You have spent the time and expense to create an eye-popping website that grabs a potential customers attention. Don’t make the mistake of content that won’t rank on search engines to go along with your top tier graphics. All of that effort and money poured into your website is for naught if you don’t register on a search engine. Too often web designers focus on flash over function. Here are some common mistakes that can really hurt your SEO efforts, and how to avoid them.
Don’t Go Big
Graphics that are engaging and visually pleasing are essential to how a visitor to your website perceives your company. There is also a downside to using images and videos that are too large. Big image and video files can cause the speed on your site to slow down significantly. When your website is too slow, it impacts your search engine results page (SERP) placement. On the other hand, Google will increase your SERP placement if your website runs faster. A “speed signal” has been incorporated into their algorithms to improve the rank of fast sites. Google also states that according to their research, users are happier when a website is fast. So, before you upload that huge image file to your site, keep speed in mind.
Tag, or You’re Not It
You can do everything right with your website, but if you are not using H1 tags, you are practically invisible to search engines. Google and Bing both have signals in their algorithms for H1 tags. H1 tags are commonly used for titles of a page, and therefore search engines recognize their importance. In fact, the first thing that people see about your company in a SERP is your H1 tag (or title of the page). If you have a well written H1 headline, it will likely result in more clicks. Your H1 title should be written well enough that a user can tell what the site is about instantaneously from reading the headline. Beware though, just like keyword stuffing, if you use too many H1 tags Google and Bing will penalize your site. The bottom line is, use one H1 tag with a clear, strong headline and your SEO will improve. Leave out an H1 tag, and your site might as well not exist.
Don’t List Everything on One Page
Search Engines will be dumbfounded if you try and fit everything about your company in on one page. They will not be able to determine what is your company’s core business. Obviously, if you confuse a search engine, the SERP ranking will not be very high. How do you avoid this problem? Have a page for each service or product your company provides. Having separate pages for products or services gives a clear signal to search engines about each page’s content. Separating pages also affords an opportunity to use one keyword per page. Straightforward content that extols the benefits of using your company’s goods or services also increases the chance of having a high SERP ranking.
Keep Text Out of Images
Unfortunately including text in images is still a common mistake. Why is including text in images a bad idea? Text contained in images is invisible to search engines. At this point search engines can’t read text included in images, so don’t embed any text in a picture. Text in an image also removes the H1 tag, as already stated is bad.
Search Engines Hate Pop-Ups Too
Are you thinking of getting a little extra cash trough allowing advertisements in pop-ups on your site? How about trying to sell one of your products in a pop-up? Why there are conflicting schools of thought on the effectiveness of pop-ups to sell products, one thing is true; search engines will put your website in the penalty box for using them. Google has stated they lower SERP rankings for pop-ups.
If you avoid these content marketing mistakes, then you can expect to see your SEO efforts yield improved results.
For more information on SEO, check this MosierData blog post.