Search Engine Optimization is not an exact science and it is surrounded by many myths and misleading or simply wrong information. Working with the wrong company or following bad advice is not only a colossal waste of time and money, but it can result in an imposed penalty or a ban from search engines. Here are the most common SEO mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Page Load-Time
How can page load-time have anything to do with SEO? After all, page loading happens well after your site got ranked by the search engine. Does Google know how fast your site loads before a user clicks into it? Yes, Ofcourse. For some time, Google’s ranking algorithms have been taking into account how fast your pages load. The faster the load time, the better your ranking will be. If your pages load slowly, the most likely culprit is oversized imaged. Get your photo file size under control and your site’s load-time will improve greatly. Increasing your site’s speed is kind of a win-win. You get to delight your customers and prospects with great web experience and enjoy the benefits of improved SEO.
2. Choosing Keywords without Research
One common mistake made with SEO strategies is to focus on nonstrategic keywords. Many companies waste time and resources by targeting keywords that they mistakenly think people are searching for or choosing keywords that are too competitive to rank for successfully. An SEO expert can select keywords that will generate the most searches with the least competition. They can also look for keyword synonyms, competitor brands and related topics that your customers may be researching.
3. Social Media Presence
Many small business owners set up a Facebook page and Twitter account, then forget all about them. Neglected social media accounts can actually do more harm than good. Prospects and customers click and see what you haven’t posted anything, and they aren’t impressed. Promoting your business through social media should be a major part of your marketing approach. Social media interaction has become a very high-priority factor for search engines, used to indicate how well your business engages with its customers. The better your engagement, the better your ranking will be.
4. Low Quality Content
The single goal of search engines is to help people find quality and relevant information quickly, and search engines are becoming increasingly more effective at filtering poor content from their search results. A common mistake is to purchase low-quality content just for the sake of having content. It won’t help you improve your search rankings, especially if your competitors’ content is superior. If you want people to find your website, you need to invest time and money to produce quality content that will inform, educate and even entertain your prospects.
5. Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is content that appears in more than one place on the Internet. Having duplicate content on your website is bad for SEO and could get your content excluded from search results entirely. Search engines rarely show duplicate content, and when it appears, they must determine the original source of the piece. As a rule of thumb, be sure that all your content is unique and original; don’t reuse the same content on different areas of your website. Your web developer can help ensure that you don’t have duplicate content and can set up “canonical” tags to resolve any duplicate content issues.
6. Failing to Update Your SEO
Even the most minor attention to SEO can make a notable difference in website sales performance. Unfortunately, that fact has made many small business owners complacent about keeping their SEO up to date. Some site owners implement basic keyword tactics, immediately see increased traffic and conversions, and assume they have permanently completed their SEO task. If that sounds like you, then you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. Seeing a spike in sales after your first SEO overhaul is a great sign, but if you look at your sales numbers over time, it’s probably just that—a spike. To maintain consistently high performance from your site, you have to regularly refresh your SEO. That means first measuring your site’s performance, then focusing your efforts where they will do the most good. There are numerous ways to track your site’s effectiveness. You can get stats on how many visitors typed in your URL or clicked a bookmark. There are data about referral traffic and info detailing user’s queries that resulted in traffic from various search engines.
Don’t Let Common Mistakes Hurt Your SEO
If you rely on your online presence to generate business, implementing a solid SEO strategy needs to be a top priority. Search engines are the gatekeepers of web traffic. Failing to satisfy the demands of their complex algorithms means your website will be penalized with reduced traffic.
Putting SEO low on your To Do list, flubbing your keyword usage, missing the mark when it comes to on-site and off-site optimization—these are all common, but avoidable, SEO mistakes.
There’s no reason to limp along with low search results rankings. If you come up with a strong SEO strategy and keep it current, you’re sure to get more website visitors, and that means increased sales for your business. Are you regularly taking care of your SEO?