Search engine optimization (SEO) doesn’t have to be a scary prospect, nor should it be neglected! SEO is crucial for the success of a website if you are wanting to generate valuable organic traffic that converts into leads and ultimately sales.
There are various elements encompassed within an SEO strategy which can seem daunting or confusing which sometimes leads to mistakes which is why we have identified the seven most common ones and ways for you to fix them.
1. Failing to do keyword research
Hands down the most common mistake that we have experienced in our years of web development is the failure of keyword research. Most of the time, a business will write content that incorporates keywords based on how they perceive their product or service. This is one of the biggest and most common mistakes we see. Instead, keyword research should focus on researching customer intent or in other words, what customers are looking for. By understanding what keywords or keyword phrases your potential customers are using to find a similar product or service to yours, you then know exactly what to incorporate into your website content. Another great attribute of this form of research is that because you are identifying what the customers search intent is, not only will traffic to your website begin to increasingly flow but your conversion rate should pick up too due to the quality of your leads.
2. Slow page load times
Slow loading web pages can be a website killer. Studies have shown that up to 10% of visitors will abandon a page that takes 2 seconds to load with a further 33% of visitors bouncing if it takes more than 7 seconds to load. The numbers begin to increase even more with over 50% of mobile phone users leaving a page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Here’s a few ways to improve your site speed:
Optimize Image Sizes
Resizing your images can increase the speed of your page load time dramatically. It’s best to stick with file formats like JPG, PNG and GIF but resizing images to 72dpi or simply compressing images using a variety of free online tools can help too.
Correctly Configure Caching
Each time a visitor views your site, they are loading every piece of information – text, images, themes, videos etc. Setting up a websites caching allows for this loading to happen one time by storing the information for easy retrieval when a visitor returns.
Some CMS platforms incorporate plugins into the build of a website for functionality and design purposes. Plugins for instance may slow down a page so it’s always important to ensure the most up to date plugin is being used and removing any unnecessary ones too. CMS platforms like WordPress require constant updates to their software so be sure to check these frequently and ensure you have the most recent update.
3. Don’t skip title tags and meta descriptions
Meta descriptions and tags are words and phrases that provide a snapshot of your page or content. A Meta Description should be 160 characters long that includes your target keywords and should be specifically written as a description of your page. By skipping the title tag and meta description, you run the risk of missing out on valuable traffic and an increased click through rate, which oftentimes leads to conversions.
4. Don’t be afraid of being niche
Being too generic or “seeing what others are doing” isn’t a great way for your website to stand out from an SEO perspective. Ranking for too many keywords that cover a range of topics isn’t going to provide you with valuable page rankings either.
That’s why we strongly recommend finding a middle ground or better yet, focus on what makes your product or service offering niche and research keywords that support this direction. For example, if you’re a florist, don’t use phrases like “Brisbane florist” as this is far too broad and already competitive. Instead identify where you excel in your product offering and try a phrase like “best affordable wedding florist Brisbane”.
5. Keep the content flowing
When it comes to website copy, content is king. But not just any content. The content on your webpage should offer value and be informative to the reader. Having the right amount of copy is important – too little means you aren’t providing much information to your audience but too much leaves readers bored and disengaged. Also remember that your website is being trawled by search engines that are trying to understand what your page is about so being clear, concise and consistent is important in order to maintain and grow your page rankings.
6. Off-page SEO is just as important as on-page SEO
On-page SEO, or onsite SEO, is a common practice that revolves around optimizing your webpages in order for your website to rank higher on search engines. An often forgotten or neglected SEO practice however is that of Off-page SEO or offsite SEO.
Off-page SEO is the strategy whereby you are using other websites to tell search engines how good your own website is. In order to do this, you first need to create valuable and informative content in the form of blogs, videos, PDFs or case studies. Hopefully, these content pieces will garner attention and start being shared via social media or links from your webpage being added to articles or blogs on other websites. This practice is time consuming and rigorous but if implemented properly can prove valuable for SEO.
7. Don’t be afraid of your analytics
The most disregarded tool that business owners neglect is their very own analytics. Google analytics provides you with free insights ranging from Audience, Acquisition, Behaviour and Conversions. Taking the time to monitor and assess what your analytics is telling you can make an incredible difference in your SEO strategy and implementation.
Audience insights for example gives you a clear idea as to what content and webpages your visitors are spending the most time on and interacting with. This allows you to identify what is working and what isn’t so that you can react and optimise accordingly.
Don’t neglect your SEO. It’s fundamental for the success of your websites performance and overall rankings on search engines that can lead to valuable organic traffic and ultimately profitable leads.