As a company that always strives to stay on the cutting-edge of web design, we understand just how overwhelming search engine optimization (SEO) can be. From Google’s constant algorithm updates to technological advances that continuously crop up, there can be a lot to stay on top of! While there are many things you should be doing to improve your SEO, keep in mind those things you shouldn’t be doing. Here are 5 SEO mistakes you should avoid in order to stay in Google’s good graces.
1. Forgetting to Have a Mobile-Friendly Website
Don’t be one of those people that say, “Oh we’ll go responsive when we redesign our website next year”. Responsive design cannot wait! In April of this year, Google officially announced that mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor. Responsive design allows your website to dynamically resize to fit the device it is being displayed on. This promises large, clickable buttons and easy-to-read text. Even if you aren’t ready for a full redesign, we highly recommend retrofitting your website for responsive design.
2. Leaving Meta Data Blank
Whether you don’t have the time or it just slipped your mind, leaving your Meta Data blank is a huge mistake. Every page on your website (secondary, blogs, contact form, etc.) should have a unique Meta Page Title and a unique Meta Page Description. These tags are used to communicate to search engines what each page is all about so that they may properly index your site in search results. In addition, this Meta data is what shows up in search results, communicating to visitors what they can expect if they click through. Learn more about how to create optimized page titles and Meta descriptions.
3. Choosing Keywords without Proper Research
Assuming that you know what your users are searching for can be detrimental to your SEO strategy. Businesses often use internal jargon that they become desensitized to, quickly forgetting that the basic user is not familiar with such language. For that reason, it is important to take what you already know and do some research. Ask a third party to share their feedback, utilize Google’s Keyword Planner Tool, or see what your competitors are doing. All of these tricks will help you discover what your users are actually searching for.
4. Implementing Updates then Ignoring SEO for a Year
If you have taken the time to implement search engine optimization tactics then you are off to a great start! However, the biggest mistake you can make from here is to not touch your site again until this time next year. SEO is an ongoing process that requires a real time commitment. Search engines expect to see constant change, fresh content, new links, and other updates on a consistent basis. If you do not have someone that can be dedicated to SEO on a weekly basis, at least set up bi-weekly reminders to post a blog, check for algorithm updates, and monitor your keyword rankings.
5. Letting Your Website Content Go Stale
Similar to ignoring SEO for the rest of the year would be updating your website content and then not touching it for months on end. Search engines send out robots to crawl your website, looking for certain SEO indicators that will help them decide where to rank you in search results. One such indicator is how often you update your website. Making no changes to your main content, blog posts, or Meta Data over a long period of time will signal to these robots that you are inactive, and therefore, your information may be outdated. Sites that update their content often are more likely to rank higher. If your site content is not something that changes often, you can still keep content fresh through blogging, news articles, and/or events.
As you take on your company’s search engine optimization endeavors, keep these common mistakes in mind. If you need assistance with managing your SEO, please contact Informatics.