Search engine optimization is one of the cornerstones of good web development and marketing. But even if you’re an SEO expert, there are still some common mistakes that will negatively impact your efforts.
If you’re trying to reach potential clients and customers in Palm Beach, Florida, SEO is an easy and inexpensive way to get traffic to your site to build your customer base.
But if it’s done incorrectly, many practices can actually harm your Google rankings or even get you penalized by Google. You need your site to be SEO friendly to reach the well over 1.4 million year-round residents, not to mention the 30,000+ seasonal residents, in Palm Beach.
The good news is that most SEO mistakes are easily fixable, even if you’re not an SEO expert.
Mistake #1: Keyword Stuffing
At one time, cramming keywords into generic content was considered effective SEO. Those days are long gone.
Keyword stuffing, or unnaturally adding keywords into content, is one of the easiest ways for your website to be overlooked by Google. Google analytics tools can tell when keywords are placed awkwardly into text.
Keywords are important but don’t try to load your content excessively. It makes your content read unnaturally to your site visitors and reduces your Google ranking.
The Fix: Google loves natural, readable content. Give your readers what they want, and give Google a reason to rank your site by providing high-quality content.
You can and should use keywords. Just use them appropriately throughout your content, and Google will reward you with the rankings you need.
Mistake #2: Low-Quality Content
Buying or producing low-quality content will not help your Google rankings. While you can find freelancers to write content for your site at a low cost, the quality will likely match the price.
Google looks for content that demonstrates expertise and subject knowledge. Rich content will always outrank low-quality articles, videos, or blog posts.
The Fix: If you create your own content, make sure it’s well written, demonstrates your command of the subject, and is interesting to your reader/customer.
If you’re like most businesses and contract your content writing, use a reputable firm to do so. You will get what you pay for, so make sure you’re paying for high-quality SEO content.
Mistake #3: Low Page Speed
People in Palm Beach, Fla., are on the move. They don’t have time to wait for web pages to load and for slow internet connections.
Research suggests that 40 percent of visitors bounce from pages that take more than three seconds to load. You have three seconds to keep your audience interested and engaged in your site.
The Fix: While slow internet connections can’t always be avoided, you should make sure the quality of your site allows for quick page load speed. Test your site on an ongoing basis to make sure it’s performing to your standards.
Mistake #4: Broken Links
How many times have you visited a website and clicked on a link only to find it leads to a “page not found”? Frustrating, right?
Broken links are another mistake that will diminish the user experience. Google ranking is sensitive to bad user experience, which impacts your site’s ranking.
The Fix: While you’re monitoring your site’s performance and page speed, check the links. Make sure they are all valid and lead the user to the page you want. Remove broken links immediately.
Mistake #5: Not Using Meta Tags and Descriptions
Meta tags and descriptions are one way that Google “sees” your website and links your site with searches.
If you’re not using meta tags and descriptions within your site, you are losing the opportunity for Google to connect your site with people looking for your product or service.
The Fix: Add descriptive meta to your site that will naturally link searches to your tags.
If your Palm Beach customers are looking for dog groomers, using meta tags and descriptions with the key phrase, “dog grooming in Palm Beach,” is an easy way to get those connections.
A special note: include descriptions for your images, too. Each image on your site should have a relevant title with an appropriate keyword and at the minimum should also have the Alternative Text description filled in with other relevant keyword phrases, as appropriate.
Mistake #6: Preventing Your Site From Being Indexed
If your website doesn’t allow for search engine crawling, your site is virtually invisible to Google.
Many content management systems, such as WordPress and Joomla, have default settings that do not allow crawling. This prevents Google from indexing and ranking your site.
The Fix: If you use a CMS, make sure that your settings allow for crawling. For most, unchecking the “Discourage” box will allow for crawling.
As part of your regular website review, return to this box regularly to make sure the option is unchecked. This one mistake could render any of your SEO useless.
Effective SEO is an important part of your marketing campaign and your website’s effectiveness. You can’t afford to make simple mistakes with your SEO.
The goal of your SEO campaign is getting to the top page of Google. Following these simple steps will help ensure that your website will be seen and ranked.