Every website aims to get to the first page of google to garner as much attention and as many possible readers and potential buyers as possible. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. Even with regular content, professional website design, and stunning graphics, a website can still remain stuck on the rarely visited fourth or fifth page of google results. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the secret that can help a website improve its traffic and ranking using analytics and keywords. Using SEO properly can help get a website onto the first page of Google results within months. However, there are many possible mistakes to make with SEO that can damage your chances. We’ve put together a useful list to help you avoid some of the most common mistakes.
Ignoring Long-Tail Keywords:
When first starting their websites and beginning to concentrate on their Google search status, many businesses assume that they should be focusing on short keywords. A keyword is the search term that users enter into Google to find what they’re looking for. A short-term keyword would be something like: ‘buy trainers’. However, the shorter the keyword, the less likely you are to get traffic. Bigger companies like major international sports retail stores will have a monopoly on that keyword and a smaller business is unlikely to make it anywhere near the front page of google results. Websites should focus instead on ranking for long-tail keywords like ‘buy skating trainers in Little Rock, Arkansas.’ Not only is your website more likely to reach the first page but your conversion rate will be much greater which is when users visit the page and interact with it desirably by eg. buying trainers.
Not Focusing On A Target Audience:
The internet is overwhelmed by new content with over 380 websites created per minute. Search engines have begun to prioritize websites that have relevance to visitors which means it is no longer possible to publish internet content arbitrarily and still get a decent amount of traffic and a good ranking position. Instead, businesses have to create content that is targeted to an audience. This includes writing about how your business can help with likely problems or issues that your target audience experiences or writing about topics that you know your target audience will find interesting. Content should avoid complex language or industry jargon and make it easy to read with short paragraphs and plenty of images; anything to make your webpages attractive to your audience. If you focus on every aspect of the content on the needs and wants of your target audience, your traffic will start to improve.
Disregarding Meta Titles And Descriptions
A meta title is the title of the page that appears in the search results and a meta description is found on the results page beneath the website’s URL. Meta description give Google a basic summary of the content that can be found on your webpage as well as some of your targeted keywords. It is a critical part of SEO as it allows Google to understand the relevance of the webpage and therefore rank it appropriately for searches. Missing out Meta titles and descriptions is an overwhelmingly common mistake considering that writing and creating a good meta description is a quick task that can result in a huge improvement in SEO. Optimization of meta titles and descriptions must be completed for every webpage on a website, you don’t want to skip the page that people are searching for. If a meta description is missing, Google uses the first couple of sentences of your content instead. This can be extremely detrimental to a lot of websites whose first few sentences may be unrelated.
Duplication Of Content:
Duplicate versions of the same content appearing on one website can be damaging to a website’s SEO position. If the same content appears more than once, the search engine struggles to decide which content to index and can get it wrong or end up not including them in search results. This includes serving duplicate versions of the homepage to search engines or pasting the same content on multiple pages of your website. This also means that copying content from other websites and using it for yours is likely to flag up as duplication on search engines, resulting in the website being pushed down further in rankings. When building a website, it’s essential you focus on minimizing similar content. Merge similar webpages so that each webpage is saying something different and stop unnecessarily confusing search engines. The majority of your content should be original although there is nothing wrong with incorporating parts of your previous content into new content as long as it’s done sparingly.
Ignoring A Great Mobile Site:
Mobile devices are being used increasingly for web searches, content consumption, and web page interaction. Major search engines are now also optimizing their search rankings for mobile devices which is why it’s just as important for website developers to ensure that their website is made user-friendly for mobile phones and tablets. Consumers are notably fickle when it comes to staying on a page, and many are likely to switch to a competitor’s website if the page they visit is unresponsive or awkward to interact with on mobile. Keep engagement, traffic, and consumers on the rise by making the effort to ensure your website is perfectly optimized for mobiles.
Getting the grasp of SEO can be a challenge and unfortunately, it’s not a case of fake it ‘till you make it as many amateur SEO attempts have ended up damaging their website prospects. Avoid these common mistakes to stay on track to increasing your ranking in search results. Additionally, you should follow expert advice carefully or even hire a consultant to give your rankings a boost. Remember, noticeable improvements in ranking positions and traffic takes time. Don’t expect to be on Google’s front page tomorrow but be prepared to put the work in and best-case scenario, you’ll see the numbers creeping upwards in a few months.