Whatever the goal of a website, to make a business more visible or to develop its sales, it is necessary to avoid certain pitfalls in SEO for the site to fulfill its mission. Focus on fundamental errors that are detrimental to its presence on search engines and its contribution to the growth of the business.
Do not conduct a semantic audit
Starting a website without conducting a semantic audit is like driving a car at night without headlights. The semantic audit makes it possible to exhaustively determine the keywords and phrases corresponding to the queries of Internet users on which it is important for the site to rise in the Google rankings.
Complex site architecture
Structuring the information on your site properly allows Google to better understand the topics covered and the services or products you offer. The architecture stems from the work done in the semantic audit, which helps structure the topics to be developed.
For example, if a mass-market store associates food products with hygiene and beauty products on the same page, this inconsistency is difficult for Google to interpret, affecting the referencing of the targeted product category. Establishing semantic cocoons to treat a subject in its different facets makes it possible not to forget any and to organize its contents intuitively.
Keep in mind that designing the architecture of a site requires taking into account the need for rapid access to information. We must therefore avoid having too deep an architecture complicating navigation. It is often recommended that you do not have pages that are more than three clicks away from the home page.
Abandoned title tags
The title tag is a very important ranking criterion in Google’s algorithm, and not optimizing these tags on your site can ruin your best efforts. The title is the blue clickable link that appears in Google search results. It is important to include the important keyword of the page, around which we have optimized the content and for which we want it to rank on the 1st page of Google. It must be clear and convincing enough to entice people to click on the link.
Do not work on the internal mesh
Internal networking is the organization of all the links made between the different pages of your site. It facilitates the exploration of your site by engine robots but also, and above all, offers additional information to the Internet user, satisfying their curiosity. Good internal networking allows information to be organized in semantic cocoons and demonstrates the site’s expertise to search engines on specific topics.
Botch the content
The adage is well known: content is king, especially in SEO. Quality content is essential to be visible. You have to think of the user first and understand their research intention in order to respond to them with relevant, useful, and whenever possible, original information. Don’t write for bots: write for humans who are your readers and most importantly your customers. It is their needs that you must first meet.
Acquire poor quality inbound links
Inbound links (called backlinks) from other online media can increase the popularity of your site. The perception of a site’s expertise is a fundamental criterion in Google’s algorithm. Hence the importance of caring for its content and popularity. This is a virtuous circle: the more a site is perceived as authoritative on a topic, the more backlinks it attracts.
To acquire these links, we must prioritize quality over quantity: quality links have a neat anchor (the clickable text on which the link is positioned). Be careful, however, of the risk of over-optimizing it. The anchor must be written naturally, without hitting the reading. To solicit links, you should also focus on authority sites on the same topic as your site. Finally, the content of the landing page should be consistent with the link anchor. Consistency remains and will remain a fundamental criterion for Google for a long time.
Abandon the mobile version
We cannot repeat it enough: mobile compatibility is essential because Internet users are increasingly browsing the web via their smartphone. According to Statcounter (Nov 2021), 46.6% of requests are made on mobile in France and 54% worldwide. Google’s default crawling and indexing process has been Index Mobile First since 2018. Caring for the mobile version ensures a satisfactory experience for the Internet user, by making it easier to find information through pleasant browsing.
An unsecured site
The “https” protocol secures data exchanges between the Internet user and your site. While its weight remains low in Google’s algorithm, it reassures users when browsing and increases their confidence in your site and your business, especially in the case of an e-commerce site. This is obviously not the only security measure you can take to strengthen your resistance to cyber attacks, but it is a must.
Using the services of a Content Delivery Network (such as Cloudflare) also helps prevent DDOS attacks, during which too many requests on the server can make it unavailable.
These are fundamental principles that require time and thought to lay the foundation for a good SEO strategy. There are, however, many other points to work on throughout the life of the site in order to hope for lasting results. As often, the devil is in the details, especially in SEO.