Here at Thunderbolt, we understand the importance of SEO and how eager websites are for so-called ‘natural exposure’ – search results that people are more likely to trust and therefore visit. However, your attempts to increase your visibility and end up in these sought-after spots could fall flat or even backfire horribly if you don’t know what to avoid, so we’re here to share some fundamental SEO don’ts.
1. Skipping the Research
You cannot hope to attract the correct clientele if you don’t know which keywords to use, which is why research in this area is essential. General keywords may have more hits but specific search phrases denote real interest; for example, someone searching ‘marketing’ could simply be a student writing an essay but whoever is searching for ‘online marketing Surrey’ clearly has some sort of intent – make sure that you’re targeting the latter!
2. Ignoring Your Clientele/Refusing to Adapt
An extension of the above, you may have to make peace between which keywords you want to be found with versus what your target demographic is actually searching for. If you insist on sticking with your preferred keyword, you may risk attracting the wrong kind of traffic – yes, people will be visiting your site, but they won’t be sticking around as it’s not what they were looking for! Exposure means nothing if it doesn’t lead to tangible results.
3. Being Overzealous (Crossing into Spam Territory)
Using a ridiculous amount of partially relevant tags may work for individual sellers on eBay, but it can undermine professionalism to see this on company websites. At worst, this form of tagging could be viewed as spam by search engine algorithms, leading to them removing your site from results. In the same vein, don’t spam your keywords throughout your content – whilst it does need to be present, be careful not to overuse it for the above reasons. Bear in mind that content that looks like keyword spamming will also be viewed poorly by visitors, as there is an element of inaccessibility to overly obvious repetition.
4. Missing Opportunities
It is absolutely vital that you remember to include your chosen keywords in the title tag or meta description for your webpage; the title is vital in helping search engines find you, and the meta description is often what determines whether a user decides to actually click on the link or not.
5. Forgetting about non-text features
Search engines can’t read certain content such as images, videos, audio and flash content so anything of this nature will not count towards keyword relevancy. You can combat this by ensuring that keywords are present in text somewhere on the same page, for example by providing alt text for images or descriptions for videos.