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Top 5 SEO Mistakes to Avoid

2020 has been a rough year for many New Bern businesses, thanks in massive part to the pandemic and resulting shut down of our economy.

While there’s no telling what’s in store for 2021, what is for sure is that it’s more important than ever to ensure that you optimize your website for SEO. More people than ever are now going online to avoid going out in public until the COVID-19 situation is under control. Outside sales reps are also having to heavily modify or curtail their efforts thanks to new social distancing policies.  Read on to learn more about the top five SEO mistakes that you need to avoid if you want to optimize your website and improve the organic traffic that Google will send it.

Duplicate Content

Many businesses often don’t have the time to create unique content. They sometimes will “borrow” content found elsewhere on the web and copy it over to their own site, word-for-word. Google considers this to be “duplicate content” and can penalize a web page or entire website if they find it.  Some businesses, such as realtors, will use something called syndicated content sent to them from corporate. The problem with adding this content (a blog post, for example) is that thousands of other realtors will add it to their website as well. Now you have the same blog post on multiple websites that doesn’t add any value to the end-user.  Avoid using duplicate content on your website at all costs. Even if it means you have to limit the number of web pages until you can find the time it takes to add valuable, unique content to each of your internal pages.

Spammy Links

A key component of SEO is getting other, high-powered, and relevant websites to link back to yours. For many businesses, this is often the most challenging aspect of performing their own SEO. There are many online services out there who will either sell you links or provide you with the opportunity to add yours for a fee.  The problem with these links is that they come from websites that Google considers low quality. In fact, they can actually harm the ranking of your website because Google might think that you’re trying to game their algorithm. Try only to get links to your site from other relevant, reputable websites.

Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is the practice of adding the same exact keyword over and over again to all pages on your website. Google considers this to be a spammy practice as it creates low-quality content that isn’t very readable by humans. Try to use your main keywords sparingly. If you want to add more, think about other variations of your primary keyword and add them. For example, the keyword “blue widgets” can be alternatively written as “widgets that are blue in color.”  The most important thing you can do to avoid keyword stuffing is to write the content for the reader, not Google.

Adding Poor Quality or Irrelevant Content

Adding content to your blog or website for the sake of “adding content” is something you should try to avoid. The Google algorithm is smart enough to determine what is and isn’t high-quality content. Low-quality content is rife with misspellings and grammar mistakes. You can improve the quality of your writing with such free tools as Grammarly. Irrelevant content is stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with your business. Many people new to SEO will add irrelevant content for the sole sake of having fresh content posted to their site regularly. Google considers this to be the mark of a low-quality website, so be sure only to add content that pertains to your niche, area, or industry.

Website is Not Mobile-Responsive

[caption id="attachment_609" align="alignleft" width="300"]Email Photo by Adrianna Calvo from Pexels[/caption] More people than ever are using their cell phones to perform Google searches. Older websites won’t display nicely on the small smartphone screens. Google can instantly tell if your website isn’t “mobile responsive” and can omit it from the mobile search results. Fortunately, Google offers a free mobile-friendly testing tool. Simply enter in your website URL, and in a few seconds, it will tell you if your website is optimized for mobile and provide suggestions on certain things that you can fix that will help improve the user experience for people on their phones.

SEO and Marketing Help in New Bern

SEO takes a lot of time and effort to perform correctly. It’s something that you need to perform on an ongoing basis. If your website isn’t ranking as well in the organic search results as you think it should, give us a call. If you have any questions about political signs and marketing for the greater New Bern area, give us a call.  To learn more about how AlphaGraphics of New Bern can produce and design your next project, you may email usrequest a quote, or call us at (252) 633-3199.

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