Small business owners lacking significant lengths of time to dedicate towards learning the in’s and out’s of SEO and website design often fall into the same traps and make the same mistakes. These mistakes may seem small on the surface, but in the end, they can add up to hundreds, if not thousands, of lost leads – and ultimately a loss of conversions and sales revenue.
With regards to SEO and websites design, every minute factor matters. Even something as simple as implementing HTTPS instead of HTTP can mean the difference between organically outranking your competitors in the SERPs and falling into oblivion on the third or fourth pages of the SERPs for you chosen keywords.
Fortunately, these mistakes are easily corrected or completely avoided if you know what to look for. Let’s take a closer look at the most common website and SEO mistakes that cripple your ability to sell window treatments.
Keyword stuffing, while not nearly as common as it used to be before Google penalized it, is still an insidious and alluring “shortcut” for many newcomers to the digital marketing arena. On the surface, it may seem that the more times you can cram a keyword into a single piece of content, the better. After all, the dumb Google bots can’t read the actual content, and can only measure the number of times keyword pops up in any given block of text...right? Actually, this thought process couldn’t be further from the truth.
When considering SEO and website design, your guiding star should always be a quality user experience. A quality user experience is Google’s number one priority, and all of their updates to the search algorithm reflect this core mission. Believe it or not, the Google bots have a myriad of ways of judging the quality of a web page, and don’t simply increment counters to see which website can spam them the most keywords.
Not Using Keywords Organically
To create easily digestible content, keywords included, that’s not a pain in the neck to read, it should be your goal to use keywords as organically as possible. I can give you a prime example, which irritates me because I see it all the time. Often when people want more general information about an idea, product, or service, they simply enter a query along the lines of “what is ___” or “what are ___.”
Consider the following example, which tries to “organically” insert the keyword search “what are thermal curtains” into text in the first paragraph of a piece of content:
- If you were wondering what are thermal curtains, read on to discover how they can pay for themselves by saving you money.
The first clause of this example sounds stuffy and doesn’t read well. There are several ways to correct this, but be aware that the first clause should be structured as follows:
- If you were wondering what thermal curtains are, ...
The problem here, however, is that this clause does not include an exact keyword match. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution to split the difference between organic readability and SEO potential. Instead of forcing and jamming these keywords into a sentence that doesn’t flow well, simply create a heading or H2 tag with the following text: “What Are Thermal Curtains?”
Poor and Uninformative Meta Descriptions and Title Tags
Though organic keywords are important, they’re not the only part of SEO. After your content has been written – keywords or no keywords – you’re still not done optimizing your content. More specifically, you need to pay close attention to the title tags and meta descriptions. Title tags and meta descriptions are crucial SEO factors because they optimize the link to your content for the end user.
As a user is presented with the SERPs, they’re likely only going to spend fractions of a second scanning each link before clicking on one. You need to be as concise as possible and communicate to the user what content your page contains, its benefits, and how it will help them solve their problem. Furthermore, if your web page is selling a product, it’s a good idea to showcase any savings opportunities or limited time offers to encourage them to click.
Lack or Scarcity of Internal Links
Internal links are important for two reasons. First of all, internal links encourage a visitor to remain on your site to find the information they’re looking for – instead of visiting a competitor’s site. The longer a visitor stays on your page, the better, regardless of whether or not they take action. Google notices how long visitors spend browsing particular pages and domains, and factors that into the search algorithm.
Secondly, internal links help the Google bots crawl your site more easily and index your content. Content that isn’t linked to by any other on-site URL is known as an orphan page, and is a waste of SEO potential. If the Google bots can’t find and crawl your page, they can’t rank it.
Failing to Monitor Your Backlink Profile
According to Google, a backlink “...is regarded as a vote for the quality of your site.” But this doesn’t mean that quantity is everything. Due to backlinks from disreputable URLs, paid backlinks, and sordid web entities, a backlink from the wrong source can actually harm your SEO endeavors.
The good news is that as long as you periodically monitor your backlink profile, you can distance yourself from sites you deem unworthy to link to your content. By pruning backlinks from undesirable domains with the Google Disavow Tool, you can optimize your site for the best possible rankings.
If SEO and website design make your head spin, it’s time to reach out for the help of a qualified professional. Window treatment businesses require SEO to reach leads in the local area, especially for related services like installation, maintenance, and repairs. Lastly, in summary, remember the following:
- Don’t stuff keywords
- Use keywords as organically as possible
- Use concise and informative meta descriptions and title tags
- Insert internal links generously
- Monitor your backlink profile and disavow shady URLs