SEO is no longer an esoteric science that only a few companies excel at. In fact, every business today has to invest in SEO — whether it’s a local bakery or an international SaaS company. It might be noted though that there’s one industry that can especially benefit from investing in SEO. Surprisingly enough, that’s the online ad publishing industry. This industry, which comprises a network of domains that allow brands to deliver their message to billions of users, can definitely benefit from investing some time and effort in their SEO practices.
Many publishers don’t actually focus on their SEO because they feel overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to get done. However, the technical issues that most ad publishers grapple with are actually fairly simple, and fixable. What’s more, just fixing these simple SEO issues can help them realize 79% more revenue. So here are the top SEO mistakes that publishers need to be aware of:
403 and 404 Errors
This usually means that there is an issue on the client-side because of which the user, or the search engine bot, as the case may be, cannot access the webpage. A 403 Forbidden error usually happens when people are able to access the link for a webpage for which you have restricted access in your settings. A 404 Not Found error, on the other hand, comes when the page that the user is trying to access either doesn’t exist any longer or didn’t exist ever. You may also have internal broken links — where the user is directed to a non-existent webpage from within your own site.
Have certain HTTPs pages
Expiry of a certificate may result in particular webpages reverting to the not-secure HTTP protocol. This is seen by Google as a major compromise of the website security and rankings start taking a nosedive very quickly.
This is a very basic SEO error, and fairly easy to fix. Your page title is how both users and search engine bots are able to figure out what your page is all about. If you have more than one page with the same title, both users and bots will get confused. This, in turn, affects your search engine ranking, which then means loss of revenue.
Generic Meta Description
This is another common mistake which is fairly simple to fix. The meta description is the unique description for your webpage that appears under the Google search result. Although the search engine crawlers don’t directly use this meta description to determine the ranking, users do use the meta description to decide whether they want to click on a link or not. This means that a good meta description results in a higher organic CTR (Click Through Rate) which does impact the search engine algorithm and improve rankings.
Internal Links and Anchor Text
It can be very tempting to use CTA (Call to Action) buttons within the body of a webpage to link other pages of your website. “Check out this post”, “Click Here” and other such generic text will not really help you from an SEO perspective. It’s much better to identify anchor text within your web copy that contains important keywords, and then link your webpages to this text. Even if you think you absolutely need to have a Call To Action, make sure it’s something that includes relevant keywords. For instance, “Click to Know More about our Ecommerce Services” is much better than “Click Here”.
This is another rookie mistake that happens more often than we think. In this case, the search engine bot is unable to crawl all or some of the webpage and index the content. What this means is that there is no chance that your webpage will get a decent ranking. While there are a number of reasons for this, you must make sure that all your pages can be crawled by a search engine.
This is another very avoidable mistake that you can also rectify fairly quickly. Duplicate content means that different webpages across your website have blocks of content that are exactly the same or very similar. This can happen for one of two reasons. First, you decided to copy-paste blocks of text across different webpages, where the message you wanted to convey was similar. While this is tempting and saves some time and effort in the long run, it is a huge no-no from an SEO perspective. So make sure you craft unique content for every single webpage, no matter how similar the context and messaging.
The second, more common reason is that there is some issue during the technical implementation and you end up with several webpages with the same content. This can be fixed fairly easily with a quick audit.
Backlinks: Quantity over Quality
It’s tempting to get a large volume of links to your website. However, that isn’t so great from an SEO point of view. It’s much better to get fewer, high-quality links than a large volume of low-quality links. High-quality links from credible websites help to build your repute in the eyes of the search engine, resulting in higher rankings faster. Also try to make sure that the links you get are relevant to your industry and product and do not have too many outgoing links.
Slow Loading Speed
Today, users are accustomed to websites that load in a flash. That’s why having a website with even fractionally slower loading speed can become a major stumbling block. It will end up affecting your CTR (Click Through Rate) as well as your search engine ranking. So keep working on your website until loading speed is no longer an issue.
We hope this article helped shed some light on a somewhat-neglected application of SEO. If this helped you fix your SEO basics, do let us know in the comments below. If there are some important technical issues we’ve missed out on, make sure you let us know about that as well.
Watch: 6 SEO Myths that you need to trash today