Biggest SEO Mistakes for 2017

A new year brings a new outlook for many businesses.  For many, this ‘reset’ can mean a brand new interest in the business web site and finding new ways to make that company web site generate more new business.

How can your company website bring more leads in 2017?  Even if you aren’t sure where to start this year, there are a few things we definitely want to avoid.  This post will look a few website no-no’s still as valid as they were in recent years.

SEO Mistakes 2017I ran across a YouTube video featuring the top 10 most common and SEO of mistakes recently.  After watching the video, I realized that these were all still valid points for the new year regarding SEO.

They are some quick points we should all try to pay attention to and try not overlook for our business sites as we head into 2017. 

The video featured the outspoken Google software engineer at the time, Matt Cutts.  In 2015, Matt was the head of the web spam team at Google and was considered the official spokesperson for webmaster issues related to Google and ranking on Google.

Many SEO experts and business owners interested and SEO hung on Matt’s every word as he would often relay best practices for increasing web site for rankings on the giant search engine.

What NOT to do in 2017:

  1. Don’t make your website unable to be crawled easily:  This includes first off, not actually having a business website.  You can’t be in a search index if you don’t have a website.  If you are a business with a website that is not thoughtful with page topic structure and link strategy, the search engines may not even see it (or most of it.)
  2. Don’t put the wrong words on your page.  This seems obvious, but search engines scan their indexes and rank results based on the descriptive words you use among other factors but this is the logogical place to start.  Describing your page in properly is different from trying to manipulate to attract attention, rather, it’s about being as descriptive as you can with the HTML text because that is what search engines use to rank pages.
  3. Don’t just ask other site owners for links or try to automate artificial ones:  I love this one, because we know that links to a web page from other sites is even today, a ‘vote’ indicator for search engines to rank you higher.  Logically, in any given search topic, assumimg other factors being comparable between top ten results, the page with more links may naturally be more popular and rank higher.  Matt suggests that you give other sites a reason to link naturally to your valuable content rather than begging or tricking other sites into linking to your page.  Think about reaching out past simple link building here.  What can you do to market your website today to make it more well known in your community (and not JUST for search engines)?  There are other ways to help people discover your site and ultimately link to it naturally (offline promotions, presentation, advertising, in addition to providing valuable and interesting content, etc)
  4. Don’t forget to check the title of your really important pages, especially your home page.  If someone bookmarks your home page, will they be able to easily see a title that describes your business from a long list of other bookmarked web pages?  Is the page title relavant and logical?
  5. Don’t ignore the meta descriptions for your top pages (and home page again)  Your meta description (in your page’s HTML) is a mini-billboard elevator pitch; it’s what shows up in results pages and draws the eye!  It’s your opportunity to promote more attention after searchers notice your page title in search results.  Think of this as miniature ad copy to pull eyeballs and generate more clicks.
  6. Don’t forget about webmaster tools (not just Google…check Bing/Yahoo tools too!)  This one is probably THE most overlooked by most web site owners in my personal experience reviewing lots of small business websites.  Search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc) provide tools for feedback, errors, search phrases, basically all the feedback that you need to help make your site as visible as possible.  Not using these tools is like wandering through the woods with an unused compass in your pocket.

So there you have it, a quick and hopefully underwhelming checklist of things you can double check in 2017 for better search engine visibility.  These items are as valid today as they were two years ago and knowing the common traps to avoid over time can certainly help your business website generate more leads for your bottom line!

If you don’t have the time, patience or the knowledge to gradually transform your business website from an invisible online brochure into a search engine friendly lead machine, contact me today for a quick phone call.   Attention to these details and others can help your site help your business for years to come!