SEO can be complicated, but with a basic understanding of how it works, you can avoid these SEO mistakes as well as others. Just a few simple tweaks + fixes is all it takes to get back on top again! You rock, your content rocks, and I want to make sure that Google notices all the hard work you are currently putting into your site. All of the biz owners + bloggers spend quite a bit of time creating masterpieces to show off on the Internet so don’t let these mistakes cause Google to demote the status of your site or page.
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Disclaimer. Everyone makes mistakes. If you have made one of these simple SEO mistakes don’t be embarrassed because at one time I have probably made the same mistake! Multiple times! I learned so much from reading other’s blog posts about how to be a better blogger and SEO is one of those topics that you can learn so much about. Okay, here we go, 12 simple SEO mistakes that you need to make sure you aren’t making:
1 | IGNORING THE TITLE TAG
Title tags are important! Title tags are your post titles or any main headline that you have on your site. Title tags need to include the perfect key words that are attracting all those people searching for your lovely words/products. They also need to be around sentence length! Don’t ignore these tags because it takes an extra two seconds. That extra two seconds can be the difference between very little traffic versus quite a bit of traffic! So take advantage of the opportunity you have with title tags.
2 | INCREASING FONT SIZE INSTEAD OF USING HEADER TAGS
If you are creating a blog post and have multiple points within your post, which I am sure you have created one with similar structure at one time or another, don’t increase your font size to emphasize each point. You see how this whole post has multiple points that each point out a different SEO mistake? After the numbers “1, 2, 3..” I don’t increase the font size, I simply make this a subheading. What this means is wrapping a header tag around each point. So, for me, I wrap an <h5> tag around each sub point that I want people to learn from. With WordPress this is very simple because they have a drop down box that says the word “paragraph” and then gives you multiple options. Heading two or three is the best but the way my headings are pre-styled.. I go with heading five!
This is a quick example of what I am talking about, sometimes it is makes more sense when a screenshot is used!
3 | NOT USING ALT TAGS
Alt tags are pretty important when it comes to SEO and many people (I admit, I fall short in this area as well sometimes!) upload images without adding an alt tag. This is not helpful for search engines and may lead to missing out on a search result opportunity. So go fill up those alt tags with crazy cool key words and descriptive sentences that explain what you’re all about. Alt tags are typically associated with images on your website and there is usually an option to easily add an alt tag when you are done uploading each image.
4 | USING A FLASH SITE
Search engines can’t even find a website made with flash. Those who use a flash site are not only missing out on a lot of awesome features that other platforms offer but Google bots can’t recognize the existence of a site made with Adobe Flash. And since our main goal is to get search engines like Google to find our website, maybe a Flash site isn’t the best.
5 | KEY WORD FLOODING
Flooding your post with the same or similar key words over and over and over and over again is noticeable. It’s not only noticeable but no one wants to read the same word phrasing repeatedly and Google doesn’t either. Google flags this and deducts brownie points from you. A deduction of brownie points is actually a penalty. So even though there was great intentions behind using a lot of key words on the same page, Google sees straight through the deception and won’t let rank as high as you could have.
6 | THERE’S ONLY ONE SEARCH ENGINE
Yeah, Google dominates. It’s #1. But there are other search engines out there believe it or not! Yahoo and Bing (and others) are following behind. It is very important to make sure that your website is not only optimized for a search engine such as Google but optimized for a variety of search engines as well.
7 | IGNORE GETTING COMFORTABLE IN A NICHE
There are those people that are just free souls that don’t want to tie themselves down to a target audience or a specific niche. I used to be one of those free souls until someone jumped down my throat and told me a million different reasons on why I was running my website wrong.
8 | ENORMOUS CONTENT ON HOME PAGE
The index of your page is very important, but some people go a bit overboard in this area and decide to fit an enormous amount of content on their home page. This enormous amount of content slows down the site speed and, in turn, harms SEO since site speed is a factor that Google considers when ranking your site.
9 | DOING NOTHING
Maybe a better way of phrasing this would be “lacking maintenance” but not keeping up with optimization is a big SEO mistake that many do, because there are so many tasks on a business owners + bloggers to-do list! It’s hard to keep track of everything. And SEO falls to the bottom of the list but it is crucial to keep SEO up to date simply because it is such a great digital marketing tactic. Making sure that your content is kept fresh and your strategy shifts along with each algorithm shift is definitely important!
10 | NOT RESEARCHING KEY WORDS BEFOREHAND
Key words make a difference. But throwing out a key word and emphasizing a phrase that you believe people will be searching for may not be the best idea. Research different key words beforehand and compare, there are a variety of free tools out there that you can use for this!
11 | SUBDOMAIN IS PART OF YOUR DOMAIN
A subdomain is “courses.maraburkes.com” compared to my domain name which is “maraburkes.com” so anytime a word or phrase is put before a domain name, this creates a new subdomain. Some believe that making your blog page link to “blog.maraburkes.com” as part of their site is recognized as part of their site by Google. Unfortunately, for those people, that is not the case. A subdomain is a completely separate website, with a different sitemap and everything. If you would like to have your blog be included on your sitemap then make sure your blog links as a page on your website by using the link “maraburkes.com/blog” instead.
12 | TOO MANY PLUGINS
With every plugin you download, the author typically leaves a link to their site or work. This causes way too many unwanted or dead links on your site which harms your ranking but it also decreases your site speed! Maybe a plugin spring cleaning is a good idea? Who cares if spring is over, we can call it plugin summer cleaning instead!