Common Mistakes in Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization, simply called SEO is the most critical aspect of online marketing you should be very concerned about. SEO drives more business than online advertisement. A recent study also reveal that despite the huge traffic generated by social networks, in 2017, search pulled more traffic that social.
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So, when you get your search engine optimization strategy right, you have a greater chance of succeeding online that your competitors whose strategy may not be as good as yours. So, optimizing your website for a stronger exposure is something every website owner should take very seriously. If you want to do this rightly, then it is crucial that you know and understand the most common mistakes people make in website optimization and you need to be properly guided to avoid these mistakes. Here in this post, we discuss the most common mistakes made in search engine optimization. But before then, let us look at what aspects of your website you should be optimizing.
Understanding Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a broad term used to describe the changes, modifications and configurations you make to your website to make it more search engine friendly and give it some more advantage to increase its visibility on search engines. Wikipedia defines in quite precisely as the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine's unpaid results—often referred to as "natural", "organic", or "earned" results. Generally speaking, there are two major categories of search engine optimization namely on-page optimization and off-page optimization.
On-page optimization (on-page SEO) refers to all measures that can be taken directly within the website in order to improve its position in the search rankings. On-Page optimization include SEO friendly urls, start your website title with a keyword, adding modifiers to a title (modifiers can help ranking for long tail keywords), Wrap Your Blog Post Title in an H1 Tag, use multimedia, use H2 tags with subheadings, drop keyword in first 100 words, use responsive website design, use outbound links, use internal links, boost your website speed, optimize your images by making them light and adding title and alternate tags to them, use social sharing buttons, post long content, improve on the dwell time on your website, write quality content, encourage commenting because sites with lots of comments seem to have an edge in search results, maximize organic click through, write content with focus on user intent/solving problems of users.
Off-page SEO do have great impact on a website's potential to rank very high in the search engines. Here are some of the top off-page techniques that add up to increase a site's position in search engine result pages: Creating Shareable Content, Influencer Outreach
If you have created any kind of content which is share worthy, then don’t hesitate to reach out influencers in your industry. Tell them to check your blog and ask for link backs from their blog. Make sure you get the links from relevant domains, Contribute as Guest Author, Social Media Engagement, Make use of “Do-Follow”, Directory Submission build quality back links, . Choose an effective directory and select a proper category. It takes quite some time to deliver good results, but these results stand out over a longer time period, Video Submission, Image Submission, Infographics Submission and Document Sharing.
Now you know what you should be doing to grow your website's visibility in the search engines. But how should you not do these things and what are the other things you should not do? That is the main focus of this post. Below are some of the mistakes you will endeavor not to do..
But before we speak of the things you should not do, it is good we warn that violating the rules of SEO can come with more punishment than failing to do it at all. When you engage in activities the search engines dislike, activities lie attempting to manipulate the search engines, you are likely to get a penalty which could be as severe as an outright deletion from the search engines.
1. Avoid the use of too much flash and scripts on the website
One popular mistake in SEO is the use of too many flash and other scripts in the website. Of course, it is a plus point if your website is appealing to the eye thus many website owners try to incorporate flash pages, which are not optimized for search engine to crawl. Since there is not enough content for search engine to index your first loading page, the spider will not be interested in your website. This will result to a very low page rank. If you really want to use flash in your website, it is recommended that you make up your flash page with some text and graphics that optimizes for the search engines.
2. Not maximizing the use of ALT tags for content and the images
This is one recommendation that should not be forgotten- the need to use the ALT tags. These tags are used to describe the images that are used in the pages. Try to incorporate these tags every time images are used in the website. And when writing these ALT tags for the images, the best SEO efforts means including some of the keywords in these tags.
Also read: Image Optimization for the Web
3. Keyword Stuffing
Keywords are considered as the foundation of search engine optimization. However, there are some who stuff their content with too many keywords. Over-stuffing and using too much keyword in the resource will not help. And when the spiders find out what you have been doing, then you are in trouble since the page ranking may be affected. Instead of keyword stuffing, a good strategy is writing good and informative resources that readers and internet users can really appreciate. At least by doing that, your site can get a return visit from the readers.
4. Content duplication
It is also a mistake to steal content from other websites. Take note that robots can distinguish an original content from those that are plagiarized. You need to come up with good yet informative content to entice your readers to come back. Therefore, plagiarizing content is not conducive to your page ranking.
5. Inappropriate Title
Your website title plays the most significant role in enhancing the visibility of your website and should be taken very seriously. Avoid titles like "home", "homepage" and simply using your "company name". Your page title should help define your area of interest, business and the keywords for which you want to rank highly.
6. Avoid link farm
A link farm is a website (or a group of websites) solely to increase the link popularity of another site by building and increasing incoming links to the site. Google takes this very seriously and will penalize your site for engaging in link farm. Because link building is a strong ranking factor, link farm which is an attempt to mislead or manipulate the search engines also come with heavy penalty which can include an outright ban.
7. Avoid creating content outside your keywords
Content is king, there is no doubt about that, but you do not just create content that are not related to the keywords for which you want to rank. This mistake is often made when you try to rank for more keywords and will eventually affect the quality of content published on your website. Your content building must be relevant to your business for it to rank high for the targeted keywords. Google wants to serve the most relevant content to visitors and if the content is not relevant, it will likely be downgraded and not placed in the top ranking positions for users to see.
The quality of eternal links in your content also counts. If you link to quality websites, then your website is seen to value quality and also gets a better quality rating. To get the best from SEO, you should understand that the quality of external links included in content is more important than their quantity. That’s why it’s better to make sure you link to relevant, well-ranking websites with god reputation. It’s also useful to link back to sites that have linked to you, as this brings back traffic in the future.
Another counterproductive practice when it comes to links is using ineffective anchor text. This wastes precious SEO opportunities, as the anchor texts signify to the reader and to search bots what the link is about and how it can be beneficial to users. Thus, avoid using ‘click here’ as an anchor text and make sure you opt for a variety of anchor texts, as employing the same text over and over again can be seen as spammy.
There are some ways to deal with internal links that are not helpful and it is good to watch out and prevent these mistakes..Naturally, it’s important to think about your top-performing pages and consider placing links to them in your content. This way, you give them visibility and create additional traction. In building links internally, make sure you don’t include internal links just for the sake of having them in an article if they don’t match the topic and focus of the piece.
As with keyword stuffing, it’s crucial to watch out and not overdo internal linking. If the content and links seem unnatural, the work will not be appreciated by your target customers. It would not be favorably treated by search engines as well and it can be seen as a fraudulent practice by search engine crawlers.
10. Not Investing in a Fast and Mobile-Friendly Experience
SEO optimization is not only about content and keywords. It’s also about the quality of your website, particularly its performance on mobile devices, which are users’ top choice today. Google and other search engines can recognize when your website is not mobile-friendly (think about the Mobilegeddon update).
If you haven’t considered a smooth mobile experience for your audience, your rating on search engines can be jeopardized. The same goes for load speed, as search engines put an emphasis on that as well. You shouldn’t be surprised if a slow website leads to lower SERP. You can use online tools like Pingdom and GT Metrix to analyze where the speed problems come from and how to fix them.
11. Not Using the Power of Influencers for Social Media Interactions
Optimization has a social dimension as well. When you are sharing your content on social media, one of your main goals is to get the attention of users who have a significant online influence. This means their content gets noticed by both your target audience and by search engines. That’s why it’s important to create relationships with such ‘power users’ and to use their credibility to promote your content.
Another aspect of this is submitting your blog posts or website promo to social sites such as Digg, Reddit, or Quora without having a ‘power user.’ It’s much easier to make noise about your content when the user sharing it has credibility on that network. Building relationships and doing structured outreach via influencers is an indispensable part of your optimization strategy.
12. Forgetting About Analytics
The only way to know if your SEO optimization and content efforts work is to track their progress. Many marketers would disregard the numbers, but this is a serious mistake. Setting up and regularly reviewing your analytics is essential for your optimization results.
Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools are just two of the main tools you can use to measure and get an overview of your website’s performance. With their help, you can see how your optimization is working for the different kinds of content and using various strategies you are trying out.
Search engine optimization is an indispensable part of any content marketing strategy today. While you can find plenty of advice online, making a number of typical SEO mistakes is quite common. Instead, it’s better to get well acquainted with the challenges that others have experienced and avoid them in your marketing efforts. These ten errors have proven quite widespread, so they are now easier to recognize before you make them.