Everyone knows how important Search Engine Optimization is for any website to get traffic and drive conversion.
However, mistakes are still often and common on many sites, even some of the biggest. If you let your site fall behind, it will surely drop in the rankings. It is critical to know the tools and tricks of SEO optimization.
It is also very important to know the mistakes and pitfalls that SEO experts sometimes over look. Mistakes can do more harm to a site than lack of knowledge.
Therefore, we have ranked eleven of the top mistakes you cannot afford to make in 2016.
1.) Failing to Use Analytics
SEO in 2016 is not just about getting traffic.
Conversion is imperative, and the truth of the matter is, sometimes, lesser keyword phrases will convert better. Ranking higher with these more specific phrases could land first page rankings and subsequently drive sales.
Not using an analytics package to track what is working with what is not is one of the more common SEO mistakes that is easily avoided.
Here are some best practices you need to follow-
- Configure Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools to your site
- Measure and analyze your site’s data in specific detail
- Find the keywords that are converting not simply driving traffic
Analytics allow you to measure how you are performing. If things are not going well, then you will know where you need to make some changes.
Even, if you are performing well, then you will know to carry on doing what you’ve been doing with your SEO.
2.) Not Focusing on the Right Keywords
It is important that you are populating your website with keywords that people are actually searching for. For this, you will want to understand your target audience.
It may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many websites miss the mark with this. Tailor keywords to conversion, not traffic.
A good SEO technique is to start with specific keywords, and then broaden them only as your site grows.
3.) Keyword Stuffing
The point of keywords is not simply to attract people to your site. It is to provide those searching with relevant information.
If you load your page up with terrible copy in an attempt to draw attention to your site simply to rise in the Google rankings, you might experience just the opposite.
Excessive keyword stuffing is a sure way to get viewed negatively by the search engines, and consequently bumped down, not up. Plus, it reads terribly, and benefits no one.
I recently came across a mobile selling website and the page content was similar to the below example with keyword stuffing-
4.) Generic Tags and Descriptions
Every page of your website should have its own title.
The home page should focus on the broader keywords associated with your site, while the other pages should be more specific.
The same is true with your Meta descriptions. These very common SEO mistakes are very easy to correct and will lead to more concentrated traffic.
5.) Using Broken Links
If you are going to link to other external sites, or internal pages, be sure to periodically check those links.
Bad links produce bad vibes, not only for readers of your site, but also for the Great Google Gods that do the ranking.
A site with a plethora of bad links will lose credibility fast. Checking to make sure all of the links on your site are still good will keep you looking like a reputable source instead of a lazy poser.
6.) Overly High Expectations
It takes time for SEO to show result. While you may have done everything right while launching a new site, more established sites are often still considered more favorable.
When you think about it, this makes sense. Consider SEO a bit like credit, it takes time to build a quality reputation.
Allow your site a few months to gain traction before making any radical changes because you do not feel something is working fast enough.
7.) Ignoring Anchor Text
Many sites use “Call to Action” links that direct traffic to another page or site. These links are good.
However, using generic anchor text such as, “click here” negates the virtues of a quality link. An important SEO technique is to include some relevant keywords in the anchor text as well.
For example, instead of saying simply, “click here” say “click here for ‘insert keywords'” It will boost the effect of your anchor text and make the links more powerful.
8.) Having More Low Grade Links Instead of Less High Grade Links
As with anything on your website, you should focus more on quality over quantity. Links are no exception.
A link from a popular site with a great reputation and high traffic is much better than having a link from three blogs no one visits.
Search engines place more value on the reputation of the popular site, and you will reap the rewards of association. You are as good as the company you keep as the old adage says.
9.) Poor Content
A site with keyword stuffing and poor content will find it hard to stay atop the ranking. Entire college courses are dedicated to the benefits of relationship building in marketing, and content is the key to building relationships.
If you want your audience to trust you, you must offer them something of value before they ever give you something of value in return.
If you adhere to none of the following suggestions listed in this list, at least stay true to this. Content is king after all.
10.) Ignoring Image Tags
What is the use of having a site with amazing images if those images are not found by the search engines. Search bots do not see images the same way you or I do.
It is imperative therefore to use image tags in order for them to get noticed. You want to make sure every image on your site is optimized to be seen and indexed. This includes using ALT tags, as well as an image description and caption.
11.) Not Allowing Your Site to be Crawled
If your site can not be crawled, it cannot be searched. If it cannot be searched, it cannot be indexed. If it cannot be indexed, it cannot be ranked.
For the love of all that is Holy, configure your site so major search engines can find it.
Review this list periodically, and check your site to make sure it is not falling into any of these traps.
Improve your SEO in 2016 by avoiding these eleven common mistakes. They will not only help you increase your traffic, but increase your conversion rates as well.
If you have a great site with quality content, it deserves to be seen. Following good SEO practices and using best seo tools will help make that possible.