Every website needs search engine optimization at some point – if not always. While the importance of SEO is steadily becoming more mainstream, it is easy to fall victim to some common SEO mistakes. Some mistakes are more obvious than others. Let’s have a look at some of those SEO mistakes to avoid in your website content.
1. Keyword stuffing
A keyword in SEO is a term or phrase added to content written online in order to help the web page rank higher in search engine results. Keywords will vary depending on the business or the page they appear on a website and when used well could make a website rank quite high in search engine results.
The problem comes in when someone spams the entire website or a specific web page with the keyword they want to be found for. Essentially, the writer just repeats that keyword several times, or at every single opportunity, they get in an effort to make the website rank higher. That is what keyword stuffing means and it could instead get your website penalized. These days, search engine algorithms check if the content would actually be helpful to the end-user. Keywords still have significance but only if used correctly.
2. Focusing on tactics instead of having strategies.
Let me start with an example: We’ve all seen a promotion being run somewhere and when you try out your luck you are told to first like their Facebook or Instagram pages, then share a post with their friends, and maybe you will win. Of course, yes, someone will win, But what about the rest who ended up following that page just to try their luck and didn’t win? How often do they continue engaging with future posts by commenting, sharing, or liking? Such promotions are tactics that can get the business a spike in traffic for a few days but after that, it just flattens out again.
Tactics are short term while strategies are long term. When doing SEO, its best to think of long term goals just as you do with your business. Tactics should be part of your longterm SEO strategy.
3. Not knowing which performance metrics to measure
If you have a website, you should check its performance. The most popular analytics tool is Google Analytics. Depending on the maturity of your business and website, those performance metrics will change. For example, suppose you are just starting out, you do not place so much emphasis on closing sales through the website. At that stage, its more favorable to take note of the number of website visitors and how they are arriving at your website. This will give you an idea of whether your popularity is stagnant or increasing and how to structure your future digital marketing campaigns. If your website visitors are arriving through social media, then social media ads will be a viable way to increase sales.
If the website is much older, then it makes sense to expect it to be generating more sales as it did in the beginning. At this point, the bounce rate could be a major problem if the numbers are too high. Why? Because it means people are leaving your website much sooner than you’d like them too and therefore not closing sales. Generally, you need to be able to gauge where your website is and check the relevant metrics.
4. Having no interest in web design.
Search engine optimization is directly related to website design. Think about it, how often have you landed on a ‘poorly designed’ website and decided to stick around to read through their content? Most likely you don’t and neither does anyone else. Therefore, websites with good content also need to look good and function as they should. If you are conducting SEO on your website or assign someone to do it for you, be ready that to achieve some goals would need the website to be redesigned.
To be clear, I don’t mean that search engine optimizers and digital marketers should know everything to do with website design. The idea is that they should at least be familiar with the terminologies and how specific components are handled by browsers. It also helps if the web designer also has some knowledge about SEO. That way, the best SEO practices are met starting right from the design process to making sales through the website.
5. Not having a plan
SEO is not set in stone. It is a continuous process. It can also become overwhelming especially for websites with a lot of content. To avoid burn out and boredom, come up with a plan. Which page are you optimizing, when, and why. If you are writing blogs, have a structure of your blog categories to avoid having categories with only one or two posts when others have ten.