You want Google to want to direct traffic to your website. Avoid these seven common pitfalls when it comes to the SEO of your website.
Google uses a term called ‘good standing’ in its practices and online rhetoric to decide if your website is a good potential place for browsers to visit. If we look at Google itself as a business as opposed to the verb it has become in the popular lexicon (“Let me Google that.”); it wants to gain the trust of those who use it (i.e. those who browse the web via Google) and encourage user loyalty and repeat return.
To achieve this, Google has a set of criteria to decide if your website is a worthwhile place to direct its users to. Google will not want to direct any of its users to an old website that has not been updated for months and contains broken links and out of date information etc. Follow these steps below to stay in Google’s good books, improve your SEO systems and have Google want to direct traffic to your website.
Keep Your Website Alive
Google will only want to bring people to a website that shows evidence of being up to date and ideally that is mobile responsive. To achieve this in their eyes, it is recommended to keep updating your site regularly (at least weekly) to show Google that there is activity here and information is up-to-date and refreshed – all signs of a living and breathing website to Google. Many websites utilise blog posts to do this.
Steer Clear of Copied Content
Do not copy text and content from other websites as Google will spot this and could blacklist your website from search results. Google very habitually scans websites to ascertain what content they contain. However it does not digest fancy imagery and slick effects, instead it just recognises written text and video content. So if it scans your website and picks up that a lot of your content is suspiciously similar to that of another website that it scanned; this raises a red flag which may result in your website being demoted down the search rankings as Google thinks it is a copy of another website.
Search for your website in Google and then click on the green drop-down arrow that appears next to your website URL. From here, you can view the cached version of your website and change the view to ‘Text-Only’ to see what Google sees when it scans your website.
Curb Your Use of Keyword and Density
We know that when it comes to SEO, the keywords that you pick go a long way in determining how web browsers can arrive to your website. Yet if you cram this keyword(s) unnaturally into the text and copy of your webpages, Google will see that it is an attempt to outsmart them by overloading the keyword to buttress your SEO. Keep keyword usage to a natural and appropriate rhythm within your webpage or run the risk of seeing your website slip from the first page of search results down to the second, fifth, seventh . . . etc.
Match Your Page Titles and URL
Following on from the keyword usage mentioned above; one should endeavour to make sure that whatever keyword they pick is found in both the page title and URL of the webpage in question. These are strong points of your webpage that cannot be that easily manipulated (due to restrictions in length) and are therefore seen as genuine indicators as to the stated webpage content and appropriate corresponding SEO.
For example, if you are actioning the SEO of a webpage detailing homemade jam and want to emphasise the ‘homemade’ aspect through your keyword usage; your page title may be ‘Homemade Jam Made Fresh Daily in Dublin 2’ and the URL for this page may be www.example.com/homemade-jam-dublin-2
Do Not Have Any Broken Links
It goes without saying that you do not want any broken links anywhere on your website. This brings those on your website to a dead end where they may be greeted by the common 404 error page or redirected to a place where they did not originally want to go. As part of the scanning process, Google can and will pick up on any and all broken links within a website and factor these into the good standing of the website.
Feature Quality Links
When you do insert links, be sure that they bring the user to other websites that satisfy Google’s good standing criteria and not just to another one of your web pages that may not be search engine optimised. By featuring links that bring the user to good content, Google can view your website as a network of multiple good standing avenues that feature quality content.
Treat Social Media as a Separate Entity
While social media is of huge importance nowadays in terms of brand awareness and communication etc., it should be treated as a separate entity from your website SEO. This meaning, don’t just have a basic smattering of SEO across your website thinking that social media will plug the gap. Keep the two separate and interlink where necessary to have a solid web presence.