Hey guys! Welcome back to the Digizlab world. In this blog, we are going to share with you 6 of the most common local SEO issues which down your Google ranking. We found that issue when we audit our client websites which almost always impact their Google ranking base on my experience. We feel confident your very own website is likely affected by some of them so if you want better Google rankings Dubai SEO experts suggest you stick around to learn how to diagnose the problems and fix them.
Dozens of Local Pages
Let’s start with the first one you have to create dozens of nearly identicallocation pages on your website to target multiple cities or local areas. Type of businesses such as plumbers who do business at their customers’ homes they build what is known as location pages to target multiple cities and attract more local customers from a wider area. All links to a page specifically crafted for that city but if you compare two or more of the location pages side by side you can see the only thing that changes is the name of the city everything else apart from the city name is nearly a hundred percent identical. These pages will be considered by Google as doorway pages.
Meaning they were created purely for the benefit of search engine results which can harm the quality of the user’s search experience. Although it did not necessarily affect your website. Google will simply not rank them and you will have spent a lot of time creating useless pages. If you have already done this action for your site. We would suggest you focus on the location pages that are nearest to your business. Don’t go crazy and stick with around five or six location pages. Maximum make sure they are filled with unique and relevant content which will have a much better chance of being discovered by users.
Most of the time website owners write copy instead of creating something from scratch and unique. They simply steal existing copy from competitor’s website pages and paste it onto their website pages. Yes, it happens all the time this is called external duplicate content. Google doesn’t want to show identical information in its search results. If two or more pages from different websites have the same content it will decide which one should rank over the other. The worst of it all is even if you were the original creator of the content, Google may choose to rank that website content thief over yours. So what can we do?
Go to Copyscape. It is an online plagiarism tool that detects duplicate content on the web. Unfortunately, it is not free but it’s very inexpensive to run checking an entire page will cost you only a few cents and you can buy credits for as little as five dollars for the sake of this demonstration. SEO experts are going to use the example of a window cleaner website, located in London. All we need to do is copy the URL. We want to check into the search box in this case the home page and click on the “go” button. Within a few seconds, Copyscape website will produce a list of results where potential duplicate content was detected. Click on each result to check which part of the content was flagged as duplicate which will be highlighted in red color. The first result shows duplicated content on a site for the exact. A similar website business brand created a second website using the free google website builder and used most of the copy from the original site. He is probably hoping he will rank with two websites instead of one, which is a bad idea.
Let’s try another example here we go in this case the top 6 paragraphs are almost word forward identical to my window cleaner homepage. You can access the link to the website where the duplication has been located. We don’t know who copied but if we were the original creator of the content. We wouldn’t be happy so how do we fix this? If you feel someone has stolen your content reach out to the website owner to remove it if that fails to file. A digital millennium copyright act notices with Google so the duplicate page gets removed. Might want to warn the website owner first, this is what you are about to do. It might shake them up a bit and speed up the process.
Internal Duplicate Content
Internal duplicate content exists on your own site. Just like external duplicate content having internal duplicated content across your pages will hurt your SEO performance. Once again, Google wants to show unique information in the search results. So, if you have multiple pages on your site that are near identical. It is going to affect your overall website visibility to check. If this problem occurs on your website. Visit Site Liner. It is a free tool that can crawl your whole website and flag internal content duplication start a crawl. Add your website to the search box section then click on go. We are going to use the example of the fast klean.
The crawl should only take nanoseconds depending on how many pages you have. Once completed you will see the overall percentage of duplicate content that exists on your site. To see the detailed information just click on the duplicate content link which will lead you to the breakdown of all the pages which are mark as flagged as having duplication issues. For each page, you will see the number of words that are duplicated. The match percentage and how many pages the duplicate content is found. For instance, the content on the home page for this window cleaner is 93 identical on 35 other pages. If you click on the page itself sideliner will highlight in red the content of the page that is duplicated on the right-hand side. You will see the pages where the duplicated content can be found on you can click on the open windows symbol to open the page in your browser. Comparing this page with a home page side by side clearly shows we are dealing with almost two identical pages which is pretty bad news about the solution. Here is simple, don’t copy and paste your pages once again. Make them unique once. You have updated your content. Don’t be panic if you still see duplication. There’s always going to be information replicated across some pages such as your footer and header but aim for a much lower percentage. We would say that under 10 duplications should be acceptable.
Thin Content Problem
This content point is for those people who are not known with this word. A brief explanation of thin content is content that sits on your website and provides little to no value to the users. The example of the city or local area pages and duplicate content pages. We just covered would fall into the thin content category and we are already know how to fix this issue. Other examples would be pages that have been poorly written where you can find spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. You should make sure you proofread your content thoroughly another type of content considered as low value or thin is pages with hardly any information on them which seem to have been created just for the sake of creating a page.
Here is a typical example of thin content on this XYZ website located in London. Its homepage only has one paragraph of copy and when the users start visiting other pages it doesn’t look any better. There is even a blog that is shockingly horrible. It looks like no effort has been put into this website at all and based on what we are seeing. We doubt very much this site is ranking in google search results for anything at all. As we have mentioned already Google crawlers demand unique and useful content which more often than not means reach and in-depth type of content
Let us show you what top SEO experts in hong kong mean with another xys website. If a user searches this website on Google he can see the homepage of this site is filled with relevant content which includes a lot of copy some before, images, testimonials, etc. All other pages on their site are built in the same way, this is useful to the users, it is unique to this business and contains rich information that’s exactly what google demands us. That is why this business is rewarded with high rankings so how do we find out if there is some thin content on your website. The best way to do this is to check the word count for each page of your website. A low word count on a page generally signifies your content is too thin and needs to be improved. You could do this by hand but it would take forever instead.
Audit your Website Report
Next, we are going to another tool that can be downloaded for free. Screaming Frog is a website crawler that helps you improve your SEO performance. It is a great tool that will enable you to identify major SEO issues on your website in a few seconds. Screaming frog offers a free version allowing you to crawl up to 500 URLs which should be more than enough for any local website. To start using it just download it install it and launch it. Once it is launched, you will see don’t be intimidated by it. Now we are going to run through what you need to do copy and paste the URL of your website in a screaming frog search bar box and then click on start. In this instance, we are going to use our XYZ website located in London. We will launch the crawler which will go through each URL on the site. You can easily see the crawling progress here. Once the crawl is completed you can access a range of tabs with detailed information related to your pages such as page title and meta description etc.
There are a lot of tabs so they might not all show on your screen. You can see the full list using the drop-down arrow at the end of the ribbon pick the wand called content it will display the list of all your pages along with the detailed word count for each of them. Order the word count column from smallest to highest. We would recommend that any page with a word count below 1200 should be revisited and the copy improves to hit that number at the very least aim for a higher number. We generally try to hit nearer the 2000 marks but don’t write content for the sake of it remember. It needs to be valuable to the user’s time.
Meta Title And Descriptions of your Website
Website or page meta titles and descriptions are very important for your site. If you have done a little bit of SEO research. You probably already know that page titles are a very important part of any given website page not only your page titles will be displayed in search results which will influence whether or not. Users will click through to your website but they are
also a key to SEO signal used by Google to understand what your page is about. It is important to get them right the most common mistake we see website owners make is to use the same page titles across multiple pages. This is a very bad practice as it may confuse Google about which page should rank for what keyword.
To check if there are duplicate titles across your pages go back to the result of your screaming frog crawl and this time choose the page title tab this will list all your pages and the title next to them to find out if any duplicate exists just use the drop-down menu and select the duplicate option it will highlight the pages which have the same title. We recommend you change you can also narrow down the page titles that are all over 60 characters which will get truncated in Google search results.
Optimize the Website Images
Digital marketing experts encounter user issues when it comes to images file size. It’s all very well to take a picture with your mobile which you want to use for your website. We recommended you to use GTmetrix to check your website speed. You need to optimize these pictures before adding them to your web pages. Most of the time very heavy image will slow down the page load of your site. Since page load speed is an SEO signal it will affect your rankings. How do you find out if there are some heavy images on your site?
We told you screaming frog was a great tool. Go back to it one more time and select the image tab. You will be able to see the list of all the images that are on your site along with their file size. Order the file size column from largest to smallest to find out if you have any heavy images
which could drag the performance of your pages down. To fix this problem we can see there are a large number of heavy images. There is even one that is 1.3 megabytes which is way too much and unnecessary the solution replace that image with a much lighter version. If you don’t know how you can use a free image optimizer we recommend using something like a JPEG optimizer. Select the picture you want to optimize and set the level of compression and specify the width of the image so it fits with your web page requirements. Thereafter, save it then load it on your website page. I hope this strategy helps you to improve your Google ranking.
The last but major issue which will hurt your SEO visibility broken links. As time goes by your website evolves you move pages. Add some new ones and delete others and this could result in broken links across your website. A page that once lived under one web address and moved to another address means links pointing to the original version may return an error. A couple of errors on the website are not harmful but google might assume you are not providing your visitors with high-quality content. Resulting in lower rankings these areas are very common and easily fixed. Go to screaming frog one again and click on the response code tab from the drop-down menu. Select the client for Xyz errors this will highlight pages that no longer work on your site which links are still pointing. To select a page from the list in the panel below click on the link option this will show the exact page where the link can be found. Right-click on the link and select the open from in your browser. Next, locate where the link is placed on the page all you need to do now is fix it on your website. We hope you enjoy this blog and found it helpful for your site.