In today’s digital world, a website is a must-have! It can be the make or break factor when customers are deciding between brands and products.
Every business needs to spend some time and effort to create the right kind of website content that attracts viewers — and gets your website found more easily online. We’re all a little lazy, and don’t usually look past the first page in our search results, so doing all you can to make sure you’re a first page result is essential.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic, and greater exposure to your business and its brands through organic search engine results.
SEO requirements change almost every few months, and there can be a lot of problems that may arise with your website. Businesses need to stay on top of their SEO strategy to attract visitors and direct them through their sales funnel.
Here are some of the common SEO mistakes you can avoid to maximise your website’s performance:
Poor keyword research and keyword stuffing
The top tactic for SEO is to conduct an intensive keyword research. A lot of brands don’t spend time to understand the importance of keywords and how they work to increase website traffic.
Different keywords serve different purposes in the stages of the buying funnel. Your keywords need to be chosen carefully to ensure that they fulfil the customer’s user intent. Hence, your keyword needs to attract the right type of audience who will find what they’re looking for through your website.
It is a good idea to group similar keywords into a common theme. This will help to segregate different landing pages of your website into important sections that attract the right type of user to the right landing page.
Businesses often don’t consider the keywords from a customer’s point of view which means that you are wasting time optimising the wrong set of keywords.
This shows that choosing the right keywords requires considerable amount of effort and all businesses should spend time in conducting an exhaustive keyword research. SEMrush is a great marketing platform that provides solutions for SEO and can assist with keyword research.
Keyword stuffing used to work once upon a time to increase SEO but with Google and other search engines getting smarter, keyword stuffing is penalised and will affect your ranking.
Here’s how Google defines keyword stuffing:
Adding more and more keywords will not add any credibility to your content and you can end up losing your ranking. Creating good content for readers that will appeal to them with a few mentions of the relevant keywords is what will attract users and generate website traffic.
Under-optimising Title Tags and Mega Descriptions
The majority of online traffic is still driven by organic search engine results.
Adding title tags and mega descriptions is a boost that your brand needs along with a high-quality website to rank high in the search engine result pages (SERPs).
Title tags provide the first impression of your website to your customers and it is the place where you should include your most relevant keywords. Meta descriptions appear in the search engine results and provide further description of your landing page, and you can incorporate other keywords and relevant phrases here.
Highly optimised title tags and mega descriptions are created when brands choose the most appropriate keywords to form a unique link for visitors in the SERP.
If you don’t create your own title tags and mega descriptions, Google will do it for you! This sounds simple but it often means that the keywords might be mismatched with search terms and can lead to the wrong results.
There are many avoidable title tags and meta description mistakes! Here are a few that may hurt your organic rankings:
- Duplicate title tags and mega descriptions
- Missing a meta descriptions
- Missing H1 tags (these help to determine the content of your webpage)
- Duplicate H1 tags
- Missing ALT attributes (these help visually impaired people and internet bots with descriptions of the images in your website content)
Headings serve as the headline for any webpage and the phrase that most visitors are most likely to read before deciding if they want to continue reading further or not.
Headlines need to go straight to the point and include the relevant keyword that will generate website traffic.
Businesses often have very short headlines that don’t include relevant keywords — you’ll be attracting the wrong type of website traffic or no traffic at all! You want the right people so they stay on your page for as long as possible.
Companies also fail to segregate distinct content into different headings. To maximise SEO, you want to attract as many searchers as possible and having short chunks of information under each heading helps to direct users to specific products or services quickly and effectively.
Not Investing in a Fast and Mobile-Friendly Experience
Nearly 50% of internet users today use their mobile to browse through the internet and if your website is not compatible with their device, you can lose website traffic over time.
Google and other search platforms recognise when websites are not mobile-friendly, which can jeopardise your ranking on the SERPs.
It is important to focus on website quality on both desktops and mobiles to attract all types of searchers.
Along with mobile friendliness, the speed of your website can also affect your ranking on the SERP. You can use platforms such as Google PageSpeed Insights, GT Metrix and Pingdom to test your website’s speed and any factors that may affect its efficiency.
Users do get disappointed if they come across your website looking for something specific and the link leads them to an ‘Error 404’ or ‘Page not found’ with no content.
If this happens often, your ranking in the SERP can decrease because users are not happy with their online experience. Google might see this as a sign of negligence towards your website and this can affect your SEO strategy.
It is understandable that websites are updated often, and content is frequently changing. Businesses need to keep in mind to take some time to remove the error pages or redirect them to generate a better user experience.
Now that you know about some of the most common SEO mistakes, you can put some extra effort into avoiding them to generate optimal website traffic and improve user experience.