It is incumbent upon all small business owner, entrepreneur, and solopreneur to have at least a smattering of understanding when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. Whatever the size and scope of your business, and whatever the nature of the products and services you offer, it’s likely that your enterprise could benefit from attracting more new users to your online content. The bigger your reach, the more prospects you have and the more prospects you have the more opportunities you have to convert. Yet, while we all like to think that we have a handle on “this SEO thing”, many of us find ourselves inadvertently breaking the sacred commandments of SEO and unwittingly committing cardinal sins which could have severe consequences in the eyes of search engine crawlers.
Consulting with an SEO firm is a great way to fix SEO sins on your content and help to recondition your content to incorporate more good SEO habits. However, before you book your first appointment there are still a few things you can do on your own to identify SEO sins on your content and prevent them from wreaking havoc with your reach. Let’s take a look at some cardinal SEO sins which could limit the reach of your business…
Thou shalt not use high competition keywords
Keywords are a vital component of SEO, ensuring that your content is properly matched to the right search engine queries. However, when researching keywords for your content it makes sense to pick your battles. The more vague and nonspecific your keywords, the more likely it is that you’ll be putting yourself in direct competition with higher authority domains.
Thus, you should choose the most relevant and low competition keywords possible, incorporating technical terms where appropriate. This will ensure that your content reaches the right readership.
Thou shalt not stuff thy keywords
There are certain behaviors that are like a red flag to search engine crawlers. One of them is keyword stuffing. This is where the keyword is overused ad nauseum. Not only does it sing to a search algorithm “you’re being played”, it also disrupts the flow of your content, making it seem insincere and unnatural. By and large, you should aim for a keyword density of 10% or less.
Thou shalt not harbor broken links
Broken links in your content are anathema both to users and search engine crawlers. They can imply that your website is in a state of disrepair or that it is poorly maintained while also making for a frustrating experience for the user. Speaking of which…
Thou shalt not neglect thy UX
User experience or UX is an important part of website design. While many entrepreneurs put a lot of effort into making sure that their web design looks beautiful, they are less concerned with creating a pleasant user experience. However, UX does play an increasingly large role in SEO rankings. UX is a huge factor in bounce rates, scroll depth and time on the page which are important considerations for search engine crawlers.
Thou shalt not offend Google with non-secured domains
If your website begins with an http:// prefix rather than an https:// this means that your domain is not secure and, bluntly speaking, this means that Google does not like you! Not only will your website be treated unfavorably in search engine rankings, but users will also be treated to a “Not secure” warning which could undermine faith in your brand.
Steer clear of these cardinal sins and you’ll be well on the way too saintly SEO!