When a website owner comes to our agency looking to optimize their content and improve their ranking in the search engine results page (SERP), the first thing we do is a site audit to identify SEO mistakes. Unfortunately, SEO mistakes are exceedingly common on both old and new websites, leading to poor SERP results and a disappointing user experience.
If your company’s website has been underperforming, it’s possible you may be making some of these same mistakes. Here are five of the most common SEO blunders we encounter — and how you can go about fixing them.
#1 Slow loading time
Nowadays, people do the majority of their web surfing on mobile devices, seeking fast answers to their pressing questions — and studies show that the longer it takes for a web page to load, the less likely they’ll be to stick around. Combined with Google’s recent announcement that, starting in July 2018, page load speed will be a significant ranking factor for mobile searches, it’s more important than ever to improve the speed of your website in order to stay at the top of the search results. (You can check your site’s speed using Pingdom.)
#2 Forgetting about mobile optimization
With over 56% of web traffic coming from mobile devices, it’s no surprise that users don’t have the patience for poorly built websites that don’t display or function properly on phones and tablets. Make sure that your website is optimized for readability and usability on mobile devices. To see if your website is mobile-friendly, analyze it using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
#3 Not participating in social networks
Social networks are an essential part of modern SEO. When people search for information, they go beyond Google to social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These platforms are extremely useful for developing and promoting your brand, as well as generating traffic to your website. Ensure that your social media profiles are well-optimized and part of your SEO strategy.
#4 Neglecting keyword research
The most common SEO mistake we have seen is to try ranking for generic keywords, such as “cognitive behavioral therapy,” “physical therapy,” or “decking.”
Why shouldn’t you optimize for broad keywords?
There’s a lot of competition when you optimize for generic keywords.
The traffic you are bringing to your website is far less likely to convert.Instead, your keyword strategy should include relevant and diverse keywords and phrases, including both branded and long-tail keywords.
Do not forget to optimize for location-based keywords.
If you fail to optimize for location-based keywords, such as “car window tinting in san diego” or “best medical spa san diego,” you miss a large number of potential customers who are likely to become your most loyal buyers.
Write good meta descriptions.
Meta descriptions appear in your website’s search result listing, allowing you to give users more information about your site and why it may be relevant to them. Write brief, clear, and attractive meta descriptions to convert Google impressions into click-throughs.
#5 Poor and copied content
One of the main factors for good search engine rankings is the quality and uniqueness of your content. Since Google’s Panda algorithm identifies and filters out pages with low-quality content, it’s important to create content that’s both interesting and useful. And including visual elements, such as video and imagery, appeals to both people and search engines.
Keep in mind that Google is constantly changing its algorithms for positioning web pages, and there are currently over 200 factors that affect website search engine rankings. These five common mistakes are just the tip of the SEO iceberg. So if you have an existing website, or are looking to build a new one, and you want to achieve high-ranking positions for the right keywords, it’s best to work with a professional SEO agency. At Reader Digital, we specialize in digital marketing for dentistry, medical and cosmetic clinics, mental health centers, restaurants, lawyers, health & beauty, and automotive.