The nice people at Databox contacted us to contribute to an article about SEO techniques. Their question was about most common SEO mistakes and misconceptions around SEO. In the spirit of sharing, we gratefully accepted Databox’s kind offer and wrote an article about the top 10 SEO mistakes.
We see a lot of SEO mistakes! We’ve made more than a few of our own. With SEO you learn the hard way and it can hurt badly.
Little did we know there would be so many other great contributions! You should read the entire 6,000 word article if you get a chance. Your top 10 SEO mistakes will thank you.
What is the most common mistake that you see when you review a company’s efforts to generate organic search traffic?
Organic Search is more important than ever. It is essential for driving traffic. No search results means no traffic.
The issue for many companies now is that not only is Google limiting results to only one page on select mobile devices (Pixel smartphone) but Google is also reducing the number of search results to include more ads and fewer organic results.
These changes are having a real impact on small and local businesses, especially those that do not pay attention to SEO.
We’re seeing more new clients call with questions about social media but when we look into their situation, they also have big problems with their search results. Either they have fallen off page one or they’re not getting phone calls like they used to because pages that used to rank have become too competitive.
After doing a bit of analysis, the culprit is usually a new competitor (or two) that has some SEO know-how. The new competition has solidified a bunch of spots on page one and altered the long-tail searches for the services that used to make the phone ring.
SEO Problems Have SEO Solutions
The SEO problems are created by mistakes we see all the time. Half of the mistakes are related to search as a source of traffic, the rest relate to inbound strategy such as social media and content marketing.
The Top 10 SEO Mistakes:
- There is no schema on the homepage, or anywhere else. If there is schema, it is produced by a WordPress plugin which is bare bones and not very effective;
- There are no reviews from customers on the site or reviews on Google;
- The client has social media accounts but few followers.
- There are no meta descriptions or meta anything, anywhere;
- There is no Google Plus or Google My Business profile registered with Google, and no mention of these or other social profiles in any of the website code;
- There are no “backlinks” which is another name for links on the internet that lead back to the client’s website. As Google is concerned if no one cares enough about the site to link back it, why should Google endorse it with a search ranking?
- The only information that exists about the company is on the company’s website. There is no content such as articles or posts that mention the company, its people or what it does anywhere on the entire internet;
- The client does not use LinkedIn, Twitter or Google Posts (part of Google My Business) to provide links back to the client’s website;
- There are no long blog postings or articles on the client’s website, all of the pages are less than 350 words.
- The client has social media accounts, but does not post regularly and most posts are links to other people’s content.
What Are Ways to Fix or Avoid These Issues?
2. Customer reviews are viewed as high value by Google and will improve your search results, especially if the reviews are on Google. If you have Google reviews, include a link to them on your website (go to the review and click ‘share’ to get the embed link to put on your website). If you don’t have google reviews, go get some! You can also embed other reviews on your website from non-google sources and highlight them using schema markup.
3. Audience development is a must for anyone wanting to drive traffic to a website. If you have a decent audience on social media (2000+ followers), you can grow your traffic quite easily just by sharing your website content over social media. Instagram and Facebook are less useful because they restrict who sees your posts; Twitter is wonderful because you can be confident that your followers will see your posts. Use tools like Tweepi and UnfollowSpy to grow your audience for free on Twitter. We have a guide on our website skyalphabet.com that walks you through the process of using Tweepi.
4. For starters we implement meta keywords on the homepage. Meta Keywords have a bad reputation but they work like a charm if you don’t overuse them and you don’t put the same keywords in the header of every page (the new algorithm update will smoke you for that).
5. Register the business with Google My Business. Wait for the Pin. Fill out your profile using 230 words and make that description the same across your new Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Make sure the description mentions your #1 keyword (the one you want to rank for ie Leicestire logo design).
6 & 7 Kill two (or six) birds with one stone and register the business with Yelp, Google My Business, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Implement “sameas” schema in markup and put the links on your site so that Google knows about your social media and other profiles.
8. LinkedIn and Twitter are gold for anyone that wants to drive traffic back to a site. LinkedIn provides a free place to blog with millions of users; the task is to write an article that people will read. The next task is to write five different opening statements to introduce the article. Anything is better than “I just wrote an article about superconductors on LinkedIn”. Ask your colleagues to each share a different version of the opening introduction so you have five different approaches all driving traffic to the same article on LinkedIn. Make sure the opening description is short and includes positive language; provocative questions can also work well. Link to your company website early in the article and again at key points as it makes sense. It is essential to include a link in your bio at the bottom of the article you write back to your website.
9. It is really helpful to have a descriptive home page, “About” page and “contact us” page. Use only one H1 tag, a Title tag that has the keyword you want to rank for and make sure you use images that also have keywords in the “Alt Text” field. Make the pages 1300 words or more, longer if you can. Use internal links for navigation so people can skip to other content on the same page or to other related content elsewhere on the site.
10. Social media is the best way to generate traffic to your website. Make a list of your pages that people will find interesting and use Buffer to share those pages regularly. Don’t worry if you are sharing the post over and over, as long as they are a day apart and mixed in with other posts.
Let us know if your social media needs help and you’re not being found in search results. We can help!