There’s a huge amount of focus in SEO today on off-page SEO factors such as outreach and backlinks. In fact, SEOs and website owners spend so much time focused on how to get as many backlinks as possible that they tend to neglect their on-page SEO.
This is a big problem. On-page SEO issues can have a hugely negative impact on your site’s ability to rank. In fact, it doesn’t matter how many backlinks you earn, if your on-page SEO sucks, you won’t rank well.
Below we’ve listed the most common on-page SEO mistakes and what you should be doing to fix them.
Stuffing keywords in your page titles and meta descriptions
Many business owners wrongly think that the more keywords you have in your page titles and meta descriptions, the more chances you have of ranking for keywords. But the opposite is in fact true. When you include multiple different keywords in your page titles, you actually reduce your chances of being found in Google.
Instead, every page should have a single keyword or set of very related keywords that it focuses on. This ensures that Google is clear on what your page is about and what you are trying to rank for.
Stuffing keywords into your page titles and meta descriptions isn’t just going to confuse Google, it’s also going to confuse searchers, too. Your page’s title has a big impact on how many people click through from Google and no one is going to click on a spammy page title.
Having the same title and meta description on several pages
Of course, you don’t want to have the same page title and meta description across all of your pages, either. This is just as bad and in many cases even worse. Because in the same way that stuffing keywords into your page title dilutes your effectiveness to rank, so does having the same keyword spread across dozens of pages. Google just won’t know which page is the most appropriate to rank.
Using multiple H1 tags
Pages should only have one H1 tag and in the vast majority of cases, this will be the title of the page. As a result, it should include your focus keyword and no other keywords. But many website owners have several h1 tags on the same page and include multiple different keywords in them rather than choosing to use H2s, H3s or H4s. This also confuses Google and makes it hard to tell what the focus of your page is.
Stuffing keywords on pages
Website owners who stuff keywords into page titles and meta descriptions also tend to stuff keywords into their page’s content. While you definitely want to mention the keyword a couple of times naturally throughout the copy, it is important not to spam mentions of it. This makes your content unreadable to both Google and humans. Google will penalize you if it finds you keyword stuffing and human readers will simply leave your site and never return.