It’s easy to underestimate the importance of SEO, but even easier to make simple mistakes without even thinking. You probably won’t even realize you’ve made them until you notice that your website isn’t ranking highly on search engines. However, SEO mistakes can be costly, losing you valuable web traffic, which is why it can be beneficial to hire professional SEO services.
In this article, we’ll talk you through the five most common SEO mistakes – and more importantly, how to avoid making them.
Mistake #1: Trying to rank for the wrong keywords
One of the biggest things that Google looks for with its algorithms is keywords. If you want your website to get noticed, you need to ensure that you’re using the right keywords on each page of your website.
The biggest mistake that businesses make with their keywords is being too generic. For example, if a small dog grooming company simply targets the keyword “dog groomer”, they may experience limited success. However, if they target “dog groomer Sleaford” or “dog groomer for aggressive dogs”, they will find that success would come much more easily, and the customers that these keywords attract will be more likely to convert as well.
The longer and more specific that you can make your keywords, the more chance you’ll have of being ranked on the first page of Google. These long-tail keywords will usually have lower search volumes, but the quality of lead that you get from them will typically be far higher, meaning that you’ll enjoy higher conversion rates.
Mistake #2: Neglecting your content strategy
Publishing regular content to your website is one of the most effective ways to improve your search engine rankings organically as it allows you to target several keywords at once, in a very natural way. However, many businesses push content down their priority list in favor of other tasks.
If you don’t put the content out there, Google won’t even consider ranking your website. That’s why you should focus on producing high-quality content which answers the most burning questions that your customers have. By answering their questions, Google will realize that you are an expert on the topic and begin presenting your content as the answer to those questions.
The content that you produce should be at least 300 words in length (although longer is always better) and be easy for your visitors to read. This means making use of subheadings, along with including images, tables, bullet points, and other design features which enhance your content.
Mistake #3: Forgetting the need for speed
When you’re looking at SEO, it can be easy to focus on the keywords and forget the more technical aspects such as the speed of your website. However, site speed is critical when it comes to ranking highly on Google and other search engines. In fact, it’s set to become an even bigger factor in SEO with the rollout of Google’s new Page Experience ranking factor which is currently being rolled out.
One way to quickly improve the speed of your website is by optimizing your images. Many websites contain large images which take a long time to load, increasing the load time of your website. By reducing the size of these images, you can improve the speed of your website.
If your website is built on WordPress, it’s also worth reviewing your plugins. Although plugins are one of the most exciting features of a WordPress website, they also increase the load speed of your site. Whilst a handful of plugins won’t make much difference, if you have lots of active plugins that aren’t even being used, you can help to increase the speed of your site by removing the disused plugins.
Mistake #4: Underestimating the importance of metadata
Metadata is the thing that tells Google what your page is about, so it’s important to make sure that you complete it properly. It’s also the entry that will appear on the search engine results page when your website ranks, so you can use it as an opportunity to reel your potential customer in.
Your metadata consists of the meta title, meta description, and URL slug, and each aspect will need careful thought and consideration.
The meta title is an important ranking factor for Google, so it’s important to get it right. You should try to place the primary keyword at the start of the title if possible and ensure that it isn’t too long so that it doesn’t get cut off.
Your meta description isn’t as important for SEO but it does give the searcher a valuable insight into what your content contains so it shouldn’t be overlooked. Optimizing your meta descriptions will help to improve your click-through rate, increasing your web traffic, and winning you valuable leads.
Mistake #5: Letting them getaway
Finally, the fifth mistake that businesses make with their SEO is to let their readers getaway. Once you’ve captured a potential customer on your website, the worst possible thing you can do is to let them leave as this will increase your bounce back score. So, you need to give them a reason to stay.
The best way to encourage your visitors to click through is to create a compelling call-to-action that they can’t help but click on. This will offer an action to your reader, such as ‘learn more’, ‘book a call’, ‘sign up’ or ‘buy now’.
It’s also a good idea to add internal links to your content. This will help your visitors to find other relevant information on your website, whilst also signifying to Google that the pages are related to each other, boosting your search engine rankings.
To sum up
SEO is critical to the success of any website, but there are five SEO mistakes that you just can’t afford to make. By putting time and effort into your SEO and avoiding these five mistakes, you can boost your search engine rankings and increase the visibility of your website.