Avoid SEO mistakes with these 5 steps

Digital360 on 8 May 2017

Avoiding SEO mistakes is a challenging task for any business, big or small. So we’re here to help you identify some common business SEO mistakes, and to find out whether you're making them.

1. Optimise website Information Architecture

Information Architecture (IA), refers to the structural hierarchy of website pages. Or, in other words, IA is the umbrella term for how you structure your website. Just like any well-built building, correct and efficient structure will ensure that your website’s users may find the information they seek. IA involves a collaboration of expertise, encompassing design, software development and content strategy.

A logical and consistent site architecture not only benefits your website visitors. The proper use and execution of IA will ensure your website is championed by search engines. If every page is accessible by links, then search engine 'crawlers' can find and index all pages on your site – meaning every page has the potential to rank in search engine results. A quick tip? Make sure your site has an XML site map to assist crawlers in indexing the entire site.

2. Remove duplicated content

Riddling your website with 'same-same-but-different' content is a big no. Many websites churn out the same recycled content month after month, year after year. Admittedly, creating new, unique and interesting content is challenging, but is still an imperative for your website. Site content is one of the biggest SEO ranking factors, and publishing new, relevant content gives your site a chance to rank for long tail search terms.

Producing volumes of website content may sound daunting, for staffing can be onerous and expensive for many small businesses. This is where companies may look to young people for help. For those looking to manage website content on their own, there are vast numbers of undergraduate and graduate students in Australia, up to 1 million in fact, with a sound knowledge of the world-wide-web. They are the new content makers. Or, get a professional SEO agency to manage the entire process, including creating SEO content.

3. Update Google My Business

Google My Business is an incredible tool, and an essential SEO factor. This free service allows businesses to manage what users see when they search for your business. This great resource gives users instantaneous 'who', 'where' and 'what' information about your business, presented in an 'information box' in search engine results. This is important because SEO isn't just about getting your business to rank, it's about making visitors click through to your site or make an enquiry.

So make sure that you get your information right. And that means all content should be up-to-date and accessible. For instance, if you are a new small business and your website isn’t up and running properly, link to a Facebook page instead. Also, Google My Business allows you to read and respond to reviews and to post photos. Make it a habit to regularly check how your business looks in search engine results, and keep information up-to-date.

4. Get your keyword research right

Keywords and key phrases are the words and phrases that Google users type into the search bar to find your business, products or services. Appearing in search engine results for these keywords is the ultimate goal of SEO, and is what SEO companies specialise at. But there are good ways, and bad ways, to target these keywords.

Google best keyword practice emphasises, among other things, some of the following tools:

  • First, and this may sound obvious, but aligning your keywords with your business goals is incredibly important. Always ask yourself, why am I using this word? How is this relevant to my products and services?
  • Second, don’t bombard your website with a jumble of keywords that you think might improve your website’s traffic. Instead, do your research to make sure that your keywords match up to actual search query data. There are some free tools to help you do this, such as the Google AdWords Keyword Planner.
  • Finally, once you're done researching keywords and optimising your website content, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. Not all keywords will remain positive or relevant to your website, and there are plenty of long-tail keywords to optimise for. Keep an eye on your websites search traffic data and Google Analytics to identifying new opportunities to rank your business.

5. Use best-practice linking strategy

Links are a fundamental part of SEO. Internal links help users navigate your site, and signal to search engines related pages and content. While external links help users discover your site, and give you credibility and authority in the eyes of search engines.

  • Internal Links – Internal links go back to the structure or indexing of your site, called IA. This is much like putting a number on the front door of your house. It helps indicate to the visitor the identity, home, or origin of the content they seek. Make sure that the 'anchor text', the blue text the forms the hyperlink, contains the keyword or phrase and gives enough information about the destination of the link.
  • Broken Links – Links that don’t work are frustrating for the user and are a bad practice for SEO. This goes back to proper indexing for internal and external links. If a user’s experience is negative, they are unlikely to return to your site or recommend it to a friend, while search engines will have a harder time trying to understand site structure and indexing all of your website content.
  • Inbound links – Make sure that websites pointing to your site are of a certain quality. Good quality links are an essential SEO ranking factor. By the same token, low quality, spammy links will negatively impact your site. There are a number of free tools to check what sites are linking to yours, and which are low quality. Once identified, low quality links need to be disavowed, meaning their negative impact on your SEO efforts is diminished.

Final thoughts

With care and attention, avoiding SEO mistakes is an achievable goal for any business, big or small. It takes time, research and dedication, but by focussing on creating a logical site structure, high quality content, best practising linking techniques and updated company information, your business SEO will go a long way.

Interested in finding out how an SEO agency can help your business rank in Google? Talk to a Melbourne SEO specialist.