Common SEO Blunders – Avoid Them

“SEO is no longer just a job title, it has become part of everyone’s job description”. – Rand Fishkin

“Ensure the content is SEO friendly” – this seems to be statement that each company and marketing person says. Search engine optimization or SEO is probably one of the best ways to ensure that your website and social media content gets ‘picked’ up by the popular search engines. SEO as a marketing strategy can be highly effective if it is implemented properly and adequate time is afforded. However, among the common SEO blunders, is the fact that some companies and their marketing representatives believe they can do with this feature. A website or social media sites that are not adjusted for SEO will not produce the leads and conversions that companies hope for. Your customers will not consider this as great customer service – all aspects of your business are linked and even one weak link can ruin things for your company.

It is probably safe to assume that all companies have a website – something not common in the not so distant past. A study revealed that at least 571 new websites are created every minute and this, points to the fact that most businesses are using the internet to market. However, if the websites are not aware of the common SEO blunders they would not be able to reach the number of audience they hoped for. Unless the content on the company’s website can be ‘found’ by the search engines, the purpose of setting up a website and ‘decorating’ it will be defeated. Most companies seem to be unaware of the best practice of SEO and due to this lack of knowledge and misleading information they fall prey to the SEO blunders which costs them valuable time and effort and also their ‘rankings’ in search engines and ‘internet traffic’.  In such a competitive business environment, these kinds of SEO blunders and the resultant losses could lead to the company’s failure and ultimately having to shut shop.

Are you aware of the common SEO blunders and has your company taken adequate measures to avoid them and also ensure search engine optimization for its website and social media sites? Let us look at some of the most common SEO blunders:

The domain name of your company’s website not being chosen carefully and with much thought. If the domain name is completely unrelated to your line of business, you are committing one of the worst SEO blunders. An accurate domain name will enable your company’s website to feature among the top on the search engine results page, when users put in certain keywords.

Putting in content that does not use keywords and other phrases that reflect the company’s business and brands, will not allow the search engines to direct users to your website. Even with the most relevant products, your website will not be ‘searchable’ if the content does not strategically ‘announce’ them.

Building and creating links is important from an SEO perspective but companies must remain aware of which link is relevant and will enhance the website’s search rankings. Not all links optimize rankings and including links without checking their feasibility is one of the common SEO blunders committed by companies. Don’t compromise the ‘health’ of your search engine rankings by being careless and in a hurry to launch your website and other on-line content.

We have discussed previously that the landing page of the company’s website is possibly the single most important page.  In order to get internet traffic to reach your website the landing page must be where the keywords and phrases are used. Over-using the keywords on many pages of the website would mean that the search engines would be left to decide which page of your website the user reaches – not necessarily the page that your company would like the users to reach first. This again is one of the common SEO blunders. When the keywords and phrases are allotted to a single page – the page that the company would like users to see first, the search engines too have clarity and this leads to optimized searches and more traffic to the company’s website.

Not optimizing the title tags is another of the common SEO blunders. The title tag is one of the most important and powerful tools to enable high ranking and the company has complete and total control over it. This title shows up on the search engine results page and this is the same title that shows if it is shared and passed on via social media sites. Without proper attention to the title tag, no other optimization would help on the website. It is important to understand how to best make the title tag ‘highly searchable and effective’ – every aspect of what would be the most suitable title tag must be looked into – the most appropriate length, it should include a relevant keyword or phrase and other such aspects. Ignoring these crucial aspects of the extremely critical title tag, would be a wasted SEO opportunity.

Search Engine Optimization is the result of many factors. Apart from the ones mentioned, the other key feature of a company’s website would be the short message on the result page – better known as the Meta description. This message must convey a strong yet crisp message about the content – a badly written description or no description is probably one of the worst SEO blunders. For a Meta description to be effective, it should lucidly let the reader know what lies in the content – must include the main keyword too.

Most companies seem to be unaware of the high impact that badly written content has on the readers. Content that is not useful and completely ignores the needs of its users will no longer be sought. Unless the content is an answer to queries, provides value-added and relevant information, it is unlikely that users will search for it in the future. A company must keep their target audience in mind when creating content – the content must be interesting even for people who land on the page while ‘surfing’ the internet. Hiring a professional content writer is a good way to steer clear of this problem – one of the common SEO blunders.

We know from experience and even as customers and users of the internet, that the information we seek must be available to us immediately. One of the common SEO blunders that a company’s website could have is that it takes too long to load. For the rushed customer and people accessing information on the go, waiting for a website to load is a major put off. They would most likely stop the ‘operation’ midway and search another similar site than wait. A website must have SEO friendly images and formats and reduce other unnecessary features that could slow it down.

We discussed that the landing page should be optimized with the maximum number of keywords appearing there. However, the other pages too of the website must use the pertinent keyword or phrase such that the entire website is optimized for a ‘search’.

Popular search engines do provide guidelines and rules for high rankings and usability. Companies must adhere to these guidelines to remain among the top ‘favourites’ of these search engines and also avoid the common SEO blunders. These guidelines are detailed and are the best way to understand what your website should do or not do in order to be relevant, visible and effective.

SEO is a strategy that takes time, money and effort but yields good rewards. If you hire a company to implement this strategy for you, ensure that they follow all the rules and their methods are completely ethical. The reality is that committing any of the common SEO blunders would result in lowered search engine rankings and also lowered reputation of your company. As users ‘go off’ your website, it would be extremely hard to redirect traffic back to your website. Do away with the SEO blunders before launching the website and enjoy a good ‘run’ with the search engines and users.

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