Sure, it’s easy to nod along whenever your colleagues mention SEO, but sometimes all the jargon goes right over your head. Ranking. Organic. Keyword Density. Trust us, you’re not alone. But don’t let it intimidate you. As complicated as SEO can be, there are still very simple steps you can implement today that will ensure your content is up to industry SEO standards.
First off, what is SEO really, and why does it matter? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your online content so that it’s more likely a search engine, like Google or Bing, serves your link as the top result when users search a keyword. It’s important that your content pages are optimized because it will help increase site traffic which in turn can increase leads and transactions.
Well if SEO is so important, everyone’s probably pretty great at it, right? Turns out, even some of the best website out there make these seven common SEO mistakes:
1. Having Messy URLs
Keep your URLs as clean and concise as possible to help improve SEO rankings and user experience. Some blog visual editors, like WordPress, automatically pull in the title or first line of the blog post into the URL field. Often times, this is a bit too long and chock full of grammatical articles, like “the” or “an”. Always take the time to shorten these URLs until they simply contain pertinent words. For example, if your article title is “32 Reasons Why Lemurs Are Super Awesome”, you can tailor your URL down to “/awesome-lemurs” or “/reasons-lemurs-awesome”.
2. Choosing Irrelevant Keywords
Without the correct keywords, there’s almost no chance new users are going to come across your amazing content. Make sure to do your keyword research and pinpoint what commonly searched terms pertain to your company, then you can create content relative to these key terms.
3. Publishing Content That Isn’t Original
Ensure that all the content you publish is original and that you’re putting out content at a consistent rate. Publishing borrowed content can get your site marked as spam or downgrade your search results.
4. Forgetting to Include Title Tags and Meta Tags
It’s easy to overlook this small step but it can actually be the difference between a new user clicking or not. When you don’t fill out the Title Tag and Meta Tag fields, your content link will appear without context when it appears on a search page. Finally, take the extra time to make sure your titles and meta tags are clear and straightforward, cute and witty is great but readable is best.
5. Over-Stuffing Keywords
Yes, we know, keyword stuffing used to be the sure fire way to improve your SEO rankings, well we’re here to tell you that times have changed. Now search engines have grown more sophisticated and can spot overstuffed keywords from a mile away. Instead of trying to pack on keywords, focus on a few relevant keywords and include them only when relevant.
6. Not Being Mobile-Friendly
Making your site mobile-friendly isn’t going to directly affect your SEO ranking but consider this: if people click on your website from their mobile devices and land on a clunky site that isn’t mobile optimized, they’ll likely bounce off the site right away. With mobile searches increasing year over year, this is something to keep in mind.
Make these small tweaks and you’ll already be ahead of the curve. Bet a lot of these were simpler than you imagined. You’ve got this. Happy SEO optimizing!