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Six Common SEO Mistakes

  • 12th April 201512/04/15
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We talk to plenty of local businesses that have given SEO a try, aren’t really sure what it’s about, or have tried reading blog posts around the Internet only to be bamboozled by technical terms and geeky gambits. We take a look at the six of most common SEO errors made by local businesses. Are you committing any of these search engine mistakes?

Stuffing your pages full of key phrases

So how do you rank for a certain key phrase ( a series of words someone would use to find your website)? You may think the answer is to artificially stuff your page with that word, as many times as possible, to make sure Google knows exactly what your page or site is all about.

You may have even had the misfortune to see this on sites that have a footer (at the bottom of the page) stuffed full of sets of key phrases!

Wrong.

Write naturally about a topic and you will by default include the key phrases relevant to the topic you’re talking about. Think about this page – I’m talking about SEO errors, Google and search engines. By default, I’m therefore going to be including these words as I write.

Don’t try to game the system by stuffing in the same word over and over.

Your visitor won’t like it and neither will Google.

Moving or deleting content and creating broken links

Over time you may move content from one place to another. Some content may even be deleted as it becomes out of date. What this creates is broken links; links that point to a page that no longer exists or has moved. Google doesn’t like this; consider how frustrating it is for your visitor when they click on a link and it comes up with an error. Google feels their pain!

Make sure you go through your site from time to time and check all of your links are working (there’s a plugin that’ll help to do this for you if you’re using WordPress).

Not having a sitemap

Imagine how hard finding an address without a sat nav or a map would be!

A sitemap is a file that tells Google where pages are, and when they’re added. This will enable Google to find your pages quicker and more easily than before.

If you don’t have one you should.

Tell the robots about it

Search engines such as Google find new content and keep their rankings up to date by sending robots called spiders around the web, crawling for new and great content.

On your site should be a little file that tells that robot where to go (this is called a robots.txt file and won’t be seen on your actually website, but should be in the files held on your server).

We’re getting geeky here, but what this should include is a link to the sitemap we’ve mentioned above. You can think of this as giving the search engine spider some tourist information before it explores your site. You’re essentially giving it the map to your site so it knows where to go when it arrives.

Duplicate content

We wouldn’t be impressed if we paid for a magazine only to find that many of the pages had the same information on them. Google won’t be impressed if your site has duplicate content. If you have the same information on many different pages then you’re going to be committing an SEO sin.

Every page should be unique. If they’re not then is there any real need for the content to be duplicated across more than one page?

Page Titles and Descriptions

The page title is the first line of your ranking with Google.

Your page description is the next two lines that appear underneath it.

These should also be unique on every page. Why? Because these two bits of information tell you what the page is about. If every page is unique, then the description and title of the page explaining what it’s about should be too.

Not sure where to find your page title? Hover over the tab at the top of your browser when you’re on a page. Your page title is the words that appear in that tab.

We often see lots of sites with these duplicated across multiple pages. If yours are too, you will be missing out.

Summary:

  1. Write naturally and don’t worry about stuffing key words into your copy.
  2. Check your site for broken links and fix any you find.
  3. Add a sitemap to your website.
  4. Refer to the sitemap in your robot file.
  5. Don’t duplicate your content or your page titles.

Want to know more about SEO or to get your site reviewed and fixed so it can soar up the rankings? Find out more about our services here or our SEO audit by clicking here. You can also give us a call on 01566 784860.

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