Everyday we hear from webmasters that are struggling to adapt to modern day SEO. Commonly, these webmasters believe they’ve been hit by a penalty from Panda or Penguin as their traffic is either falling or flatlining.
Often, this is not the case at all. It’s simply because they are getting the “easy bits” wrong.
1. Title Tags Too Long:
If your title tag is too long it won’t all be displayed in SERPs. Every title on your page should be unique and important words describing the page should be at the very front of the tag. This can be a very significant ranking factor.
2. Your website accessible from multiple URLs:
If you type in your website address without the www and it re-directs to your website address with a www then that’s great. If it doesn’t in the eyes of Google you have 2 websites (Which you want to avoid). Make sure ALL Pages redirect to the www version of your website.
3. Stuffing Meta Descriptions with keywords:
Meta Descriptions are not an actual ranking factor yet we see many web masters stuff it with keywords expecting it to rank. Instead, they lower their CTR (Click Through Rate) as the description often means nothing to searchers. Meta Descriptions should be descriptive of the page they reside on – the clue is in the name!
Read our recent blog about how Meta Descriptions can generate more traffic fast.
4. Meta Descriptions overlooked completely:
Meta descriptions can be incredibly important: These are the snippets of text people see in search results, they should be compelling and well thought out, don’t miss them you will potentially be losing traffic if you do.
5. Poor URL Structure:
URLs should be descriptive and readable. URLs such as: www.acme.com/x13-product-c5.asp offer little value. URLs should be clear such as: www.acme.com/product
6. Thin (or no) Content:
Google consumes content. If you don’t feed Google it will visit you less to eat. If you want to rank for given terms it is imperative that you have sufficient content on your website. Every page needs meaningful content (written for humans). Additionally, if you write great content that people enjoy you’ll attract natural back links too.
Blogs are the easiest way to create regular, new and interesting content. Many of the sites I see either have occasional blogs, blogs that are 1 paragraph long or blogs that are dormant. Be objective: Would you read your blog?
8. “Building” Links:
We are not a link building company, we never have been, but we still get enquiries asking us to build links (even post the link targeting Penguin Algorithm updates). Webmasters cannot expect links to their site if their website is not worth linking too. It’s important to remember that links are a vote and people will only vote for something they like. So make your website likeable and you’ll stand more chance of other sites linking to you. SEO is not link building and link building is not SEO. Links are important and you’ll find you’ll attract them naturally when you start targeting your content to your visitors and not Google.
Webmasters do not want good rankings. They want converting traffic. There is a huge difference.
Long Tail Keywords
When setting your own expectations don’t just focus on rankings of what you perceive to be your main keywords. SEO isn’t just about rankings, it’s conversions. What would you rather have: 1000 visitors a day with 5 conversions or 100 visitors a day with 10 conversions? Usually, the “main keyword” doesn’t convert as well as the hundreds of long tail keywords that send traffic. Long tail keywords tend to convert more because they are more specific. On their own you might just see 1 keyword with 1 conversion but multiplied by many, long tail keywords can easily make up the majority of your sales and often they do.