter guide.
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