30 SEO mistakes that penalize your website’s SEO

30 SEO mistakes that penalize your website’s SEO

by Mohd Shahrukh August 03, 2021

The results of an SEO strategy sometimes take a long time to be visible. However, these results may never appear. Why? Because you make some mistakes that keep you from getting to the top spots in search results.
So, if your SEO seems to be stagnating, we advise you to check that you are not making one of these 30 common mistakes!

Common Content Mistakes That Impact SEO

1. Obsolete content and information on the site

Your old content can undermine the authority of your website. If search engines can favour newer texts with young numbers and examples, they will.
Regularly, remember to consult your old articles to bring them up to date.

2. A low ratio of text to HTML

The text / HTML ratio is the amount of content visible to visitors compared to the amount of code on the page.
According to Woorank, an excellent text to HTML ratio is between 25 and 70%.

3. Contact details not found

Your website should contain contact information so that visitors can reach you.
Your address, phone number or at least your email should be easily accessible to help develop a sense of trust in your visitors and even improve your ranking in search results.

4. Poor behaviour of 404 pages

The 404 pages are harmful to the user experience and conversions. They make your visitors frustrated at not being able to get to the page they want or want.
The 404 pages need to be improved for Internet users not to leave immediately. You can make them more attractive by using humour or inserting a call to action or a link back to your home page.

5. All your products on one page

Every web page must have a unique focus that focuses on a central idea to achieve SEO efficiency. For example, although you may have an excellent design idea that allows your products or services to be presented on one page, everyone will not likely find it intuitive, but Google might not love it.
Imagine a company with consulting, software development and professional training activities: cram it all on one page, and search engines will have difficulty understanding its activities.

URL errors

6. Links to HTTP pages on an HTTPS site

Links to old HTTP pages can cause an insecure dialogue between users and a server, which will penalize your SEO.

7. No anchor text for internal links

Internal links with phrases like “click here” or “this article” are wasteful from an SEO perspective. While this can increase the number of clicks, you are depriving yourself of the ability to tailor your anchor text, one of the essential elements of SEO.

8. URLs containing special characters

Search engines can misinterpret the special characters in your URLs. Pay attention to how your CMS translates the titles of your articles into links. Better yet: consider writing them yourself.

9. Long, messy URLs

The misuse of connectors, dashes or special characters can lengthen your URLs, which will make them challenging to understand for robots. So remember to keep it short, with only the main terms.

10. Backlinks in press releases

With the latest version of Panda, Google has made it clear that press releases don’t help SEO.
Make sure all links in the press release are “nofollow “. Same advice for directories or other sites of “low” quality …

Technical SEO mistakes

11. Forget about title tags and meta descriptions

The title tags and meta descriptions are essential elements for the search engines. They use it to understand the subject of your content and better position it. So remember to fill in these fields with unique content.

12. Omit the H1 tag

It is like shooting yourself in your foot when you misuse H1 by not including your main keywords or, worse, not using it at all.
Even though the H1 might sometimes distract from the page’s dream design, such as taking up too much space, it must still be there. If no one comes across your site during their search, then what is the point?

13. Disregard schema.org

An accurate guide for search engines, schema.org is a standard that allows you to mark up your content. These tags give valuable indications to Google robots and play a significant role in your positioning.

14. Too long title tags

Title tags over 60 characters are cut in the SERPs. This hinders their reading for the Internet user, which can reduce the click-through rate (and therefore your positioning).

15. Title tags that are too short

Conversely, when you write a title tag under 60 characters, you may be missing an opportunity to optimize your SEO.

16. Using bad redirects

Using the wrong redirect sends the wrong message to search engines. For example, if you want a 301 redirect, it hampers your SEO by using a 302 redirect.
If in doubt, see my guide to choosing your URL redirect.

17. The Sitemap.xml not specified in robots.txt

Search engines won’t fully understand your site structure without linking your sitemap.xml in your robots.txt file.

18. Excessive use of CSS and JavaScript

You can add functionality to your site using scripts and add-ons to set yourself apart from your competition. But do it sparingly.
By integrating too many CSS and JS elements, you significantly increase the loading time of your site’s pages. You know how patient Internet users are these days. This can result in a loss of conversions and negatively impacting your SEO.

19. Unsimplified JavaScript and CSS files

Even if you have limited the number of CSS and JavaScript elements, these can increase your site’s load time.
Here, the goal is to gain page loading speed. Indeed, reducing the size of JavaScript and CSS files saves precious seconds, which will improve your positioning on search engines.

Webdesign errors that harm SEO

The success of your business depends on how well your website is designed. Your interface must first be functional and easy to use to keep your visitors on your site and push them to convert. Many of you know all this.

However, many people don’t realize that SEO is also influenced by design. Visitors who stay on a site for a long time and have a low bounce rate are positive signs for Google. Keywords or even backlinks are not the only elements influencing your natural referencing.

Let’s look at your website design and take a closer look at the mistakes to avoid boosting your SEO and your conversions.

20. Unreadable content

Content is the basis of your SEO. The EAT criteria Google require reliable content today from an expert source and non-authoritative proof in the middle. Your visitors will be less likely to engage with your content if it is unreadable, even though you have made every effort to create high-quality content.
Presentation is important, so avoid:

  • Hard-to-read fonts
  • Long paragraphs and long sentences
  • Paragraphs are written entirely in bold or italics
  • Colours that make it hard to read your text

The Numara Software company, unfortunately, made this first mistake. As a result, their texts were difficult to read. Nevertheless, they saw a 133% increase in conversions after changing their font from 10pt and 13pt.

21. Excessive use of images

Images can be used to grab the attention of Internet users and make it easier for them to read long texts. But be careful not to overdo it. Images can slow down the page and impact its loading time.
Moreover, the web pages which include many graphics are never those which are the best reference, Google penalizing the slowness of loading.

22. An unsuitable image format

Make sure you pay attention to how your images are formatted. There are two options: a JPG or a.png. GIFs can be animated and added humour to your content. However, they are still large files.

23. Non-personalized images

You are tempted to use royalty-free images from online bookstores to illustrate your blog or website. This choice is entirely understandable because it saves you time in the production of your content.
However, you may not have noticed that these images are often used on dozens to hundreds of websites. These “stock” images are so familiar that Internet users end up overlooking them.
Personalizing your illustrations will make them more relevant to the topic addressed on your web page and increase your conversions by 161%.

24. Broken internal images

When an image file no longer exists or its URL is misspelt, it negatively impacts your SEO.

25. An inappropriate infinite scroll

You can find the infinite scroll on single-page sites or social networks. This type of navigation is suitable for delivering so-called “linear” information where the Internet user does not necessarily wait for an end. It is, therefore, not a good idea to create an infinite scroll on your site.
Additionally to drowning visitors in information, this navigation slows down website loading. Also, it will be challenging to position your site on various keywords.
So prefer a site structured in several pages: it will be easier to manage, and you can develop a real SEO strategy.

26. Intrusive pop-ups

Pop-ups are controversial. Some people find them annoying when they visit a site, while others view them to increase conversions. However, Internet users have trouble with advertisements that jump out at them, disrupting their reading.
So avoid pop-ups that take up space on the screen and favour more discreet boxes linked to the content of the page that is viewed.

27. Web elements replaced by images

Images, when used correctly, can optimize your page. On the other hand, avoid at all costs replacing web design elements (for example, a button) or textual content with an image.
If you use this medium as a primary form of navigation, search engines will hard understand its meaning. As a result, your SEO will inevitably take a hit.

28. Text in images

On the web, we often find images containing text – more specifically: images on which text has been added directly with photo editing software.
While this practice is justified in some instances, for example, for content intended to be shared on social networks (featured image of a blog post, etc.), it should, however, be avoided if possible.


Indeed, Google cannot “read” an image like a human. Therefore, the text in the illustration is not analyzed by the search engine and does not contribute to your SEO.
Also, by embedding letters in an image in this way, the text is not responsive. It may therefore be unreadable on mobile.

29. Media too heavy

Images, videos and other GIFs have an undeniable interest in web design. In addition to the purely aesthetic aspect, they have an incredible ability to capture visitors’ attention and create engagement.
But their use is double-edged: these media can be cumbersome, risking turning your site into a snail. However, Google appreciates and rewards fast load times.
While optimizing images by resizing them and slightly reducing their quality is quite simple, video is much more difficult. With this type of file, the slightest loss of quality is quickly felt sacrifice the quality of your videos, save on quantity: don’t overuse these very resource-intensive files.

30. “Black Hat” methods for quick gains

Although very effective, “Black Hat” methods are risky for your SEO. Since they violate the guidelines of the search engines, they are severely punished by them. The penalties incurred range from the simple downgrading of a few places to a complete delisting.
Here are some techniques to avoid: keyword stuffing, purchased links, link exchanges, hidden content and links, or blog comment spam.

This list of mistakes not to make is not exhaustive. Other practices are, of course, to be avoided, but by starting by following these first tips, you can quickly improve your conversion rate as well as your SEO.

Do you think you made one or more of these mistakes? Or do you need help diagnosing your SEO? Then, contact my team of SEO experts at ufound to move up in search results.

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