Much like with life, the single bit of truth you should remember about search engine optimization (SEO) is that it never stagnates. Google and other search engines are constantly working on their algorithms in an effort to provide more relevant search results to their users. Of course, another reason is to challenge businesses to practice white-hat SEO techniques and portray themselves in a transparent manner to earn their top spot in the results. However, even when you think you’re doing everything right, you might not be doing enough.
A single SEO-related issue can bump you back by a few spots, making your competitors more visible than yourself for those key phrases you should rank top for. In that universe, you’re literally investing in your competitors’ success. As noble as that might be, you should make sure that your SEO efforts are top-notch and that your website is fully optimized to accommodate all the search engines’ prerequisites and to enable your visitors to enjoy your brand experience fully and glitch-free.
To help you do that, we’ve assembled a list of some of the most common SEO mistakes that push modern websites into oblivion and a few simple tips to help you steer clear of them and amplify your SEO strategy over time.
Another life lesson that translates so well into the digital world is this: your website needs to mimic the real language use of your customer by being able to simply listen. In other words, you need to make sure your website is adapted to voice search in order to increase your ranking chances.
The latest technological innovations have given the customer a simple solution to search what they want to know with their voice only. Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana, and Siri are all smart, voice-friendly, AI-driven tools customers use to search today, and your website should reflect this increasing trend through your content, keyword optimization, schema markup, local information and — of course — high-quality links.
When you start including long-tail keywords and phrases containing question words and frequently-used action words, you can begin to remedy your ranking potential since search engines will recognize your relevance in such queries. Remember, this requires ongoing effort and optimization and you need to adapt to constant changes in how users rely on their voice to search for your information or your services.
Although some SEO strategies might be timeless, their application isn’t. A strategy isn’t set in stone simply because it works for a specific amount of time. You’re bound to be stuck with outdated methods or penalty-worthy SEO moves without even realizing your mistake. That said, every business needs to continuously update their SEO approach to incorporate industry-relevant, market-specific tactics that will help you position your brand better in your niche.
Avoiding getting stuck in an SEO rut is only possible when you perform a regular SEO audit on your website to identify issues that could be hiding in your code, link portfolio, or keyword usage, among many other factors. This critical attitude lets you discover issues before they wreak havoc on your ranking so that you can focus on what’s vital for your business and ensure a solid position in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Some novice businesses tend to oversaturate their website with keywords in an effort to get to the top faster. What they’ll do is achieve the exact opposite and earn the scrutiny of every relevant search engine out there. In a similar manner, some websites lack the most essential keywords for crawlers to understand what the brand is all about and where they should place the website in the search results. Both extremes are detrimental to your ranking and to the reputation of your website.
Now that you’ve conducted that audit and you have the report, you’ll see precisely what kind of keyword issues you’re facing. A range of free tools can help you research and implement keywords strategically across your website in your content so that search engines can reward you accordingly and your website visitors find what they need with ease. This is where headlines also matter because their presence improves your content quality in terms of SEO. It can be helpful to include the most vital identified keywords for that piece of content to your subheads too.
By now every website has become mobile-friendly one way or another, but those that push for top loading speed, pristine content quality and a mobile-first approach are the ones that earn top spots in the SERPs. Alternatively, poorly optimized chunks of content and sluggish mobile pages lead to poor ranking for your entire digital presence, on every device available to your customers. Ever since Google introduced the mobile-first ranking approach, businesses have had to push for better mobile responsiveness.
Now, it’s essential to remember that your website in its entirety should be designed in such a way that every bit of content, every media file, every feature available for desktop users should be in perfect condition for your mobile visitors, too.
For instance, your calls-to-action (CTAs) should be visible and prominent and your written content should also be easy to follow on mobile devices, not just your infographics and images in general. Consider accelerated mobile pages for your site, but don’t neglect user experience (UX) in the process, too. Ultimately, both will impact your ranking and the desire of your visitors to stay on your site or come back for more.
SEO remains a necessity for modern businesses to increase and preserve their relevance, but you also need to be mindful of potential missteps you might be making, because reversing your mistakes and improving your SEO strategy takes time and learning. Get to know your own SEO track record, stay curious about what could possibly go wrong with your SEO methods and always keep an open mind when it comes to boosting your website to impress your customers as well as search engines – and your ranking will reflect your efforts.