Google continually releases new algorithm updates, from Hummingbird to Google Panda and Google Penguin, the animals are countless. For some reason, we don't know why they like naming the algorithms after animals, but they just do. And if you don’t stay up to date with the latest changes, you can incur in SEO mistakes that will end up hurting your ranking.
So, in this article, we are going to show you how to Google-proof your website and break down for you 3 SEO mistakes that you’ll want to fix as soon as possible.
Hi there, and welcome back to Serendipity Marketing. We're a digital marketing agency with a mission to help small businesses grow by applying psychology to their marketing strategies.
The last thing you want to do is to worry about Google penalising you in the future. So, how do you avoid this when you're doing SEO.
Well, let’s get to break down this for you. There are two kinds of SEOs. There's the black hat and then there's the white hat. You can probably take a guess that Google likes white hat and they hate black hat.
Black hat is people who steal content, they're scraping websites, they're buying links. Just avoid doing all of those things because as Google is launching more and more sophisticated algorithms, it is very easy for them to identify websites that use SEO black hat.
Basically, when you perform black hat SEO, you are leaving like bread crumbs along the way and Google is very good at identifying those traces and getting back to your website. The result? Of course, as you can imagine, they won’t like to show black hat SEO websites on their results pages and you’ll lose your ranking.
On the flip side, white hat SEO is writing amazing content, creating an amazing website that has a great user experience, and always putting the user first.
By doing those things what you'll notice is that your website very rarely will ever get penalised and you don't have to worry about Google algorithm updates.
Now, to get into the specifics.
1. Look at your time on site
The first thing you want to look at to improve and to make sure that your website isn't going to get hit by any Google algorithm updates in the future is to first look at your time on site.
Within your Google Analytics, it'll show you your time on site. The closer you can get that number to, let's say, 2 - 3 minutes the better off you are.
If that number's under a minute, it shows that most people don't care to be on your website. And as a result, Google will be less likely to show your website when people search for the keywords you are ranking for.
How can you fix this?
You will need to first analyse your pages and improve them. If people don’t stay for long on your website, why is that? Is it because they find the website complicated? Or maybe your pages are not persuasive enough to make them see the value of what you are talking about? Or maybe you don’t have good visual elements to break down the copy and the pages become heavy to read?
All these could be a possible reason for users to stay for less than 2 minutes on your website. So, what you’ll want to do is to analyse the pages and make them in a way that you can deliver a great user experience.
Use compelling titles and supporting persuasive copy. Don’t speak just about how good you or your products or services are. Make it about them and the benefits they will get by staying on your web pages and taking action. Use high-quality images to give a nice visual impact that makes them feel like you are reliable and trustworthy and that helps them understand what’s going on on your pages.
Give them a reason to stay.
Another thing to consider here is that you might be using the wrong keywords – meaning that you are being shown to people who are not really interested in what you offer so that when someone clicks, they just bounce back as you are not what they were looking for.
So, make sure to understand the words your target audience would type on the Google search bar to search for your website and work your SEO around those keywords.
Alright, now before we move on with the next SEO mistakes that are hurting your ranking, have you ever thought about how much you should invest in marketing to generate constant business growth? Click the button below to calculate the ideal marketing budget you should allocate for higher visibility, engagement, and profit.
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2. Bounce rate
The second of the SEO mistakes you need to look at and, again, this is within your Google Analytics, is your bounce rate. The lower that number, the better off you are.
If people are just coming to your website and bouncing off, especially within a few seconds, it tells search engines like Google that your page isn't relevant as users didn't find what they were looking for, so you shouldn't rank it anymore.
You don't want that. So, if you continually decrease your bounce rate, and the way you do that is making sure you use large fonts, that way your content is easier to read. You make sure you focus on what the user is coming to your website for.
So, if you're an eCommerce site, you showcase the product. If you're a blog, don't showcase your products or services at the top, showcase your blog content.
Doing those simple tweaks will decrease your bounce rate.
Also, you have to make sure your website is mobile compatible. More than half the traffic these days coming from search engines are typically from mobile devices.
So, making sure your website is responsive and mobile compatible will help decrease your bounce rate.
When you start doing those things, you'll notice that it's a lot harder to get penalised.
3. Put the user first
The third of the SEO mistakes you really need to focus on is to make sure you continually put the user first. We know we mentioned this already, but we can't emphasize it enough.
And you want to do this by going through your website and recorder, being like, what content pages should you update because they're outdated? Is your user experience better than your competition? Can you do anything else to delight your users and make sure they want to come back and tell others about your site?
We know some of those things are really hard to measure but, if you just survey people and you talk to them, and you get their feedback, you can make your site more user-friendly.
If you need help with your SEO or digital marketing to grow your business in terms of visibility, engagement, and profit, contact us today and speak with one of our digital marketing experts to see how we can build the bridge between the point you’re standing at right now and your goals.