List of the 17 most common search engine optimization errors and how to avoid them

Search engine optimization error: Your website is not found on Google? You don’t have a clue what the reason is?

I’ll tell you!

I’m sure you make one or more of the following 17 SEO errors.

You can find out how to avoid these errors by reading on:

SEO Error #1: Ignore Search Engine Optimization

You ignore the influence of SEO for various reasons? This is an eminent mistake. Are you ranked badly or far behind in the search engines? In this way you forgive important advantages over your competitors. This also has a direct effect on your own business.

SEO error #2: Your website is not Mobile Friendly

Actually, it should be the standard for every website today that it is optimized for all common sizes of mobile devices (responsive design). Isn’t your website optimized for smartphones or is it bad? Then you have a big problem.

You forgive a very large customer potential. The majority of users are on the move with mobile devices.

Since March 2018, the Google index has only been searched for websites that are optimized for mobile devices.

If your website is not optimized, you will not be ranked at the top of the search engine anymore. On the contrary: You will surely be removed from the index in the long run.

SEO error #3: The page speed of your website is not fast enough

In July 2018, Google updated its algorithm and declared PageSpeed a very important ranking factor.

This is only a logical conclusion. What is important for users on the net is also important for Google. There is nothing more important than a fast loading website. Who likes to wait several seconds for the website to build up and become visible?

If your website loads slowly, the user will leave your page and look around on the competitor’s website.

Google registers high bounce rates and strongly downgrades such websites in the ranking.

What can you do?

Check whether the loading speed of your web pages is within the limits and not too slow.

Use the following tools:

-> Pagespeed Insights from Google

-> Pingdom (for Europe set the test to Stockholm)

You will find detailed information on this topic on our following website: PageSpeed Optimization

and also the matching error no. 4:

SEO error #4: Images not uploaded optimized

This mistake is made by many inexperienced website operators. It is also very much underestimated in its effects on a good ranking. Google has been offering picture searches in addition to the normal search for quite some time now.


The loading time of the website increases massively if the image files are too important. This has a very negative effect on the rating on Google. As already described in the previous error, Google likes fast and PageSpeed optimized websites. Also the visitors of your website appreciate a fast page layout.

If you do not optimize your pictures, you give away important potential for your ranking.

SEO error #5: Missing or unsuitable keywords

A fundamental element of search engine optimization is the keyword. By optimizing the search terms, the basis for a TOP ranking in the search engines is laid.

The basic requirement is a detailed keyword research.

Are there also unsuitable keywords?

But of course: whenever there are too few search queries, but also when the competition is too dominant for such keywords (e.g.: Wikipedia, ebay, market leader in the different areas etc.). Then you have no chance to displace them from the front positions of the search results.

SEO error #6: Duplicate content on the site

Double content is punished mercilessly by Google. You should also avoid content of poor quality. Duplicate content is, for example, copied content from other websites, but also constant texts on own subpages (near-duplicate content).

SEO error #7: Neglect the title tag

Title tags are an important part of the Google search. The title tag is the heading of the SERP snippet. It can also be imagined as a headline within the website. Google classifies this information in the search results thematically. If the title tag is not well chosen or is not set at all, important potential is assigned here to be ranked well. Use well optimized title tags. Your work will pay off.

SEO Error #8: No or not optimized meta description

The meta-description gives the user important preliminary information about the content on the respective website. Google does not confirm the meta description as a ranking factor, but it does have a big influence on the positioning in the search results.

Why that?

If the meta-description is meaningful and optimized, the click rate is automatically increased as well. This shows Google that the page is important and Google will therefore rank the page better.

SEO error #9: Missing or defective image attributes

Images complement and enhance products and content on the website. They also increase the attention of the users.

However, Google Robot cannot read and associate images. This is why it is so important to optimize all images on the website by entering the alt attributes, file names, image titles and descriptions.

SEO error #10: Not enough or bad content

Content is King! High-quality content is highly valued by users and is a decisive ranking factor in search engines. In addition, meaningful and valuable content and texts bind the user to the website. The user reads longer, stays longer and thus lowers the bounce rate. That again likes Google and rewards it with good placement in the search results.

So, nothing like to write on and good texts on the website!

But you should also always pay attention to well structured texts. Avoid missing or meaningless headlines.

Just as important: Define texts with headings not graphically but with h-tags.

SEO error #11: Missing Sitemap.xml

XML Sitemap helps Google to interpret the website and index it correctly. This can also be easily integrated via the webmaster tools. In WordPress you can use the Yoast SEO plugin, for example, to generate the sitemap automatically by default and update it continuously.

SEO error #12: Missing robots txt

With robots.txt you have an important instrument at hand to control indexing in search engines. This allows you to specify which pages, for example, should not be indexed. Not only can you exclude entire pages from crawling, you can also exclude certain image formats.

SEO error #13: Use a CMS (Content Management System) that does not contain SEO

There are still old management systems in use that do not edit SEO relevant content.

You also use a CMS system without SEO Plugin?

Our recommendation is: convert very quickly to the CMS WordPress with the right integration and configuration of a good SEO plugin.

SEO error #14: No clear internal link structure

Probably the most common SEO error is caused by missing links to related content. Missing or missing internal links have a negative effect on the Google ranking. Therefore, it is important to link your own internal pages sufficiently with each other. Internal reference pages should be linked as talking links with a short description. Also avoid links such as “Click here”, as they are not meaningful.

By missing internal links you forgive valuable SEO potential.

Sensible internal links help your readers to find more useful content on your website.

This also increases the time you spend on your website and has a positive effect on Google.

Have a look at the information on our following page: OnPage optimization

SEO error #15: Bad URL structures

Readable URLs: are not only important for Google. Users on the net also appreciate them. A common SEO error here is bad URL structures. Most web servers like Apache HTTP Server or nginx can realize “clean” URLs with the help of .htaccess or rewrite-engines.

The keyword should be as far in front as possible.

Special characters and columns of numbers or just the session ID display are a no-go.

SEO error #16: Consider SEO as a single action

SEO is by no means a one-off measure. Websites are always more or less supplemented or changed once with new texts, pictures etc.. This also means that the necessary SEO measures have to be adapted in order to maintain the good position in the search results at Google.

Likewise the co- or competition in the Internet is to be observed and if necessary the own web page is to be optimized always further.

This is an ongoing process that ultimately leads to more customer potential.

SEO error #17: Your website does not have an SSL certificate

Visitors of your website attach great importance to data security.

Google by the way also!

This is guaranteed by an SSL certificate.

As soon as you collect data on your website (contact form, comment function, newsletter registration form, shop system with payment function, etc.), you should switch your website from HTTP to HTTPS.

Recently all known browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge mark your site as insecure if the SSL certification is missing.

If the SSL certificate is missing, the traffic and the ranking of your website will decrease considerably in the long run.

HTTPS has been a Google ranking factor since August 2014.

You want more detailed information about SSL certificates? Then you should read the following article:

When do I need an SSL certificate?
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