SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This refers to the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of traffic to a website through organic search engine results. This is one of the most important tools for an online-based brand to widen its reach and be successful. However, there are several common mistakes that most brands make while doing SEO.
Definition: Before looking into the common mistakes that the brands make while doing SEO, it is important to understand what SEO is and does. So, SEO is the process by which out of the thousands and hundreds of contents that is available online at a given moment, the article or website in question stands out and is easily available to the user who is looking by the help of key terms.
SEO’s Importance: Having a proper search engine optimized content is crucial for any online business. If in the top search results the brand is not featured it loses out on the potential audience, subscribers and revenue.
Take for example a brand sells online crocheted animals. For the brand to be successful it needs to attract buyers to its website. Now, for the majority of online users, Google is their primary search engine. When a potential buyer searches online for saying toy animals or crocheted items if the website of the brand does not come up in the top five results, the brand will not be able to successfully attract its clients. Research statistics show that the top five results on Google has 67% of all the clicks and this is why search engine optimization is so important for brands.
SEO is different from local search engine optimization which is more focused on the optimization of a businesses’ presence and displays when searched for locally. SEO is more oriented towards national and international searches.
Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO: Having stated the importance of the role of SEO in the functioning of a brand, it is now important to acknowledge that there are two approaches to the utilization of SEO technique. One of the approaches is the Black Hat SEO where the brand focuses only on optimization of the content for search engine results and there is no consideration of the human factor. Achieving high website ranks and making quick money is the sole aim of the brand in this case. Black Hat SEO often uses duplicate contents, invisible texts, redirections to other sites and has non-relevant content.
On the other hand, if the brand wants to establish itself for the long haul, and be a sustainable online business, then the focus is on the audience and the potential customers. To attract the customers by providing them with the best contentis the White Hat SEO approach. In this case, having content that is relevant, unique, along with links and references.
There also is the Gray Hat SEO approach, which employs methods from both the types.
Having seen the different approaches to SEO it is noticeable that there is high competition online to stand out in the search results on the different search platforms be it Google, Yahoo or Bing. Despite this, there are several common SEO mistakes that brandsmake while trying to do SEO.
- Adding Keywords to Google My Business name:
Adding keywords that are not part of the brand’s legal name is a direct violation of Google My Business Guidelines. It is just spam to add keywords to the company’s name.
- Not having a secure site:
Having a secure site is one of the positive ranking factors. Having a not secure warning when trying to open a website will have the opposite effect of scaring away customers than attracting them.
- Having a slow site load time:
According to statistics 53% of the websites are abandoned and left if the page does not load in fewer than 3 seconds.
- Asking people to click here:
The ever-present and annoying “click here” is a call to action that does not help in increasing the SEO, as the anchor text to boost the page is missing.
- Not using image alt tags:
It is necessary to have a balance of text, image, and video online. Optimizing the images on the text is one of the basic steps to make your brand more SEO friendly.
- Placing important text in images:
Search algorithms look for texts mostly and are unable to read the texts in the images. So to optimize the content of a website, emphasize on the text.
- Only focusing on on-site SEO:
On-site optimizations are not the only component for improving SEO rankings. Off-site content that is directing traffic towards the brands’ site is also an important aspect to pay attention to.
- Failure in providing a Google Map:
Many brands do not attach a Google Map showing their business location under the “Contact Us” section. This is another basic point to make the brand more user-friendly and legitimate and increase potential customers chance of finding the brand on a local search.
- Ignoring the pages that did not rank:
Focusing on newer pages instead of the previous pages that failed to make the rank on the first page of the search engine is wrong. It is better to make necessary modifications on those pages and amp them up to be ranked higher.
- Ignoring local search:
Be more aware of the location of the brand and the local client base. Pay more attention to region-specific keywords, and local address and landmarks that will help boost the site on other local networks and on the local search engine.
- Not using analytics to see the converts of traffic:
SEO is not all just about traffic but is also about conversion. Tracking the traffic and seeing the conversions on the keywords and phrases is a wonderful tool to check improvements and optimize the brand’s online image and site better.
- Not optimizing the right keywords:
It is a big mistake to use global keywords for a brand that offers local services and vice versa. Similarly, it is also a mistake to use generic or broad keywords to attract traffic. Be specific.
- Not having unique title tags and meta descriptions:
Keeping the brands’ name as the title of every page on the site is one of the more common SEO mistakes. Each page should have its unique title and keywords.
- Using the same anchor text for every link:
Focus on the anchor texts. Having the same text for every anchor text decreases the brand’s credibility for the customer and also looks unprofessional. As a rule try not using the same keywords more than 50% of the time.
- Emphasis on link quantity over link quality:
Quality is more important than quantity. Add relevant and reliable links. Do not keep links to suspicious sites and insecure pages.
- Leaving old URL structures when redesigning a site:
While redesigning the website remember to redirect the traffic from the old website to the new one. This is a common SEO mistake that leads many brands to lose out on old customers and reduces the rank of the site.
- Poorly written content and no fresh content:
This is the biggest and most common SEO mistake that a brand makes while doing SEO. Using article spinners to save money is not going to help the sites’ SEO ranking. The content with plagiarized texts, bad grammar, spelling mistakes, and no structure not only looks bad but also drives away the customers. The content should be well written, informative, engaging, well-sized and unique. Good and fresh content is the backbone of any brand’s SEO ranks.
- Not using appropriate design for links:
Using popular templates and custom designs, makes the brand’s site look monotonous and mainstream. It does not call to attention the customers; it is not it engaging to interact with. Conversion rates of these sites are also low. Try to find a unique design suited for the brand and its products and services.
- Not assessing the website regularly:
Audit the website occasionally and aim to make it user-friendly and appealing to your client base. Check if all relevant information is available and if the website is up to date. Keep adapting the site to the needs of your customers.
- Treating SEO as a one-time task:
SEO is not a one-time task. Constant improvisations and updates are necessary to keep the brand on SEO ranks. Adding more relevant content, updating the data, increasing its products and services, answering customer queries, are all part of the process and needs to be done regularly. Also, SEO keeps changing trends and coming up with the right strategy and staying on top of the trend is vital for the brand.
These are some of the most common mistakes that brands make while doing SEO. But mistakes are lessons hidden in disguise, and one can always learn from these mistakes and improve their brands’ SEO.