8 SEO Mistakes That Newbie Website Owners Make
Good SEO encompasses any on-page and off-page strategies that you use to show search engines that your pages are relevant to web searches. It means crafting content that “wows” readers and makes them want to share it, including relevant keywords on each content or product page, and finding other related sites to link back to yours. However, there are also other SEO elements that are important to improving your rankings but that are often overlooked by new site owners focusing intently on keyword traffic and daily backlink numbers.
Here’s a look at some of the factors that can be hindering your search engine rankings and ultimately, your sales numbers.
Using Anchor Text the Wrong Way
Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink which links both internally and externally. Mainly, they show search engines what your site is all about, which means they should be relevant, non-generic, and concise. There are different types of anchor text that you can use on your site including the following:
- Exact Match or LSI Anchors: The exact keywords or variations of your keywords
- Naked Anchors: The URL to your website or page
- Branded Anchors: Anchors that include your brand or company name
- Image Anchors: Uses an image’s alt tag as your anchor text
Keep your anchor text diversified (meaning don’t use the same one for each link), relevant to each page specifically, and don’t overuse them as that’s another guaranteed way to get Penalized by google.
Just displaying products on your online store, believe it or not, isn’t enough to get optimal conversions. Customers often need a little need nudge to follow through with the checkout process. They can get distracted, become reluctant, or decide to purchase at a later time. CTAs encourage them to take action, whether that means submitting contact information for an email list, signing up for a webinar, or purchasing a product. Be sure that your site contains CTAs in the right places and that they are visible and create a sense of urgency.
Lack of Website Architecture
Your site’s information architecture is an essential SEO element. It involves the type of content that your site contains, its structure, and navigational properties. Things such as lousy site navigation, multiple pages with no keyword focus, duplicate or poorly-written content can all negatively affect your search engine rankings and turn off your visitors. Each page of your website should be optimized, have a clear goal, and ultimately lead visitors to an action of some sort.
Only Focusing On High-traffic Keywords
Neglecting low-traffic keywords is a common SEO mistake. It’s understandable that you’ll naturally want to keep a careful eye on which keywords are bringing you the most traffic. However, you’re leaving easy money on the table by not optimizing and continuously building content for your specific, low-traffic keywords. Why not pick the low-hanging fruit? Use web analytics to find keywords that you can easily rank for (or that you’re currently ranking high for) and work to improve or maintain their rankings.
Bad Domain Names
Despite what you may read, rest assured that keyword-centered domain names and extensions still play a significant role in SEO. Long domain names or ones that are hard to remember can hurt your optimization efforts. Use succinct domain domains that reflect your brand or products and that can easily stick in the minds of your visitors.
Neglecting Regional Optimization
This tip is especially important for companies that service specific cities or locales, but it also applies to businesses with global service locations. Adding meta descriptions and keywords centered around your service areas will help you to rank in local searches. Be sure to also add your company to any local business listings and online directories. It’s also a good idea to encourage customers to leave reviews on local review sites to help with reputation management.
Too Many Spammy Backlinks
Any SEO professional will tell you that the number of backlinks that you have is vital to improving your rankings. However, they’ll also tell you that the quantity of your backlinks is even more critical. Getting tons of spammy backlinks may have been a good SEO strategy 10 years ago, but Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm updates pretty much closed the door to those tactics. Today’s best SEO strategies involve those which focus on attaining quality backlinks from relevant, authoritative sites in your niche.
Not Fully Optimizing Your Posts/Posts With Keywords
Adding your keywords to the body of your content isn’t enough. Full page optimization means including your keywords in all of the following:
- Page title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Image Alt Text
- File Names
When search engine spiders scan your content, you want to give them as much information a possible to demonstrate your page’s relevancy. Write custom tags and descriptions on each page to make them unique and as specific as possible, which can also minimize your chances of losing rankings for duplicate content.
SEO rules are always changing. However, the more you work to tweak your on-page and off-page SEO strategies, the faster you’ll see improvement in your search engine rankings.