Our list of the seven most common SEO mistakes that startups tend to make.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is about making your website stand out in search engines. With the right SEO strategy, you can rank among the top sites visible to users on Google search.
SEO is all about ushering in quality traffic to your brand through organic and unpaid searches. Given that numerous brands are vying for users’ attention, you must ensure that your SEO strategy is a cut above the rest.
Here are the top SEO mistakes to avoid:
#1 Not making a detailed SEO plan
SEO comprises a range of elements. On-page SEO focuses on the design and content of your site. Off-page SEO involves optimizing your back-end, including the loading speed of your site. Technical SEO is all about ensuring that your site is updated, well-structured and the like. Besides that, you must also focus on link building (the process of urging other websites to link to yours) and keywords. Indeed, there are a lot of considerations. That’s why, before you kick off your SEO journey, make a thorough SEO plan factoring in all the elements.
#2 Not using the right keywords
Keywords help Google understand what your site is about. So, you must choose the right ones if you want to attract the right audience. That said, you must steer clear of keyword stuffing, which means loading your webpage with too many irrelevant keywords. Founder of OBI Creative, Mary Ann O’Brien, notes, “Instead of trying to hit a certain keyword density, focus on making sense. In a 2,000-word post, your keyword shouldn’t appear more than six times.”
#3 Not linking to other sites
When writing blogs, you might only want to link to your previous articles to make sure more people read your content. However, according to the Director of SEO at Fit Small Business, Michael Heiligenstein, “Google likes [it] if you link out to sites from your own site or articles.” He feels that it shows Google that you recognize and promote quality and relevant content to your users. In doing so, you give them an enjoyable and reliable website experience.
#4 Not including meta descriptions in your articles
Newsflash: meta descriptions are not a suggestion. If you want your SEO to push your site to the top, don’t forget to add a meta description (a short blurb that appears under your website’s headline on the search results page). It helps Google understand what your article or product is about. It is also a great way to include your call-to-action in your content. If you don’t include one of your own, Google will display the first sentence of your blog as the meta description. That’s just not as effective because it might not contain relevant information to grab people’s attention.
#5 Not prioritizing mobile SEO
Almost everyone is browsing, shopping and interacting with their mobile phones. That’s why you can’t leave this device out of your SEO strategy. Optimizing your mobile SEO includes ensuring your site design is compatible with smaller screens; your loading time is not slow, and navigating is easy.
#6 Using poorly-written content
Not giving due attention to the quality of your content can cost you dearly. That’s because Google analyzes your content for quality. If you write posts using poor language—having grammar and spelling mistakes, citing incorrect information, copying articles or excluding backlinks, you will lose the trust of your users. And if your content isn’t valuable, it won’t be worthy of displaying at the top of search results.
#7 Not analyzing SEO performance
So you’ve mastered choosing the keywords, optimized your website and reached your target audience. That doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax. The next step is to analyze your performance and discover your strengths and weaknesses. What are the SEO strategies that are working for you? What kind of users are you attracting? What can you do better? Use SEO tools to determine the answers to these questions.
Make sure you pay attention to our top SEO no-nos to boost your business’s online presence.
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