Here is something to think about while hopefully you have some time free on a Sunday. Business owners never really switch off from work. It is a 24-7 affair that you have for most of your life. Why? Because your competitors are doing the same thing so if you want to stay ahead you feel the need to dedicate every spare minute to it.

To extend that thought to your digital presence you will also expect your website, social media, and other marketing strategies to be strong every moment of the day. Your website in particular is the heart of your digital imprint and needs to be accessible and searchable at all times. There is little point you investing all your time into something if the technological arm of your company is not working just as hard.

SEO is often attempted by people who are not sure about what they are doing and either knowingly or unwittingly violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. There are agencies who practice dodgy SEO methods and there are also businesses who do not even recognise the importance of SEO to their site. This lack of insight or failure to keep up with a fluid guide to best practice, regularly amended by Google, leads to common mistakes being made.

Here are some common mistakes and how you can avoid making them!

 

  1. Failure to Configure your Content Management System

There are plenty of content management systems (CMS) or Ecommerce systems that have easy to use SEO built into them. They usually require configuring correctly. This is the case for WordPress, Magento, ATG, Drupal and Joomla, and more. There are often plugins that enable you to customise titles and descriptions, select keywords and check your content flows from an SEO perspective.

There are also extended functions like generating site maps files, customising URLs, and eliminating duplicate content. Make sure you configure your content management system properly or pay someone to do it for you. Get an up front cost and use these guides so you know exactly what functionality you should expect from the system:

WordPress SEO

Drupal SEO

Joomla SEO

Magento SEO

ATG SEO

That is not an exhaustive list but it is a good place to start.

 

  1. Duplicating Content

This is a very common mistake that sees content mirrored across two different pages. A site can often have two URLs and be splitting the traffic across two homepages. This can mean changes in a URL like a single capitol letter, a – instead of _, a new ending like .co.uk, .org, or .com. If you do not redirect an old site to a new site the result will be duplicated content.

This is likely to lead to your site being ranked lower and you will need technical resource help to deal with the problem. The sooner it is fixed the sooner you will have one site in Google’s eyes.

 

  1. Thin Content

Too little content is still a common problem even though most people are aware of the benefits of strong, plentiful content. Ecommerce sites aiming for a streamlined experience for the user will often overlook the importance of content and also providing fresh content on pages that are similar to others just with slight variations.

A total lack of text will severely hamper a pages chances of ranking. Having pages for different topics will help attract more traffic unless they are not done as thoroughly as the main pages of the site. Each page must be unique, even if the only difference in the product is colour or size.

 

  1. Responding to SEO Rumour

There is always lots of speculation within the industry over what Google might do next. This leads people to jump the gun and change practices before they have been confirmed. These changes can then hamper a site that is not optimised for current algorithms.

There is also plenty of misinformation over what Google does and does not measure.  Only go by credible sources of SEO information and do not execute changes until you are sure they are based on fact and not fiction.

 

  1. Forgetting who the Site was Built for

Some individuals get so wrapped up in SEO that they forget the point of it all. The main goal is to optimise a site for usability so that buyers can find your products and buy your products more easily. For non-ecommerce sites this still holds true, it is about people finding your services and choosing them above all others.

Sometimes the best decision for SEO might not be the best decision for the user. Once you have optimised your site do not be tempted to overdo it as this could then turn into a negative enterprise. You need to consider your site as a user and decide what they want to see. Giving your visitors their best possible experience is your ultimate goal.

 

  1. Do not Invest Enough in SEO

Of course we would say this! But, the fact is too many people are offering SEO services who are not providing a quality service. Do not just assume that a budget service where you buy so many backlinks, meta descriptions, or plugins, for your site will do. There are plenty of SEO cheats and quick fixes used in the past that will cripple your site if done now.

If you have solid traffic and good site speed then you may think SEO is unnecessary but these things can change suddenly. Having a full overview of your site, delivered by way of an audit, could increase good traffic numbers, prevent Google changes hurting you in the future and just like a mechanic services your car, an SEO agent will repair any issues with your site.

Ignoring SEO is becoming an increasingly big mistake in the 21st century as it can have so much impact on the success and searchability of your site. Investing in SEO after the fact, so after a Google penalty has been issued or your site traffic has dropped dramatically, makes the task of restoring it to the top of rankings far harder.

 

So those are six mistakes we see a lot. As you can see many of them have quick solutions but they are very valuable solutions. We advise you not to ignore SEO and make your sites the best they can be without cutting corners!