When people hear search engine optimization, they think ‘find my site’ and lots of traffic. Unless people are well versed in the subject, they don’t immediately wonder about on-page versus off-page optimization issues. On-page SEO refers to optimizing individual web pages within a site to rank higher and earn more relevant organic traffic. It includes both the content and the HTML source code.
There is a lot to search engine optimization. That doesn’t mean that it’s complicated, it just means there is a lot to it. It is kind of like the Excel program; no matter how well versed you are in it, there is always something more to learn. Even if a page is optimized when it is first posted, a little tweaking is typically necessary after it has been posted for some time in order to keep it optimized. So, here are some of the most common on-page optimization issues.
Image optimization issues are more common than all other on-page SEO issues combined. The two most common issues are broken images and missing alt attributes. Alt attributes are the alternative text version of images. They are used to actually describe the image for the search engines, so they know when to include it in relevant searches. A broken image appears as a small block or piece of paper in a box on the page. The three main reasons for a broken image include an incorrect file path in the code, the image may not be named correctly, or it may no longer exist. These are all relatively easy fixes that help your images display properly. Well-optimized images get more Google search traffic and traffic from image-based social media platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest.
Duplicate content accounts for almost one-third of all on-page optimization issues. Content does not need to be exactly the same to be considered duplicate. Remember, you are dealing with search engines and crawl-bots. If the content subject matter is very similar, then the two pages could end up competing with each other for traffic. The search engines typically try to determine which page’s information is more authoritative when determining which one to display. Either way, there is enough competition out there. You certainly don’t want two of your own pages competing with each other for rankings. Cleaning up duplicate content isn’t difficult. Running a monthly site audit will help you keep duplicate content to a minimum. Duplicate content that you don’t want to combine or delete can be redirected to tell the search engines which one is more authoritative. A canonical link element works great in these situations.
Missing Meta Descriptions
Its hard to believe but a large number of pages still lack meta-descriptions. A meta-description is just a short little snippet which displays in the search results and gives a summary of the page’s content. It should be between 130 and 155 characters but no longer than that. It doesn’t hurt to include the primary keyword in the meta-description. In fact, it’s a fabulous idea and it will help optimize the page. You want the meta-description to be engaging and entice people to want to click on your page.
Image optimization, duplicate content and missing or incorrectly written meta-descriptions are the most common on-page optimization issues. If you pay special attention to correcting these three issues, your pages are sure to climb the rankings. Once these issues are corrected, then it is easier to maintain them in your monthly audit. You will be richly rewarded not only in the rankings but in the additional organic traffic that comes through and the conversions generated from it.