Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important tool to utilize to bring the right people to your website at the right time. It helps draw people to your website who are looking for your products and services, while establishing trust with your company and raising your authority as a website. When used incorrectly, SEO can push your content lower on search result pages, preventing traffic from coming to your page.
Here are some common mistakes that can occur when optimizing your site for search and what you can do to avoid them:
Writing Unfocused Content
You might think that jam-packing a piece of content with a lot of different keywords can help your page rank higher on search results, but this actually detracts from your ranking score. Instead, create focused, in-depth content centered around one specific keyword and one specific goal for your campaign.
Publishing Short Content
The average word count of first page results on Google is 1,890. Branching off of the first tip, try to extend your content by going into more in-depth information about your keyword or topic. Instead of just writing a simple article, consider expanding the same article week over week into a complete resource or guide.
Utilizing an Unsecured Server
While this only affects ranking slightly, it is definitely important to be on a secured server to prevent phishing and data mining. A good way to check the security of a site is the URL. A secure website begins with “https” as opposed to “http”.
Another way to tell if the site is secured is if there is a lock next to the URL. It’s found on different areas on different browsers, but when clicked on you should be able to see details regarding that website’s security usage.
Google has an in-depth page regarding secured servers and how they can benefit your website.
Not Paying Attention to URL Length
Depending on the navigation of your webpage, the URL of your content may have a long string of numbers or random letters in it. Search engines pick up websites that have short URLs or URLs with keywords in them. Make sure when you’re uploading content to your content management system that you are changing the custom URL to match the title of your article. It’s good practice to remove any articles (like a, the, it, etc.) and be sure that your target keyword is in both the URL and the title.
Putting too Much Weight on Metadata
While this may be beneficial for your personal tracking and organization of your website, it might not correlate to any search rankings. Metadata is still an important thing to keep track of, however it is a very small foundation of SEO in comparison to other segments. If you really want to get higher rankings, you’ll want to invest your time into other tactics, such as link building, to boost your website authority and to try a climb the search engine results page.
Not Utilizing Images
Having at least one image in your content will boost your rankings, but any additional image after that will have no effect. It’s important to label your image in the Alt text with your keyword, because this is part of the content that search engines comb through and utilize for rankings. Alt text is also used as a descriptor for visually impaired visitors. This helps them understand what the image is on the page when it’s being read to them.
While these are by no means the only problems that can arise from optimizing your page for search engines, these are just a few tips on how to combat some commonly occurring problems. It’s important to remember that SEO updates very frequently, so it’s good to be on top of trends and adapt with them as they occur.