Let’s face it, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is complex.
A site that is properly optimized is important to your business since that is what helps new customers find you. The problem is that there are so many little details you can miss and those can work against you when it comes to your Bellevue SEO.
These are some of the most common SEO mistakes people make, and why they are so important.
Not Using Analytics to Track Conversions
There is more to SEO than directing traffic to your site. To get the most out of your SEO, you need to be watching your conversions too.
You can watch which keywords bring in more traffic, but what you might be missing is that some phrases that generate less traffic can get you better conversions because they tend to be more specific. You can determine this by tracking your analytics. This will help you find the best keywords to use for site optimization and to determine what keywords are not as effective.
Not Optimizing Local Search
Even if your company is national or even global, you should still optimize your page for local search. These optimizations will help you target traffic for potential customers who live and work in your area. If you have multiple locations, you can create content relevant to each market specifically, increasing the number of local organic searches for each location.
When you are looking for something specific in your local area on Google, how often do you write it out as “[business] near me” in your query? Your target audience is doing that too. This is another important keyword to keep optimized for your SEO.
The phrase “near me now” has grown by150 percent in the last two years; “near me today/tonight” has grown by 900 percent between 2013 to 2017. With numbers like these, you cannot afford to ignore optimizing for these keywords.
There is such a thing as over-optimizing your keywords — the practice is known as “keyword stuffing.” Google has made changes to its algorithm that reward quality content and penalize blatant attempts to manipulate the algorithm. Google’s Panda algorithm looks for keyword stuffing specifically and it can remove you from the ranks if it suspects your site is overloading on keywords.
Yes, it is important to have keywords sprinkled throughout your content, but they need to have a purpose there, not just be stuffed into a sentence wherever you manage to find a little bit of space.
Not Customizing URL Slugs
The slug in a URL is the end of it that directs you to a specific page. Here are examples of a good slug and a bad slug:
Good Slug: www.yourwebsite.com/Bellevue-SEO
Bad Slug: www.yourwebsite.com/3rg9reh8vaesvn0e9
By putting targeted keywords in the slug, your site is easier to index and rank. If you leave a random computer-generated slug for the indexing robot to crawl, it is harder for it to read and lends nothing to your optimization efforts. When you create a new page or post on your website, you can enter a custom slug that is relevant to the page itself and it helps search engines and people find your site in an organic search. Randomly generated slugs are also commonly a tip-off to “scam sites” such as those known for giving visitors malware, so it is always better to avoid that affiliation.
Slow Load Time
People are not patient when it comes to loading time on websites; the average internet user will wait for two seconds before moving on to a different page in their Google search results. Since people care so much about load times, Google has made that a key factor in SEO rankings.
Optimizing the Wrong Keywords
It is easy to optimize for the wrong keywords. If you use a keyword that is too broad for your business, those keywords are usually faced with some fierce competition. Higher competition keywords are more difficult to rank for, meaning you will need to optimize more of your site’s content for those keywords, and ranking for them will take more time.
It is better to use a balanced approach in deciding which keywords to rank for. Some of your keywords should be those broad, high competition keywords, but the majority of your list should be the “low hanging fruit” where the search volume is lower but the difficulty is medium to low.
Not Optimizing Images
To optimize your images, name the file something relevant to the page it is on instead of leaving with the generic file name that your camera assigned to it. Alt tags are used to describe an image, both because you need a description of the image, and displayed when a web browser is unable to render the photo. These are an important part of your SEO strategy that is often missed.
Search engines no longer like pages that are short and sweet, they now prefer informative, in-depth content that is longer. When Google finds a page that does not have much content on it, it may decide that the page is lower quality and knock the page down in the ranks.
Today’s version of Google rewards longer posts that are relevant and informative, usually between 500 to 1500 words with images and formatting. Although, all pages should have more than 200 words per page at a minimum and should have a text to HTML ratio of 25 to 70%.
It also benefits your SEO to update your web content frequently to stay up in the ranks. If you do not post for several months, Google may pass up your page for another that was being more proactive about posting.
Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Having unique title tags and meta descriptions gives Google better information about what each page of your website contains.
This can be tricky at first, but if your site is on WordPress, plugins can make this task a little easier. The Yoast plugin will give you feedback for what you need to do to jazz up your title tags, meta descriptions, and keywords.
Bellevue SEO Help
These are just a few key components to a solid SEO strategy that are often overlooked. A marketing agency can help you correct all of these issues to give you a perfectly SEO-optimized website. If you need help with SEO in Bellevue, Bellevue Public Relations can help you boost your Bellevue SEO. Contact us to get started today!