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Today we’re covering 8 common SEO issues & how to fix them including:
Most of the fixes we walk you through are simple & require you to do things like:
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Okay, guys, welcome back to this episode of SEO shorts. I'm here with B and we are going to talk about something that we talked about on the simple and smart SEO show.Brittany Herzberg:
We were smart.Crystal Waddell:
But we're going to give you the actual answers and how to fix some common SEO problems.Brittany Herzberg:
Yes. Hi, by the way, hello.Crystal Waddell:
I just also wanted to say I have a list right now because my tooth fell out. I have an old volleyball injury. And so when I talk, I may have a list today, and I just want to apologize for that. It's fine.Brittany Herzberg:
The people are here for the information, and they will get that with or without a list.Crystal Waddell:
Okay, so let's hop into it. Let's start with broken links.Brittany Herzberg:
Let's shall we, which is just like one of the saddest names.Crystal Waddell:
Yeah, broken links. So looking for broken links. But there's two different ways that you can fix it. There's like a long way, a short way. AndBrittany Herzberg:
it's a really good way to say it.Crystal Waddell:
From the perspective of say, a Shopify account, there is a navigation menu where you can go and click on, you know, broken links or like create a redirect. So if you have that option in your content management system, like whether it's Shopify or Squarespace or whatever, if you have the option to create a redirect from your navigation menu, that's the easiest way to do it. Because you can put the old link that's broken, that doesn't work, and have it redirect to a new link wherever you want people to go instead. Is that a gdb?Brittany Herzberg:
I've actually never I'm actually trying to sign into my Squarespace account, because I've never, and I need to created a 301 redirect. And I haven't set up my 404. What we'll get to that in a little bit. But I haven't set up my 404 error page, either. So it just it redirects to one of my I think it goes to my services or my about page. But I'm poking around on the backend of Squarespace, because I'm not sure if there is something where it's just like a simple fix the broken link thing.Crystal Waddell:
Okay, well, while you're poking around there, let me address the 404 page real quick, because the 404 page is kind of similar in the respect of like a thank you page, where that's an opportunity to, you know, do some branding for your business, or give an extra message or whatever. And instead of just saying like, Oh, this is a 404 page, you could say something funny, you know, if your brand is funny or clever, or whatever that was took a wrong turn, you know, or whatever, I don't knowBrittany Herzberg:
them before. And it's really fun to write them. But I just I realized recently that I had done it myself, I was like, Oh, that's such a missed opportunity.Crystal Waddell:
Yeah, so like on my Shopify store, I have a big picture graphic from Canva that says, Oops, and it has me and Asher laughing. And then it said, let's get you back where you want to be or something like that. And then I have links to popular blogs, or to go shopping or whatever. So that's my tip for four or four pages, you know, like make sure that you infuse some personality in there and then give them some options to go back someplace that makes you money.Brittany Herzberg:
Take them somewhere that they want to be. I can't figure this out quickly with doing a 301 redirect. And typically honestly what I do with my clients, I even had this conversation yesterday with someone. She was talking about doing this and fixing a broken link. She actually does have a web developer, so I was like talk to your web person. And they will be able to set this up without any mistakes or anything. I've just I've never done it myself. I usually outsource that. But I will come back. And if there's anything I can add in the show notes, I will about a Squarespace site specifically with a broken link, and maybe doing like a 301 redirect. Okay, cool. SoCrystal Waddell:
the next thing that often comes up in audits, as errors are duplicate meta descriptions, and duplicate meta descriptions and duplicate title tags usually traveled together. What happens in Shopify a lot of times is people will duplicate the page. And so when they duplicate the page, what they don't realize is that they're also duplicating all of the meta descriptions, which is the meta tags, the title tag, the meta description, all of that goes with the duplicate. So at the end of the day, you end up with two pages with the exact same meta descriptions and the exact same title tags.Brittany Herzberg:
Yeah, exactly. I have done that before where I've duplicated pages on my own site. And immediately I'm like, Hey, we're just gonna fix this. So that's why I like having the SEO basics checklist that I have the freebie that I give out. And it's actually a tool that I use with my own client work in with my work for my website, and I'm just gonna pull that up because one thing I like to point out is the character number that you want to aim for. I don't have it memorized. I just have it in this checklist. So for your tie Title, the SEO title is what it's sometimes called, or the title tag 60 characters Max is what we're aiming for, for the meta description or what sometimes called the SEO description, or the page description. You want that to be 155 characters, Max.Crystal Waddell:
Yep. So those are good numbers to shoot for. Sometimes I hear 160 is okay for the meta description. But if you hit 155, and you say there, then you're between that range of 150 and 160, which is great. So, yeah, there was 100%. Agree.Brittany Herzberg:
Yeah. And there was a client that I worked with recently who has a show it website, I believe. And like, I used to do SEO titles of 65 characters, Max, like that used to be my guidepost, her website wouldn't take more than 60. Like you physically could not add more character. So that's why I bumped it down to 60. Just because I learned that that was the case of the show itCrystal Waddell:
and H refs, when they do audits, they will give you that parameter as well. So that's where I learned that, okay, so multiple title tags, that's another error that comes up. And a lot of people are like, how could you have multiple title tags? Well, when you don't know that there's an h1 and an h2, and an h3, a lot of times we can format our headings as h ones. And so the only h1 that you want on your page is the actual title of the page, the title of the article, or the product title, whatever, there's just one of those.Brittany Herzberg:
Yeah, they're really territorial. And just to give you something to look for, if you're still unfamiliar with what an h1 is, it's the big bold text that you see typically at the top of a page when you go to a web page. So there can only be one, it's like 99.99% of the time going to be at the top of the page. And that is really one of those places that you want to stick the keywords so that Google can understand what that page is about and know who to present that page in front of. Yes.Crystal Waddell:
And then if you're looking for the multiple or the you know, the other title tags on the page, a lot of times they'll be bold, or larger in size, or whatever. So if you highlight those, you'll usually be able to see whether they've been labeled as an h1 or something like that.Brittany Herzberg:
Exactly. I think we have going back to meta description, not only do we have duplicate meta descriptions, we also have times where there are no meta descriptions. AndCrystal Waddell:
yeah, I remember when I started my Shopify store, I never knew there was a meta description option at the bottom of every single page.Brittany Herzberg:
Yeah, same. It's you don't know what you don't know. And when you do learn about it, then it's like, oh, okay, this is something that I need to make sure I have.Crystal Waddell:
Yeah. So if you have no meta description, you want to make sure that that is 150 to 160 characters, or the 155, you know, that he was talking about, you want to make sure that the keyword that you're targeting for that page comes at the front of the meta description, just like you want that keyword to come at the front of the title tag. And yeah, I love to use Jasper for these. So I bust out meta descriptions super fast, because I use Jasper.Brittany Herzberg:
Yeah, and a couple things to point out with meta descriptions. One is that Google and other search engines don't always use the meta description that you provide. But it's always a better idea to give something in there than to leave it blank. The other thing is that something you can do when you're writing it, if you're writing it yourself, or whether you're using Jasper, just keep this in mind as well, is that you want to write that meta description as if you're talking to the person who's reading these results. You want them to be really intrigued and feel like you are helping them specifically with a problem. So make sure that when you're writing it, you're like you bla bla bla bla bla.Crystal Waddell:
Yeah, that's super key point of copywriting where you write to one person, right? One person,Brittany Herzberg:
and where we tried to do that in the podcast as well.Crystal Waddell:
Yeah. Okay, so the next one is low word count. And so I'm interested in your take on this one be because Uber suggests will give you a low word count error, if your word count on a page is below 200. But I've also heard that people should shoot for 300 words on a page,Brittany Herzberg:
I do a minimum word count typically on especially my client work, don't go to my website and judge that because my poor website gets ignored. But that's typically what I aim for is like three to 500 words minimum on a page. And I will say the pages that get this error that I've seen the most are contact pages, or something like your links pages, where you do like the Lincoln bio for Instagram or Facebook, things like that. So an easy way to beef it up is just to maybe expand on things or give some context around things or write a little note to people that are coming to these pages, and that'll be set up pretty quickly.Crystal Waddell:
Yeah, and then on Shopify, for e commerce, a lot of times it's collection pages where there's a bunch of different images together or or even product pages. So the most important things that are going to impact the sale at the top of your product pages and above the fold. But under that you can add a little bit more text to be a little bit more descriptive of your product and your brand.Brittany Herzberg:
Precisely, are we on our final one,Crystal Waddell:
I think we have two more, we've got the SEO non friendly errors and your title. So what that means is you have some sort of weird formatting where it's not word dash word dash word. So if it's anything other than letters, dash, let her stash letters, it could be considered SEO non friendly. So if you had like an apostrophe, in your title, or anything like that, or an ampersand or any sort of symbol, you don't want to do that you want to get rid of all the symbols, you want to make it very simple, very clear for Google to be able to understand what that page is about.Brittany Herzberg:
Yeah, and places that that could show up would be images, possibly even like your URL slug, where else? Is there anything else you can think of? Yeah,Crystal Waddell:
I guess it could be those places, but specifically in your meta title. You don't want to have this. Yeah. So anytime that you're naming a file, whether it's an image file, or you know, a PDF that you're going to have for download or your title tags, you just want it to be really clear just letters, dash letters, dash letters, theBrittany Herzberg:
drive that point home, nothing else, gashes peopleCrystal Waddell:
guess we did talk about the 404 errors. Yeah, making a 404 page, and then the 301 redirects, I guess it goes along with that. SoBrittany Herzberg:
yeah, so with 404, just make sure that it's something that's on brand, something that's relevant to like, how do you speak to people? What would you say when like an oops, happens? Would it be funny? Would it be more serious and direct, just like, make that page really you? And that page may also show up? I'm realizing this, as I'm saying this, that page may show up with a low word count. It's just gonna happen. Yep.Crystal Waddell:
So those are the top errors that we covered on the simple and smart SEO show, we wanted to make sure that we shared with you how you could actually fix it. So hopefully, you found this helpful. And we would love to know, you know, if you did, what's our action item of the day be?Brittany Herzberg:
Well, I would love to see if anybody had any of these issues show up. And if they have used what we shared to correct them or something similar. Maybe you just kind of got some insight. And for example, like me, you're gonna go make a 404 error page today.Crystal Waddell:
Yeah, that would be a good one. So if you do make a 404 error page, I'd love to see it, like drop the link, because we could all get inspired from that. So yeah, I love it. AndBrittany Herzberg:
lastly, before we leave, we of course, just want to thank Leah and Marcy over at the podcast, in fact, for helping us make this sound lovely for you.Crystal Waddell:
Whoo. Yeah. So thanks so much, guys. And we will see you next time my friend. Next episode. SEO shorts podcast,Brittany Herzberg:
I said by Tuesday. Okay, bye. Bye. you're well on your way to being the answer to even more Googled questions. Thanks so much for joining us this week.Crystal Waddell:
Have you noticed some SEO wins since listening to SEO short, where you want to know? Email us at Hello at simple and smart seo.com Or share an episode conversation thread