If you are running a business but don’t have a website, it is almost as if you don’t have a business at all. It can be quite common practice for local businesses, such as dentists, law firms or car dealers to run their business without a website. However, if you do run an SEO-friendly website that is optimised with local content and keywords, this will automatically drive more traffic, and therefore more business, even while you are not working on any other on-going SEO activities.
2. You have a website but search engines cannot crawl it.
Having a website that search engines cannot crawl is the same as not having one at all. You need to do the following:
- Build a website that enables users and search engines to find all your web pages as easily as possible
- Build a website that communicates with search engines and users to explain different journey routes from the homepage to the deeper pages.
3. You build your website and content according to your own likes and needs and ignore those of your customers.
It’s all too easy to give preference to what you personally like and believe when building your website and content, and to ignore the public who are actually going to use it.
For SEO and high conversion, it’s important that you build a website with content that connects physically and emotionally to your customers’ needs and behaviour. For this, you need to:
- Build a user-friendly website – as mentioned in point 2
- Use content that is easy to understand and based on keywords that they are most likely to type into search engines to find your website. Try putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about the keywords you would use in their place
Use a variation of keywords and synonyms that you would like to see your website ranked under by Google.
4. You don’t optimise your title.
A website’s title is one of the most important SEO areas to include targeted keywords. Most common mistakes made in the title include:
- Not including the targeted keyword in the title
- Repeating the same title text across the entire website
- Stuffing too many keywordsintothe title so it becomes unreadable.
- You include the most relevant targeted keyword in the title
- You create a unique title for each page of your website
You limit the title to 70 characters, so that it is fully visible insearch engineslistings.
5. You don’toptimiseyour Meta descriptions.
Similar tooptimisationin the title, many website owners also overlook the Meta description. Whether or not the Meta description makes any impact on SEO or not, correctoptimisationdefinitely affects your click-through rate. Please note: the Meta description appears within your listings in search engines, so it’s important that you use unique and effective descriptions that encourage users to click on your listings. Poor descriptions can damage the benefits of top ranking in search engines.
6. You make efforts to impress search engines and not users.
When you build a website, create contentordevise an SEO strategy, only bearing Google or search engines in mind canputyou at a disadvantage when it comes to ranking. Google themselves clearlyindicatethat they prefer sites which put more focus on users thancrawlers. Make your website readable and engaging for your users.
7.You think SEO is about ranking and not performance.
Most SEO agencies focus on delivering clients ranking, whereas SEO is no different than traditional marketing techniques, where the objective isdrivebusiness and generate revenue.
If your websiteis rankingwell on page one, but is not bringing you the right amount of traffic or leads, it means nothing for your business.
Make sure you carry on monitoring the keywords under which your website is ranked, and change the keywords if they are not adding any value.
SEO is dynamic, not static. For increased performance in SEO, it’s important that you carry on testing different keywords for better results.
8. You think SEO is about link building.
According to Google’s Matt Cutts in his recent video:
“Think about not link building thatlimitsyou to a certain mind-set but think about compelling content and marketing. As soon as you think, ‘my job is to build links for search engines,’ you really start cutting out lots of avenues, such as talking to newspapers. Think about the broader area of marketing, including billboards, paying for advertising, guerrilla marketing and reaching out to the community. I would not put much focus on links, but I will focus on how I can market my website to make it more well-known within my community and broadly; without only thinking about search engines.”
9. You think the SEO team alone will optimise the website.
This is a common mistake, especially in largerorganisations: the SEO team and management think that it is solely the SEO team’s responsibility tooptimisethe website.
In fact, editors, marketing, sales, product, designers, developers, management AND SEO specialists all make an impact on a website’s performance in search engines.
A leader must make sure the SEO team is integrating with rest of stakeholders to ensure their work is aligned with the SEO strategy.
For me, the SEO team’s job within largerorganisationsis to act more as consultants and project managers thanoptimisers.
10. You optimise your landing page and then ignore other areas and objects.
Common mistakes in this area include:
- Only optimising the main landing pages or pages that you can easily access through CMs and ignoring the rest
- Only optimising content and Meta data and ignoring other areas
- Not addressing issues, such as duplicate content, broken code, ugly URLs and more, before starting the optimisation process.