Today is October 31st and that means only one thing… It’s Halloween! To ensure the only fright you get today is from the 8-year-old who turns up on your doorstep dressed as Count Dracula, the team here at Signify Digital have identified a range of common Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) mistakes that may come back to haunt your business.
1. Targeting the wrong keywords
It’s no secret that to successfully optimise your website and increase the volume of organic traffic reaching it, you need to target the right keywords. This is easier said than done though. For instance, you may produce a great piece of original long-form content, optimised perfectly for your target keywords, but it doesn’t drive any traffic to your website. This would suggest you are targeting the wrong keywords.
There are a number of common mistakes people make when choosing their target keywords:
- Focussing on high volume keywords that don’t actually lead to conversions.
- Focusing on broad keywords that may be appealing but not realistic to rank for.
- Ignoring keyword click-through rates.
- Choosing keywords irrelevant to your target audience.
- Allocating target keywords to irrelevant content.
Have another look at the target keywords on your website to make sure you’re not missing out on potential organic traffic.
2. Poorly written content
At the heart of good SEO is great content. It may seem obvious, but the content on each page of the website needs to correspond with the target keywords for that page. Many websites fall into the trap of writing about a range of different topics in one body of copy just for the sake of squeezing in a few extra keywords. This will only confuse search engines as they will be unable to decipher which keywords are the ‘target keywords for that page.
Another mistake some people make is copying/plagiarising content. Search engines are equipped to pick up on this and will penalise your website as they see it as the kind of bad practice they associate with spam sites.
The content on your website should answer the questions and needs of your target audience, be original, well-written and closely related to target keywords.
3. Neglecting to enter title tags and meta descriptions
The title tag and meta description ultimately tell users and search engines what your website is about. They are what a user sees when they enter a search query on Google so have a massive bearing on whether they click onto your website. Despite this many people forget to ensure that every page on their website has them. Both elements of a web page a search engine looks at when determining organic rankings, the title tag and meta description for each page should include the target keyword.
Make sure you’re not hindering the flow of potential organic traffic to your website. Check you have unique title tags and meta descriptions for every page on your website.
4. Poor internal linking
Internal links are hyperlinks on a website that link one page to another. Not only are they a major part of user experience, they spread rank equity around and website and show search engines which pages are higher up in the site hierarchy. Website owners often don’t put any thought into their internal linking structure and sporadically add them into website copy wherever they feel like it. There is no universal rule for how many internal links you should have and where you should put them as every website is different. However, it should be noted that you need to highlight to search engines which pages on your website are the most valuable.
The best way to visualise this is by thinking of your website as a pyramid. The most important content should be at the top and the least important content at the bottom. Most websites have their homepage at the top of the pyramid. Below that, they have their next most important pages e.g ‘about us’, ‘services’, ‘products’, blog, etc. Under each of these pages will be less important pages e.g individual products, terms and conditions, non-focused blog posts, etc.
5. Forgetting about analytics
The main aim of search engine optimisation is to increase the volume of organic traffic to your website. This can, in turn, generate leads or sales. To understand if your optimisation efforts have been a success you must constantly monitor the amount of organic traffic your website receives and the number ‘conversions’ this traffic generates. Whilst this may seem obvious to most, there are many website owners who don’t study this data.
Get on a platform such as Google Analytics and track the progress of your SEO efforts! It will help you see what is working and if you need to change your approach
If you would like to learn more about other common SEO mistakes people make on their websites or you’re interested in finding out about the SEO services we offer here at Signify Digital, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 288 6204 .