Search engine optimization or SEO is an important strategy for marketers to help them improve the visibility of a website on a search engine results page (SERP). Without SEO your website content would not reach your target audience. SEO also helps your website become more trustworthy and credible. It can improve brand awareness and drive more traffic to your website.
SEO can often seem challenging and time consuming. In addition, making certain mistakes can make this process more difficult and negatively impact your website. This can cost more time and customers to fix these mistakes. Which is why it’s important to be aware of certain errors you might make in your SEO strategy to successfully avoid them. These mistakes can sometimes lead to search engine penalties costing you your position on the search results page. In this article we will discuss some common SEO mistakes to avoid and watch out for.
Here are some of the mistakes you need to steer clear of.
Not doing a proper keyword research
Keywords are the search terms your audiences are looking for. Based on these keywords your website would appear to your audience. Hence, it is important to use relevant keywords so that your content is displayed to your audience who are looking for it. Keyword research is a basic first step for an SEO strategy. You need to ensure that your website content is optimized with the right keywords. This research should be conducted thoroughly with your audience’s intent in mind.
Many times, marketers use only generic keywords which are highly competitive. You need to ensure that you use enough variations of keywords that are relevant to your products or services. Use different keywords that are specific and detailed. Moreover, long-tailed keywords are also useful to help you answer the audience’s questions. When your content is optimized with the right keywords, Google can determine the purpose of your content and present it to the audience looking for it. Hence, it is important to spend time conducting proper and in-depth keyword research.
Linking to low-quality websites
Link building is an important element of SEO which helps marketers to improve their website ranking. It is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from another website to your own. With link building websites can build authority and trust. When Google’s search algorithm looks at all the sources that are referencing a website it determines that the website is trustworthy. This improves the ranking of that website. Similarly, when you link to another website Google determines that you have covered all topics in your content, and it is credible.
However, the domain ranking of other websites also impacts your rankings. Which is why you have to ensure that you link to quality websites that have a high domain ranking. To get successful results from link building it is important to get links from credible websites. Websites with low quality will impact your ranking negatively.
Not adding internal links
Internal links are hyperlinks that link one page of a domain to another page in the same domain. These links help your users navigate from one page on your website to another. Internal linking helps in improving your ranking. It can make content on your website easily crawlable by Google. Not having internal links on your website can sometimes make it difficult for search engines to crawl and index pages. If search engines are unable to index your content, then it might not appear in the search results page.
Hence, internal linking ensures that search engines easily index all your website pages and subsequently improve your ranking. It is always a good practice to include internal links so that your rankings are not affected.
Not checking for broken links
Broken links are links on your website that do not work. They can negatively impact the quality of your website. If users click on these links it leads them to dead-end 404 errors. This results in a bad user experience. Moreover, if you have many 404 errors Google thinks that your website has some quality issues. Pages that no longer exist but still have active URLs can be redirected to relevant and new pages that are functional. Broken links can mess with the rankings of your website. Hence, you should run a check for broken links. Tools like Google Analytics can help you look for pages with 404 errors.
Not optimizing your local presence
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your online presence to attract an audience within a city or region that your business operates in. People use various search engines like Google, Bing or Yelp to look for a local business. By using local SEO, you ensure that your target audience is aware of your brand. It also makes it easier for your customers to find the right information about you like phone number or address.
Add your name, phone number and address on local directories so that Google can determine you are a legit business. Create a Google My Business account and add your business or claim it. You can optimize this account further by adding useful information like your location, products, operation hours and more. This can help your business become more visible to your potential customers.
Want to kick start your local SEO efforts? Here are some strategies to help you get started with local SEO.
Writing poor quality content
The content you publish on your website is what attracts users. Consumers are looking for useful and relevant content that can help them solve a problem. Hence, you need to put out content that is original and accurate. Copying content from other websites can bring down the quality of your content. This definitely affects your rankings as you are not seen as a credible source of information. Ensure that you do your research on a particular topic and put out information that is fresh, original and relevant to your audience.
Not having unique page titles and meta descriptions
Title tags and meta descriptions are important to your on-page SEO. Both these elements help search engines determine what your content is about. Having multiple pages with similar titles and descriptions will make it difficult for search engines to identify which page is relevant for a keyword. This leads to what is known as keyword cannibalization. Which means multiple pages on your website compete for the same keywords and negatively impact each other’s rankings.
Monitoring your website for duplicate titles and meta descriptions is a good practice. There are tools that can help you do that. Or you can also take help from a web developer to set unique page titles and meta descriptions.
Not optimizing for mobile devices
Consumers often use their mobile devices to run searches. If your website is not optimized for mobile devices, it will have a negative impact on user experience. People will end up leaving your website without engaging. Google and other search engines can determine that your website is not mobile-friendly.
Google uses mobile-first indexing, which means that it crawls the web using a smartphone Googlebot. Previously, Google used the desktop version of a page when evaluating the relevancy of its content to a search query. Now, as the majority uses mobile devices to run searches on Google, Googlebot primarily crawls and indexes pages using a smartphone Googlebot. Optimizing for mobile devices can create good user experience as well as help you gain higher positions on search results pages.
Not tracking your SEO efforts
Any marketing strategy requires analytics and data to prove its results. For a successful SEO strategy, you need to track the results to ensure that you are going in the right direction. Measuring your results can help you make significant changes and improvements to your SEO efforts.
Not sure how to track the performance of your SEO efforts? Here are 10 metrics to help you measure your SEO success.
Now that you are aware of the mistakes you could potentially end up making, you create a successful SEO strategy for your business. This can help you save a lot of time and efforts you would spend correcting these mistakes. It also protects you from penalties that Google imposes like in the case of plagiarism. Avoiding these common mistakes can ensure that your website has visibility and is seen as a credible source of information.
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