It’s near the end of 2018, which means smart and savvy business owners are already thinking about ways to improve their websites’ traffic for the upcoming year. Search algorithms have an endless number of factors, and it can become easy to get lost when trying to find the right moves to make for proper SEO utilization.
While there are numerous articles online about ways to improve search engine optimization (SEO), you must never forget the obvious when working to increase your SEO results. Here are some friendly reminders of what not to do, allowing you to enter 2019 with a rock solid foundation and allowing you to incorporate more helpful factors into your SEO for 2019.
1. Weak Content Writing
First and foremost, copying and/or writing poor content is the biggest mistake hurting your SEO. There is no tactic that can conceal weak content writing. If the content being produced has little or nothing to do with what your business is actually selling, chances are your web traffic is going to suffer.
For instance, if your company sells office supplies, but you have content on your website promoting home appliances, your sales are going to deteriorate, and you will lose potential customers in the process. Customers don’t want to waste their time trying to find the proper products and services they need. They want a website where it is easy to find what they are looking for and move on.
Another example of poor content writing is copying and pasting old content. Search engines, such as Google, have evolved over the years to discourage bad SEO practices. Not providing any novel content or just plain copying and pasting content from other websites will drastically hurt your SEO results. Customers desire new content and no one is interested in reading the same article over and over again. Creating original material that will interest new clientele is a golden approach for increasing business and staying relevant online.
2. No XML Sitemap
The second mistake is not having an XML sitemap. An XML sitemap allows a search engine to examine your website to find and index your most important pages. This is important for several reasons, especially if you use a Google sitemap.
Google is the most popular search engine in the U.S., which means that having an XML sitemap allows Google to find your important webpages and index them for potential customers to see. This is particularly useful if you have a large company and have thousands of pages of content. Having an XML sitemap would be advantageous for small businesses too, as it allows search engines to find your website easier. By doing this, you give your business the best chance of being found online and receiving more customer traffic.
3. Poor Keyword Utilization
Incorporating poor keyword utilization is another tactic that will make your web traffic suffer. Not doing your due diligence by researching and analyzing specific keywords to include will drastically hurt your website’s visibility. Including irrelevant keywords and employing keyword stuffing will do nothing but hurt your web’s performance and reputation.
Keyword stuffing is the tactic of listing keywords repeatedly in a manner that often resembles spam. It would look something like, “Anne’s Best Bakery is the bakery that provides the best baking goods in your area. Make sure to come in and try the best that Anne’s Best Bakery has to offer!” The words listed are repetitive, and is a feeble attempt to attract more customers. Being creative yet still including appropriate keywords is a priceless approach for having a constant stream of search results.
4. Broken Links
An additional method that will harm your SEO is including broken links in your website. It’s common knowledge that having more links in your website will improve your SEO ranking. However, links that are broken or irrelevant to your business will not help.
Customers and potential clients will get turned off by your website if it includes too many broken links. Broken links reveal several negative connotations about your company. It implies that you don’t take the necessary amount of time to perform thorough research. It can also show a lack of interest and effort. Negative traits such as these will only hurt your business and turn potential clients away.
With free tools such as W3C link validators and brokenlinkcheck.com, there is not a single, justifiable excuse for having broken links on your website. Additionally, it is important to frequently check your links and also include new ones. Incorporating new links to your website will enhance your SEO ranking, as mentioned previously. In short, search engines, and customers will recognize when something is created with little effort and attention. In order to combat these little mistakes, new applications and tools have been created to help you save time, and discover mistakes easier and faster.
5. Unreliable Load Speed
Lastly, and more obvious than the rest, a website with a slow and unreliable load speed will lower your SEO ranking. Nobody likes to sit and wait while the webpage loads to purchase a product or service. Therefore, having a reliable and quick load speed will guarantee that no potential customers are lost to such matters. If your business uses popular platforms such as WordPress, there are several plugins that you can install that will help improve and eliminate a page’s loading time. Plugins such as W3 Total Cache, and BJ Lazy Load are two WordPress applications that reduce a page’s loading time. Needless to say, there should be no reason why your website should have a long loading time, barring the occasional mishap.
There are many more factors that determine the success of your SEO optimization. However, it is always important to have a solid foundation. With algorithms becoming more expansive and complex, the need to remember the basics becomes even more important. Remembering to adhere to the basics and then integrating new factors into your SEO will ensure that 2019 will be a great year for your website, and subsequently, your business.