Common SEO Mistakes and How to Fix Them

SEO is both a science and an art. You can look at all the data, comb through the analytics, but sometimes it’s a gut feeling that leads you to include a specific keyword.  A few simple things can derail all the hours and toil you put into your SEO research. Here are some common SEO mistakes and how to rectify them.

Keywords Should Match Content

Believe it or not, some company’s pay an SEO expert to come up with keywords that will improve their Search Engine Return Page (SERP) rankings and then fail to give them to the writer who is creating the content. This fact will lead to search engines penalizing you for having keywords that have little or nothing to do with your site’s content. Google, in particular, is very sensitive about content and keywords that don’t fit together. Google wants its customers to receive the most appropriate content for each search. If your content does not match user searches, its SERP will suffer.

Don’t Forget to Go Mobile

Content should be tailored for smartphones and tablets. If your site is not optimized for mobile devices, it will lead to a host of issues. If you have ever visited a site on a smartphone or tablet that is not optimized for those types of devices, you know why this overlooked detail is a problem. A customer who has to zoom in on something to read it with their phone is not conducive to a positive user experience. All the SEO research in the world won’t keep a customer from bouncing when they encounter a site not optimized for today’s age of digital devices.

Using Other Site’s Content

Spinning software is a relic of the past. Stealing someone’s content and then trying to alter it by using synonyms while keeping the meaning no longer works. While plagiarism is rarely prosecuted, being exposed for plagiarism is penalty enough. Not only will it hurt your reputation with the public at large, but it will also get you thrown in Google jail. It’s one thing to gain inspiration from a blog post or article; it’s another to use their words.  Cut and paste practices are even worse and will without a doubt be penalized by most search engines. In other words, plagiarism will kill your SEO efforts. It’s a simple rule, when writing content, don’t steal a writer’s work.

Lack of Security

In a world that is populated by more and more hackers, security matters. Search engines will lower your SERP results if you don’t use SSL. In addition, some browsers will show that your website is not secure when visited by a user, not something that leaves a positive impression. Not securing your company’s site not only damages your SEO efforts but its brand as well.

Meta Means More

If your company is not using meta-descriptions to optimize your content, then your site is being put at a disadvantage. Meta descriptions are a brief summary of your site. Understandably, search engines don’t put sites lacking a description at the top of a search results page. This omission is easily fixable by adding a brief description of the site using carefully chosen keywords that relate to your site. Make sure the keywords are relevant and don’t sound like your company is spamming. Think of a meta-description in terms of the elevator-pitch concept used for books. You want to make sure that you can accurately describe your content in the same amount of time it takes to tell someone about it on an elevator. Or, in other words, make sure that a user can read it and understand what your site is about in the same time it would take to describe it on an elevator. When the user is done reading your meta-description, they should have no doubt what your company’s site is all about.

Just following these five suggestions should help your SEO efforts. For more information on SEO, click here.

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About the Author

Though his chief ambition is to one day control the entire Internet, Jim busies himself in the meantime running our little web development and marketing agency. He's a certified super nerd who ranks coding in old, outdated languages and watching Star Trek reruns just a bit too high on his list of fun things to do.Outside of work, Jim enjoys Hockey (Tampa Bay Lighning, to be specific), more genres of music than most people realize exist, riding his Harley (he calls it "two wheel therapy") and exploring the world through travel.