Search engine optimisation (SEO) is one of the most powerful ways you can market your business website on-line, it has the power to increase site traffic and improve your coverage in the search engines. If executed perfectly, it would lead to increased volumes of leads, sales and customers.
SEO is a difficult skill to master and in the modern world of Google dominance, the science of SEO needs to be done correctly if you are to succeed and be ahead of the game. One big mistake and Google may penalise your website, possibly destroying your business in the process.
With Google continually changing its algorithm in search results, search engine professionals in the industry have to keep a close eye on the daily rumours, discussions and bulletins to be abreast with current trends. This blog looks at the common SEO mistakes that marketers don’t realise might be hindering them from being found on google search for their business.
- Keyword Stuffing (Being too keyword-centric)
Keyword stuffing refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords in an attempt to manipulate a website’s ranking in Google search results. Often these keywords appear in a list or group, or out of context (not as natural prose). Gone are the days, businesses were told to stuff their website content with as many keywords as possible. This would show Google that your website was about these topics and in turn your rankings would get a little boast. SEO today is very different ball game. Google’s algorithm has become too clever, recognising sneaking tactics and now websites with unnatural keyword densities are gifted with a Panda penalty. While keywords are still relevant to SEO, Google are searching for context and understanding, and so are your audience. Keyword stuffing is also associated with increased bounce rates on your website, with readers spending less time on your content pages just because they don’t make sense to their searches.
- Low quality content
Every digital professional is aware now ‘Content is King’. Search engines nowadays love fresh and good content that is relevant to your website and therefore businesses are putting a huge emphasis to produce regular content but the old ‘quality over quantity’ phrase has never been more prominent than ever. Just updating your website because you need to meet your blog post KPI’s or increase your web pages is a “Big No” and counterproductive. Google’s Panda will be paying your website a little visit and hitting you with a ranking penalty.
To have a copywriter check through thousands or millions of pages is a time consuming task and even then it’s hard to know whether the changes you make are to the right pages. It’s crucial to spend time creating helpful content that your audience will appreciate and make sure you proofread your content for spelling mistakes and poor use of grammar. Creating great and appealing content can be quite time consuming which is why most businesses are referring to content strategies and digital agencies for their SEO services currently.
- Neglect title tags at your own peril
Ask any search engine optimization professional and they will tell you that without a doubt one of the big 3 SEO must do is the title tag. Title tags are weighted as part of your overall SEO score and they provide a chance to plug particular keywords and your company name. A title tag is an HTML tag with text describing a specific web page but is not displayed on the actual webpage and therefore getting it right does go a long way.
The common mistakes involve using the same tags for different pages or putting the company name at the beginning of each tag. Title tags should be unique and representative of each web page and while it is perfectly fine to include the company brand in the title tag, much emphasis should go to the topic of the page.
4. Duplicate content
Duplicate content is content that appears on the Internet in more than one place. When there are multiple pieces of identical content on a webpage, it is difficult for search engines to decide which version is more relevant to a given search query. How does a search engine know which of your duplicate content to index?
To provide the best search experience, search engines will rarely show multiple duplicate pieces of content and thus, are forced to choose which version is most likely to be the original or best. Websites with duplicate content present, site owners suffer rankings and traffic losses, and search engines provide less relevant results.
5. Poor backlink profile
The main difference between good and bad backlinks is the quality of the website they are on. Sometimes bad backlinks are easy to find, sometimes you do have to check the website itself to see if and why the backlink can have a negative impact on your website. Inbound links are very much important as part of a websites ranking signal.
While it might be easier to get a large volume of links from link exchanges, low quality directories, these link building methods have become highly discouraged and will probably earn you a penalty from Google’s very strict Penguin. Best way is to focus on natural link opportunities.
6. Neglecting your Social Media presence.
Social Media is a great tool that has still not made much use in local SEO efforts. Apparently, your social media presence also affects your search engine rankings now. When a brand is able to get their social media page going in a big way, it will be a direct indicator of the rise in popularity of your business and therefore will generate more traffic for your website and bring a corresponding rise in its search rankings. One good thing about social media is, – it’s free and a powerful tool for businesses if used effectively to optimise their content.
7. Not updating business and contact information in local search listings
If you are listed on all the important local directories like Yelp and Google+ but you do not bother to update your information, this negligence will affect your business in the long run. All your web pages should contain up-to-date contact information of your business location, product information and services you offer without doubt. The consequences of not doing so may hit your credibility as a business and may lead to you dropping a few places in search engine results (the exact opposite of what you want with your local SEO efforts).
It is important that you seek the advice of a professional SEO company, to help guide you on the path towards dominating your competitors.
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