Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, refers to the quality and quantity of data sent and received from visitors to a website through organic search engine results.
However, SEO isn’t as easy as it sounds. To be able to take advantage of Google’s search algorithm requires a lot of work.
However, first, let’s find out a little more about the types of SEO.
Different Types of SEO
There are two types of SEO: On Page and Off Page. Both are essential if you want to optimize your website to successfully rank higher in the SERPs.
On Page SEO
In short, On Page SEO refers to the elements that have an impact on web pages or websites, such as HTML codes, meta tags, etc.
What it means is that you organize, label and identify different parts of your website and how it appears to a search engine.
To successfully optimize your page, you need to focus mainly on 8 things:
1. Title Tags: Title tag helps a search engine to identify what the page is all about. It’s an essential practice because title tags act as first impressions of your site. It’s best to keep it unique and between 50-60 characters.
2. URL Structure: A URL or Uniform Resource Locator of your website and subsequent pages should be organized. It’s best to put the subject inside the URL so that search engines (and users too!) can quickly identify what the content is all about.
3. Headings: Headings describe the content inside the webpage. Popular search engines like Google & Bing puts extra focus on headings, so, make sure yours are unique and descriptive. They not only help users navigate easily, but it also helps search engines get an idea of what the content is about.
4. Alt-Text on Images: Search engines can’t ‘see’ images like humans. For them to understand what an image is all about, you need to describe it through an alter text accurately. The best practice would be to give an image a proper title, alt-text, and caption.
5. Page load speed: If your page loads slowly, you will undoubtedly lose visitors. So, it’s essential that you do what’s required to speed up the process. Compressing image sizes, setting appropriate browser cache and speeding up script loading are a few essential optimizing techniques.
6. Meta Description: A Meta briefly describes the title and shows users why they should go to your page instead of someone else’s. It appears just below the title and URL. It shouldn’t cross more than 150 characters.
7. Internal Links: The term is quite self-explanatory, it’s all the links/URLs that appear inside your site generating from the same domain. It makes user-navigation easier and helps search engines know your site better. At the very least, each page should carry an internal link back to your homepage and category page.
8. Mobile Friendly/Responsiveness: As more and more users are browsing the internet through smartphones, it’s essential that you make your website mobile friendly. When you do all the elements of your page should appear on a phone screen, and users can navigate to their desired page comfortably as using a desktop/laptop browser.
Off Page SEO
Off Page SEO include the ways that can enhance the position of a website in the results page of the search engines. Some techniques of Off Page SEO include Quality Link Building, Backlink Analysis, Social Media Marketing, and so much more!
Many still believe that stuffing your keywords and buying random backlinks are still the best practice to a successful SEO campaign.
They are wrong!
In fact, many experts make such mistakes!
However, you wouldn’t want to be one of them.
So, here are some of the worst SEO mistakes that you must avoid:
1. Poor Content
It so often happens that if the content lacks depth, in the sense that to cover a broad range of topics, the entire point will be missed.
Improper use of keywords is also another reason the content ranks poorly regarding being relevant.
To resolve this, proper research on the content is a necessity.
Moreover, there must be an adequate citation of the data/information that was used, without which the information would not be credible.
Many website contents are often recycled or reused in an attempt to create seemingly new content out of old ones. This may be due to not wanting to invest the resources necessary to write new content.
An obvious solution to both of these problems is dedication and funding towards research and writing of the content.
2. Poor Usage of Keywords
Keywords used in web page content dictates how Google’s PageRank algorithm ranks that page among many others.
The common misconception is that using popular keywords that have high search volume will help you gain ranks. However, that’s not the case because keywords must be relevant. Otherwise, the page would seem ambiguous.
Here are two common mistakes that you must try to avoid:
First off, awkward use of keywords in the article that looks forced in a way that feels unnatural to read.
The second one is focusing on the number of words rather than the quality.
It takes proper knowledge of your niche and the right tool to find the best keywords for your content. Not any random high-search volume keyword or over usage of them will get your rank.
You must take the time to proofread your work and make sure it sounds good to the ears.
3. Insufficient Crawler Links
Google’s search engine uses crawlers, which seek out web pages and any other web content that is cited and linked within the webpage.
As a result of this, an interconnected network of websites is created, and they are continuously indexed and compared to one another.
When citing a reliable and authentic source in your content, you are making your piece of information more credible to the search engines and the visitors.
A website’s PageRank can go lower if you don’t provide it with adequate outbound links to authentic sources.
Maintaining links is important but you must ensure the links aren’t expired or broken.
You should do routine checks on links and allow for substitutes if the original link is broken.
4. Poor Crawler Links
While adding links to the page certainly helps, you should individually assess the quality of each link.
Quality of crawler links depends on how frequently other web pages cite these links and the amount of traffic on those web pages.
You could try using different reliable tools like RankWatch to measure the organic traffic, DA (Domain Authority) or DR (Domain Rating), Rank Tracking, Competitor and Backlink Analysis, Site Audit, etc. of a referee site before citing them on your page.
Sites with less authenticity in terms of all those metrics clearly are not worth being cited on your webpage.
5. Not Spending Enough on Content Advertisements
If you’re not investing sufficiently for content promotion or advertisement, you are significantly limiting your viewership and reach.
Given the amount of work and resources put behind writing new content, it is surprising how little people spend into the advertisement of the product or blog. Advertisements are what ultimately help spread the message to everyone.
Unfortunately, many SEO experts often overlook the importance of effective marketing and rely solely on free methods that can be ineffective and time-consuming.
A good idea would be to take help from tools and marketing systems which handle these kinds of promotions. They help promote your content to targeted users, which can be based on demographic factors like age, geography, and interests.
Budget options can be found – content creators aren’t expected to empty their pockets over promoting their work, of course!
Paid social media campaigns and shout-outs, where a known celeb promotes your content, are examples of content advertising.
6. Sheer Negligence
You have to be passionate about your work.
Audit your content and understand how it would look from the reader’s perspective. You should continually check if all links are working and if the content is worth reading.
It is imperative to keep working, and using what you’ve learned from practice.
7. Compatibility with Mobile Devices
According to a study, your content should be mobile friendly as in latest years almost 52.4% of all web traffic originates from mobile devices.
By targeting a large pool of devices, you can achieve greater reach, as your content is more accessible from a wider variety of people.
8. Use of Jargons that Readers Don’t Understand
A common mistake by SEO experts is overusing particular jargons that commoners don’t understand.
While using jargon here and there is a good idea, heavily using it may hamper your average reader’s experience. This can lead to search engines ranking your webpage lower than others.
You should strategically place the jargons, or other keywords, throughout the post.
9. Not Knowing Where to Invest
Many experts don’t quite know where to invest and can go for the more expensive means.
Spending money on marketing through sponsored guest posts or influencers can be quite a strain on your pocket.
Instead of doing so, be a good guest writer to contribute truly valuable contents to some of your niche related blogs. That way, you can quickly build some natural links that attract more attention and can save a fortune!
10. Taking No-follow Authority Backlinks for Granted
When it comes to link building, you need to know that even if the link is “no-follow”–it matters when it’s from sites like Youtube, Wikipedia, Facebook, Reddit, etc.
Even though it is believed that no-follow backlink does not bring you any SEO juice (link juice) but truth to be told; it does when they are the good ones!
If done right, you get some instant traffic, social signals and most importantly–boost in SERP position in a long run.
11. Using ‘Black Hat’ Methods
You’ll probably see some experts prescribing the Black Hat methods.
‘Black Hat’ methods refer to the techniques used to influence search results which often go against the rules of search engines.
Some examples of such practices include reciprocal back-linking, hidden links, blog and/or comment spam, buying PBN (Private Blogs Network) backlinks, using automation software for low-quality backlinks, etc.
These methods can give you quick results in the short run. However, if used over a prolonged period, they can prove to be harmful.
Search engines such as Google have made it a priority to look out for such activity and take proper actions against them.
Therefore, you should avoid using such Black Hat methods for your webpage.
12. Failing to Adapt to Changes
It’s an ever-changing world. And the same is true for SEO.
Search engines often change and update their algorithms to improve searches. If your SEO techniques aren’t up-to-date with these algorithm changes, your webpage can lose its ranking fast.
Therefore, it is essential to keep up with the changing SEO trends and to educate yourself on how to improve your page ranking.
Search Engine Optimization, although a common term these days, can easily get messed up if you’re doing it wrong.
Therefore, it’s vital to invest yourself in your content and to continue learning.
Avoiding the common mistakes, and by investing where it matters, you can improve your web page ranking in Search Engine Result Pages.