Investing in a website, online shop or a blog is definitely a good move for any business. It is a very effective tool to grow your email list and your leads from your website, for both business to business and business to consumer.
However your investment will not yield results if nobody sees your website. In order to reach your goals you need to rank in the first page of Google so that you bring the right traffic to your website. If you do not optimise your website and blog, your investment will not bear fruit.
Here are 10 mistakes we often see and have to correct on new SEO projects we start working on...
The most common SEO mistake - keyword stuffing
In order to be ranked in google for a certain keyword, your page must speak about this keyword. If you want to be in the top Google results for the keyword “Red shoes” you must speak and show red shoes on your page. If you write that you have shoes in many colors, it will not be enough to rank for ‘red shoes’. You have to specifically mention that you have ‘red shoes’ in order to show up in search engines specifically for “red shoes”.
You want to have the words ‘red’ and ‘shoes‘ a few times on your page.
That said, many times it gets misunderstood and some tend to write it too many times in order to make sure Google get’s it ( or in order to try to trick it) to get better ranking.
The best search engines like Google had to create an algorithm and filters to avoid showing pages stuffed with keywords instead of those that have real high-value content.
Mention your keywords, speak about what you are selling, but don’t overdo it.
Google’s job is to serve people with the best result for their search term. You need to make sure people see your website, blog or page as the best answer to the query you are optimising for. The human element is key. As we are all also consumers we are all happy that Google filters the information on your site. Putting more effort into ranking a page is great but we should focus on making our website visitors happy.
Same content on different pages - another SEO mistake to avoid
Sometimes companies feel the pressure. They need to produce a lot of content and can end up running out of ideas. This sometimes results in a lot of repeated content. Some may be intentionally repurposed, others get stuck in a lot of similar content about the same topics.
This needs to be avoided. It is important that your pages are unique and varied. Every page and blog post needs to have a different topic, a different keyword and also provide great value to your readers. This is a problem that is addressed at the planning stage. In fact, even if you write your content in-house, seeking a professional to help you produce a plan is key to your success.
Unique content is going to make you more valuable in the eyes of Google and also your website visitors. Google will visit your first page and then ignore the other pages that have very similar content. Search engines will ignore your website as soon as they see that you have pasted content from other websites.
Static content - no updates are another common mistake
In order for Google to visit your website regularly, you need to grow your content and keep your blog updated with fresh content regularly.
Even your website pages, which are often considered complete and never changed could be rigging your SEO performance. These pages need to be refreshed too. Text can always be enhanced and refreshed, perhaps with new terms entering your industry. Your pages should also be linked and naturally connected to other content on your website, such as your blog posts. A regular refresh will make sure that your pages are properly interlinked and more naturally connected to the topics your website is evolving towards.
Your pages also need to be refreshed from a technology perspective. Make sure your pages are mobile-friendly and contain no flash or other outdated technology. For example make sure to replace old animation with Html5 and CSS alternatives and update your code whenever possible to match current standards.
Content without a plan is a bad idea for SEO
The way you group your content helps Google classify and understand your website topics better. This means that if you just produce your content weekly or on the fly and don’t have an overall plan, you could be rigging your chances of ranking for your posts.
You need to plan your website structure and your blog structure in a way that complements your SEO strategy and the terms you are trying to rank for. The way you group your content into categories and subcategories will help Google classify it. Your website structure needs to be built on the results of your keyword research and therefore it is ideal that you first work with a professional to find your keywords through research and competitor analysis and then start planning your website.
Using the wrong keywords
This is a problem that afflicts every industry. We are all blind to our own industry term-difficulty.
As professionals we often use terms, acronyms and expressions that the average person in the street may not know. This means that often our customers are likely looking for our products or services using terms that are much simpler and less precise than a professional would use. For example: If you’re in the advertising industry you may be tempted to optimise for industry terms like ‘audiovisual services’ and ‘branding’ however some keyword research may show you that your audience is looking for different terms such as ‘logo design’ and ‘television advert’, ‘facebook video’ etc.
As a professional you will definitely use different words to your potential customers, because they will have a different perspective and in some cases misconceptions. You need to find out what they’re really looking for in order to get them to visit your website. Being on top of Google for keywords nobody is using, is a complete waste of money.
Creating your website first and then attempting to SEO it
The reasons are probably clear by now. Creating your website before you hire an SEO professional is a bad idea. If you create your website first, chances are you will need to change your structure, your page content and also your technology. This means that you will have to incur a lot of expenses again to update your website and bring it up the SEO standards required to rank in Google. It is usually much cheaper to create an SEO-ready website from scratch so if you’re still in time, do not create your website before speaking to an SEO professional to get your keyword research done. (If this is you we can help you, click here to schedule your free consultation with a specialist right away). Your SEO strategy needs to come first because you need to build or adjust your website based on a keyword-validated strategy.
At FairTech we meet with your webmaster to make sure your new website is SEO-ready. When you plan your website well and take decisions based on SEO advice, you will save a lot of time and money in the future.
Lack of regular content is bad for SEO
If you create content and then abandon it from time to time, it will give Google the signal that you have outdated pages and don’t keep your website as fresh as you could. This will make Google rank you lower. If you started off creating content and then stopped, Google will rank you worse than if you never had regular content at all. Regularity is key to your reputation with Google so make sure you have sure-fire systems to keep your content growing.
Lack of SEO performance monitoring
Monitoring will show you what is working and especially what isn’t. You need to monitor to understand how Google is interpreting your SEO signals. With SEO there is no one-size-fits-all. Your competitor’s behaviour and changes in Google vis-a-vis the tech you’re using will affect your rankings from time to time. Monitoring is key.
You need to monitor so that you know how to finetune your SEO to get better results. You can start off with minimal monitoring. Keep an eye on the amount of visitors coming to your website, how many are converting to business leads, how many of those leads become sales opportunities and how many become clients. You also want to look at the lifetime value of your clients so that over time you can understand which ones you need to get more of in order to grow your business.
Skipping Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Some people see this as basic stuff. But the basic stuff is also the stuff you cannot ignore if you want to have a chance of ranking. Never skip your Title Tags and Meta Descriptions. Your website should allow you to enter these for every different page. If it isn’t, you will have a problem ranking. Google needs to know what your page is about and this is the best place to provide a explanation.
Make your description is attractive because people will see this in your Google results. This is that part of your page that will make people decide whether to click on your link or someone else’s in Google search results. So make sure it describes you well, and says what your page is about. Make it as attractive as possible.
Missing Inbound links. Who’s linking to your website?
Inbound links from other other websites to yours will bring you potential clients. As other websites will most of the time make sure that links added to their website are really about a related topic and it adds value for their readers, Google uses this as a reference and takes advantage of the human control of the link. It’s important to rank you in Google, however one thing which is more important and often overlooked is the reputation of the website you are linking from.
These inbound links must come from websites with a good reputation with Google. It must also be connected to your industry and ideally speak about topics that you tackle on your website as well. Usually, the best links are the ones that are difficult to get. It is much better to spend a long time getting high-quality links than creating many low quality ones because these will bring down your ranking instead of boosting it.
Following these 10 tips is going to help you get set-up with a strong basis to make your SEO work. Everyone knows that SEO is a long-term game and therefore it is a strategy that you need to include in your yearly marketing plan. So now that you know, make sure you have a yearly time allocation or financial budget for your website’s SEO.