With hundreds of ranking signals, it’s very easy to overlook SEO issues. That’s why, from time to time, it’s important to look at some real-life examples; a friendly audit, if you will. To help identify common issues, the list below covers many aspects of SEO.
Examples of SEO Issues on Popular Sites
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – www.macklemore.com
- Two versions of the site exist, www.macklemore.com/ and macklemore.com/ (missing www).
a. This is an issue because Google indexes the site without a www. Someone who visits www.macklemore.com/ should redirect to the version without www.
- The link to macklemore.com/shows from the homepage redirects to macklemore.com/shows/ (slash at end of URL). Therefore, the link in the code should be with a slash at the end too.
a. Google should easily find pages on the site. The more redirects or broken links, the harder Google needs to work.
- Both the homepage and macklemore.com/shows have an h1 in the code, but that text does not appear on the page.
a. This is considered hidden content, which is a bad practice and can get a site punished.
- According to ahrefs.com, this link has the third-most referring domains linking to it, macklemore.com/post/86276707372/family-friends-and-fans-alike-who-know-me-well. Unfortunately, the page does not exist anymore.
a. Since rankings are influenced by link juice (referring domains) it’s a good idea to redirect this page to another relevant one or re-publish it with the same URL.
- Add more text on pages, and more pages in general.
a. This will give the site a chance to get traffic from related search terms, not just brand related terms. For example, adding content about awards, bio, or discography will allow the site to gain many more visitors.
World Health Organization – www.who.int/en
- The homepage will benefit from another paragraph of branded content.
a. An explanation of the World Health Organization can help the page rank for major keywords related to health or WHO initiatives.
- Deindex duplicate pages that contain a ? within the URL. For example, http://www.who.int/en/?zoom_highlight=language; just like the homepage.
a. A Google search of “site:www.who.int/en” shows all indexed pages within that directory. Fix this by adding disallow parameters in http://www.who.int/robots.txt.
- Add the sitemap to the robots.txt file.
- Improve title tags on internal pages.
a. All title tags on nearly every page start with WHO. This isn’t necessary, as the homepage only needs to rank for people searching for WHO.
b. Many title tags are too long. They should fit 512 pixels. It’s useless to have title tags that get cut off, and Google doesn’t like it either.
- According to PageSpeed Insights, the mobile version is slow and there can be a number of issues fixed.
Hojtar – www.hotjar.com
- The homepage title tag is too long and over optimized.
- Many sites link to http://www.hotjar.com. Contact those sites to switch to https.
- hotjar.com/heatmaps has icons that display text when hovering over them. Some words spill over into a second line; e.g., “Heatmaps” (in the “Click and Tap Heatmaps” section).
- Add a sitemap to hotjar.com/robots.txt.
- Images are either missing alt and title tags or they are duplicate.