When it comes to creating successful webpages and online content, it’s best to listen to what Google “guru” Matt Cutts has to say. When presented with a question about the top SEO mistakes webmasters are making, Matt Cutts responded with what he has discovered he biggest mistakes to be according to volume of people making them. While one might expect to hear advice about technical, advanced areas of SEO, in truth, the mistakes webmasters are making involve some of the most basic concepts.
Mistake 1 – No domain name and/or website not crawlable
Obviously, if a business doesn’t even have a website, they can’t be found online because they don’t exist in that vast, infinitely-accessed realm. The days of forming and maintaining a successful business through strictly real world contact are long gone, and in today’s world, if a company wants to succeed, they need a website and an online presence. Having a visually-appealing website isn’t enough though; companies need to make sure that everything on their site is working properly. A good way to check this is to click around the site to see that every link goes to the designated page. All of the good content must be easy to find or users lose interest and look elsewhere for what they need.
Mistake 2 – Not having the right keywords on the page
In order to bring traffic to their website and appear in search engine results, businesses must include the right search terms on their pages. They need to think about what a person is going to type into a search engine and include those words on the site. This is where it’s vital that the business know exactly what type of audience they want to attract so they can include as many relevant SEO keywords as possible. However, filling a page with only SEO keywords and omitting valuable content can actually drive users away because it appears unprofessional and unintelligible. Along with the right words, web pages need the right content. A good example Matt Cutts gives is that of a restaurant. Restaurant websites should include important information such as address and directions, hours of operation, and the menu in a format aside from just a PDF. The “right words” means describing what your business is about in a logical, readable, and relatable way.
Mistake 3 – Not having “compelling content and marketing”
Matt Cutts explains that focusing on link building on a site is very limiting and that it’s more important to include, as he says, “compelling content and marketing.” If all a business focuses on is creating links to help with SEO, they’re restricting themselves to only certain avenues instead of opening themselves up to the full range of possibilities. Creating compelling content means remembering the reasons why people search for and use a certain website. Including this content in blogs, informative e-books, and online guides offers users valuable information, and updating the blog regularly keeps them coming back. Company marketing campaigns need to add content marketing into the equation instead of relying solely on the standard practices of billboards and print advertising. With everyone intent on his or her phone, tablet, or laptop screen today, a person is more likely to see something online than noticing even the most creative print ad in the “real world.” Along with content marketing, a company needs to reach out to the community to keep organic relationships strong and encourage more traffic to their sites. Matt Cutts suggests that businesses not have too much tunnel vision by focusing on links and that they instead consider steps they can take to market their site to make it more well-known in the community through social networking.
Mistake 4 – Not having the right title and description on important pages
This mistake ties into not having the right words on the page, because not having the right title on important pages such as your home page can really hurt your SEO strategy. A business’s home page and other important pages need relevant titles so that if a user bookmarks them, for example, they know what they are later instead of seeing some link that reads “untitled” or something nondescript like “home.” Matt Cutts also suggests paying attention to your page descriptions as that determines what appears in your snippet among the other thousands of search engine results. That snippet must be enticing, interesting, and stand out, so companies need to experiment with the wording in their Meta description for vital pages until they achieve the desired results. The goal is to create a positive experience for users and to encourage them to click on the website when it appears in search results. People are looking for websites that they feel contain the content they’re searching for, and when SEO is done right, that’s exactly the what you’ll be able to give them.
Mistake 5 – Not using webmaster resources
It’s challenging to learn and remember everything involved with building a great webpage, but Matt Cutts points out that Google provides free webmaster tools at Google.com/webmasters, a blog, and webmaster videos. Google attends search engine conferences and interacts with people online to expand their knowledge database continually. There are also free resources from other search engines, a seemingly infinite amount of information on the web, and people genuinely interest in SEO and search who are eager to discuss a company’s website and offer helpful feedback (we are those people, so definitely reach out!). Matt Cutts states that “it’s almost like an iceberg” in that the most basic SEO practices are like the tip of the iceberg, and then there’s so much more below the surface.
By avoiding the mistakes outlined by Google’s Matt Cutts and following his advice, companies can improve their websites and user interaction. Valuable, relevant, and well-written content is essential for online marketing success as it helps increase revenue and improves user satisfaction. At Minyona, we study Google intently to ensure that we’re following the advice of the world’s most popular search engine.
Get in touch with us today to learn about our powerful SEO programs, so your business can start getting discovered online.