7 SEO Mistakes Costing your Business Money
In the ever-changing land of search engine recommendations and updates to algorithms, what you may have known about SEO a year ago may no longer apply.
If you’re spending time or money on your website content and design, or hoping to gain customers from searches online, it’s time to improve your SEO landscape. Implement these 7 fundamental steps, and help ensure a more palatable review and indexing from Google et al!
1. Not keeping a pulse on your website SPEED
Website visitors are growing increasingly impatient when it comes to a website loading and responding to their demands. Google understands and agrees with their preference, therefore the slower websites get a bad grade in that department of SEO.
The first step to resolving a problem is knowing you have a problem, right? Right. We recommend keeping the Google Page Speed test in the front and center of your browser bookmarks, making use of it at least once a month. The speed of your website is absolutely an SEO ranking factor, so don’t mistakenly turn a blind eye to it.
2. Underestimating the importance of Image Optimization
Quality images can dramatically transform a drab website into a beautiful, engaging online masterpiece. Some of those high quality images, however, come in incredibly large file sizes!
If you have Photoshop, always make use of the “Save for Web” option prior to uploading any image to your website, which drastically cuts down the total file size (without losing any quality or size). No Photoshop? Get to know Pixlr, which is like a free PS- extra light program that requires no download or registration. Use Pixlr to scale the image size down as low as is needed, BEFORE uploading it to your website.
3. Skipping the meta-data on Images
You’re probably well aware of the SEO steps like adding focus keywords and descriptions, but the images on your site should be paid just as much attention (and usually don’t get it)!
Remember, the majority of search engine spiders and bots have no eyeballs, so they have no idea what those gorgeous professional images are– unless you tell them! Take advantage of every opportunity you get to add quality, concise, and accurate image titles, descriptions, and especially alt attributes.
We also recommend creating a habit of saving your images to your computer with an accurate, logical file name. This is a lesser known but beneficial step in identifying your images, and the search engines appreciate every little bone you throw them!
4. Not having truly responsive, mobile-compliant framework
This step is becoming increasing massive in Google’s eyes, so much so that they’ve begun labeling sites that are mobile friendly in the search results!
First things first: head over to Google’s Mobile-Friendly test and KNOW where you stand. Passed? Great. Now view the way your website looks on all screen sizes, including different sized mobile devices, by using an awesome free tool from Quirktools called Screenfly.
Planning for a website redesign in the near future? Save yourself headaches and money, and have it built using WordPress…. you’ll see how much easier your website to-do’s (like mobile compliance) become!
5. Ignoring the benefits of an XML Sitemap
Most normal people (unlike myself) never notice or use a website sitemap, it’s just a link you sometimes see in the footer of a site. What the heck IS a sitemap, anyway?
Think of it like a Cliff’s Notes version of your website; all the important links and parts of your website put together in a neat little package, and delivered directly to the search engines to do with as they will. Better yet, listen to what Google says about sitemaps: “Google uses your Sitemap to learn about the structure of your site and to increase our coverage of your webpages.”
You see, they want to help your website pages get more coverage in search results. Think Jerry McGuire- “HELP ME help you.” Create an XML sitemap, and submit it to Google through the Webmaster Console.
6. Putting out sparse or lame content.
Think of content like you’re coaching a friend about to go on a blind date. Be interesting! Be smart! Be likeable! Maybe your friend doesn’t want your advice, but the same rules apply to website content, like blog posts.
Believe this: if you don’t enjoy reading it, your audience won’t either. Have something to offer your website visitors, and they’ll keep coming back. Best of all, Google sees this happening (returning web visitors), and grades you accordingly! Search engines heavily favor websites that publish quality content on a regular basis, so don’t make it a quarterly event, either.
7. Not making the most of Local Search SEO
If you service clients locally in any way, you absolutely must take advantage of everything local SEO has to offer. The most effective steps to take include setting up your Google My Business account, which is the most direct way to ensure Google has your accurate and complete business information. An added benefit of your Google My Business account is it’s dashboard, which displays your Google Analytic info, YouTube stats, Google+ data, and other Google apps you may use!
While your at it, get your social pages set up with your address, phone numbers, website, and email address. This is such a simple “duh” step, that many people overlook it. Log in to your Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other accounts, and make sure your complete and accurate information is there for customers and search engines to pick up.
A quality website with real, properly executed Search Engine Optimization can be an invaluable asset to your business.
Interested in a professional look at your website’s SEO? Contact us for a free and easy website audit, and we’ll make sure you’re taking advantage of all your web presence can offer!