SEO can be a never-ending and vaguely defined job, with regular algorithm changes and creative strategies to outsmart your competition. There are however a few common mistakes you can avoid, which will help ensure your pages do well and stay relevant despite changes.
1. Not Writing Content for Humans
The goal of a search engine is to provide its users relevant and engaging results. Some people try to improve their ranking through SEO tricks, without offering the content that a user would want to view. Google’s RankBrain AI is working hard to prevent these kinds of tactics, and you should avoid them. They may have worked in the past, but as technology advances, the only surefire way to do well is to create great content. Don’t write content designed to be consumed by search engine crawlers. Instead, write content for the human beings you want to read it.
2. Focusing Too Much on Keywords
Yes, keywords are vitally important in ensuring the most successful SEO strategy. You can overdo it, though. In the same vein as the first point, you don’t want to be writing for search engine crawlers but for humans. Google states very clearly that keyword stuffing “results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site’s ranking.”
3. Not Being Mobile Friendly
More and more users are accessing content via their smartphones and mobile devices. As the number of traditional desktop computer users dwindle, you must ensure that the efforts you are doing take this into consideration. Ensuring your site is mobile friendly will encourage mobile users to stay on, and hopefully share your content with others!
4. Not Optimizing and Monitoring Links
It may seem counter-intuitive to link to other websites, thereby improving their positions, but it is a necessary part of the game. You want to link to reliable and authoritative websites, which will show that your content is also good. You also want to link to other pages within your own site, where it is relevant. This underscores the importance of these pages, and encourages visitors to stay on your site and read longer. Finally, ensure that your site does not feature broken links. Monitor your content and ensure that your links are live and continue to go to relevant pages.
5. Not Using Tags
It’s beginner SEO stuff, but make sure you are using tags efficiently. Make sure your title and description tags are optimized for search engine results. This means keeping your title between 50 and 60 characters, and ideally including keywords you want to target. Description tags should be kept under 160 characters, as anything further will be cut by most search engines. These tags won’t affect your performance on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), but do affect your click-through rates, which can. Finally, don’t forget your image tags! Google loves image tags, and by having image tags match with text content, you are reinforcing that this is relevant and authoritative content.
What do you think? Content is of course king when it comes to SEO, but avoiding these mistakes can ensure you’re getting the most out of the content you create.