SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, has very quickly become recognized as a vital tool in ensuring success and longevity in the online business world. With increasing online traffic and complexity comes the attendant need to stay ahead of competitors and understand and respond to current trends and changes.
With many now developing an understanding of what to do with respect to the development of an SEO strategy, perhaps it is worthwhile to consider the flip side – what not to do.
Mistake #1: Not adapting SEO strategy with change
While the fundamental concepts of SEO remain a constant, the algorithms used by search engines to crawl website content and list it can and do change periodically. A good SEO strategy will, therefore, take into account any relevant changes and ensure any tweaks and adjustments are made as necessary.
An SEO strategy should be thought of as dynamic.
Mistake #2: Not having an SEO plan at all
While research shows the majority of online businesses employ some form of SEO strategy, the fact remains that almost 40% of smaller businesses have no SEO strategy at all. Given that it is these small businesses that need SEO the most in many ways, this is surprising. While this may come as welcome news to their competitors, a complete lack of a plan very often means the fullest online potential will never be achieved. However, it can be incredibly easy to get a plan in place. You don’t even have to tackle the entire web at once if you feel overwhelmed. Start with local SEO, such as Google My Business (GMB) Management, and get your name out there when people conduct local searches. They can see when your business is open, what you offer, where you are, and the trust is instilled instantly. If you don’t, you could be missing out. From here, you can grow your strategies.
Mistake #3: Poor website structure
Perhaps the most common mistake in website design and layout can be simply described as ‘not user friendly’. A user-friendly website design is also SEO-friendly, and ease of navigation and access is the key.
Basic site errors such as broken or incorrect hyperlinks are a common culprit which results in a poorer ranking by search engines.
Mistake #4: Poor management of website content
This could be summarized by saying website content should be closely aligned with SEO strategy. Poor management of site content includes:
- Inadequate usage of keywords with respect to a desired target audience
- Stale or out of date website content
- Poor quality content simply designed to embed keywords rather than interest and engage site visitors
- Publishing duplicated, non-original, or plagiarized content – this can get your site ignored by search engines entirely
Mistake #5: Poor management of tags and meta descriptions
As a natural extension of Mistake #4, the management of website content simply doesn’t end there. Embedded information like title tags (headers) and content meta descriptions is a further factor in optimizing performance.
Failing to make the best use of this or simply ignoring it completely is a common mistake, which results in a lower ranking in searches and less relevance in specific searches.