July 26, 2020
Try asking a Facebook group about SEO and you’ll find it’s easy to get advice from the well-meaning SEO “expert,” but that doesn’t mean you’ll get correct or the most up-to-date suggestions. Avoid these 5 common SEO mistakes so you can focus on the right optimization tasks for your website.
You should take the time to write alt text for your images, particularly on your main pages. But for posts with a ton of images (I’m looking at your wedding photographers!) add alt text to 10-15 images and then move on to more important SEO tasks.
When it comes to writing alt text, keep it simple and descriptive. 4-6 words is plenty for most images.
One of the most shared tips by new SEO experts is to prioritize optimizing heading tags, often awkwardly worded to include a very specific keyword phrase. They also might insist that only one H1 exists per page.
While heading tags should be used to improve readability and tell visitors what to expect in the following content, they do not have a direct effect on your rankings. And it will not hurt your SEO if there’s more than one H1 on a page.
Optimizing heading tags used to be an effective practice in the early 2000s, but was debunked by Google’s John Mueller when asked about the best setup for heading tags.
“…it’s not so much like there are five keywords in these headings, therefore this page will rank for these keywords.
And it’s not that suddenly your page will rank number one for competitive queries just because you’re making it very easy for Google to understand your content.
Try to find a way to make it easy for people and for scripts to understand the content and kind of the context of things on your pages.“
So don’t overthink your heading tags for Google’s sake and don’t pay anyone to optimize heading tags. Format content in a way that can be easily understood by the average person.
An outdated SEO tactic encouraged the use of the same keyword phrase all over a page for “higher density.” That trick hasn’t worked in so many years that anyone who uses it probably still has a myspace. It looks spammy and can actually hurt your rankings if it’s excessive.
For any page or blog post, choose a keyword phrase to focus on that makes sense to your reader and then make sure the content clearly supports that topic in an easy-to-read format.
“Keyword density, in general, is something I wouldn’t focus on. Make sure your content is written in a natural way. Humans, when they view your website, they’re not going to count the number of occurrences of each individual word. And search engines have kind of moved on from there over the years as well.”
Google (and potential clients) use your offsite profiles to get more information about your business and determine how reputable your business is.
When you name your Google Business Listing something like “Eleventy7 Wedding Photography – San Francisco Wedding Photographer” not only does it not help your SEO, but it also just comes across as spammy.
Keep it simple and consistent for your social media and offsite profile names by using only your business name.
You might hear that content should have a minimum of 300/500/1000 words if you want it to rank. There’s no magic number for the minimum words needed to improve the rankings of a page or post.
Instead, focus on satisfying the intent of the search query by publishing “complete content.”
Satisfy Google and your visitor with high quality content that provides easy-to-understand explanations, answers to frequently asked questions, internal or external links to relevant content, and a well organized content layout for readability.
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