When are building or ‘fixing’ a website, the list of things that you have to do in order to get the website to be optimized just right seems to go on and on and on and on…. and on…. forever and ever (perhaps not but it really feels that way when you’re in the midst of it). Seeing as how there are probably others who feel this way or to those of you who have recently gone through the process I offer up to you three items that are common SEO mistakes.
Multiple Home Pages
How can I have more than one home page? I built the site and I know that there is only one home page. Perhaps you thought this to yourself. Indeed you probably didn’t make more than one home page. However, if you practice good web design you have a link to your homepage on every single page (likely by clicking on your website logo).
Well, have you clicked the home link recently AND payed attention to the URL. It is likely that if you do click the link it won’t take you to www.domain.com but actually take you to www.domain.com/index.html. This means that when you get visited by your friendly neighborhood Google web crawler it will see duplicate content between the landing page and the index page. Not ideal.
This item relates to the previous item in that this is how you solve the first issue, among other things.
You need to go through and make sure that you have 301 redirects in place for any broken links or old-unused pages on your domain as well as links back to your home pages that might take you to the index.html. The 301 redirect will tell the crawler where to go when it gets to a dead end. If the crawler ever gets to a dead end or broken link your page score will be docked.
The last item is the website’s site map. A site map is exactly what it says, it is a directory of every (major- if you have a large site) link with in your website. Essentially, you would be able to get to any page on your site from this one page. Generally, the main purpose of this would be for ease and rapid access for the crawler when it comes to your site so that it can get as much done as possible in the few seconds it remains there. For that reason, you must make sure it is there.
Secondarily, the site map can be used for human navigation, in which case you will want to make sure it looks nice, and more importantly, make sure that there is a logical hierarchical order to all the links and categories on the page.