Poor or Missing Page Titles

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Poor or Missing Page Titles

All pages should have a descriptive and unique title. This is a great place to promote your page keywords and should always contain more than just the company name or a single word. It is also important for when a user bookmarks or "favorites" a page, as this is the text that will appear as the bookmark. Missing or poor title tags significantly impact search-engine ranking and page findability.

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Not Using Proper Headings

Give your pages immediate extra weight by making sure they all feature headings and use semantic heading tags to help search engines identify the most important text. Never create fake headings using formatting or Cascading Style Sheets. You can also take advantage of subheadings to emphasize your keywords.

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Broken Links

Always make sure your links are descriptive and are in working order. Broken links need to be avoided at all costs; they can put search engines off your site altogether. Check your pages before and after publication, and remember that links will break over time.

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Failing to Use Descriptive Links

It may take more time to write descriptive links such as "read our latest SEO article" rather than generic links such as "click here," but descriptive links can boost the ranking of the pages they link to, are easier to use, provide an effective way of highlighting keywords and will improve the accessibility of your site.

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Missing Metadata

Search engines like metadata. Including a unique meaningful meta description will not only help your SEO ranking but will also make it easier for searchers to work out if your content is what they're looking for.

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Missing 'Alt' Attributes

This is the No. 1 accessibility mistake made on Websites, and it's the most common cause of legal action from disabled user groups. Adding meaningful "alt" (alternate) attributes to all images on your site—including form buttons—ensures that users get a description of the image content even if they can't see it.

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Unprepared for Multi-Channel Access

Right now, multi-channel readiness means mobile. Remember, visitors will access your sites via smartphones and tablets whether you are ready or not. Mobile users also tend to be more reliant on the predictive search suggestions provided by search engines. To compensate for the smaller screen, search engines divide the presentation of their results content into new location- and category-based design layouts. This means that like the old gold rush of pay-per-click, it's important to place yourself in the most common predictive search terms. If you have dedicated mobile sites, make sure your Website auto-detects mobile devices and automatically serves them appropriate content. If you don't have dedicated sites, you should review how mobile-friendly your Website is. This is especially important if you do e-commerce, because people are increasingly shopping through their mobile devices.

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Not Enough Fresh Content

Content may be king, but with so much content out there, you need to keep your site dynamic. Search engines love fresh content. Many large organizations are already streamlining their content with a view to having less content overall with more frequent updates. A future-friendly site is always relevant. This means retiring any obsolete content or assets as soon as possible.

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Missing Website Policies and Standards

Having comprehensive Website policies and standards in place will protect your brand and user experience, while ensuring you don't fall onto dodgy legal and commercial ground. For policies and standards to succeed, you need to monitor your Websites to ensure that compliance is achieved and maintained. You also need an end-to-end plan for managing and evolving your standards throughout the Website lifecycle.

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Not Making Your Content Easy to Share

Ever-increasing volumes of referral traffic are now coming from social media, so make it easy for people to share your content. Create quality headlines that are clear, descriptive and catchy. Make sure it's easy to actually link directly to your content and use obvious social-sharing buttons.

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