On-Page SEO Mistakes

Are You Making Any of These 18 On-Page SEO Mistakes?

On-page SEO is one of the most important aspects of SEO that website owners should focus on in order to help their website rank better in search engines like Google. It refers to optimization techniques that are directly related to the content on your website.

What is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO is all those magical things you do directly within your website’s pages to make search engines like Google absolutely adore you. It’s like giving your website a backstage pass to the top of the search results.

Think of it as optimizing your content, code, and all the technical stuff.

Importance of On-Page SEO in 2024

In 2024 and beyond, on-page SEO will continue to be a crucial ranking factor that helps search engines understand your content and determine if it satisfies user intent for specific keywords. With regular Google algorithm updates aimed at delivering ever more relevant search results, optimizing on-page SEO will only grow in importance.

Ignoring on-page SEO can lead to issues like poor indexation, lack of rankings, and low click-through rates from search engine results pages (SERPs). As Google gets better at semantic analysis, focusing on your on-page SEO will be key to staying ahead of the curve.

So, if you think you can skip on-page SEO and still rank well, Think again!

Even in this ever-changing digital landscape, on-page SEO remains a major player. Why?

  • Search Engines Get Smarter: Google and its buddies keep refining how they understand websites. So even if you’ve got awesome backlinks, sloppy on-page work will let you down.
  • User Experience is King: If your website is a confusing mess, even top rankings won’t save you. On-page SEO helps you create a delightful experience that converts visitors into fans.
  • Standing Out in the Crowd: It’s a competitive world out there! Polished on-page SEO sets you apart, demonstrating to search engines and visitors alike that you’re the real deal.

Summary table for the 18 most common on-page SEO mistakes covered in the article:

SEO MistakeDescriptionWhy it’s HarmfulHow to Fix
Keyword StuffingExcessively repeating keywords unnaturally in content and tagsCreates poor user experience, can lead to penalties from search engines, damages credibilityUse keywords naturally and strategically, prioritize quality content over keyword density
Duplicate ContentHaving substantive blocks of identical or very similar content across multiple pagesConfuses search engines on which version to index/rank, dilutes link equity, poor user experienceUse 301 redirects, canonical tags, create unique content for each page
Poorly Optimized Title TagsTitle tags that are too long, lack primary keywords, or don’t accurately describe the pageImpacts click-through rates, makes it harder for search engines to understand page relevanceKeep titles under 60 characters, place primary keyword near front, write compelling and descriptive titles
Irrelevant or Missing Meta DescriptionsMeta descriptions that are missing, too long, or don’t summarize the page wellReduces click-through rates from search results, missed opportunity to entice usersWrite engaging 150-160 character meta descriptions that accurately summarize the page content
Slow Page Load SpeedPages that take too long to load due to large images, unoptimized code, etc.Negatively impacts user experience, increases bounce rate, can lower search rankingsOptimize images, minify code, leverage browser caching, improve server response time
Unoptimized ImagesImages with missing alt text, large file sizes, or irrelevant file namesMisses opportunity for images to rank in image search, can slow page load speedAdd descriptive alt text, use relevant file names, compress images, specify dimensions
Lack of Header TagsNot using header tags (H1, H2, etc.) to structure content hierarchicallyMakes it harder for users and search engines to understand page content and relevanceUse a single H1 for the main topic, multiple H2-H6 to organize subtopics, include keywords naturally
Poor Internal LinkingFailing to strategically link to other relevant pages within the websiteMisses opportunity to boost page authority, guide users to related content, help search engines crawl siteCreate a logical site structure, use descriptive anchor text, link to relevant pages, use breadcrumbs
Not Mobile-FriendlyWebsite is not optimized for mobile devices, with poor user experience on smaller screensCan negatively impact search rankings, as Google uses mobile-first indexingUse responsive design, optimize for page speed, ensure readable text and easy navigation on mobile
Lack of Schema MarkupNot using structured data to provide additional context to search enginesMisses opportunity for rich snippets, knowledge graph, and other enhanced SERP featuresIdentify relevant schema types, add markup using JSON-LD, test with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool
Thin or Low-Quality ContentPages with minimal, duplicate, or low-value content that doesn’t satisfy user intentCan be seen as “thin” content by search engines, provides little value to users, may rank poorlyCreate original, in-depth, high-quality content that comprehensively covers the topic and satisfies user needs
Broken LinksHaving links that lead to 404 error pages or no longer existCreates poor user experience, wastes crawl budget, can negatively impact site authorityRegularly audit site for broken links, implement 301 redirects, update or remove broken links
Improper Use of Canonical TagsIncorrectly using or missing canonical tags on duplicate or similar content pagesCan lead to indexing issues, diluted link equity, and ranking difficulties for the preferred pageUse canonical tags to specify the preferred version of a page, ensure proper implementation
Ignoring User Experience (UX)Not considering factors like site navigation, readability, and overall user experiencePoor UX can lead to higher bounce rates, lower engagement, and reduced search rankingsPrioritize clean design, intuitive navigation, mobile-friendliness, fast load times, and engaging content
Lack of Structured DataNot using structured data markup to provide additional context to search enginesMisses opportunities for rich snippets, knowledge graph, and enhanced SERP featuresIdentify relevant schema types, implement markup using JSON-LD, test with structured data tools
Improper Use of Robots.txtIncorrectly blocking or allowing search engine access to pages through robots.txtCan accidentally block important pages from being crawled or indexed, or allow indexing of pages that should be privateCarefully review robots.txt, use “Allow” and “Disallow” directives correctly, regularly test using robots.txt tester tools
Ignoring Local SEONot optimizing for local search queries and local business informationMisses opportunities to attract nearby customers, rank in local pack results, and build local authorityClaim and optimize Google Business Profile, build local citations, use structured data for local business info, create localized content
Not Tracking SEO PerformanceFailing to regularly monitor and analyze key SEO metrics and search performanceInability to identify areas for improvement, track progress, measure ROI, or adapt to algorithm updatesUse tools like Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and SEO software to track rankings, traffic, engagement, and technical health

On-Page SEO Mistakes to Avoid

Alright, let’s get into the good stuff – those pesky on-page SEO blunders to sidestep like a puddle after a rainstorm!

1. Keyword Stuffing

What is Keyword Stuffing?

Remember back in the old days of the internet when folks thought cramming a webpage with the same keyword over and over again was a ticket to SEO success? That’s keyword stuffing.

Why is it Harmful?

  • Google Hates It: Search engines have gotten super wise to this trick. They’ll penalize you, not reward you.
  • Awful User Experience: Imagine reading a page that feels like it was written by a robot. Visitors will bounce faster than you can say “keyword density.”

How to Avoid Keyword Stuffing?

  • Write for Humans First: Focus on creating genuinely helpful content people want to read.
  • Strategic Keyword Placement: Naturally sprinkle your target keywords throughout your headings, content, and image descriptions.
  • Don’t Forget LSI Keywords: These are related terms that support your main keyword (think synonyms and variations).

2. Duplicate Content

What is Duplicate Content?

Duplicate content means significant chunks of text that match content on your own website or, worse, on other websites entirely. It’s the copy-and-paste trap of SEO.

Why is it Harmful?

  • Confuses Search Engines: When Google finds identical content, it doesn’t know which page is the original. This dilutes your ranking power.
  • Penalties Galore: In extreme cases, duplicate content can even get you slapped with a search engine penalty. Ouch!

How to Avoid Duplicate Content?

  • Create Original Content: This one’s a no-brainer. Aim for fresh, unique content every time.
  • Strategic Use of Canonical Tags: If you must have similar pages, canonical tags tell search engines which is the master version.
  • Keep an Eye on Copyscape: Tools like Copyscape help you detect unintentional plagiarism or content theft.

3. Poorly Optimized Title Tags

Importance of Title Tags

Your title tag is that make-or-break snippet of text in the search result listings. It’s your website’s elevator pitch to potential visitors.

Best Practices for Title Tag Optimization

  • Keep it Concise: Shoot for about 50-60 characters.
  • Front-Load Keywords: Pop your most important keyword near the beginning of the title.
  • Make it Click-Worthy: Use compelling, action-oriented language that sparks curiosity.
  • Include Brand Name (Usually): Throw your brand name in the title, especially if you’ve got strong recognition.

4. Irrelevant or Missing Meta Descriptions

What are Meta Descriptions?

The meta description is that little blurb of text below your title tag in search results. Think of it as your website’s ad copy.

Why are Meta Descriptions Important?

  • Boost Click-Through Rate (CTR): A well-crafted meta description entices people to click, even if you don’t rank #1.
  • Search Engine Snippets: While Google sometimes ignores your description and creates their own, it’s still crucial to have one.

How to Optimize Meta Descriptions?

  • Keep it Snappy: Aim for about 150-160 characters.
  • Include Target Keywords: Naturally weave in your primary keyword.
  • Unique Descriptions for Each Page: Avoid copy and pasting the same meta description on multiple pages.

5. Slow Page Load Speed

Impact of Page Load Speed on SEO

Nobody likes a sluggish website – visitors have the patience of a goldfish these days. And guess what? Search engines like Google don’t like slow websites either, which leads to ranking issues.

According to a study, a one-second delay in page load speed can decrease conversions by 7%!

Tips to Improve Page Load Speed

  • Optimize Images: Compress large images without sacrificing quality (tools like TinyPNG are your friend).
  • Minify Code: Remove unnecessary code and whitespace from HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files.
  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): A CDN stores copies of your website’s files on servers around the world, delivering them faster to visitors based on location.
  • Reduce Plugins: Too many plugins can slow down a website, particularly on WordPress. Be selective!
  • Choose a Reliable Web Host: A good hosting provider makes all the difference in website speed.

6. Unoptimized Images

Why Image Optimization is Important?

  • Page Load Speed: We mentioned this above, but it’s worth repeating! Unoptimized images are a major speed killer.
  • User Experience: Nobody wants to wait ages for visuals to load.
  • Image Search Potential: Optimized images can score you extra traffic from Google Images.

How to Optimize Images for SEO?

  • Descriptive File Names: Use relevant keywords in your image file names (e.g., “blue-running-shoes.jpg”).
  • Alt Text That Rocks: Alt text describes your image for screen readers and helps when images don’t load. Be descriptive but include a keyword or two.
  • Choose the Right File Format: JPEG for photos, PNG for graphics, WebP for even better compression.

7. Lack of Headings and Subheadings

Importance of Headings and Subheadings

Headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.) break up your content, guide readers and search engines through your key points. Think of them as the road signs on your website.

Best Practices for Using Headings and Subheadings

  • Hierarchical Structure: Use an H1 for your main title, then H2s for major sections, and H3s for subsections within those.
  • Keyword Inclusion: Naturally work keywords into your headings, focusing on the most important ones in your H1 and H2s.
  • Make Them User-Friendly: Headings should be clear, concise, and engaging for readers.

8. Poor Internal Linking Structure

What is Internal Linking?

Internal links are those lovely little hyperlinks that connect different pages on your own website. They’re like creating a roadmap for your visitors and search engines.

Benefits of a Good Internal Linking Structure

  • Keeps Visitors Engaged: Internal links encourage people to explore more pages, reducing your bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who leave after viewing a single page).
  • Boost Page Authority: Links spread “link juice”, passing ranking power to important pages within your site.
  • Improves Crawlability: Internal links help search engines discover and index all the awesome content on your site.

How to Improve Internal Linking?

  • Contextual Links: Place internal links naturally within the flow of your text, where they make sense. Avoid generic “click here” phrases.
  • Use Relevant Anchor Text: The clickable text of your link should briefly describe the destination page – use keywords where appropriate.
  • Focus on Important Pages: Prioritize linking to your most authoritative or valuable content.

9. Ignoring Mobile-Friendliness

Why is Mobile-Friendliness Important?

More people browse the web on their smartphones and tablets than on desktop computers these days. A website that’s a nightmare on mobile is a ticket to bad SEO. In fact, Google uses mobile-first indexing – meaning they judge your site primarily on its mobile version.

How to Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly?

  • Responsive Design: Choose a website theme or template that seamlessly adapts to different screen sizes.
  • Touch-Friendly Navigation: Make buttons big enough to tap, and menus easy to navigate on a small screen.
  • Optimize Font Sizes: Ensure text is readable without zooming on mobile devices.
  • Test and Repeat: Use tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to analyze your site and fix any issues.

10. Lack of Schema Markup

What is Schema Markup?

Schema markup is a kind of code that gives search engines a richer understanding of your content. Picture it as adding helpful labels to your website for search engines to read.

Benefits of Using Schema Markup

  • Enhanced Search Results: Schema can power special features in search results like review stars, cooking times for recipes, or event listings.
  • Improved Click-Through Rate: These eye-catching results stand out from the crowd.
  • Better Voice Search: Schema helps your website play nicely with voice assistants like Siri and Alexa.

How to Implement Schema Markup?

  • Choose Your Flavor: There are various schema types. Start with those most relevant to your content (products, recipes, articles, events, etc.).
  • Tools to the Rescue: Plugins like Yoast SEO (for WordPress) or technical SEO tools like Merkle can help with implementation.
Screenshot of technicalseo.com

11. Thin or Low-Quality Content

What is Thin Content?

Thin content means pages with very little text or content that doesn’t provide genuine value to users. Think of those old-school doorway pages designed to target one keyword, with hardly any real information.

Why is High-Quality Content Important for SEO?

Google cares about content that informs, educates, and helps people. Fluff won’t cut it! Here’s why high-quality content reigns supreme:

  • User Satisfaction: Give people content they love, and they’ll likely stay longer and come back for more.
  • Authority and Trustworthiness: Well-written, in-depth content positions you as an expert in your field.
  • More Backlinks: Top-notch content naturally attracts backlinks, which boost your search engine authority.

Tips for Creating High-Quality Content

  • Solve a Problem: What questions do people in your niche have? Create content that offers real solutions.
  • Go in Depth: Don’t be afraid of longer form content if it gives value.
  • Research is Your Friend: Back up your claims with data, studies, and links to trusted sources.
  • Make it Shareable: Content people want to share gets more traction and natural backlinks.

Broken links (links leading to nowhere) are the internet equivalent of hitting a brick wall. Bad for your visitors, and bad for SEO.

  • Terrible User Experience: Frustrated users might bail on your website entirely.
  • Crawling Roadblocks: Search engines can get stuck on broken links, hindering proper indexing.
  • Wasted Link Juice: Broken links drain away potential ranking power.
  • Regular Audits: Use an SEO crawler tools like Semrush, Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, or Sitebulb to scan your website for errors.
  • Fix or Remove: Depending on the error, you’ll want to correct the broken link’s destination URL or remove it entirely if the page no longer exists.
Screenshot of www.semrush.com

13. Improper Use of Canonical Tags

What are Canonical Tags?

Canonical tags (rel=”canonical”) are handy HTML snippets that tell search engines which version of a page is the “master” when there are several versions with similar content.

When to Use Canonical Tags?

  • Duplicate Content Prevention: Perfect for product pages with variations (e.g., different colors), indicating the main product page to index.
  • Syndicating Content: When republishing your content elsewhere, the canonical tag points back to the original on your own site.
  • www vs. non-www: Select one as your preferred domain to avoid duplicate content issues.

How to Implement Canonical Tags Correctly?

  • Place it in the : The canonical tag belongs within the <head> section of your HTML code.
  • Absolute URLs: Use the full URL of the master page.
  • Self-Referencing is Key: Even the original page should have a canonical tag pointing to itself.

14. Ignoring User Experience (UX)

Importance of UX for SEO

Google puts their users first. That means websites that are delightful to use will get a little extra SEO love. Here’s what a great user experience does for your rankings:

  • Lower Bounce Rate: When people stay on your site longer, it signals to search engines that you have valuable content.
  • Increased Dwell Time: Dwell time is the amount of time a user spends on your page before returning to the search results. Longer dwell times are good!
  • Social Signals: When people like and share your content, it sends positive signals that can impact your SEO.

How to Improve User Experience?

  • Fast Loading Speed: We’ve hammered this point, but it’s critical for UX!
  • Mobile-First Design: Your site needs to look amazing on all devices.
  • Easy Navigation: Help users find what they’re looking for quickly and intuitively.
  • Readable Formatting: Break up text with headings, lists, and short paragraphs.
  • Valuable Calls to Action: Tell users what you want them to do (subscribe, download a resource, buy a product).

15. Lack of Structured Data

What is Structured Data?

Remember Schema markup? Structured data is a type of schema code that helps search engines understand the type of content on your page and organize it better.

Benefits of Using Structured Data

  • Rich Snippets: Recipes with ratings, events with dates and locations – structured data fuels those fancy search results.
  • Potential for Voice Search: Structured data helps voice assistants provide direct answers to user queries from your content.
  • Knowledge Graph Visibility: Google’s Knowledge Graph is that sidebar of info – structured data can get you there.

How to Implement Structured Data?

  • Get to Know Schema.org: Browse the various schema types to find the best fit for your content.
  • JSON-LD is Your Friend: This is the preferred format for structured data implementation.
  • Testing Tools: Use Google’s Rich Results Test and Structured Data Testing Tool to verify your implementation.
Screenshot of search.google.com

16. Improper Use of Robots.txt

What is Robots.txt?

The robots.txt file is like a set of instructions for search engine crawlers. It tells them which areas of your website they can index, and which they should stay away from.

Common Mistakes with Robots.txt

  • Accidentally Blocking Everything: Incorrectly using “Disallow: /” would block your whole site from search engines. Oops!
  • Unnecessary Blocking: Don’t hide pages with valuable content or prevent search engines from crawling important CSS or JavaScript files.

Best Practices for Robots.txt

  • Keep it Simple: Start with a basic robots.txt allowing search engines to crawl most things, and selectively block only what’s needed.
  • Test After Changes: There are online robots.txt generators and testers to help you validate your file.

17. Ignoring Local SEO

What is Local SEO?

If you’re a brick-and-mortar business or serve a specific geographic area, local SEO is your key to getting found online by people nearby.

Importance of Local SEO

  • Local Search Intent: People searching for “pizza near me” or “best dentist [city name]” are ready to buy!
  • Increased Visibility in Maps: Get your business on Google Maps with optimized listings.
  • Drives Foot Traffic: Local SEO helps convert online searchers into in-store customers.

Tips for Optimizing for Local SEO

  • Google My Business: Claim and verify your Google Business Profile. Fill it out thoroughly, including photos and business hours.
  • NAP Consistency: Ensure your business’s Name, Address, Phone (NAP) is accurate and consistent across the web.
  • Local Citations: Get listed on online directories, industry sites, and local business websites.
  • Local Backlinks: Seek links from relevant websites in your geographic area.
  • Encourage Reviews: Positive reviews on your Google My Business listing boost trust and visibility.

18. Not Tracking and Analyzing SEO Performance

Why is SEO Performance Tracking Important?

What good is doing all this SEO work if you’re not measuring the results? Tracking your performance lets you know what’s paying off, and where you need to tweak your strategy.

SEO Metrics to Track

  • Search Rankings: Track your positions for your target keywords over time.
  • Organic Traffic: Monitor traffic coming from search engines (not paid ads or social media).
  • Bounce Rate: Are visitors landing on your site and immediately leaving?
  • Conversions: Whether it’s leads, sales, or downloads, define what a conversion means for you and track it!

Tools for Tracking SEO Performance

  • Google Analytics: The gold standard for web analytics, giving you a plethora of insights.
  • Google Search Console: More technical data directly from Google on how your site appears in search results.
  • Rank Tracking Tools: Tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs provide detailed rank tracking and competitor analysis.


SEO is neither a quick fix nor a set-and-forget task. Keep refining your content, optimizing technical elements, and staying updated on best practices.

Avoiding these common pitfalls lays a strong foundation for your SEO success. Remember: Focus on quality content, a great user experience, and the technical signals that search engines love.

On-Page SEO Mistakes Popular Questions

What is on-page SEO?

On-page SEO refers to the practice of optimizing individual web pages to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines by focusing on content, HTML tags, and other on-page elements.

Why is on-page SEO important?

On-page SEO is crucial because it helps search engines understand your website’s content, relevance, and value to users, ultimately improving your search visibility, traffic, and rankings.

What are the most common on-page SEO mistakes?

Common on-page SEO mistakes include keyword stuffing, duplicate content, poorly optimized title tags and meta descriptions, slow page load speed, unoptimized images, and lack of header tags.

How can I avoid keyword stuffing in my content?

To avoid keyword stuffing, focus on creating high-quality, relevant content that naturally incorporates keywords. Use variations and related terms, and prioritize readability and user experience over keyword density.

What is duplicate content, and why is it harmful to SEO?

Duplicate content refers to substantive blocks of content that appear on multiple pages within your site or across different websites. It can dilute link equity, confuse search engines, and lead to ranking issues.

How do I optimize my title tags for SEO?

To optimize title tags, keep them under 60 characters, include your primary keyword near the beginning, and write compelling, descriptive titles that accurately reflect the page’s content.

What is the ideal length for a meta description?

The ideal length for a meta description is between 150-160 characters. This ensures that the full description is displayed in search results and provides enough information to entice users to click through.

How does page load speed affect SEO?

Page load speed is a ranking factor for search engines. Slow-loading pages can negatively impact user experience, increase bounce rates, and reduce crawlability, ultimately harming your SEO performance.

What are some ways to optimize images for SEO?

To optimize images for SEO, compress them to reduce file size, use descriptive file names and alt tags, choose appropriate formats (JPEG, PNG, WebP), and specify image dimensions to improve page load speed.

Why are header tags (H1, H2, etc.) important for on-page SEO?

Header tags help structure your content, making it easier for users and search engines to understand the hierarchy and main topics of your page. They also provide opportunities to include relevant keywords.

How can I improve my website’s internal linking structure?

To improve your internal linking structure, create a logical hierarchy of pages, use descriptive anchor text, link to relevant content within your site, and implement a consistent navigation menu and breadcrumb links.

What is schema markup, and how does it benefit SEO?

Schema markup is a type of structured data that helps search engines better understand your content. It can enhance your search snippets, improve click-through rates, and increase your chances of appearing in rich results.

How can I make my website mobile-friendly for SEO?

To make your website mobile-friendly, use responsive design, optimize page load speed, ensure readable text and easy navigation on smaller screens, and avoid using Flash or other unsupported technologies.

What are some tools for tracking and analyzing SEO performance?

Popular tools for tracking and analyzing SEO performance include Google Search Console, Google Analytics, SEO software like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz, as well as website crawlers and auditing tools like Screaming Frog and DeepCrawl.

How often should I update my content for SEO?

Regularly updating your content helps keep it fresh, relevant, and valuable to users. The frequency depends on your industry and audience, but aim to update or add new content at least once a month to maintain search visibility and engagement.

Elevate your online business game with Intensed.com. Dive into a treasure of marketing tips, e-commerce hacks, and growth strategies. Your success story starts here – explore our comprehensive resources now!