When it comes to optimising your website for search engines, there can be a lot to consider to achieve your online objectives for organic search.
However, I regularly see these on-page SEO mistakes on new and potential clients’ websites. If done correctly, avoiding these mistakes can undoubtedly help your SEO performance.
Unoptimised page titles
So many businesses forget to optimise their page titles.
This is the first thing that somebody sees on your listing on Google.
It is one of the main on-page SEO signals that you can provide.
There are various ways you can view your page titles:
- Hover over the tab in your web browser
- View page source (Ctrl+U, Ctrl+F, <title>)
- Using Google’s site-search feature (Google search, site:
- Crawl your website using a tool such as Screaming Frog SEO Spider
You have ~60 characters to use before your title would be cut of with ‘…’.
So be concise and curious. Test things. Stand out from the crowd.
What’s your USP?
How relevant are your page titles in relation to what you want to be found for?
This leads me on to
another highly common mistake…
Only optimising for your brand name on your homepage
Your homepage is usually your most authoritative page of your domain; it usually has more backlinks (coming from other websites) than any other page.
This means that you have a good chance to optimise and be found for more than just your brand name.
I regularly see page titles for homepages look something like this:
When you can be saying your brand name, then what your business does (and potentially where – e.g. countries, counties, cities):
Or, even worse, we see homepages with no brand name whatsoever.
If you don’t include your brand name in your homepage title, how can you expect search engines to choose that page to rank first for your brand name?
Lack of long-tail targeting / optimising content around one keyword
A common mistake is choosing one keyword / search query for a page, then trying to only optimise and focus on this.
This tends to be the keyword that has the highest search volume. This also means that it’s highly competitive – and should be a long-term goal to be visible for.
SEO is about relevance to a subject – and authority on a subject.
How does your page relate to the subject in which people are searching? And how does it relate to the target audience that would be searching for this?
Have you answered common questions around this topic?
Do people search for guides and additional information on the topic, and do you provide this?
Have you considered the semantically-related phrases that other pages have mentioned in their pages?
An example of this would be “car insurance”.
What about people searching “car insurance for under 21”, “car insurance for new driver”, “car insurance for over 65”, “car insurance for 2 people”?
Do you have relevant pages for these kinds of searches?
Your main “car insurance” page would link to these pages, and they would all link back to the parent page – providing internal link equity towards your pages, and creating a hub of content about chosen topics, proving relevance and authority on a subject.
You would also usually find that you have a much stronger conversion rate for these ‘long-tail’ pages, as they are for more specific personas.
Enter a topic into answerthepublic.com and discover long-tail opportunities.
Not optimising URLs or site structure
As mentioned above, you can have parent pages (e.g. “car insurance”) and sub-pages (e.g. “for new drivers”, “for over 65”).
Your URL structures are important to creating a hub of content on a topic. You can grow authority of a particular URL folder on your website.
Which URL below do you think is better for SEO?
Hopefully, you think it’s the latter. Why?
Because this sub-page belongs to the /car-insurance/ folder.
Whilst it’s not imperative that you follow this type of URL structure, you would want to ensure that your pages show their relationship by how they
Breadcrumb links would usually help improve your internal link structure and show this relationship between your pages.
It provides link equity to the parent page and shows authority & relevance, with the group of pages being related to an overarching topic.
When other websites link to these sub-pages or parent pages, they are usually providing authority signals for Google to these pages.
Follow a clear URL structure, with folders that reflect the parent-subpage relationship, similar to the main navigation.
Also, ensuring that your hub content inter-links to other relevant hub pages will help improve your internal link equity – helping them all rank better on Google and other search engines.
Include breadcrumbs. You can also mark these up with Schema.org mark-up.
Neglecting image optimisation
A picture speaks a thousand words. But can Google always understand what your picture is?
How can you help visually-impaired people understand what is being displayed on your page?
Optimised images help improve the overall optimisation of your page.
They also help your images rank in Google Image Search, which has >20% of all search engine market share.
Using an alt attribute on your image helps. Describe what the image is.
Ensure that the images filename is optimised. Nearly every website fails to do this. This needs to be done before the image is uploaded to the website. The filename of the featured image of this article is ‘common-on-site-seo-mitakes.jpg’.
Also, how large is
the image? If you upload a full-size image, you will be slowing down your
page load speed. Consider the width of your page templates and optimise to
that. Even better, you can serve reduced-sized images to mobile users to
further improve mobile UX.
Not having unique content
You may have heard that having duplicate content on your website can cause SEO issues.
Understandably, if you have various pages with the same titles, Google isn’t going to be able to choose one of them to rank. This is what we call ‘internal conflict/duplication’.
Similarly, if Google sees that you have paragraphs – or whole pages – that have been copy-pasted to your website, they are in no way going to rank your page. This is what we would call ‘external duplication’. Or plagiarism.
So, what’s the solution?
Take time to update all of your page titles and descriptions.
Be unique. Why would you want to be the same as your competition? Don’t copy. Improve. Stand out.
Other common SEO mistakes
One major mistake that businesses make is only focusing on on-site SEO.
As much as avoiding the above will help your SEO foundations, you cannot ignore the other SEO factors such as:
- Site speed
- User experience (mobile-first)
- Authority-acquisition (e.g. backlinks from authoritative domains)
- Technical SEO (redirects, canonical tags, pagination, crawlability, etc.)
- Local SEO
Keep your eyes peeled for more content from Vibetail on these subjects.
In the meantime, please feel free to get in touch if you wish to discuss SEO for your business.
There are many ways to implement your Paid Social campaigns. Some cost effective and others not so much. With over 5 years experience in the Industry, I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work. And so, I’ve noted 5 elements that remain consistent when implementing a successful Paid Social campaigns.
1. Stay Relevant
When it comes to creating copy for your Paid Social Ad, relevance is key!
Say you own an e-commerce retail company and Payday is just around the corner, be sure to leverage the likelihood that your customer may have more to spend over this period.
Make sure that you align your marketing message accordingly.
2. Think Out of The Box
When setting up your targeting, think out of the box because that is probably where you will find the most success!
For example, your target audience may be a 20-something Millennial, they most likely aren’t watching mainstream television, they’re on Netflix. They’re watching films specific to Netflix. So do your research and find the films they’re watching, make sure you add these as interests in your targeting mix.
3. Treat Your Data Like You Would Treat a Best Friend
That’s right. As data driven Marketers and Business Owners, we tend to treat the email addresses and cookie data as quite simply, data. It’s important to remember that behind each email address is a person who has feelings, interests and a personality!
Be empathetic, make your copy conversational and keep your prospective customer intrigued. Ask yourself, “What is important to the audience I’m planning on targeting?” and set your ads up in a way that these individuals can relate.
Build a relationship with your prospective customer by using re-targeting strategies effectively, and before you know it you’ve quite quickly established trust and credibility for your brand. You may be thinking, “But it means I have to pay for the same customer over and over!” This is a fair point but sometimes it takes paying for those extra clicks to get your customer to convert.
4. Don’t focus on Page Likes
Quite simply put, Page Likes aren’t considered a performance driven metric by Facebook. Facebook requires every Business Manager account to link Ads to a Facebook Page. This page is generally used for posting your organic content and for having an additional touch point for your customers or aspiring customers to get in contact with you.
In the recent years, Facebook has limited how much of the content posted will actually be seen by those who’ve liked your page anyway. We’ve found that when setting up a campaign specifically for “Page Likes”, the Facebook algorithms find users who are more likely to “Like” Facebook pages, it doesn’t seem to find users who are actually interested in your brand.
Yes, Page Likes offer an element of brand credibility but you will still see page likes as a by-product of your performance driven campaigns. Rather set proper conversion objectives for your campaigns to limit wasting your budget.
5. Short is Sweet
Think about it. We are bombarded with content overload on a day to day basis and this is especially true when scrolling through your Facebook and Instagram Newsfeed!
Your customers attention span is getting shorter and shorter so keep your ad copy in your ad and your ad creative, clear, concise and to the point! Nowadays, if you can’t get your marketing message across in two sentences, you’ve probably already lost your customer.
There you have it, 5 Key Secrets that will get you ahead of your Paid Social Advertising game!
If you would like to find out more about having a team of experts review your Paid Social Campaigns or if you need help to get your brand driving results for you via Facebook and Instagram, do not hesitate to contact us at Vibetail via firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would love to have a chat!
So it’s been a year already, a year since we took the leap and started Vibetail. A year full of surprises and too many emotions to list. Highs and lows, surprises, successes, and failures but overall, I wouldn’t change a minute of it.
Although it has only been a year, it has been a very steep learning curve indeed both from both business and personal points of view. So I wanted to share some thoughts and learnings with you all from 2018….
Surround yourself with great people. By great people I mean both of character and talent and strength, if you have that then you can’t go far wrong. Train your staff well enough they can leave, treat them well enough they don’t want to. Working with great people inspires you to be better. Trust them, although flexibility, allow for life’s ups and downs and support them. The result is a highly motivated, engaged and happy cohesive team. That is priceless. I am a lucky man.
I assumed having a business plan and strategy would be an obvious place to start. Went out the window by I think day 5, in an incredibly positive and unexpected manner. We have not looked back since. We have had to
Mindest is a powerful weapon to have in your arsenal or your biggest enemy. This, in all honesty, has been a challenge to me personally. I had relatively small ambitions initially, as with the aforementioned business plan, quickly went out the window when you realise what you and your team are capable of. Don’t restrict others with your mindset, inspire others with it.
Pricing is a tricky old business. Fixed rates, flexible rates, contracts, if so how long? Bit of a minefield overall. We believe that working with the client, with long-term goals and not for the quick buck so to speak. The value for both parties becomes apparent in that situation and the pricing, therefore, is value-based and becomes easier. In most cases, we would rather the client invested in funding results, not fees short term. Everyone’s a winner long term and one size, or even a few does not fit all.
It’s OK not to be OK. Talk to people….
Do not undersell your team. They know their value and their worth, make sure you do also. When I say undersell I mean in this instance in monetary value. If your product, your service, and overall value are worth it, then charge for it. Prove the worth. If you do not then you are not making the most of your greatest asset, your staff and they will get bored.
It’s not all been plain sailing, far from it. You would be amazed by the things that keep you awake in the small hours….
Be actually nice to people, simple I know. Give advice, help people, be a human being and not in it for the quick buck. It’s just who we are. This is albeit by accident, is a brilliant way to get referrals.
The work/life balance ratio is very important. What’s the point in it all if you don’t have time to enjoy the benefits, time to reflect. You need downtime, if you don’t then you inhibit yourself and your key attributes. Some of my best ideas have come when out walking or swimming.
Keep developing your own skills, never sit still. Always try to improve. If you can’t improve yourself, improve someone else.
Above all else…. enjoy what you do! That feeling the day before you go back to work, how do you feel? It’s a priceless feeling, If you’re not happy, change. Life is
As I have said, it has been amazing. 2019 is going to be even better. We are busy plotting and planning. Watch this space, everyone..
Happy New year from the Vibetail team.
Over the last year, we have helped quite a few SME’s get the most out of Google AdWords for their paid search campaigns.
We keep seeing the same (avoidable) common AdWords errors when creating or managing new campaigns. Sadly a lot of these clients have come about as a result of a bad experience initially due to lack of experience (AdWords is a tricky beast to master), or indeed a negative agency experience.
AdWords is incredibly powerful when used correctly, or you can waste vast sums very quickly indeed if not. If you follow these basic steps, you should be on the right path with a good foundation within your AdWords account.
Not doing keyword research before starting a campaign
Sadly this is a fatal error.
How do you know what keywords are gaining traffic and what variations? Is “local plumber” better than “plumber near me”? The results will surprise you.
There are some great tools available to help with this such as SEMrush, SE Ranking, Moz or (for a free option) Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner.
Using inappropriate settings
Choosing the right settings is so critical from the get-go.
There are various campaign types available such as search networks, display network, and search partners. Not all are suitable for each marketing objective.
There are presets you should be cautious of such as Enhanced CPC. This is not always necessary and can drain funds.
These are crucial to master as it determines who will see your ads. Get it wrong and you may find yourself with either no traffic or a lot of irrelevant traffic, and therefore wasted money.
Optimising to mobile/desktop/tablet
It is essential now to have distinct campaigns/user journeys for both mobile and desktop (also tablet recently). Very rarely do users want the same or perform the same on both platforms.
Google fairly recently moved ranking priority to mobile. This is in line with recent trends towards mobile traffic vastly increasing.
This means that even if you are not generally reliant on mobile traffic, you must now ensure you have a mobile-friendly page for any digital marketing campaign.
It is also worth noting that many people expect different information and call to action points on mobile than they do desktop.
It’s important to be as specific as possible when choosing your geographic targeting, equally where you do not want to target. This can be a huge money drain if not set correctly.
Even if targeting the whole of the country, it is important to break it down. You may get cheaper sales from London than Newcastle or Scotland than England.
It is also prudent to exclude areas you do not want to target to eliminate any risk of irrelevant clicks.
The advanced location settings should be looked at also. Do you want local traffic or further afield? Be careful to think of where your potential customers are located before including or excluding areas.
This is simply a schedule that tells Google when to run your ads. What time are you open/available. Make sure you can respond to enquiries/orders etc when your ads are running.
Implementing a schedule also allows you to increase or decrease bids at certain times. Do you sell more at 10am than you do 6pm? If you do not add a schedule, you cannot adjust this. This allows you to save your budget for when it will really work for you.
This is important even if you run ads 24 hours a day. If you are on a limited budget, adding a schedule will reduce the impact of your budget being spread too thin, which has the reverse effect of your ads not being rarely shown.
Daily budget – actual/virtual budgets
Simply divide your monthly budget by 30.4. That’s your actual daily budget (ish)…
Google can now spend up to 200% of your daily budget, in one day. It does, however, in theory, balance out over the 30.4 days and should not exceed your monthly budget.
So do not be tempted to change your budget a few times a day. Each time you do, you tell Google to start the daily budget all over again. Change it once, monitor.
Now if you have a very low budget you may not actually spend your budget at all. This is due to Google assessing how many clicks you get for your daily budget.
If due to cost-per-click costs you only can afford 10 clicks over 12-hour ad schedule, then your ads will be rarely shown. Google has a responsibility to show ads at the end of your schedule and not just the start.
To combat this, try raising your daily budget slightly higher than your actual budget for a day. Monitor and adjust. If you are still not spending the full budget, raise it again and monitor. Do this until you spend the actual budget you desire. Please do monitor this carefully.
These are keywords you don’t want to be entered for.
This could be anything that may be searched for, in relation to your product or services, but still irrelevant to what you offer. Whether it’s types of products that you don’t provide or locations you don’t cover.
For example, If you are a plumber in London your negatives may be “shop”, “wholesaler”, “Wales”. Using negatives will save you a fortune and make your ads more relevant.
There are different levels of negative lists.
At the top, you have the shared library. These, when added to campaigns, become the “master” list. These exclude all totally irrelevant terms as above.
Then there are campaign and ad group levels. Although essential, be careful not to add the wrong negative at the wrong level. You may kill traffic instantly unwittingly.
Match types are a tricky path to get right.
At one end of the scale, we have “broad match”. This will attract all variations, synonyms, and anything remotely close to the chosen keyword.
The main advantage of broad match is that it will attract many terms and keywords you may not have anticipated as well as lots of traffic.
The downside is that a lot may be irrelevant.
On the reverse side, we have “exact match”, which means a user would have to type the exact keyword for the ad to be shown.
This attracts very relevant searches, but generally in low volume.
In the middle, we have “phrase match”. This means the keyword has to appear anywhere in the users’ search. It really depends on how much traffic you wish and if you are very sure what your users search for.
If in doubt, start with “exact match” then loosen the strings. If you use broad or phrase, I would highly advise you monitor the search query report regularly and remove any irrelevant terms. This will quickly improve the quality of broad searches.
Ad extensions are a brilliant addition to any campaign.
They provide the user with a lot of additional information, this includes USP’s, links to additional site pages, offers, your location amongst others.
They also act to “bulk” out your ad helping you dominate the landscape.
They also form part of the ad rank which determines if and where your ad gets shown. A must for all AdWords users. Many new users do not fully utilise these extensions.
AdWords now also allows you to specify which device you are targeting and adopts for each device (Desktop, Tablet or Mobile).
They are an easy and quick win, a must for all.
This is my biggest pet hate in a new AdWords campaign. It kills me when I see this.
Google succeeds because it gives relevant information upon request very almost instantly.
To achieve this and to minimise costs you need to structure the account in the most relevant way.
If you sell socks, one ad group may be red socks, green socks, black, and so on.
Let’s take red socks; the user types in the search term “I want to buy red socks”. This ideally should go to your ad copy with a headline, “we sell the best red socks”. In turn, that would lead to a landing page that primarily sells red socks.
By completing this cycle you are largely ensuring a high ‘quality score’. This results in a higher ad rank score and lower cost per click. It is therefore imperative to break the keywords out into relevant ad groups and headlines leading to relevant, well-optimised landing pages.
As well as seeing improved Google Ads performance, your conversion tracking should also prove that these audiences are highly relevant with a much stronger conversion rate.
Do NOT put loads of keywords in one ad group. It will cost you a lot of money and customers.