Unfortunately, the “if you build it, they will come” mentality doesn’t necessarily work when setting up a website. You can have the most beautiful website in the world, but if it’s not optimized for search engines, you won’t have very many visitors. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a complex subject that is constantly evolving. What works to get visitors to a website today may not work next week!
People who are not SEO experts commonly make the same type of mistakes. Mistakes in optimizing a website will affect the number of people who find your site when using Google or Yahoo or some other favorite search engine. Here are some common SEO mistakes that could be hurting your site:
Not Having Titles and Descriptions
When you use a website builder or blog software to create your website, often the title and description html tags are not automatically filled in for you. If you don’t go back to each of the individual pages on your website and include a page title and description, the search engines have a much harder time labeling your site and “understanding” what the website is about. Search engines literally read the title and description, then match the words found in those html tags with the phrases people are typing into search engines to find information.
Using Too Many Keywords
It used to be that websites needed to have keyword optimized content to have a chance at appearing in the search engine results when people typed those phrases into a search engine. Web developers and SEO experts would strive for their primary keywords to appear for a certain percentage of the total page’s content – like 5% for example.
Now, when creating content for web pages, it is not necessary to fit keywords into the content in any specific place or for a specific percentage of your overall content. When you provide information on a topic, you’ll naturally use keywords without forcing it. In fact, it is thought that using too many keywords in your content will actually result in lower search engine rankings than if you just write the information naturally.
Confusing or Difficult to Read Content
Another common mistake website and blog owners make is posting content that is confusing or difficult to understand. Content that is stuffed with keywords don’t make sense. Content that uses extremely long sentences and complicated vocabulary words will make the average reader click off your page in a hurry!
Keep your information easy to read with short sentences and every-day vocabulary. Experts say you should aim for content that reads at about an 8th grade reading level.
Creating Fancy Websites Without SEO
Probably the most confusing and expensive mistake people make is to have a website built that is beautiful but has no search engine optimization at all! If a website has all the bells and whistles, amazing graphics, fancy navigational menus and video features people may be impressed by it – if only they could find it. If you search for some of the fanciest looking sites in Google with keywords about their topic and don’t find the website – that’s a problem. A website without search engine optimization is pointless. When putting together a website or blog, you need to consider search engine optimization as part of the design.