Sure, it’s important to know what you should be focussing on in your SEO strategy, but what’s equally (or possibly even more) important is knowing what you should be avoiding. The world of SEO is tricky – even for us professionals. If you do something that makes Google unhappy, it can be really hard to prove your website worthy of importance again. The best way to stop that from happening in the first place? Avoid the following five SEO mistakes.
Back in the early days of Google, including keywords in as many places as possible throughout your website content worked. It helped increase your website’s page ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs), displaying your website to numerous search engine users.
To practice keyword stuffing, business owners and copywriters would get creative. Besides mentioning the same keywords frequently throughout the content, the keywords were also sometimes duplicated in the background, using the same colour as the page.
For web visitors looking for answers to their search engine queries, keyword stuffing made for a frustrating, unhelpful reading experience. Eventually, search engines (the biggest one being Google) caught on. Spamming content with keywords was creating poor user experiences – the exact opposite of Google’s goal. As a result, Google started imposing penalties on websites using this poor SEO strategy that harmed a site’s ranking.
The bottom line? Google wants users to be provided with helpful content, not unnatural content that features repetitions of target keywords.
choosing incorrect keywords
To avoid writing content viewed as spammy, you may think that keywords aren’t necessary at all. That’s one of the worst things you can do when it comes to SEO! As the foundation of a great SEO strategy, keywords need to be included in website content – just carefully.
The best advice? Never assume that you know which keywords your target audience is searching for on Google. Sometimes, the keywords you choose are completely different than what your target audience is using and sometimes, they’re too generic to have a chance of ranking on SERPs.
Even though you may think that you know what the proper keywords would be for your site, you need to conduct some background research to be certain. That’s when a professional copywriter comes in handy.
There are numerous keyword tools available – some even free – which can help provide you with proper, currently trending keywords. Ubersuggest, Google Trends, SEMrush and Google Keyword Planner are some great ones. Long-tail keywords, or search phrases with longer word counts of three+ words, may help you find the exact customer your website is looking for. As SEO guru Neil Patel states, “They’re the holy grail of SEO.”
Using location-specific keywords is another great way to attract the attention of your target market. When your region is included in your website’s content, your website is more likely to appear as a SERP to a user looking for your product/service in your area.
ignoring on-page seo
Including the right keywords in your content is only the start of producing optimized content. After that’s done, proper title tags, meta descriptions and URL structures need to be created to improve your website content’s performance.
Correctly optimized images are also crucial to the SEO game. Known as image tags, they are used by search bots (that can’t view pictures) to index your pages.
When choosing external website links to use throughout your content, choose quality over quantity. A website that links to relevant, high-ranking websites with solid reputations is regarded more highly by search engines than websites with numerous external links to lesser-known sites.
Anchor text, or the words that hyperlink to another webpage or document, can be another great way to build SEO – if done well. When the same anchor text is duplicated over and over (such as using “click here” regularly throughout a document), the text can be viewed as being spam. Instead, use variations on the phrase, the name of your company or even a URL to make the text appear more natural to visitors and search engines.
using duplicate content
If you’re finding it hard to generate fresh topic ideas for your blog, engaging content for your website or informative product descriptions, you may be tempted to simply copy text from another site. Whatever you do, DO NOT DO THIS!
Search engines are constantly crawling your website to organize the information presented in their search indexes. This helps search users be presented with websites that meet their query’s needs. To provide the best search experience, search engines rarely show multiple versions of similar web content.
E-commerce business owners may be inclined to use the manufacturer’s descriptions of products they are listing for sale on their site. However, if competitors selling the same product do the same thing, an obvious duplication issue is presented.
If, when your website is crawled, the same content is found in more than one place (i.e. on another website), then your search engine rankings could be impacted. This converts into a loss of website traffic for your business.
Using software that simply spins web content into a slightly new shape is also an SEO no-no. When used, your website could end up being pushed to the back of SERPs.
Instead of giving into the temptation of copying a competitor’s content or using a computer program to complete article spinning, hire a copywriter. We know how to best compose engaging, helpful information that search engines will like – using original words only.
ignoring website ANALYTICS
Properly optimizing your site takes time and a lot of effort. The only way to know that your SEO efforts are paying off is by reviewing your web analytics regularly.
Google Analytics is a popular free website analytic tool that provides insight about a website. Everything from the number of users and their session durations to the pages that are most popular and their bounce rates is presented. For additional insight, various customizable reports are available.
The information gleaned from analytic tools can be used to improve your marketing strategy so that you can better reach your target audience.
The Importance of Avoiding SEO Mistakes
Every effective marketing strategy needs a strong SEO strategy. Without one, your business could be missing out on website traffic, sales and overall success.
Need assistance with your SEO strategy? We’re always happy to help.