A well thought out search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is a must in today’s competitive online landscape. If your strategy is sound, and your patient, it can go a long way in helping your keywords rank better and help improve organic site traffic. That said if it’s not sound, poor SEO could be costing your organization money – both in terms of a wasted investment but also from lost opportunities.
While erring is human, there are certainly mistakes that can be avoided. In an earlier post on SEO mistakes, we shared some mistakes that are important to avoid. To recap, they were:
- Failing to research effective keywords
- Not using your keywords the right way
- Ignoring Meta titles and descriptions
- Failing to design with mobile devices in mind
- A lack of internal site linking
- Ignoring data
Piggy-backing on this list, here are six (more) SEO mistakes that are worth avoiding:
Mistake 1 – Poor or Duplicate Content
Low-quality content, including machine generated content, is easily spotted by Google algorithms. Avoid copying content from other sources or duplicating content across pages. Good content on your website should be unique and useful to the reader while establishing you as an expert in your industry. Make sure that you don’t just copy your ‘About Us’ page copy and paste it into all of your online company profiles. Be unique at all your properties while telling your story.
Yes, keywords are important. But Google also considers quality. So, keep this in mind as you fill your website with fresh, relevant content. Bottom line, write your content for people not algorithms and you should be safe.
Another content mistake is not putting enough of it on the page. While there are no hard and fast rules for copy length, you should likely have at least 150 – 200 words or more for each product or solution page, as well as the homepage. If you need more then use more, but copy (along with other important SEO on page elements) is what tells Google and other search engines what the page is all about.
Mistake 2 – Overusing (or Stuffing) Keywords
Don’t overuse your keywords when writing copy. Use them as needed and you should be fine, but today’s SEO landscape doesn’t award your site for the most mentions of a keyword, and in fact, Google will likely penalize you for overuse.
Too many keywords, or irrelevant keywords, make your content hard to read, distracting, and uninformative. If that’s the case, users will come and go quickly which can impact your rankings – think bounce rate.
Focus your energy on filling a page with creative, compelling content. Stick to SEO best practices for using keywords. When your user benefits, so will you.
Mistake 3 – Link Manipulation
Link Manipulation is a big “No-No” according to Google. If you’re caught manipulating outbound links, or links headed to your site, you’re violating their rules. Link manipulation can include buying links, using link-building tools, excessive cross-linking, link wheels, or hidden redirects.
Penalties can hurt your visibility and significantly reduce your organic traffic. Stick to the rules and avoid link manipulation at all costs. The best way to build links is organically. If your content is good enough, you’ll find you can build links naturally and without too much hassle.
Mistake 4 – Duplicate Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Many company websites may list their company name as the title tag for each page, and while it’s okay to do, don’t lead with your company name. Title tags can include the company name, but it should be proceeded by a keyword explaining the page.
Each title tag should be unique to the page. Not only for SEO purposes, but it’s also helpful when someone shares a page on social media or bookmarks your website for reference.
Title Tag Example: SEO (Search Engine Optimization) | Digital Marketing Agency Portland | Digital C4
Meta descriptions should also be unique. You have 170 characters for your sales pitch, so use them wisely. They should be persuasive and give the user quick information.
Meta Description Example: Portland agency Digital C4 can help your visibility in search results and improve your conversions through organic channels. Contact us for help with SEO.
Mistake 5 – Failing to Optimize Dynamic Content Additions to Your Site
The most important thing an organization can do to help with search visibility is add fresh content to their website, but often times they do so without optimizing it first. In fact, we see many organizations that are engaged with an SEO agency that have optimized websites and yet still lack optimization for press releases or blog posts.
Press releases and blog posts tend to get added to a site quickly and often times they don’t ask their SEO agency for help first. Our clients send along this content to us as part of their review process. We provide SEO recommendations with a quick turnaround and the content goes live optimized. We call this GapSEO™. Some of the recommendations we might make include:
- Keyword use in the title
- Link recommendations
- Keyword use in the body copy
- Meta data recommendations
- Social media recommendations (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)
Mistake 6 – Letting Your SEO Go Stale
Once your website is optimized, it’s good to step back and take a deep breath. But really, you’re just getting started.
You need to dive into analytics and see how your site is performing over the next few months. Are impressions improving? How about clicks to your site? What about keyword rankings and organic traffic improvements?
It’s important to revisit your keyword list. We recommend every six months or so (give or take) and make sure that they are still relevant. It might be time to adjust your list and seek variations to optimize around. User intent shifts as people evolve in how they use the internet; they change the way they search and how they engage with Google, just as Google changes the way it provides results.
Making SEO adjustments to your site and testing is just like every other marketing tactic you use. It’s never okay to rest on your laurels. Test, measure, adjust, repeat!
Are SEO mistakes costing your business organic traffic and leads? Don’t let these common mistakes cost you. Let us provide you with a complementary SEO audit. We can identify where you can make (often simple) SEO adjustments to improve the performance of your website. Call or contact us today!