Lizzie has several years of experience working with content creation and management. She achieved a BA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Birmingham, before developing a career in PR and comms.

7 SEO Mistakes you Need to Fix

Here at Social Chameleon, we know our SEO. But as the industry is growing and becoming more accessible, there are many errors being made across the web. Many SEO myths, (or as we like to call them, SEOld wife’s tales) are being complied, and a lot of the time this can be damaging. In reality, nobody knows every secret to get you high up on Google. Their algorithm is kept a secret for two reasons: first is that it’s a business secret, like the Colonel’s blend of 11 herbs and spices. And second, revealing the algorithm would bring along with it a lot of spammers looking to reach the top of Google… providing a really poor user experience.

Here, we reveal 7 SEO mistakes that you need to fix to ensure your site is optimised.

Keyword Cannibalisation

This is one of the most common SEO mistakes that are made. Keyword cannibalisation is when you have two pages ranking for one keyword. And we know what you’re thinking – it’s better to have two pages ranking than one? Well, unfortunately, it tends to bring the rankings of both of them down, which inevitably brings down your website traffic. You need to make sure you’re targeting a specific keyword for a specific page. Consider this as your first and final Hannibal lecture.

Buying links

You may have received emails containing text such as “I have high quality domains with very high DA”, or other extremely compelling and irresistible sales emails through to your inbox.  They’re selling backlinks, but the reason you’re still getting these emails is because people are still buying them. Buying backlinks is a strategy that goes under the remit of Black Hat SEO. The risks far outweigh the benefits, as if you’re caught buying links and not earning them, it can result in a manual penalty of even worse, Google completely removing you off their index. Ouch!

Ignoring Google My Business

This is a fairly common and fairly easy problem to rectify. When searching for a specific business, you’ll usually get a section on the side of your search results with a couple of images of the outside of the business premises, a small pin on a map, Google reviews, address, telephone number and opening hours. This is all a result of that business remembering not to neglect their Google My Business profile. This profile can get you lots of local traffic when done correctly, so it’s imperative that you get this done. You can get started on your Google My Business profile here.

Forgetting page titles and meta descriptions

So, you’ve made a Google search and, as expected, there are a multitude of results. Typically, you’ll have a simple layout of some small text containing the URL of that search result, some large text – which in most cases will have a text relating to a product or service you searched for – and underneath that, two or three lines of text.  The large text is the title, and the text underneath it is the meta description. These are often forgotten about and can be really handy in ensuring you’re found for the specific keyword you want to rank for when optimised. Although meta descriptions aren’t a ranking factor, they can impact your click through rate.

A website that’s not optimised for mobile

A lot of the websites we get sent through to us haven’t been updated for a significant amount of time. Websites require regular maintenance and cannot be made one day and forgotten about for the next ten years. Because of this, we see many websites that aren’t mobile friendly which is a real no-no if you want to scale up the rankings. Mobile first indexing has been here for a while, and what that means is that Google will predominantly use the website’s mobile version to index and rank your site.

Old and unoptimised URL structures

So, if you’ve read the point above and asked for a new web design, then it’s important you make sure your URLs are optimised, and if they’re not, ensure that the old ones are redirected to the new ones with 301 redirects. This is a very common SEO mistake, and can lead to multiple error 404 messages on your website, which is really not desirable. It’s also important to try and optimise your URL structure with the keyword you’re looking to rank for within the slug.

Internal linking and orphan pages

Internal linking is an underrated SEO technique. We see so many businesses wide eyed and giddy over the potential of backlinks, that they miss the opportunity that is standing right in front of them: internal links. Internal linking can really accelerate your rankings, and you’ll even see from this blog post that we’re doing it ourselves! We also see a lot of what’s known as orphan pages. These are pages that have no internal links pointing to them, and this can affect their ranking. So, ensure you link to orphan pages, so that they can consider themselves as part of your website family.

Want to talk more about SEO for your business? Contact the expert SEO team here at Social Chameleon to discuss your options.

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