25 Sep 11 Huge SEO Mistakes to Avoid
Strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategies are essential to listing high on search engine results pages (SERPs). Reaching the first page of SERPS for your target audience will increase web traffic, sales and brand image. You need to stay up-to-date with the ever-changing search engine algorithms in order to drive traffic to your site. However, it’s easy to make an error when you are new to implementing SEO techniques. Stay on top of the game by avoiding these common SEO mistakes, as presented by Forbes:
Neglecting Off-site SEO — On-site SEO is not the only area to which you should be giving your attention. Off-site SEO practices are equally as important to achieving a high search engine ranking. One action you can take to optimize your off-site SEO is to earn links from credible external websites that point back to your site utilizing relevant keywords.
Ignoring Website Speed — Of course, a faster website speed is always better. But, when was the last time you checked your site’s load speed? Even a few milliseconds can put off visitors and decrease your ranking. This is one SEO mistake often overlooked. Search engines like Google prioritize website with faster load speeds because they provide better user engagement. An easy way to see your site’s speed is to use Google PageSpeed Insights. You can improve your website speed by compressing your image file sizes, enabling browser caching and minimizing website plug-ins.
Missing a “Google My Business” Account — Google My Business is crucial to successfully ranking high on search engines. Be sure to both claim your business and keep your listing maintained. This will improve your ranking when users search for businesses “near me,” especially on Google Maps.
Choosing Unsuccessful Keywords — Keywords are the words and phrases users search for in order to find your website content. However, you won’t find much success stuffing your site pages with as many keywords as possible or with keywords that aren’t right for your website. Because the digital market is extremely saturated with competitors, focus more on long-tail keywords that are more specific to your business rather than shorter and more generic keywords. It’s much harder to compete for a generic keyword like “dentist,” compared to something more specific like “Runcorn braces.”
Forgetting Meta Data and Page Titles — Descriptive meta data and page titles need to be part of your SEO keyword strategy. Search engine algorithms cannot read a page the way a human can. They rely on as many bits of text as possible to determine which pages are likely to be more relevant to users. Therefore, your page titles and meta data should include your target keywords and accurately describe the web content.
Foregoing Web Audits — How can you know how well your website is performing unless you regularly check it? Routine website audits can bring to your attention the full scale of how well or how poorly your website is performing — from mobile responsiveness, to navigation, to page speeds and more. Don’t wait for a problem to build up! Start auditing your website to continuously update for SEO needs.
Lacking Quality Content — Content is what pulls visitors to your website. While it is important to optimize your content to perform well on search engine results, you should always first prioritize the needs and interests of your target audience. Your content will naturally use some of your keywords if you are providing useful, engaging content to your site visitors. Updating your content (whether blogs, video, etc.) frequently will keep users engaged as well as indicate to Google that your website is more likely to provide valuable, relevant, and up-to-date information for users.
Engaging in Unethical Practices — There’s no fooling Google’s algorithm when it comes to unethical SEO practices (also known as black hat SEO). Search engines are now well aware of how to detect practices such keyword stuffing, duplicating content and buying backlinks. These practices are unethical because they are trying to “cheat” the system to make your website rank higher, and they generally lead to poor content that will not engage users.
Not Writing Clear CTAs — Visitors to your website can’t read your mind about the actions you want them to take upon encountering your content. Clear calls to action (CTAs) help your visitors take the desired action — whether making a purchase, filling out a contact form, signing up for an email newsletter, etc. However, be careful to place your CTAs sparingly, yet still effectively. Too many CTAs or a poorly designed CTA can increase bounce rates.
Treating SEO as a One-time Job — Search engine algorithms are constantly adapting in order to match the trends in technology and user interests. What worked five years ago or even six months ago may not be the best SEO practices to utilize today. The good news is that by staying on top of SEO trends, your changes will likely only need to be small periodic updates. The real problems occur when you neglect your site’s SEO for a long time, only to discover that your site needs more updates than you can handle.
Living in the Past — Mobile phones have been around for many years now, and more users are using them than desktop computers to search the web. Even Google has taken steps to ensure that users have a seamless experience, no matter the device they use, by giving higher priority in search rankings to mobile responsive websites. Not sure if your site is mobile-friendly? Try out Google’s quick and easy test to see if it is! If your site is not responsive, that will need to be your first priority when it comes to your new SEO strategy.
Improve Your Web Presence with an SEO Expert
The truth is, it takes a great amount of dedicated time and effort in order to keep up with the latest trends in SEO, search engine algorithms, technology updates and user interests. Don’t just wonder if you are taking the right steps to improve your web presence — be sure of it! Our SEO experts at Virtual Stacks Systems UK know best-practice SEO strategies that can boost your web traffic, increase your following and improve your conversion rates. Contact us today to discuss your SEO needs!