When it comes to content marketing, optimising one’s blog or website is an integral component of it. While SEO is forever evolving, it’s still one of the most prominent aspects of marketing, as it’s one of the more effective and efficient ways of driving traffic to your website.
The methods used in SEO, are forever changing because of the forever changing nature of search engines. It’s up to the marketers to stay on top of what works and what doesn’t in the area of optimisation.
Marketers that fall behind, get left behind. If you don’t know what you should or shouldn’t be doing, then you could witness a sharp decline in your organic traffic and rankings.
There are many SEO mistakes webmasters use, many of which, are tough to avoid. Testing these methods is very difficult and time consuming, with marketers having to wait, anywhere from 6 months to a year, to see the real effects of their choices.
While, there have been many changes in the area of SEO, over the past couple of years, one thing has remained constant, and that is the methods that work, in the long run.
So, for this article, let’s take a look at the most common SEO mistakes, that you should want to avoid at all costs.
If you want the desired results, then you need to adopt desired methods.
1. Not Using Headings
It’s probably a good idea for you to consider breaking your content up, using more headings, rather than less. For example, you could split health and safety into two categories. When it comes to SEO, you want your traffic to speak to as many people as possible, which is why it’s a good idea to break things up. You also want to be clear in what your post is about, that way, visitors will be able to better identify what they’re looking for.
2. Long Titles
All search engines have a title limit, after which, the title will be truncated. So you want to be as concise as possible, in your titles. As truncated titles, typically miss the bar.
Most SEO experts will advise you to use no more than 70 characters, but you also have to consider the pixel size, as the search engines, typically take that into account, too. So, to make things safe, you’re probably better off, using no more than 65 characters, that way you can be sure, things will not be cut off.
If you have a WordPress blog, then there are many SEO plugins that you can use, like Yoast, which provides you with a preview of your article in the SERPs.
3. No Keyword Variation
Although, it’s very important that the keyword you’re targeting be used, several times throughout the page, it’s also a good idea for you to vary things up. There are many terms and phrases that can be expressed in more than one way. For example, a car crash or automobile accident. Using variations, for your keywords, ensures that you’re able to attract as many visitors to your articles as possible.
Not everyone will use the more commonly accepted phrase, some will use the other terms, which you’d hope to incorporate into your articles. If you’re keyword is short, then that leaves very little room for variations, but as a general rule, you should use at least 2 variations of the same keyword, per 1000 words.
4. Using Keyword Stuffing
Many newcomers think, if they use their targeted keyword in every sentence, then it will help boost their sites rankings. But that’s far from the truth. In reality, if you use the same keyword too many times, in an article, then the post will be perceived as spam, which ultimately will end up hurting its rankings.
It’s for this reason why you want to stay clear of keyword stuffing, or the overuse of a keyword, within your content. Overuse of a keyword, usually makes the content read unnaturally, making it useless to your targeted audience. In fact, Google, has taken it one step further by using Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI). This program is capable of determining where your content should rank, without the need for stuffing it with the same keyword.
5. Broken Links
One duty that any SEO expert will carry out, is to scan your website, for any broken links. Any “Error page not found” situations on your site, is not only an annoyance for your visitors, but also detrimental to your SEO efforts.
The search engines have bots, which scan your website, going through all the various links on the site. If one of these bots stumbles upon to many 404 errors, then it will term your site as a poor browsing experience.
When putting any link on your site, you should make sure of where it’s going. But this is the internet, and over time, it’s natural that links will move, so what was once working, no longer works.
Whenever you stumble upon a situation like this, you’ll want to make corrections, whether it’s using redirects or just changing the link altogether.
Depending on the importance of the link, you may or may not go with a 301 redirect.
Article contributed by Uchenna Ani-Okoye who is a former IT Manager that now runs his own computer support website https://www.compuchenna.co.uk