9 SEO Mistakes That You Want to Avoid or Correct.
If you missed our earlier article, What is SEO, check it out.
Let's talk about a few things you shouldn't do. I know it sounds odd to start with things not to do, but here's the thing with search engines, good things happen slowly. That is the nature of the beast. Bad things can happen instantly, or at least, very quickly. So, let's go over a few basic things you should not do.
- Do not lose patience
Gaining search rank is a slow process. You need to make your site attractive to search engines. You need to regularly update pages with new information. Demonstrate your expertise in your market. If you lose patience and stop updating your site or even worse, engage in shady SEO practices, the search engines will catch on.
- Do not use the default page titles or let search engines choose your description.
For more information, you can look at our existing article, what are page titles and descriptions.
Search engines ultimately choose to display what they want, but if your titles and descriptions are relevant to the page, they will respect your request.
Do not use a single page title or description sitewide. Each page should be unique.
Do not simply list keywords.
- Do not fill your site with repeated keywords in the content
You want to read each page you design after you have completed it. Your goal is to address the content to the site visitor. If you read the page and it sounds repetitive or awkward to you, imagine your potential customer reading it. It is possible to see which keywords were used to search and find your site. Those are great words to make sure you include in your content.
- Do not overstuff your meta keywords or use popular but irrelevant keywords
Honestly, I am not sure why these still exist. You can add them if you like, but search engines have completely disregarded this tag. It is possible that some search engines, like Bing, may penalize stuffing. Google does nothing with meta keywords.
- Do not place oversized images on your site.
With the rapid increase in camera resolutions, we see phones taking images of 5mb or more now. If you fail to resize these images when you upload them, your site will take much longer to load. Search engines will penalize your site for this. Resize the image to as small as you can for both the size you need and the quality of the image. Resizing does reduce the quality, so don't go too small. Always keep your original image, so you can start over if you are unhappy with the results.
- Use header tags sparingly
Header tags are designed to tell the search engine that this is an important subject on this page, but use only a few words for the header. If there are multiple sections relevant to your header 1 tag, then you can use header 2, header 3, etc to organize those sections. The main content of the page should be in a paragraph element.
In the past, it was a hard and fast rule that you have only one H1 tag per page. That is still a good rule of thumb, but thanks to advancements in the development of HTML, it is ok to have multiple H1 tags, but it is widely believed that this will dilute the SEO power of the tag. Websitebuilder uses HTML5 and so is compatible with multiple H1 tags, but, we still advise the use of only a single H1 tag per page.
Additionally, do not overuse bold, italics, and CAPS. They are all useful tools, but excessive use will make the site less attractive to both search engines and site visitors.
- Do not make site navigation overly complicated.
In most cases, your pages can all appear on your site navigation menu. That will not always be the case, but you do not want to have pages that take 5, 10, or even more clicks to find.
- Do not use images when text will work.
Search engines can't read text that is an or in an image. If you are a restaurant and want to post your menu online, don't snap a picture and upload it to the site. Even if your menus were professionally designed and beautiful. Visitors can view them alright, but search engines can't do anything with it and you are losing out on possible search results. Retype your menu into your site so search engines can respond when someone searches for a certain type of dish.
"A picture is worth a thousand words" is still true for many people, but search engines prefer text. Images can be used, but text must be used.
Search engines want quality text content. It is advised that each page have a minimum of 200-300 words of quality content on each page. It might even be much more, if necessary to make the meaning of the page clear to search engines. Show off your expertise!
- Do not turn off your mobile site
Yes, we do give you the option to do so, but it is not recommended. Search engines will penalize your ranking if your site is not mobile-friendly, especially when searching from a mobile device.
Soon we will have some articles of things you can and should do, but if you are doing any of the above, fix that first.