In honour of April Fool’s day, we’ve compiled a list of foolish SEO mistakes.
1. Bad Website Copy
There are 2 things to bear in mind when it comes to preparing written website copy. The first is to invest in decent content writers, so that the content is well optimised and gives a good impression to site visitors. This is vital as people can tell when content is valuable and unique, and if it’s not you will lose trust. High quality writers will produce unique, well written content that will be more likely result in conversions.
The second key point to consider is repeating keywords, also known as keyword stuffing. The term refers to a cheeky way of stuffing a page full of keywords and terms in order to manipulate a site’s Google search ranking. This does not result in a rankings boost, and will only draw attention to Google who will penalise you and knock you quite far down on the results.
2. Incorrect Keyword Optimisation
This is also another big mistake that’s easy to make. Wrongly optimising can include:
- Making global keywords, when you only offer local products/services
- Using generic keywords that attract irrelevant visitors
- Using keywords that don’t bring in customers with a genuine interest
- General keywords that have lots of competition
To eradicate the above issues, it’s important to be as specific as you can. Arguably, although paying attention to generic keywords might bring in lots of traffic, in reality this can be a long and unrealistic process. It’s best to always use specific terms and phrases which will in turn lead to faster rankings and qualified traffic.
3. Not Using Unique Meta Descriptions and Title Tags
We often see sites with the same page titles on most of their site pages, which isn’t good. The title tag is one of the most important elements of on-page SEO, and page titles should be unique and a reflection of the web page content so that: it can be indexed correctly by a search engine crawler, the searcher is informed your content is relevant to what they’re looking for, and that it makes sense and looks clickable.
Having unique page titles is also important because page titles are shared in tweets and are used as the text when someone bookmarks your website, hence descriptive, unique titles are highly important.
4. Broken Links
A broken link is a hyperlink that no longer goes to the place it’s meant to. It is so frustrating when you’re eager to find out more about something, and you’re given a 404 error page! So, although sites naturally amass some broken links, they’re still a big inconvenience to visitors and are something Google hates.
If they’re so natural, why does Google penalise you for them? I hear you say Well, in short it’s because bad links will give you a bad reputation, and results in Google downgrading the ranking of your site. Make sure to regularly scour your site for broken links.
5. Not Using Analytics
SEO, alongside large amounts of free traffic, is also concerned with conversion; Sometimes, lower-traffic phrases will be better conversions as they’re more specific, and the only way to know this is to track! Go about doing this by setting up conversion tracking with Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools, and compare the phrases and keywords against each other to see which is working more efficiently. This will enable you to better optimise your site by letting less successful phrases go.
What foolish SEO errors do you see made by other sites? What would you do about them?