Anyone who is involved in digital marketing and a business’s online presence will know how important SEO is to the success of its website. SEO is the key to your website being found online, and it is therefore essential that you get it right.
The world of SEO, however, is ever-changing. With new trends, new tools and new algorithms coming out all of the time, it is easy to overlook things and make mistakes.
By dealing with these mistakes, you can give your website a new lease of life, enhance your SEO and see your website shoot up those search engine rankings.
Seven of the most common SEO mistakes which are made include:
1. Not using Google Search Console
Google’s Search Console (or Webmaster Tools as it used to be called) has been gifted to webmasters to give you everything you need for good SEO. Search Console allows you to monitor your site with regards to SEO, submit content for crawling, see the search queries that people are using to find your website and check backlinks.
It is also where they would be able to communicate with you and advise you of any problems – such as manual penalties, crawling errors, any malware that has been detected, and increases in 404 pages.
Everyone can sign up to Google Search Console, meaning that you don’t have to guess anymore. You should also sign up to Bing’s Webmaster Tools who can also give you similar information about your website’s performance on Bing.
2. Not getting the H1 tags right
It can sometimes be difficult to understand when to use H1 and H2 tags. More than just a font size or making a page look nice, H1 and H2 tags tell the search engines what your pages are about. If you don’t use them or aren’t accurate in the way that you use them, you will be giving the wrong information to the search engine, and, ultimately get penalised because you are not giving their searchers what they want.
Use the H1 tag as the title of your page, and only once. Make it clear and related to the information that is being given – like the title of a book. Any sub-headings should then be made under the H2 tag, and then H3 for sub-sub-headings under H2 and so on.
3. Not using the Google Keyword Tool
Another useful tool from Google is the Keyword Tool. This gives webmaster details about what queries people are making before they are directed to your website. Keyword research allows you to see what is and isn’t working, and then change your content accordingly.
It is important to remember that businesses with a big online presence are likely to be focusing on the most popular keywords, so try to focus on long-tail and low completion keywords to get your presence higher.
4. Not having great content
Good content is all about creating trust and authority. As Google continue to develop their algorithms, content is no longer about stuffing it full of keywords, but more about being useful and interesting.
Make sure that you have a good content marketing strategy and that the content is well written, packed with information and something that people will want to read.
5. Not having a plan
It is important to be consistent when you are posting content for SEO purposes. Search engines hate inconsistency and the best way to be consistent is by having a plan.
Creating a publishing schedule which details how many times you will be publishing content and having a few back up articles which are ready to go will help you stay consistent and help push your website to the top of the search engine rankings.
6. Not having internal links
Internal links are crucial to good SEO. Not only can they direct your visitors to other pages on your site – which can help you to engage with them better, but internal links will also show the search engines about other pages that you have.
It is easy to create an internal link from any content that you have, and both your readers and SEO rankings will thank you for it.
7. Having a slow website
We all know how infuriating a slow website can be. It is enough to put people off reading it, making your bounce rate higher, which in turn will lead to lower SEO rankings.
Check that your loading speed isn’t being affected by the formatting on your website and seek help if you can’t make any difference to your website’s speed.
Getting your SEO right is no mean feat, especially as the criteria keep on changing. But there is a lot of help out there – even through the tools that search engines are supplying, and by making a few changes, you could see your website charging up to the top of those search results.