Common SEO Mistakes | How to Kill a Great Website with Bad Search Engine Optimization
Common SEO Mistakes | Not getting the search traffic you were hoping for? With the many updates and innovations Google has done in the last years, you just can’t afford to make mistakes. They will cost you traffic and, of course, money.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is about helping Google index your website correctly so that Google serves up your content in searches that are relevant. Most businesses know the importance of implementing SEO tactics into their overall marketing strategy. However, many small business owners still think that there is a one size fits all SEO program, and by simply copying the same tactics as their competitors they will see an instant improvement in their companies’ search rankings.
Creating a tailored SEO strategy customized for a specific company’s profile, goals, and budget can mean the difference between first page results and search engine oblivion. This is especially true for small businesses. The good news is we’ve all been there. SEO is one of those tactics that you can implement in a few weeks, but it takes time to master it, so you can compete for high-traffic words and phrases. In many cases, all you have to do is fix a few simple mistakes to start getting some results. Here are the 4 most common SEO mistakes we’ve seen, as well as advice on how to fix them.
Duplicate versions of the home page | Common SEO Mistakes
Duplicate content can be defined as having the same content, or almost the same content, appear on two different URLs. The engines will usually figure out which version to index, but sometimes they get it wrong – and why make them think if they don’t have to? If you make your good content really hard to find, then Google can’t crawl, index, and rank your content. If Google finds problems when indexing your website you’ll see them in Google Webmaster tools. Installing Google webmaster tools is a very straightforward process. When it’s installed, you’ll find out what content is indexed, issues with server errors, title tags, crawl errors and much more.
Un-optimized title tags | Common SEO Mistakes
This should be a no-brainer, but we see a lot of websites where the title tag is something like “Home”, “Brand Name”, “Home Page” or some combination of those. It still surprises us when we see websites that have their company or website name as the title for every page throughout their website. It’s such a damaging mistake. Page titles should be unique and reflect the content of the page so that a search engine crawler can index it the right way. It tells a visitor that your content is relevant to what they’re looking for, and it makes sense and looks click-worthy in social website posts.
Choosing Poor Keywords | Common SEO Mistakes
Once you’ve built your website or blog, you’ll need to populate your pages with words that not only suit the purpose of your site and match the products you sell, they should also be the words that reflect what people actually type into search engines. Billions of searches are conducted each day on popular search engines and social networking websites by people all around the world. At times there is too much competition for keywords you want to rank on. Do your pages use the words people search for? If not, users won’t be able to find your website. Even if you nail every other aspect of your marketing strategy, choosing the wrong keywords will set you up for failure.
Irrelevant anchor text links | Common SEO Mistakes
Have you ever seen links in the body of a web page for “click here” and other generic text? From the SEO perspective, it’s a waste. Creating your anchor text links to include keywords that you want to rank for can be tedious, and you’ll have to change the pattern of anchor text so as to not attract suspicion from Google – but it’s something that you should definitely get into the habit of. Optimizing your anchor text is important, but don’t use the same anchor text for every link to a page. It looks funny to visitors, and some people say it can also hurt you with search engines, because it looks like you’re trying to “game” them.
If your website is not ranking high in Google, make sure you are not doing the mistakes we have mentioned above. Making your site crawlable, including the appropriate words on your pages, improving your titles and descriptions, and making use of the free web sources are just basic ways you can improve your SEO and user experience.