10 Common SEO Problems

seo mistakes

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a continually evolving business practice that comes off as an overwhelming task for most business owners. As one variable is assumed to be the most valuable to search engines today, another variable of the same site becomes the primary target by the same search engines for poor ranking. Typically, SEO experts have to deal with a wide range of issues which include creating multiple accounts in several directories, retaining existing clients to responding to reviews in time to avoid poor ranking. Problems with SEO are rampant especially to newcomers and can easily hurt your business.

In this article, we look at the top ten SEO problems that people face in the modern world and how you can address some of these issues to avoid poor rankings.

Duplicate Content

All web crawlers tend to hate duplicate content in a website since users don’t benefit from it in any way. Make sure that you eliminate all duplicate content from your site to get better results. Although there isn’t any recommended quantity of duplicate content allowed by web crawlers, a small amount of it is permitted especially if you’re using the same blurbs on multiple pages of your website. You can always make use of various online tools to find out how much duplicate content you have and where it is on your site. If your products or posts fit in more than 12 categories, then you have too many categories that can lead to the problem of duplicate content.

Missing Alt Tags or Broken Images

Alt tags offer an excellent way for search engines to index your images based on specific keywords which helps in driving more traffic to your website. However, the most common problem with Alt tags is that the tags are either missing or poorly named.

This is similar to having broken images which dramatically impacts on your visitors’ user experience and the overall perception of your service or products. Make sure that alt tags always accompany your images and they are well described to facilitate smooth indexing.

Low-Quality Pillow Links

Pillow links are specifically used to diversify your anchor text ratios. Typically, Google will analyze your site’s

signal and noise levels before analyzing it and picking up useful trends that will be used to rank it. Pillow links come in handy as a way of adding noise to your site signal to improve its quality. Once you come up with the pillow links, you’ll be required to make use of various indexing tools to encourage Googlebot to index your pillow links.

Shady Link Building

The purpose of link building is to enable a business view the gains attained in terms of web traffic, but it also

comes with a certain level of risk. This means that spam-like, unnatural, black hat, or irrelevant can cause your site to move backward in the rankings. Good link building should be done diverse, varied, and more importantly, it should look natural. Linking your site to other authoritative sites and cross-linking between various pages on your site is essential since it helps Google crawlers get deep in your website index your content as required. The latest version of Google Penguins tends to blacklist all sites that engage in suspicious link building strategies.

bad seo practices

Title Tag Issues

Title tags tell the user what the website is all about. Typically, title tags need to be short, descriptive, unique, and should always be formatted in a specified manner. However, webmasters tend to over optimize the title tags which isn’t good for SEO. Some people have even resorted to ignoring the title tags altogether. Although title tags are displayed in search engine’s results based on the pixels which eliminate the upper limit on the number of characters required, it’s advisable that you keep the maximum length of your title tags in the range of 65-72 characters for maximum optimization.

Focusing on Unrealistic Target Keywords

Most business owners tend to fall into the trap of targeting unrealistic keywords due to the stiff competition from other established enterprises with broad digital footprints. For example, if you’re a firm that provides IT Services, then you’ll realize that the keywords “IT Services,” are already crowded, and it will be difficult to outrank your competitors for these keywords.

However, you can narrow down to specific services that you offer which will provide you with higher chances of better ranking. Always search the terms that you’re interested in and check whether the results that appear represent your competitors or something different altogether.

Poor Mobile Experience

Some websites tend to load fast on desktops but become slower while loading on Smartphones and tablets. If you’re running such a website, then it makes users click away which ups your bounce rate hence leading to poor ranking. It’s prudent to ensure that your site is lean and loads fast on both desktop and mobile devices. Diverting your users to separate mobile-friendly sites is also suicidal since Google becomes suspicious of sites

that present different content to different devices. Responsive design ensures that your content is the same for all users which helps in improving your site’s secondary signals that search engines take into account while ranking.

Improper Redirects

Sometimes you’ll need to move a single web page or an entire website to a different URL. According to Google, the best way to ensure that your users are always directed to the correct page is through the implementation of 301 redirects. To avoid redirecting your visitors to the wrong site, always make sure that you enlist your site to a reputable SEO whenever you rebuilt it. It’s the responsibility of your webmaster to set up 301 redirects from your old pages to your new pages.

bad seo habits

Meta Description Issues

A Meta description is a sentence or a short paragraph incorporated in your HTML code that describes the contents of each of your web pages. Typically, web pages appear below the URL in search results.

Meta descriptions also present some problems including duplicate descriptions, the Meta description is too long or too short, and missing Meta descriptions. Failure to address these issues will always result in poor search engine ranking.

Slow Page Loads

Page speed is essential for both good user experience and search engine rankings. If your website features many

elements such as videos, images, JavaScript Code or CSS style sheets make sure that it’s optimized for speed as well. Consider running your web pages through a page-speed test and make appropriate changes before going live. For instance, Google offers Google PageSpeed Tools that can help you increase your overall page speed.


Although SEO tactics will always change, some variables tend to remain constant over the years. It’s recommended that you focus on the most crucial website variables that are most likely going to remain stable for a long time before you direct your effort to the other variables. Focus on establishing a solid foundation for your SEO strategies for better results and always aim to avoid the ten problems discussed in this article.