SEO is not an exact science but we must admit that we now have enough perspective to say that some methods work and others do not. We often make considerable efforts to create the most beautiful site in the world or the most varied content without seeing our positioning improving on search engines.
Web marketing is primarily a set of practices to be applied in a specific order. In this article, we will see classic and common errors regularly encountered as part of our SEO audits.
Neglecting SEO during the creation of a website
Most of the time, companies make the move to consult an SEO specialist after a conference, reading a published article, or even finding out they have poor positioning on search engines. It is important to remember that SEO must be seen as a language used to communicate with search engines.
SEO practices serve to guide website creators to write and organize their content so that visitors and robots quickly understand the purpose of the site. SEO should therefore be one of the first aspects of reflection when creating a website. Moreover, good positioning on search engines takes time and good performance is often the result of actions set up gradually in the past. Do not wait until the last minute to get interested in SEO.
Lots of images and very little text
When search engine crawlers browse your site, they are looking for specific keywords to identify the theme of your website pages. You should know that robots give very little importance to images and that it is the textual content that takes precedence.
We often visit websites where some of the textual content has been published as an image (to accompany a diagram, a table, etc.). Google’s robots will recognize the format of the image but will not be able to read the embedded text. Avoid including the title of your page (or sub-title) in the image because Google will not understand the theme you are addressing.
As you can see, you should maximize text content if you want Google to correctly reference the different themes of your site. In addition, images are often published in a format that will increase the loading time of your site. If images take time to load, this will hurt your visitors’ user experience, which can influence your SEO performance.
Pleasing search engines rather than your visitors
This is probably the most common error at the SEO level. Indeed, many websites want to attract as many people as possible at all costs by obtaining good positioning on search engines. Webmasters often have well integrated SEO practices set up and their sites are leading the search engine position. On the other hand, they do not necessarily take into account the fact that visitors judge the relevance of a site in less than five seconds.
Consequently, attracting 10,000 visitors per day to your site will have no positive impact on your business goals if people do not stay on your site. In addition, a high bounce rate (number of people who did not perform any action on your site before leaving it) impacts your SEO. So you will eventually see your SEO performance fall if you do not make sure to please your visitors.
Using your expressions rather than the ones your visitors use
You should be aware that users ask Google questions when doing a search. You should therefore favour titles in question form rather than affirmations.
Example: “What is the height of Mount Royal? “Rather than” Height of Mount Royal ”
If you do not know the expressions typed by your visitors before they arrive on your site, be aware that Google offers many free tools such as Google Webmaster Tools to help you define the right keywords when you write your content.
Neglecting titles and meta descriptions
As a reminder, the title tags and meta descriptions allow you to display an overview of the content that you offer directly on Google search results. Google uses these descriptions to display its search results, so meta tags play a very important role in your SEO performance. These are also tags that will make visitors want to read more by clicking on the link to your site.
By default, search engines will display an excerpt of the content of your page. This excerpt is not always optimal, and I advise you to modify it and write a catchier phrase that will attract Internet users.
Targeting keywords that are too generic
The most common reflex is to want to attract as many visitors as possible to your site. To do this some webmasters will use very generic keywords to enrich their content, title tags or meta descriptions. This practice is obviously not recommended to the extent that you are likely to attract visitors who will not find what they are looking for on your site and this will therefore increase your bounce rate. Additionally, using overly generic keywords increases competition on these keywords and may land your site on the second or third page of results.
It is in everyone’s interest that you define your target audience and adapt your keywords accordingly. For example, if your goal is to attract visitors to sell them tennis rackets, focus on keywords such as “buy tennis rackets”, “cheap tennis rackets” rather than simply “tennis rackets”. In this way, you make sure to attract visitors that are willing to buy your products rather than those who are just looking for information.
As explained in the introduction, the purpose of this article is to present the most common SEO errors. There are of course a lot of things to watch out for/correct in order to optimize your SEO performance. You can therefore continue to browse the various articles we have written and/or contact us if you want to get personalized help. Our teams can accompany you in setting up your web marketing strategy while training you in analytics so that you can follow your results.
If you liked this article, you might like this one: What is SEO?