Let’s face it, SEO is a very complex and sometimes confusing concept that many people don’t have the time or energy to understand. For this post we thought we would address the Top 5 SEO Mistakes that folks make when they don’t completely understand SEO. If you read this and have made a few of these mistakes on your site, don’t panic. These issues are easy to fix but may need to be addressed by a professional. Let’s get into it.
Thin Content is one of the primary SEO Mistakes
Thin Content just means the site doesn’t have enough content for the topics or keywords it in which it wants to rank. This is quite possibly one of the simplest things to fix from an SEO perspective. We can create content very easily and quickly to make sure our site has the best chance to rank. We don’t need to go crazy and write 3-4 articles for each topic but we might need to refresh some of the current content or create new to make sure we add value to the searcher. Matt Cutts, Google’s Search Chief, stresses the importance of moving away from thin content through the constant development of the Panda algorithm. Panda was initially designed years ago to cut down on content farms but has morphed into focusing on penalizing sites with light, low grade content . This SEO Mistake is a simple fix and we work with clients on this specific topic everyday.
Proper Page Title Usage
The page title is one of the most important aspects of proper SEO and is often misused or overlooked. We work on sites that have every single page with a page title that is not doing the website justice. The page title should be short, typically under 60 characters, and should contain the focus keyword near from front. After talking with our clients, we have found that one of the main reasons page titles are being underutilized for SEO is because the business owners or stakeholders who write the content for the site are often not aware of the SEO value of the page title. They send the article to their IT department or website manager without adding a keyword appropriate page title and the article is posted using a generic page title taken from the content rather than being optimized properly. This is a fairly simple item to fix and could result in an increase in rankings.
Canonical Tags and Redirect Issues
Hang in with us here. This common SEO Mistake can get pretty technical but we will do our best to explain it without needing you to be an SEO guru. Cononical Tags might sound confusing but they really are pretty easy to understand. A Cononical Tag is code 0n a website that tells the search engines how to handle intentional duplicate content. This allows a website owner the ability to post the same content in two separate categories on their site without being penalized from Google. Cononical tags give great flexibly to website owners but they are often used incorrectly or not used at all and either case can cause severe damage to a websites SEO.
404 errors and issues
If your site has been around a while and it has more than 30 pages you need to check for 404 errors. This is not a new topic but something that can deliver a terrible experience for the searcher that clicked on your site. Think about it, have you ever clicked on a link and when delivered to the site it gives you a 404 error? Didn’t that give you the biggest online No feeling you have ever had? Immediately you think that the website owner doesn’t have a clue and you wouldn’t dare do business with them if they can’t keep up with their website. You can easily use Google Webmaster Tools to discover any 404 errors and the beauty is it’s free. You don’t need to pay for a premium service to handle this issue. Don’t delay, get a webmaster account set up and make sure your site is delivering a great experience.
Keyword Density and Keyword Stuffing
One of the top SEO Mistakes we see quite frequently is keyword density or keyword stuffing. Here is the main goal. We don’t want to stuff our keyword in the content 20 times. It’s not 2004 anymore so that tactic won’t deliver a great result and we will probobly never rank if we use this strategy because our content won’t be high quality. But let’s not swing the pendulum the complete opposite way. We have talked with companies who don’t even want to mention their keyword on a page because they have been so scared of being hammered for stuffing a keyword but we still need a keyword presence. Is there an exact way to determine how many times we should mention a keyword on a page? No, but we need it to be there somewhere. Remember one key thing when discussing this topic. It’s not that Google and other search engines don’t want you to keyword stuff, it’s the result of keyword stuffing that they fear. If you write a 300 word article and 20 of the words are your keyword there is a good chance your quality won’t be great. So remember the next time you create content for your site to just write the article and worry about the keyword later. If we focus on how many times we use a keyword whether it’s 2 or 20, we won’t be focusing on the content quality. Write the article and then worry about the rest later. They key to the search engines is making sure you provide top quality content that a searcher can engage with.