Equals Creative advise businesses daily on improving customer conversion, and our recent articles have focussed closely on the roles of UX, UI design and user personas in converting more users into customers. But focussing on conversion is fairly futile until you’ve made every effort in driving traffic to your site in the first place. This is where SEO comes in. We know from our clients that many businesses have some knowledge of SEO; some are even tackling it. But we’re also faced with businesses that miss some pretty fundamental SEO tricks on their site. In an attempt to demystify SEO, we discuss five common SEO mistakes made on your website and how to fix them.
One: Coding in a heavy, complicated way
Google loves clean, simple and well structured code. Try to establish a precedent to ensure your site is seamless from the offset; this starts with the code. Using a lightweight front end framework will help you to keep the design clean and simple. Your site is effective when it encourages your visitors to explore more, and the best way to achieve this is to keep the design clutter-free.
Since Google is increasingly prioritising mobile-responsiveness, your site should be mobile-optimised and work across multiple devices. Try to find a good quality design theme with clean code and CSS. Website software such as WordPress is great since it can take care of some of the SEO mechanics for you. Speed up your loading time further with software such as Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
Not only will all of this increase the site speed which is great for SEO but will also improve it’s usability encouraging more pages per click and more time on your website.
Two: Not having a specific keyword strategy
When potential customers are searching online for a product or service that you offer, they will type specific words and phrases into a search engine. These words and phrases form your keyword list and relate directly to your business offering. Your keywords should feature throughout your content in meaningful and relevant ways and will help rank you above your competitors. Get your keywords strategy right and you will achieve a great foundation to start thinking about getting your keywords ranking on Google.
When devising your keyword strategy you may choose to focus on popular keywords and search terms, or you may opt for less common search terms in a bid to avoid battling against thousands of competitors over the same keywords. Whichever strategy you choose, ensure your keywords are highly relevant, closely related to your business or industry and revised regularly to ensure that you are competing for the right type of traffic.
Three: Not using the H1 and H2 in your website
Google knows that oceans of content are not user-friendly. In order to create a good user experience, content should be broken down into manageable sections which are easy for users to digest. Headings using header tags are one way of achieving this. Header tags are one of the things that Google crawls in order to determine how well a website’s content is structured. Google will decide how relevant your headings are to your keywords and content. In general, your H1 tag should be similar or matching the keyword that you are trying to rank for and there should only be one H1 on each page. More than one H1 tag on each page will have a negative impact on your SEO performance. H2 is a sub-header phrase, which should be taken from your content, and offers readers the key theme of your content. Users should reach your H2 and know instantly what they can expect from reading a given section of content. Your H2 should still be highly relevant to your keyword or group of keywords you are trying to rank for on the given section of your website.
Four: Lots of broken links within your site
This may seem like an obvious one, but broken links are incredibly frustrating for readers. Since Google endeavours to rank websites based on usability, it’s in your interests to check regularly for broken links on your site. Plugins like the Broken Link Checker help to automatically discover and fix broken links.
Five: Not enough links going to and around your site
An internal link navigates from one page of your site to another page on your site. Internal links are useful because they make moving around your website easier by establishing a hierarchy of information. Internal links also make it easier for Google to crawl through your site for the information it needs, ensuring lots of relevant data is clumped together. Lots of internal links will help Google – and your readers – navigate their way through your site, thus increasing your ranking power.
Good SEO practice avoids burying main link navigation. If Google’s spiders can’t readily access pages of your site through a coherent structure and plenty of internal links, it might ignore those pages entirely, missing relevant content and keywords and diminishing your ranking capabilities.
Google has become phenomenally popular because it’s great at what it does. Returning extremely relevant, useful and authentic search results – and disregarding the insubstantial ones – is what keeps us coming back; we know that Google will come up with the goods.
From an online business perspective, being in tune with Google’s endeavours will help give your website real authority. This doesn’t mean relentlessly trying to keep up to date with the latest Google algorithm; instead try to focus on creating the best user experience. Original and relevant content and seamless navigation bring real value to your readers and will go a long way to reaping you rewards, both in ranking power and building your brand an excellent reputation online.