‘It seemed like a great idea at the time’. We’ve all heard that quote at some point in our lives and it’s usually followed by a tale of misfortune. Don’t fall into the trap of missing out on SEO opportunities and using ineffective or damaging strategies – here are some of the most common SEO mistakes to avoid.
Not considering SEO during website build
Websites need to look pretty, but they also need to sit pretty in search engines. When your website is being built, it is crucial to have a strong SEO foundation. Plan your pages well with quality copy that includes the right keywords in your text and URLs, make sure the structure allows your website to be crawled easily, make sure technical elements like your robots.txt file aren’t undermining your SEO efforts and optimise title tags and header tags. If you want to make sure your website is built right, an SEO and web-design company like Matter Solutions can take care of it for you.
Using Flash content
Some Flash content here and there is fine, but if you are using Flash content excessively you are making search engines, like Google, a stranger. Search engines can’t read Flash content easily because it is not HTML. If you want your content to rank, make sure it is in HTML format so it is easy for search engines to crawl and index.
Under-estimating written content
Content can either make or break your rankings. Writing quality content with the right keywords is a great way to boost the SEO power of your website, while poor or duplicate content is a great way to watch them fall. Take the time to make the copy on your website count for your visitor and Google.
Overlooking Title Tags
Although they are small, title tags are a key indicator of what is contained on a page and, for this reason, they are important for both SEO and your visitors. Your title tags should be a concise description of each page’s content and include relevant keywords you are targeting on that page. When people search for these keywords your title tag will show them, and search engines, that your page is relevant to them.
Building low-quality backlinks
Links – you can either do them well, or get slapped in the face by Google. Good quality backlinks are a huge factor in your SEO campaign, but being slack and getting a bunch of links from low quality sites will be of no help to you and you might even wind up with a penalty from Google. Focus on links from sites that are ranking well and are relevant to your website.
Not optimising for local keywords
Ensuring you are targeting the right keywords is a crucial part of any successful SEO campaign, and it is often an area that isn’t analysed deeply enough. If you are only targeting customers in Brisbane for example, a good way to optimise for this region would be by including the specific keyword in your page titles and meta descriptions. Having your address and phone number visible on every page (in a header or footer) is also helpful, and it will give you a higher chance of showing up in local listings.
Before you go head first into an SEO campaign with all guns blazing, take a moment to make sure your strategies will benefit you and avoid the common mistakes people get caught in. Take the time to lay a strong SEO foundation so you can enjoy the benefits of ranking well.