How Does Your Content Read? Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid

When creating content for your website, do you wax on about a subject, post it to your blog or website, and pray for clicks? If so, it might explain why you’re not seeing the website traffic you desire. I’m sure you know that all websites receive rankings but what you may not know are the components that determine how your website is ranked.

The top 10 factors that determine search rankings are:

  1. Secure website that’s easy to access
  2. Page speed
  3. Mobile approachability
  4. The age of a domain, URL and authority
  5. Optimized Content
  6. SEO
  7. User Experience
  8. Links
  9. Social signals (content shared on social networks)
  10. Business information (address, phone number, etc.)

The most important of these factors are five and six.

Most end users discover websites by utilizing search engines like Google and Bing, allowing these search engines to filter through the thousands of websites on the Internet and deliver the most relevant results. Optimized content and SEO are the keys that unlock the algorithms and provide greater access to your website.  If these two components aren’t used effectively your website won’t rank at the top of a search.

Creating content for the web is one part being a wordsmith and three parts being a techie – like algebra it’s a formula that brings together several elements to achieve a desired result. To have a website that ranks high on search engines and guarantees page views, avoid these common mistakes.

Using the wrong keywords.

Essentially keywords are the topics that your content is created around and are the terms and phrases an end-user enters Bing or Google to search for a website or additional subject information. Google’s crawlers use keywords and other SEO factors to quickly analyze your website’s purpose. If your keywords are generic, you may draw visitors to your site that are uninterested in your products or services, which will cause them to bounce and click to a new site. Using keywords that are broad bring with it competition and global keywords can be ineffective if you’re a local business.

The best use of keywords is choosing words and phrases that are specific as possible. Using “spa” as a keyword can bring lots of traffic or it could become lost in a sea of websites for spas on the internet. However, if you use “holistic spas in New York City,” the chances you’ll rank higher and receive quality traffic will be greater.

Lack of Unique Title Tags and Meta Descriptions.

A meta description helps a searcher decide whether or not to click the link to an article or webpage. Essentially, they’re a160-character sales pitch for your page within search results. When creating meta descriptions, try making each one unique and persuasive as possible. Your website’s homepage as well as every page throughout your site should include a custom meta description that’ll make visitors and potential customers want to click on your listing in search results. It’s a good rule of thumb to include relevant keywords. 

Misuse of Internal and External Links.

The purpose of content on your website is to entice visitors to stay, to make purchases, and return again and again. Most content should include a call to action but using “click here” to tell a visitor where to go isn’t the most effective way to garner clicks to other pages on your site. Using anchor text to embed the internal link within the content is a more efficient use of content and more SEO compliant. Never use the same anchor text for every link or you may run the risk of looking gimmicky to your website visitors. Another way to achieve SEO compliance is to include external links but choose quality over quantity. One link from a popular blog might do more for your search engine rankings than dozens of mediocre links.  Focus on links that are relevant to your website and industry and don’t have many outgoing links.

Poorly Written Content.

There is no other way to say this…poorly written content kills a website’s chances of being successful.  Content is king, queen and the whole royal court. When it comes to content, choose quality over quantity. Not everyone is a genius like Shakespeare.  If you don’t have a member of your team dedicated to creating content, you may want to hire an outside source that can assist in providing original content that will bring traffic to your site. Also, content doesn’t always have to be an 800 or more-word blog.  Depending on your industry content can also include video, tutorials, checklists, quizzes and more. The key is quality.

Understanding how SEO works can take your website and business to the next level. Should your website have any of the mistakes listed above it’s important to acknowledge them, create and implement new solutions for the future. If you don’t, Google and your customer might pass you by.

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