Easy SEO mistakes and how to avoid them
Right, so you’ve launched your business, built a website, connected to social media and started collecting customers. Fantastic.
What’s next? Well, how are you planning on people finding you?
Google is the first port of call for any modern consumer when seeking information on a business. Frankly, if you aren’t on the first few pages of Google, your chances of being found organically are slim.
The answer to ranking highly on Google is SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. Without engaging with expensive consultation from SEO experts, what are some low hanging fruit you can pluck yourself? What are some easy mistakes you can avoid?
We chatted to Reckon’s resident SEO expert, Ivan Esposito, to mine some key tips.
Missed title tags
What’s a title tag? It’s an HTML element used in the title of a webpage, deployed to signpost what kind of content it contains. Having properly filled out title tags is not only important for a reader to know the page is relevant to them, but is also extremely relevant to search engines for the same reasons.
to make sure your page is recognised as relevant to a particular search term, you need to ensure you don’t miss your title tags.
Don’t keyword stuff
Keyword stuffing is an older technique used to game the SEO system. Some people still think its relevant. It’s not. In fact it’s also a good way to lose rankings. As our SEO expert Ivan Esposito explains:
“There are old SEO techniques that some people still use, with a belief that it will help their rankings. One of these techniques is called ‘keyword stuffing’, where targeted keywords are added in the HTML of the site (on the background), with the intention to manipulate search engine rankings for those keywords.
This technique is outdated and instead of helping websites organically, it can actually harm their SEO presence in search since these sites may get penalized by Google.”
Original over duplicate content
This is a big one. One of (if not the) most important factors in your SEO ranking is your ability to create original content.
Google is primed to value and reward original web copy and blogs. To do your page justice, search engines need to know you are the originator of a set of copy, otherwise Google knows you are not the authority on the subject.
If you choose the lazy route of posting duplicate content (aka plagiarism) you’ll be penalised. It can’t be overstated how important original copy is for SEO.
So not matter what you post to your blog or webpages, ensure it’s original and hasn’t been copy and pasted from elsewhere on the web.
Missing canonical tags
Missing canonical tags is another easily avoided SEO mistake many people make.
A canonical tag is a way of avoiding duplicate content issues and penalties.
Essentially, by including a canonical tag in your HTML, you are telling Google which page to index as a master page. Say you have a lot of similar copy on several pages, by using a canonical tag you tell Google which page is to be ignored and which is to be indexed as important.
Incorrect or/ missed internal linking
Internal linking is a great way to show Google that you have relevant content on other pages of your domain. It helps both users and search engines understand the content on your site as well as the site’s architecture.
By linking from one page to another, or one blog to another, you assist your Google rankings and help people stay on your domain to find associated information. Try linking relevant words (or anchor text) instead of saying see ‘here’. For example:
“Choosing your anchor text (the text used on an internal link – hyperlink) carefully is a technique often miss used by new SEOs and/or website owners. There is little/to no harm in choosing incorrect anchor text for your internal links, but if applied correctly, it can help strength the SEO signals to help boost specific/targeted content on the site.” Ivan Esposito.
No external linking
Another easily avoidable mistake is a lack of external linking, especially to highly credible sites with strong domain authority and high search engine rankings.
Let’s say you are talking about tax in Australia, you would be remiss if you didn’t link your page, through relevant text, to the ATO.
If you are talking about pandemic rules, you should be linking to the relevant government pages.
By associating your page and its content to a domain with great authority, you can easily boost your own rankings.