SEO Tutorial Series – Top 10 SEO Mistakes To Avoid
SEO Tutorial SeriesThis SEO Tutorial will help you hone your search engine optimization (SEO) techniques helping to increase website traffic dramatically. It’s common knowledge at this point. However, if done hastily or improperly, attempts to optimize your site can actually work against you. Here are some common mistakes in SEO strategies that you will want to make certain to avoid.
1. Using the Wrong KeywordsMost site owners just try to incorporate keywords that are related to their specific products. But what they should be doing is using targeted keywords that their audience is searching for. Long-tail keywords work the best – they are more specific, and have less competition than general keywords. So finding the best keywords is, well, key.
2. Leaving Out Product ReviewsProduct reviews are a great way to convert visitors into customers. About 61% of consumers read reviews before they make a purchase, so having reviews readily available on your website can help. In addition, product reviews qualify as fresh content, which can give you the chance to rank for a brand new set of keywords.
3. Using Long and Non-Descriptive URLsURLs help you rank in search engine results too. Keywords found within them help search engines and users to understand what your page is actually about. Instead of utilizing this advantage, some sites use long URLs containing numbers and random letters, especially if the website has a lot of pages. Try to invest time in coming up with short and simple but specific URLs. This will help your rankings, your customers, and your website as a whole.
4. Ignoring ImagesImages add to the quality of an individual blog post and your website in general. But did you know that search engines, including Google, can’t recognize them? They only read HTML (text). So what about your images? They need some HTML associated with them in order to be recognized properly. You can accomplish this with “alt tags,” which are attributes of image tags. Simply put, the alt tag is text that describes the image. If the image can’t load, this text will appear. It will add to the text the search engine is reading. However, you don’t need to optimize this tag for keywords, unless those keywords relate to the image itself; you may cause hiccups otherwise. Instead, stick to descriptive and natural alt tags.
5. Lacking Internal LinksOne thing that Google likes to see is content that links to other high-quality content. Consider both the anchor text and content being linked to. Anchor text is the word or phrase that you are applying the link to. Make sure it’s relevant to your keywords (and what you’re linking to), and avoid using the same words as anchor text over and over again. Also, check that you are linking to high-quality content, as low-quality content may do more harm than good.
6. Ignoring Site SecurityHaving security encryption on your website protects your customers’ information if they purchase something from you. It will also protect your website from being hacked. This provides peace of mind for your customers, and keeps you from losing them. Protecting their private information is definitely one of their minimum expectations. But did you know it can also boost your search rankings? Google ranks websites that are relevant, accurate, and safe above all others, and you will want to match that criteria to the best of your abilities. Protect your website, and your customers, with HTTPS and an SSL certificate.
7. Setting Up Multiple WebsitesSome businesses set up multiple websites to cover different aspects of their business – for example, different types of product lines. However, this strategy is not recommended, for several reasons:
- This strategy could result in thin or duplicate content. If your products are all related, you might be posting very similar or duplicate content on each site. Duplicate content can confuse your visitors as well as Google.
- If the same company name appears on all your websites, or even the same address or phone number, this will lead to confusion for the search engines, which will in turn lead to poor rankings.
- Google and other search engines may see you as deceiving your customers.
8. Being Too ImpatientFinding success with SEO takes time. Be aware when you start out that this will not be an overnight success, and it will require time and effort. Many businesses give up on SEO after they fail to see success. Make sure you have the time and resources to go about it the right way.
9. Taking It Easy Once Achieving a Desirable PositionSometimes, when one of your keywords converts and ranks well, it’s easy to let out that breath you’ve been holding and relax a little bit. However, this is not time to relax thinking the hard part is over; this is the time to defend that position as best you can and consistently reinforce it. Produce more related content and optimize your efforts.
10. Relying on SEO Too MuchIt’s important to have several strategies that are all helping to optimize your website. SEO is important, but it shouldn’t be your entire focus. If you’re only focused on SEO, you could find yourself obsessing over your rankings, instead of working on your website and your business. Implement other strategies to help you along, such as email marketing and social media. One other thing to consider: Google (and other search engines) may consider your social signals, which are a page’s shares, likes, and other signs of social visibility, when ranking your website. Increasing your social media promotion will impact your SEO, while also providing another avenue with which you can convert customers.
SEO can greatly impact your website and your business, but only if you avoid the pitfalls. You should develop a set of effective practices that work for your specific website, keep up-to-date with Google’s ever-changing algorithms the best you can, and continually adapt. This will set you and your business up for long-lasting success.
If you liked this SEO Tutorial, here are a few more links you may find interesting:
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Mike has been programming, marketing and working in all phases of IT and security since early 1980. Having started and successfully managed many business ventures, he attributes his accomplishments to an honest desire to help people succeed and that attitude is reflected in the values of every member of the CourseVector team! [Read Full Bio]