Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, recently published a Webmaster video listing the most common SEO mistakes website owners and webmasters make.
Here it is:
Matt enumerated the following mistakes:
1. Not making your site crawlable.
2. Not including the right words on a page. Do think about what the user is going to type and include those words.
3. Having a tunnel vision on link building and not thinking about compelling content and the broader area of marketing.
4. Not putting the right title and description on your important pages.
5. Not using Webmaster resources.
Matt also mentioned “not having a website” as a huge mistake under #1. Well, we certainly agree. For what is there to optimize for search if there is no website? Maybe he also meant that it’s a mistake to go into business without a website.
So let’s go over his points and review how true these are for your clients and what you can do to avoid these mistakes.
This is really one of the most basic SEO aspects but one that is often overlooked or ignored—rendering all SEO efforts useless. Many of our newly registered resellers coming from other outsource providers come to us asking why their campaigns were not ranking—and most of the time, a misconfigured robots.txt is the culprit. When your clients’ web pages could not be crawled by search engines’ spiders or robots, then their web pages will never be indexed, and will never appear on search results! Let search engines know that their websites exist by making sure that all pages that they want to be found via search are crawlable. So what are the things we should look at to make sure that your clients’ websites can be crawled?
1. Check the robots.TXT file. This is the first file that the robots look for and it contains instructions on what directories or pages the web robots should crawl onto throughout a website and what pages it should ignore. Imagine if the robots.TXT on a site tells the robots not to crawl that site!
2. Make sure that there are no bad or broken links. Make sure that a user can go to every web page (that your clients wanted to be visible on search engines) and back by clicking on the navigation links or other links on the pages. In addition, the robots will crawl and index your site easily if the pages and URLs are properly structured.
Doing keywords research and applying these keywords to your web content including groups of words or phrases or long tail keywords that searchers are likely to type will help your clients’ web pages appear on search results. People naturally go for content that speaks their language and so the words on web pages that match search queries is also a strong factor in search results.
1. Make sure that you do extensive keywords research for your clients’ websites
2. Make sure that the result of this research is applied to their website’s content.
Marketing, Content, and Link Building
Marketing and content must precede link building. Search engines are getting smarter and smarter and so back links that do not really point to content that is of substance are becoming weak factors for search engine rankings. It has been said time and time again that sensible marketing, and great, compelling content on a site will be followed by natural link building. And that link building efforts by SEO service providers will have more value if that site has good content signals to begin with.
How do you provide good marketing and content creation for your clients’ websites?
Come up with good regular sales 1) promotions, such as that of using coupon marketing. Come up with regular 2) press releases to broadcast their sales promotions, use 3) infographics as well to present stories in a different way. Provide 4) company updates or 5) industry news and dig up some 6) previous publications your clients have somewhere to be utilized as content material for their website. Also, make sure that all of the content created are also published via their social media networks to add some social signals.
Page Titles and Description
This aspect is also very simple to do but is often neglected. Some also fail to do this properly. Page titles are important as these give the search engines an idea of what a particular page is about especially if the content is coherent with the given title, thereby giving the page high relevance and quality signals. The description also works similarly with the title and is additionally used by search engines on many cases as a snippet on search results for users to read before choosing what results to click. The description must therefore reinforce the title as to telling what the page is about as well as enticing searchers to click to get what they’re looking for.
Google’s Webmaster Tools provide valuable means to make websites search engine-friendly. Google Webmaster Tools, along with Google Analytics, is a must for SEO campaigns. Many however, do not have the time to dig into the nitty-gritty details of many SEO tasks.
Let me add that another mistake business and website owners make is not having a Website Audit done. A Website Audit is important as it especially addresses the 5 issues above!
Crawlability, keywords, content, back links, page title and description, and Webmaster resources—all of these are addressed in our Website Audit Report. You can provide more value to your clients (without going through all the highly technical and detailed tasks) through our Website Audit Report service ensuring that all of the basics are covered before venturing into SEO. As usual, we work in the background as your white label SEO outsourcing provider servicing your clients for you.