The Online marketers seem to always be seeking to design a better mousetrap when it comes to making an SEO strategy.
On the surface, it makes sense. The major search engines are always changing how they rank websites, and the digital marketers need to keep up.
But dig a little deeper, and it becomes obvious that the major changes being made by search engines like Google and Bing are based on one thing – improving the quality and user experience.
Still, many SEOs throw the kitchen sink at their websites, using outdated and ineffective strategies. If you’re looking for ways to gain a competitive advantage in 2017,
Here are 3 SEO Mistakes to Avoid.
1. Keyword Abuse
In the Wild Wild West of search, a practice is known as ‘keyword stuffing’ used to allow SEOs to manipulate search results.
By inserting a specific percentage of a single keyword into website text, you could improve a site’s ranking for that keyword in search engine results.
This practice fell by the wayside when search engines stopped scoring the use of keywords above a certain percentage.
Sites that were once able to score highly found themselves falling off the front page and even being penalized for not following best practices.
No website was immune; major retailers found themselves punished for using improper tactics to rank high for a specific keyword.
The best practice nowadays is to keep keywords to a minimum and make sure they flow naturally into the text. Search engines use algorithms to detect how many times keywords are used and rank the site lower if the number goes over a certain threshold.
They are also looking for user engagement when they land on your page, so if the quality of your content is low because it’s stuffed with keywords, your users are going to have a poor experience and your rankings will suffer.
Stop abusing keywords — and instead get creative with their use. Find peripheral phrases and another syntax that relate to your keyword and focus on producing quality copy that adds value to your users.
These simple tweaks will help you avoid any keyword penalty, while also increasing the quality of your content and subsequently, your search rankings.
2. Not Optimizing Images
Search engines love images. In fact, most have a separate section to search specifically for images. But simply slapping an image on a website and not putting any data behind it is the biggest mistake a website designer can make.
If a search engine crawler can’t find image data, it reports back to the indexing portion of the search engine, and the website finds itself ranking lower.
Even though image optimization is critical to a website success, many sites do not properly optimize them. This mistake by many SEOs provides you an opportunity to capitalize on image optimization to improve your rankings.
The best practices for image optimization include:
Name your images using descriptive and targeted keywords
Use Alt tags to describe your images to crawl bots
Select engaging and quality images for your content
Minify the file size to increase load speed
3. The Wall of Text
In the early days of the internet, websites consisted mainly of text. Connections were slow, and images took forever to load. Website users in those days were accustomed to Usenet, a text-only medium, and adapted to websites that were mostly text.
Nowadays, speeds are faster, and images load instantaneously. But some marketers seem to be stuck in the mid-1990s and insist on making a page a solid wall of text.
It’s best to break up the text with images and infographics. The page looks cleaner and less challenging to read, and the images support the text.
Doing so gives the user a visual resting point before he or she reads further. Also, be sure to break large paragraphs into smaller ones. Your page will look cleaner, and your readers will be able to digest its information more easily.
Diversifying your content will not just improve the readability and user experience, but rich-media content will also increase the likelihood that someone shares your page.
For example, let’s say you create an engaging video that you publish on your website. If the content is valuable, other bloggers will be more inclined to link back to that video on their website.
Even if that video page has very few on-page keywords or copy, the page could still rank for targeted keywords based on the inbound links. Breaking up the monotony of text-based content on your website can vastly improve your search rankings.
These are just some of the common SEO strategy mistakes that still pervade the internet.
Those who want their website indexed and ranked well on search engines need to avoid them at all costs and employ best practices that focus on increasing the quality of your website and improving the user experience.
Keeping these elements in mind when building out your SEO strategy will help you improve your search rankings.
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