As a small business, you’ve gotten tired of not having much of a web presence and have started dipping your toes into the content creation waters — you’ve hired a team of freelance writers to create your website content and blog posts, you’ve created a Facebook page, you’ve even got a Twitter account! But, something is still missing.
It could be that your SEO, or search engine optimization, tactics are all wrong. The rules of SEO change pretty regularly (thanks a lot, Google), so it’s pretty easy to make a few mistakes and not even realize it. Get back to basics with your SEO and make sure you’re not making any of the following blunders.
When it comes to SEO, some tags still matter, some don’t. If you’re worrying about getting the right keywords in your meta tags, you can pretty much stop right now. Google stopped using that feature years ago. The tags that do matter, at least when it comes to increasing your site’s position in the search results, are the title and header tags. Go ahead and focus on those. Use keywords in them and make them something that appeals to both human readers and search engines. If you aren’t sure how to make heads or tails of title tags, a plug-in such as Yoast, which works on WordPress, can be a particularly helpful tool.
Messing Up Your Keywords
Keyword stuffing is so 2010, so if your site is doing it, it’s time to stop. Of course, there’s much more to keywords than density or how often you use them on each page. Some keywords are better than others when it comes to bringing in traffic, but that traffic might not be the type that translates to an increase in customers. On the other hand, some keywords aren’t as popular, but end up giving you an audience that ultimately buys your products.
How do you find that latter type of keyword? It helps to narrow things down and to get as specific as you can. In other words, know your audience and focus on keywords that appeal to them, not the larger world around them.
You are the Weakest Link…
Links aren’t the be all, end all when it comes to SEO, according to Moz, but they are important. When it comes to building links to increase your SEO, you can make mistakes in a number of ways. The worst thing to do is to buy links, as Google doesn’t respond well to sites that do that. Even if you’re building links ethically, you might not be doing so in the way that best benefits your site. For example, you’re focusing on creating one type of link — such as guest posts that link back to your site or social media posts. Variety is the spice of SEO. If you’re not working to diversify your site’s links, over time, those links will matter less and less when it comes to your site’s ranking.
A good way to avoid either intentional or inadvertent SEO mistakes is to think like a human when building your site. It might be read by a mysterious algorithm, but if you’re creating a site that appeals to people and isn’t trying to best a machine, odds are you’ll create a site that does well when it comes to SEO.
A professional writer since 2007, Amy F specializes in personal finance, gardening and writing for the web. Based in Philly, she also blogs about fashion and sewing projects in her spare time.