SEO Mistakes You’re Probably Making

SEO Mistakes You’re Probably Making

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Self-publishing platforms like WordPress have lowered the barriers of entry to the world of web design, such that anyone with moderate technical skills can easily put up a site in several hours. But having your website visible among billions is another matter altogether. You will need solid Search Engine Optimization (SEO) skills.

SEO is a commonplace term these days and it is probable that you can count 5 SEO tactics off your fingers easily. But you may find your site is not ranking as quickly as you would like. SEO mistakes could be the top suspect in this scenario.  Here are some of the common SEO mistakes that even experienced web designers are routinely making.

Very long URLs

While having your keywords in the URLs gets some traction, very long URLs are routinely ignored by web crawlers. Having a very long domain address is a top no-no. It makes for heady reading for your visitors as well.  Web design professionals recommend a maximum of seven words in URLs. The good thing is that you can truncate long URLs using permalinks.

Duplicate content

Plagiarizing content from another website is outright illegal and any sensible web designer will keep away from it. But what you may be copying content between your webpages to the detriment of your SEO rankings. Some marketers advise on reposting old articles that pulled good traffic. This will only confuse web crawlers and make your articles compete with each other. A more prudent tactic would be to rework these old articles including new content like an infographic.

Ignoring keyword research

Ignoring what your web visitors are inputting in the search bar is simply setting up for failure. Search engines want to show their users the most relevant results depending on whatever keyword they are searching for.

Doing good keyword research has two benefits; it helps you know keywords that face stiff competition and which you can never rank for without paid ads. It also helps to find hidden gems, which are keywords with good search potential but low competition.

Too many/little links on the homepage

Understandably, you will want to lead your site visitors to every product/offer on your site. But having too many links on the homepage makes it crowded and difficult for web crawlers to navigate. On the other hand, too few links could make your site look shallow.  Web design professionals have long advocated for keeping 30-100 links on the homepage. You can also use a link analysis tool like Google’s WMT Crawl Diagnostics to assess your homepage.

Missing/duplicate title tags

In the days of hard coding, web designers rarely overlooked title tags, but it is easy to overlook these crucial items with drag and drop web design. Title tags are very crucial because this is what search engine users see on the search results. Web crawlers also index title tags.  Missing title tags in effect make that page invisible. It is also common to have duplicate title tags, especially in a large website. You can easily fix these problems using Bing or Google tools.

Missing links

This commonly happens when you delete content but forget to update the site map. Broken links get a huge frown from web crawlers. They also appear fraudulent to your site’s visitors by showing the much hated 404 pages. Missing links will raise your site’s bounce rate very quickly. You can fix this problem by using Google WMT tools. It is also prudent to set up 301 redirect pages to guide the visitor to more relevant content in case a page is missing.

Ignoring analytics

Working without analytics is like working in the dark. You will not know the most viewed content, page hot zones, bounce rates, and other crucial data. But it is very easy to link a Google analytics account to your website and see this crucial data.

Shallow content

Content is king. This will never change. Visitors will keep coming back only if they think whatever you are offering is valuable and informative. Well researched content is mandatory. Google is giving preference to content is well mixed; video, text, and infographics. There is no way around good quality content except through good research.

Ignoring mobile

Mobile traffic has overtaken desktop traffic which has forced search engines to give it preference. You could be missing out on traffic if your website is not responsive. Luckily, there are plenty of plug-ins to make mobile responsive sites.

Over 70% of search engine users follow organic traffic. Avoiding and fixing these common SEO mistakes will see your website’s rankings rise quickly and stay at the top for long. Best of all, you can do it free.

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