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Top 3 Common SEO Mistakes That Affect the Usability of Your Website
Whether you are looking to self-optimize your website using SEO techniques you’ve learned, or are seeking web marketing services to help you with this task, there are several common SEO errors people make that affect not only the way your website is indexed by a search engine, but also affect the usability and user-friendliness of your site. Since SEO is all about getting your website ranked highly by the search engines so that users are better able to find the information or service they’re looking for, companies with websites should be aware of these common SEO mistakes and take preventative measures to avoid them. While indeed there are several errors that companies make when attempting to optimize their site, here are the top three SEO mistakes that affect the usability of your website.
Keyword-Stuffing Your Content:
We all know the importance of good quality content on your website. Search engines like well-written relevant content, but users also enjoy content that flows easily and does not include grammatical or spelling errors. The content on your website is a prime location for targeting your keywords – but this should be done cautiously. While of course you want to include your targeted keywords several times in the content of your website, it is important you do so in a manner that can still be understood by the typical user. It is all too common for websites to keyword-stuff (overuse their targeted keyword to the point where it no longer makes legible sense) in a desperate attempt to maximize the number of keywords implemented on a single page within a website. Doing so will not only deter users from returning to your website (since the content cannot be easily understood due to keyword-stuffing), but it will also be unclear to the search engines that are indexing your website as to what your web page is all about. Without knowing what your website is about, the search engines will deem your website less important and less relevant, which is the opposite of your goals when trying to optimize your site. Users will also find the insertion of too many keywords distracting, since the content will not flow naturally or in any logical fashion. Please remember when you’re writing your content you need to first write for the users and search engines second! Using a good balance of keywords throughout the content of your website can be achieved with just a little creativity in the way you phrase things. Remember, too much of something is never a good thing.
We see it all the time. From big companies to small businesses, a lot of websites have this one thing in common: the use of duplicate content. We know how important good quality content is for SEO purposes as well as user-friendliness, but another vital thing to remember is to ensure your website’s content is fresh and original. This means updating your site’s content regularly with unique information. While it may seem easier to just add duplicate content (content that has already been used on the web either by you or taken from another website) to ensure your site is being updated regularly, plagiarizing or using old content just for the sake of adding content is problematic for two reasons. First, search engines will not look kindly upon duplicate content, and will actually rank your website further down for using it. Second, users who come to your site like to see new, fresh content – not the same old, stale content that has been on your site for the past two years. This can be unsettling for users and deters them from coming back to your website in the future. Keep in mind that in order to effectively optimize your website, you must find the right balance between pleasing your audience (the users) and fulfilling the search engines’ requirements.
Not Optimizing the Use of Images:
As an important component of on-page optimization, images have the ability to help your site boost its search engine rankings when used properly. When optimizing the images on your website, be sure to change the alt text of each of your images so that it describes what should appear on your page as an image. Think about it this way: if a user is accessing your website from a cell phone, tablet, or another device that has images turned off for some reason, will that user be able to determine and mentally envision what that image should look like if it fails to appear? When writing alt text descriptions for images on your website, you want to ensure that you’re describing the image well, but also in a concise manner. You can further optimize the use of images by inserting some of your keywords in your alt text. The appropriate use of alt text helps boost your search engine rankings by giving the search engine and the user more information of what your website is all about.
Overall, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an ongoing process that requires a lot of time and attention in order to perfect it. It is all too easy to get caught up in trying to boost your website’s rankings as quickly as possible in an attempt to gain a better online presence. However, effective SEO does not include cutting corners. There really is no “quick fix” for getting your site to rank more highly. SEO is a process, which means implementing effective optimization strategies over time, and avoiding the ever-so-tempting pitfalls or common SEO mistakes. Finding this perfect balance for optimizing your website will ultimately yield better search engine rankings as well as increase the number of relevant and satisfied users.