By Gloria Rand
Worrying about the latest algorithm change from Google won’t make a difference to your website’s search ranking if you’ve made a common SEO mistake like optimizing for common words or using your company name as the title tag for every page on your website. Here are three other SEO mistakes to avoid, and how to fix them:
1. Building poor quality backlinks – Link building is an important part of online marketing, but it’s not the “be all and end all” as my mother used to say. Some unscrupulous SEO firms tout the importance of backlinks, but they charge you a fortune to acquire poor quality links from spam websites, irrelevant sites or sites built solely for the purpose of exchanging links. The problem with this strategy is that it can do more harm to your business website than good, especially in the post-Google Penguin era.
Google Penguin is an algorithmic change that was designed to weed out spam sites from search results. Rather than focusing on acquiring any type of link, it’s more important then ever to pursue links from authority sites in your industry. Backlinks from membership directories, your social media sites and press releases are also good sources.
2. Having a “set it and forget it” mindset – If you want to be relevant to Google and your target audience, you need to add fresh content to your website from time to time. Outdated content reduces your site’s value to the search engines, and doesn’t do much for your customers either! This is one reason I recommend adding a blog to your website. Blogs depend on regular content to attract readers. Your goal should be to add at least one article per week to your blog. And of course, make sure your articles include keywords so they get found on Google!
3. Writing for search engines, not visitors – Don’t forget who your website is meant for. Google may find keywords on your site, but it’s not going to buy your products or services. Write copy for your website with your prospect in mind. Describe this person in detail. You should know if it’s a man or woman, their age, education, income, marital status, hobbies, political preferences, etc. The more “real” you make this person, the easier it will be to write your copy with their wants and needs in mind.
Following SEO guidelines is important, but ultimately, the success of your website will depend on what people do when they get to your site. Provide good quality content that alleviates your prospect’s problem, and you will be rewarded with excellent search rankings and increased revenues.