“If you can’t fix something with duct tape then you probably haven’t used enough duct tape.”
Have you heard that saying before? Unfortunately, no amount of duct-tape will fix any SEO issues you may be overlooking.
Did you know that there are over 200 algorithm ranking factors that Google uses to rank your website? And, Google is releasing more and more updates every week. If you don’t consider SEO when creating content for your website, then you may be missing out on free organic traffic, or doing things that hurt your rank and ultimately revenue from your website.
Today, I want to highlight some on-page ranking factors. Here are five common mistakes that you can easily fix…
1. Common Title & Meta Description Mistakes
Make sure your Title and Description are the right length. Google only displays 70 characters for the title and 156 characters for the description (or “snippet”) of any piece of content. If you stay within those limits, you can control what is displayed for most search results.
Here’s a great wordpress plugin that helps you customize the title and meta description, it also offers a lot of other helpful SEO features.
Another thing to consider when writing your titles and descriptions, is conversions. Think of what will draw people to click on your article. Write catching and enticing titles and snippets to increase your click through rate.
2. Use Proper Header Tags (h1, h2, h3)
Don’t overuse the H1 tag within your content. This isn’t a huge deal if you’re using it to divide content; but when used improperly, Google may think you are trying to game the system, as opposed to focusing on creating great content.
Here’s what Matt Cutts head of the Google webspam team recently mentioned…
Also, make sure you use other header tags like h2, h3, h4 when applicable in your content. I always recommend using these other header tags to help organize your content for readability and design. Ultimately if you’re creating great content for the reader and not for Google, you’ll win in the long run.
3. Spiders Can’t Read Images. Yet…
Help search engines know what your images are about with good on-page SEO and use of the image “alt” tag.
The image alt tag tells search engines a brief description of your image. Fortunately wordpress has a way for you to easily edit the alt tag upon uploading your images, but if you are not using worpdress, you can normally find this within the html of your site.
Optimizing the images in your content can have a great impact on not just traffic from google image search, but can also improve your organic traffic.
There are some other helpful things you can do to optimize your images. Neil Patel wrote a really insightful article highlighting over 7 other tactics you can use to optimize the images on your website.
4. Mend Your Broken Links
One of the ways that search engines can tell the subject matter of your content is through internal links and backlinks from other sites. Since we’re talking about on-page SEO that you can control, be sure that your internal and outbound links are not broken.
One way to do this is by testing all of the links within your post before publishing it. We all check how our content reads and looks before publishing, go one step further and make sure you’ve set your links up properly.
Your 404 page doesn’t need any juice spilling into it, so fix your broken internal links.
5. Do NOT Over Optimize Your Content
Back in the day it was okay, to stuff your content with keywords, to make them bold, and italicized, to use them in every header tag, and then also internal link with the anchor text being your exact keyword.
Gone are those days and if you have content written in the past with bad tactics, then it can still hurt you today. So, clean it up.
Make sure that your content, your links, and your headings are not stuffed with your keyword. Certainly you should mention your target keyword in your main title and throughout your content, but write for people not search engines.
There was a time when keyword density was talked about as an important factor, but you shouldn’t be focusing on a specific percentage for general keyword density. If you are worried about it, you can use this helpful tool by Aaron Wall of Seobook.com to make sure it isn’t ridiculously high.
There’s no doubt that having a keyword appear more times on the page will help Google deduce what the page is about, but similarly anything that would compromise a user experience or attempt to over-optimize for the algorithm can easily get your site penalized.
If you haven’t been focusing on these things when creating content, you may have a lot of work ahead of you. The good news is, these are relatively easy fixes to make. I suggest dedicating a few minutes each day to fixing these issues, or just give us a call. We’re happy to help you out.
Once you get everything right with your on-page SEO, you’ll begin to notice a steady improvement in organic traffic. And more of the right traffic, means more conversions and more sales.
Our proven SEO strategies and high domain authority link building will lift your organic search engine traffic and sales!