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13th October 2022

The most common SEO mistakes

Patrick Crowder

Search Engine Optimisation is becoming increasingly important for online businesses and publications which want their content to reach a wide audience. The process can be a bit tricky to get the hang of at first, so the SEO evaluation company Rank Tracker has identified the most common mistakes when optimising a webpage.

A poorly designed webpage will always rank lower than a page with clear design – but it’s not just a matter of making a webpage look good. Oftentimes, websites which attempt to look fancy or exclusive are presented in a style which is difficult for search engines to read, and if a search engine cannot properly read a site’s content then it makes it much more difficult to evaluate and give a positive ranking. To ensure that your optimisation does not go to waste, make sure your web design is clear and easy to read.

Randomly selected, or even worse, non-existent keywords are another sure-fire way to sink your SEO ranking. When selecting keywords, it is important to think of the user. What are they most likely to search to find your content? Checking what’s trending on your targeted search engine is also essential. Google Trends, for example, can give you an idea of what people are searching for so that you can tailor your keywords to fit changing search patterns.

To ensure that people stay on your website, make sure that load times are fast. Not only are people much more likely to click away from a slow loading webpage, but some search engines including Google have already started to take page load times into account for their rankings.

Linking to other trusted websites is good for SEO, but it is important to make the text of the link relevant to what is being linked to. Rather than “click here” style links, use key phrases and make the link a naturally flowing part of the text.

Using the tried and true “reverse pyramid” technique in your webpage’s code can also help optimisation. By placing the most crucial general information at the top of the page, and your less relevant or more specific information lower, search engines are more likely to pick up on the most useful information.

On the topic of code, it should be as high quality and clean as possible. Search engines prefer sites which run quickly, and which are easy to comb through without any confusing changes in style.

It is worth remembering that many of your users will be viewing your website on their mobile devices. The desktop version may look great, but if users have to zoom in or flip their devices to view your content, then the site requires mobile optimisation. Some search engines also factor in mobile optimisation.

Finally, alt-text must not be forgotten. The text which describes the images on your page should also appear elsewhere on the page to create some consistency and show relevance. It’s even better if you use popular search terms or your SEO keywords.

Avoiding these common mistakes takes a bit of knowledge but not very much effort, and the results are well worth it. A properly optimised webpage can add a lot of value to a business, driving sales, brand recognition, and engagement – so keep SEO in mind the next time you update your webpage.

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