With the help of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), small changes to a website can have a big impact on the website’s reach. That must mean that increasing visibility by taking a few small measures will get your website into Google’s top three suggestions, right? Unfortunately, things aren’t quite that simple. There are around 200 different factors involved in the search engine algorithm’s evaluation of websites, and there are just as many mistakes to be made regarding each of those individual factors.
The following article will point out some typical mistakes made when approaching SEO and teach you how to avoid them.
1. Website speed
2. A non-structured website
When the algorithm crawls through your website, it will not bother with an infinite number of links. Many people make the mistake of creating a website with far too many unstructured subpages. Make it easier for the crawler by having a flat page hierarchy characterized by a structured menu that makes navigating the website easy.
The same applies to the structure of the content. Outlines with h-headings that indicate the main and subheadings are a necessity.
Basically, both the algorithm and users love structure and clarity.
3. Wrong title tag
You’ve got a page all about the best places to visit in Lisbon, but haven’t included the word “Lisbon” anywhere in the page title? This is exactly the type of thing that needs to be avoided, because the title tag is one of the most relevant factors in SEO. The page title should be spiked with the relevant keyword so that the algorithm and users can quickly recognize the topic of the page.
4. Content mistakes
Content creation leaves plenty of room for mistakes, which can have a big impact on a website’s performance.
Too little content can weaken the ranking, as it often provides too little information for users. Basically, the algorithm likes text, so there should be enough of it on the website.
However, too much irrelevant content can also have a profoundly negative impact on the website’s position. The requirements for the amount of text differs depending on the type of website. As a result, there’s no hard and fast rule regarding the appropriate amount of content. Finding the right length, however, is still key.
That said, it is especially important that the content is individual. If the content of your site isn’t unique, making it a duplicate of other content, the algorithm reacts sensitively. This will show up in the site’s ranking – it’ll either be rated poorly or even filtered out.
5. Keyword mistakes
Keywords are probably the first term that comes up when talking about SEO, but they are also one of the most common sources of mistakes.
First off, a lack of keyword analysis can lead to you using keywords that have too much competition or keywords that are not relevant to your target group. To help you select the right keywords, make use of both free and paid keyword analysis tools.
Now that you’ve got the right keywords, you have to make sure that any two articles on your website do not refer to one and the same keyword. This could lead to so-called ‘keyword cannibalism’, where the search engine algorithm cannot determine which one is more relevant and the texts swallow each other.
6. Missing links
Another common mistake is to underestimate the importance of links. Internal links that connect different pages of the website show the algorithm the importance of a particular page. Anchor texts where links are inserted on keywords are used to introduce such links. This is a particularly important factor for website traffic.
The same applies to external links, so-called backlinks, which lead back to the website. It is important to draw attention to your own site via links on other websites, blogs, social media channels, etc. Link building is often really underestimated!
Over-optimization? It might sound strange at first – how can something be too optimized? But this term doesn’t refer to an overly optimized website, but instead to the mistake of undertaking measures that the algorithm doesn’t approve.
Examples of this include ‘keyword stuffing’, where a keyword is mentioned so often in a text that both the user and search engine end up dissatisfied. For the record, keyword density should only actually be around 1-2%.
Also, keyword stuffed texts that have been hidden from the user by using the same text color as the background of the website are not welcomed by search engine algorithms.
Likewise, links should never be bought. Link building is something that should always be done organically.
Any of these actions are immediately sanctioned by the search engine algorithm.
8. SEO neglect
Probably the most serious mistake of all is not recognizing the importance of SEO. Often, people make the mistake of delaying search engine optimization, waiting until the business reaches a certain status and focusing instead on creating revenue. If you feel like you don’t have time to invest in SEO for your website, you can think about contacting an SEO agency.
The massive amount of positive effects SEO can have is rivalled only by the amount of potential mistakes you can run into when implementing it. However, if you pay careful attention to possible missteps, or contact an SEO agency to help you circumvent these mistakes, the reach of your website is sure to benefit massively from SEO.