Within a 24-hour period, roughly 5.7 Lakh website are added to the web every day. How to NOT be at the bottom of the barrel?
Everyone who has tried to setup a website, social media channel, e-commerce store or any other type of online presence will have come across the three syllables – S.E.O. Search Engine Optimisation. Search Engine Optimisation in layman terms can be loosely interpreted as making your online content easily visible for your intended audience. It is not necessary to be highly visible to everyone online all the time, but it is necessary to be one of the first visible things to any potential customer, client or even business partner in your target demography.
With more and more of the population being digitally enabled, Search Engines such as Google and Bing act as a stepping off point for possible customers and users for millions of businesses. In such a digitally competitive scenario, being visible to the customer ahead of your competition can have a direct impact of your business’s bottom line and being visible requires you to improve website SEO and have a better SEO score/ranking on the web.
Just as we can find many tips and tricks to get better SEO results, there are also some SEO mistakes to avoid while setting up your SEO strategy to ensure that you are not negatively impacted on your SEO ranking. Let us go through briefly the 8 most common mistakes that can be made.
1. Wrong Keyword Selection
Keywords are the essential nuts and bolts of SEO, and they need to be chosen with a plan, strategy, and a clear understanding of your target demography. Keywords are used by the Search Engines to determine whom this website wants to serve its content to, and this requires the website to not have conflicting entries, vague and generalised broad populations or even using keywords that do not match the content being served on the webpage. This leads to reduced click rates and thus further harms the SEO score with each failed attempt.
2. Title Tags, Description Tags, and other metadata
Metatags show the Search Engines where to look for relevant data about the website that is being indexed. Ensuring the tags have the relevant information in them is key to being visible on the results of any search engine. These tags also act as a window into the content of the web page while showing its snippet on the Search Results page for the user. Having the best description, title and headings neatly packaged in these tags are the differentiating factor from being the first link a user clicks on to being anywhere else on that list.
3. Unoriginal or Irrelevant Content
This seems self-explanatory in the beginning, you need to have original and relevant content to serve to your customers on your website if you want them to stay, however, this concept also becomes a necessity in the age of algorithms. SE Rankings can sometimes be affected if your website has consistently performed poorly in the past, due to other websites having the same content with a slightly higher rank at the start, which over thousands of cycles of positive feedback loop can increase the gap between the two search results. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to have original content that distinguishes itself while still being relevant to your target demography to grab their attention.
4. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is the term used when a web developer decides to carpet bomb their tags in the background with every possible search term related to their content, whether it is relevant or not, in the hopes to reach the largest possible audience. This harms the final SEO scores due to constantly being served to non-relevant audience who would constantly ignore your URL. With search engines evolving rapidly, modern SE algorithms just reject keyword stuffed websites and thus almost destroy any chance of being served to relevant users.
5. Slow Site Speed
Search Engines index any website using a method called ‘crawling’. These crawlers require to move through all the URLs that have been given permission to be indexed as quickly as possible and collect data, performance matrix, possible connections to other web URLs, all the while creating their own meta data about what data they gather. This requires your website to be fast, responsive, and online all the time. If your website proves to be unresponsive or has errors, it will significantly hamper the SEO score and possible SEO rankings.
6. Broken Internal Links
If your website has an ebb and flow for the user experience and you wish to serve content or guide the user to other relevant pages on your website, these internal connections need to be in functioning condition all the time. As we mentioned above, Crawlers tend to move through all the URLs on your website, and the major way they do that is by indexing the links that you have provided on your website. If those links do not direct these crawlers to the webpages that you require them to index, it will result in significant portions of your website not being visible on the Search Engines results.
7. Mobile unfriendly websites
With more new internet users being added through mobile than ever before, and more and more of these users starting out their web experience on the mobile; having a mobile optimised presentation is the key to standing out. Search Engine crawlers are known to assess the web links and their performance on the mobile web view, and not having a mobile optimised version of the website, can remove a significant portion of possible users that may be served your website as a search result.
8. Broken Images
Having a healthy splatter of images and other visual aids improves the look of any website, but if these image links are broken or are linked to non-existent images, they can significantly hurt your SEO score than not having images in the first place. Ensuring that the image URLs are accurate and the images that are to be served can be reached for sure, reduces the number of errors a crawler sees, giving a better overall score on the search engine results.
These are some of the most basic mistakes that a web developer can avoid ensuring that their SEO scores are not hampered. The first step in going forwards is to stop going backwards, and this is very much true in today’s world of algorithm driven online world. Search Engine Algorithms have grown to be a behemoth software programs with highly sophisticated advanced analytics, tracking, and machine learning, but at the end of the day are built on top of core fundamental principles that anyone on the web can use to ensure their content is visible to their intended audience. You can use many online tools to check your current SEO performance and implement simple but critical corrections to improve your visibility on the net.
Here at Mantran we can provide you with professional insights, possible interventions and periodic innovations to improve website performance and create an integrated, holistic and a dynamic web presence for your business.