The big mystery of SEO.
How does it work?
How can someone guarantee the first-page result for your business?
There are so many pieces it’s hard to keep track of what you are supposed to do…not supposed to do… and what the algorithms expect to help you get the best results possible.
As of writing, this post here are the top 5 common SEO mistakes.
Now I want to talk to you hear heart to heart. Mistakes don’t mean you failed, mistakes aren’t something to make you feel bad. Mistakes are MEANT to help you learn and grow. So please take this post as a starting point for learning and adjusting your strategy and not as something to prove you can’t do this.
Because you can. You’ve got this!
5 Common SEO Mistakes
Not using header tags but increasing the font size instead
You’ve probably spent some time learning how to make your content easier to read.
You’ve heard that you need to create a hierarchy with your text. Making important bits bigger and pulling out content to highlight it.
But if you are just increasing text size inside the editor and not using the coded H1, H2, H3, etc font sizes you are hurting your SEO results.
These H-tags are bits of code behind the scenes that signal to search engines that this font is IMPORTANT and should be given more weight in search results ranking.
If you are making your font bigger without using the H-tags search engines have no idea what content in your blog is important. It just adjusts how the fonts display…I know it’s confusing because it seems like it should be the same but it is a very big difference on the back end.
In WordPress this is really simple, in the editor there is a drop-down box that says Paragraph by default but inside this dropdown, it has the different preformatted text codes for all the H-tags you will need.
Your theme will already have these hardcoded in and you won’t have to do anything else to make it visible to search engines.
Not using alt tags
I know. I know.
Having another step to getting your blog posts rolling is NOT what you want to hear right now.
You want to insert the images and get it scheduled.
But by overlooking the alt tags for your images is a huge mistake and in full transparency, I was guilty of this in the beginning as well.
I didn’t want to have to do another step. I wanted to just get it up and out there. Plus alt tags didn’t seem that important at first.
BUT the alt tags for your images are how search engines “see” the graphics you are posting. Which means if you don’t put text in search engines don’t have any idea what the graphics is about.
It’s kind of like watching a foreign film with no subtitles and you just walk in halfway through…
And this is also really important when it comes to Pinterest, because Pinterest specifically pulls the alt tag information for the description of new pins. You can’t control if someone else adjusts the description BUT you can make sure you have an optimized one in there in case they just pin and run.
Not giving a real readable name to photos file names
This one is also big for your SEO.
It’s really easy to use 234ou12o3i4.jpg BUT you are missing out on a HUGE opportunity to show up in search results.
Make sure that each photo has a readable file name with your keywords in it.
When I say readable I mean put hyphens between each word so that the search engine can recognize that each word is separate.
Using too many keywords
Also called keyword flooding.
This is when your content is keyword after keyword and each piece of content is stuffed full of them.
This strategy used to work but since Search Engines want to produce quality results for the people searching. And as such, they want to return results that are relevant and useful to the consumer.
Keyword flooding is not helpful for the consumer and doing so now will hurt your ranking.
What you can do instead is create content that is useful and beneficial directed at the questions your dream clients are searching for.
Install a plugin like Yoast SEO and use its tool to help you optimize the number of times your chosen keyword appears in the text.
Not researching keywords and assuming you know what people will search
You may not do research because you don’t know how or don’t have time but…
assuming you know what keywords your audience is going to search without research is like shooting in the dark.
You may hit the mark, you may not.
And most likely you are missing huge opportunities to reach your audience and get higher search results rankings.
You can use tools like
- Google AdWords
- Pinterest Keyword Tool
and others to start researching what you should optimize for your own content.
And… BONUS mistake
If you aren’t doing anything for your SEO then you aren’t going to show up in search rankings…
While SEO can be a rabbit hole of optimization, adjustments, research, and testing.
Not doing anything is the only guarantee you have to affect your results.
Pick one thing and spend a little time optimizing past content that you have and make adjustments on your new content going forward.
Don’t get overwhelmed with having to go back and change things just chip away at it over time and you’ll start to see results in traffic coming from search engines.
Now it’s your turn!
What is your #1 question when it comes to SEO for your online business? Let me know in the comments!