It pays to know a little about SEO, especially if you want to ranks your pages well in search engines. For many businesses, they will have a great looking website, but having a website is only a small part of a much bigger picture.
So, you spent a small fortune getting a new website built, or you took the leap and tried your hand at making a website for your business yourself. It’s been a few months now and you still don’t see it anywhere near the first page of search results, maybe it’s not even in the first 5 pages. Could there be some SEO Mistakes?
You heard a lot about keywords and took your queue from that and added them in your website like it was going out of fashion. The problem is, it did go out of fashion, some time ago.
Years ago, one of the main ways to rank your website near the top was to add your keywords or phrases as many times as you could on your website pages, and it worked great, until Google changed it’s algorithm for how it ranks websites. One of the biggest SEO mistakes today is keyword stuffing.
Keyword stuffing, putting it short, is putting you keywords on your website pages as many times as you can to try and rank for those words. For older websites in particular, this is a big issue for the website owner because what used to be a great way to rank high is now the worst thing you can do and could end up not ranking at all.
Search engines, Google in particular prefer to see naturally writing content, you don’t even have to have your keywords in the actual content any more, as long as the content is relative to the subject, it will rank. A good practice is to use your keyword in your Title and Description meta, and in your H1 heading. This will tell Google what your page is about, so any content after that just needs to be relevant to the topic. Of course, it does no harm to place your keywords in your content, in moderation, but never over-do it because that’s just not going to go down well with search engines like Google.
Before you can add those keywords to your website pages, it’s great to know which keywords will actually do better than others.
Another big mistake people make is not researching keywords. Keyword research has huge benefits, which includes knowing what your target audience are actually searching for.
Of course, there are some great tools to help you do this. If you are on a budget, you can use Google’s free Keyword Planner Tool. Some great paid tools I like to use are Ubersuggest and SEMrush (The SEMrush free trail is a very helpful).
The quality of your content counts, a lot! and this is where having great content cunts, but many website owners will use the same content on multiple pages, of even copy it from one website and paste it on their own website. Unfortunately, no matter how good the content is, doing this will have the opposite affect to what you want.
When you do this, Google will look at the content on your page and see that it is the same (or sometimes even just very very similar) as another page on your website, or from another website altogether. Google then evaluates which is the original and which is a copy and will rank the web page with the original copy leaving the other pages to sit high and dry with no rank worth having.
The exceptions to this are eCommerce websites and sites where product descriptions might be given by the manufacturer, for example car sales websites where a lot of the info about a car will be identical across many websites or platforms.