SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a means of improving your searchability online, encouraging more people to click on your company website and consequently generating more business. With so many websites out there vying for attention, SEO is becoming more of a fine art – those that attempt their own SEO without doing research are likely to make some costly mistakes. Here are just a few popular SEO mistakes and what you should do instead to boost your placement on search engines.
In the early days of search engines, it was possible to put yourself on page 1 of Google simply by stuffing your website full of keywords. Nowadays, overusing keywords can have the opposite effect – many search engines have long since changed their algorithms so that websites that overuse keywords get negatively ranked. Keywords stuffing has other disadvantages such as making your website look clumsily written and unprofessional. Try to incorporate keywords naturally into your website’s text – don’t use the same word in every other sentence.
Choosing the wrong keywords
Think carefully about the type of keywords customers are likely to be searching when looking for your business. Don’t just focus on general keywords – think about more specific keywords and phrases that people are likely to enter into the search bar. You can find keywords by using various search analytics programmes online such as SEMRush, Google Trends and Google Analytics, which will pinpoint the exact keywords that searchers are using when visiting your site and sites of your competitors.
Failing to use hyperlinks
Adding hyperlinks to your website can also improve your search rankings. This should include internal links to your own site and external links to other sites (search engines favour websites that share links to other sources and are not focused internally).
Focusing only on Google
When most people think of search engines, they automatically think of Google, but this isn’t the only search platform. Yahoo, Bing and Ask are all places to consider too – by neglecting these search engines, you could be narrowing your potential client base. There are also marketing tools for small businesses similar to search engines such as Qoobix that should be looked into – these tools rely on keywords but using a very different format. Links to your site from social media and other business websites can also boost your rankings.
Not thinking beyond keywords
Search engines primarily rank websites based on use of keywords, but other factors can play a big part too. A website that is regularly updated with new content is more likely to score highly than a website that hasn’t been touched for years. Having a mobile compatible website is also important for your rankings. It’s also thought that attracting repeat visitors and visitors that stay for long periods can also affect your searchability. In other words, if your keywords are getting people to click but not getting people to stay, this could be having a negative effect on rankings, which is why it’s important to pick relevant keywords and have engaging content.