In this digital era, digital marketing is indeed a part of the laundry list in the marketing plan for most brands. SEO is one of the most important constituents, this article talks about some SEO mistakes that most SEO experts perform.
This 6 pointer list will definitely help brands & SEO expert to avoid SEO mistakes in 2019
1. Incorrect implementation of schema markup
Schema markup is one of the ways to improve search engine content discovery, indexation, and organic search visibility. Structured data markup generates Rich Snippets which is good for improving organic search visibility and CTR.
But now, structured data can harm your site and search results if not used correctly, due to spammy structured markup penalties from Google. Here is an example of a manual action penalty with spammy structured markup message sent by Google in the Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools).
I have analyzed many websites which got hit by this spammy structured markup penalty and trust me it should not happen with your website. The penalized website almost lost 30-40% of organic traffic in the time span of 2 months.
2. Incorrect use of Hx tags
Headings help users to get a gist of the content and search engines to identify important content. Hx tags are also a suitable place for LSI keywords and keyword synonyms. There are many discussions going on online concerning heading tags, such as whether using multiple H1 tags per page is allowed or not, how many H2s is optimal, or whether H3 to H6 tags matter at all?
What you should do:
- Use H1 tag for top heading;
- Apply H2 tags for important categories;
- Include H3 to H6 tags for subcategories and important links.
What you should avoid:
- Repeat similar keywords across multiple headings;
- Write the entire page content in the H1 tag;
- Not using H tags at all (where headings should be used);
- Reverse the order of H tags (e.g. using H3 for top-level heading);
- Use H1 tags for all headings on a single page.
When it comes to headings, the best practice is to follow your logic and use keywords as an when required.
Also read: Why is SEO Important for a Website?
3. Focusing more on the desktop website than mobile
After Google’s mobile-first indexing algorithm update, Google will prioritize crawling mobile sites over desktop sites. That doesn’t mean it will exclude desktop sites altogether, but they are becoming less important as time passes.
Having a mobile-friendly website is the most important part of your online presence. If you haven’t made your website mobile optimized, you are at the risk of losing a majority of your potential traffic.
4. Unknowingly indexing test pages
Google is best at searching, crawling and indexing websites – that’s their core business. The trick is, sometimes you don’t want them to. In the development phase, developers forgot to block test pages in robots.txt files. As a result, those test pages get indexed on Google and unfortunately we forget to block them. If this happens, robots have complete access to your test pages.
To avoid this situation make a habit of using robots tag on test pages. Putting <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”/> in the head section of the page will stop robots from indexing your page.
5. Ignoring location-specific content
It is a big loss for your brand if you haven’t added any location specific content on your website. The term ‘location specific’ implies that the content displayed to the visitor is relevant to their location. The content can be in one of the forms (infographic, video, map, image, text, etc.) and is related to a specific locality, which can be a city, state, region, town, or zip code.
When search engines crawl a webpage and discover location-specific content, they view the publisher as more authoritative and rank their site’s content in SERPs (search engine results pages) for geographical search terms. The more web pages indexed for a website with location-specific content, the deeper will its footprint be on the internet.
Here are a few stats to support the case for geo-targeted content:
- Conversion rates increased by 100% when visitor experiences were personalized based on their location (source)
- Mobile users are more inclined towards customized display ads as 67 per cent of them want the ads displayed to them customized to their city or zip code and 61 per cent of them want to see the ads based on their current surroundings and geo-specific copy. (source)
6. Not trying to rank on a featured snippet
The 0th position is also called Google’s featured snippet. There isn’t any formula for earning a featured snippet. And if you earn a position zero position, it won’t last forever if Google decides that another page is well suited to rank for it.
The easiest way to get on a featured snippet spot is to produce good quality content and format it in a way which is accepted for featured snippets.
According to a study conducted by Ahrefs, 99.58% of featured snippet pages already rank in the top 10 search engine results in Google for a particular search keyword.
Search keywords with the following words have a better chance of getting featured:
There are three major types of featured snippets:
When it comes to paragraph styled featured snippets, Google provides an answer to the searcher in text format rather than a list format. There may also be an image or infographic that accompanies the text, like this:
List styled featured snippets show an answer in the below format:
Table snippets provide answers in the form of tables. They usually look something like this:
To achieve the 0th position on Google search results here are some strategies that should be used:
- Find competitors featured snippets and try to rank for the same keywords
- Write unique and informative content
- Answer multiple Questions – write an article in such a way that it will give answers to multiple questions
- Keep word count to 52 words long
Implementing this will help your website to rank in Featured Snippets in near future.
Conclusion: SEO is not as difficult as it sounds. Most of these mistakes are common which SEO Experts need to avoid. Once you learn how certain SEO mistakes can be avoided you will definitely achieve good keyword rankings in SERPs. This is how you