We all know the importance of Search Engine Optimization, but we aren’t all  aware of the different factors that influence SEO. It is no exaggeration to say that all elements of your online presence can have an impact on your search engine ranking. With that in mind, in this article, we are going to take a look at website blunders that will hurt your SEO performance. Are you guilty of committing any of these sins?

Thin content

Any SEO consultant will tell you that the most important pages on your website are the product and service pages. You will get more business if you have high rankings for your target keywords. This is why you need to avoid some of the following errors:

Having little text on your product/service pages

Once you have identified the product/service pages you are going to incorporate on your website, you need to spend a considerable amount of time thinking about the copy you are going to put on each page. You will have a greater chance of ranking pages higher if you have content that is descriptive and explains to your users what the benefits of buying from you are or working with you are. There is also a greater chance that your visitors will turn into customers.

Having one page that lists multiple services or products

The best practice in terms of search engine optimization is to have one idea or keyword per page. This makes it clear to search engines what each page is about, and they will then rank it accordingly. Your website will lose rankings if you have multiple services or products per page, as it makes it confusing.

Not having service/product pages on your website

Another mistake to avoid is not having product/service pages on your site. You rob yourself of an opportunity to organically rank your target keywords if you eliminate these pages altogether.

Infinite scroll

This may be a popular website design technique, yet it is one that can hurt your search engine performance if it is done incorrectly. With this approach, more content is loaded as the user moves towards the bottom of the page. However, the search engines will not be able to crawl your pages if your pagination is not set up properly. Let’s say you have a blog that has 100 pages and you have set up infinite scrolling. If you only show the 20 most recent posts by default, this is what the search engine robots will see. There is no way for the search engine to know that there is content beyond the 20 articles, as robots crawl websites via links. If you are going to use the infinite scroll approach, you need to ensure the pages are search-friendly.


Google has already warned website owners that they must stop using intrusive pop-ups and interstitials. Any SEO expert knows this. User experience is of paramount importance when it comes to search engine rankings. When elaborate or creative pop-ups appear before your visitors can access the main content, it has a negative impact on user experience and, therefore, your SEO.

Improper 404 error page

A lot of business owners decide to create a custom 404 error page. This is an effective way of injecting a bit of humor into your website when something goes wrong. But, essential factors can be neglected when you search for creativity. Essential factors include the likes of a link that returns to your website. Not only is this vital for boosting user experience, but it will also increase the overall SEO value. Otherwise, Google and other search engines will see that your website is one that features broken internal links, and this will have a detrimental impact on your ranking.

Large media files and images

There is no denying that beautiful imagery is important for any website. However, you need to be careful regarding the type of imagery and media you include, particularly, the size of it. Large videos and images can have a detrimental impact on the speed of your site, which can result in lower rankings. Search engines reward pages that load quickly. There are a number of free tools available that will help you to determine whether reducing the size of the images will optimize your website further.

Missing H1 tags

H1 tags are essential. You could have the most visually stunning website in the world, but if no one can find it, what’s the point? This happens when website designers forget about essential SEO elements, and an H1 tag is one of these. The H1 tag is one of the first elements that search engine crawlers look at when they try to decipher what the page is about. You will rank higher by having the H1 tag and including your target keyword. Often designers remove it simply because there is no place for it on the page, but you simply cannot afford to do that.

Text in images

Another web design mistake you need to avoid is incorporating text in images. This occurs more frequently than you may think. Instead of incorporating text, the designer should overlay HTML based text over the top. Although you can see text in an image, Google can’t, which means any image-based text is ignored, no matter whether it is keyword rich or not. This is not the only issue associated with text in images. Responsiveness can be a problem, as it is likely that any text in an image will be too small to be read on a mobile.

Are you guilty of committing any of the website mistakes mentioned above? If so, it is important to rectify them sooner rather than later. You may think that something as small as not having an H1 tag or incorporating a large image is not a big deal, however, it could be just the thing that is holding your website back. Google and other search engines rank your website based on a number of different factors; it’s never as clear-cut as we’d like it to be. A broken link or a lack of content could leave your website languishing on page two or three when it deserves to be near the top of the results.

By Andrew Oziemblo, Founder & CEO of Chicago SEO Geeks a Chicago SEO Agency and RankOne Digital Marketing – helping businesses achieve long-term growth goals.

Posted in SEO

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