Have you ever wondered why your website isn't getting your desired ranking on Google? For web developers, marketers, and business owners, the best practices of SEO (search engine optimization) are usually well-understood — it's been a constant in the industry for over two decades. However, just as there are best practices, there are worst practices that shouldn't be ignored either. Very common mistakes, that can easily go unnoticed, may be the cause of low search engine rankings. Read on for four of the most common SEO errors that we see regularly.
1. Slow Site Speed
You've got your website up and running, but it's not as visible on Google as you'd like it to be. The effects of slow site speed can be a direct cause of this. Slow site speed negatively impacts the user experience. Think about it: you wouldn't like it very much if you were visiting a website that took a long time to load, had a choppy scrolling speed, and had images that wouldn't load. All of these things are taken into account by Google-bots combing through the internet, evaluating your website's performance.
2. Not Paying Attention to the Meta Data
You've got your site running smoothly and quickly, well done! But you're still being outranked by the other guys? When was the last time you took a look under the hood of your website? Do you even know how? Metadata is a big portion of the information that the aforementioned Google-bots are combing through. Things like page titles, meta descriptions, alt tags, description tags, and every unseen element of coding need to be optimized as well. How you go about doing that is going to depend entirely on your industry, your goals, and what kind of website you're running.
3. Inflating Your Relevant Keywords
Keywords are a big part of search engine optimization, but too often we see people take it too far. You want to make sure the words you've identified as the most relevant and likely search phrases are just that — relevant. It might seem tempting to add popular or trending keywords from a different industry or topic just to drive traffic to your site, but this will only hurt your results. This strategy of inflating keywords with non-relevant but popular phrases is common with those looking to circumvent some of the pay-to-play nature of SEO, and only serves to decrease positioning as a whole and create a strange user experience.
4. Assuming Anyone Can Do It
This is beginning to sound like a lot to keep track of — and these aren't even all the things to look out for! As marketers, we are in the business of working closely with all aspects that influence a website's SEO. We make it our priority to keep up-to-date on and utilize best practices all while avoiding common pitfalls that unknowingly plague SEO strategies. When you're ready to optimize your website's SEO, don't outsource it to just anyone. Or worse yet, ignore it completely.