When starting out with building a website for the first time, there’s not a lot of people who are aware of the concept of SEO.
Sure, they use Google every single day to find information, but the concept that it can be leveraged for marketing purposes haven’t really crossed their mind.
As such, when you first get your eyes opened about SEO, it’s an overwhelming strategy and quite an advanced marketing approach.
But as you gather more experience with your website, you acquire more knowledge about SEO and how you can rank well on Google.
Just like most people, when I started my first website, I was confused. Lost. And I had no idea how I could use SEO to my advantage.
In this article, I’ll share with you my top 5 things that I didn’t know about effective SEO when starting out which were hurting my SEO process.
Web services like WordPress which the majority of users use will create URLs for you for the pages that you create. But the problem is that there aren’t always ideal.
Now, these types of URLs aren’t the biggest problem, but there were URLs that could be several lines long, and trust me, they didn’t look appealing. not only that, but they also looked very spammy. But most importantly, these links weren’t optimized to perfection for Google.
Instead, in order to create the best possible links for SEO, you want to keep your links short and concise, but still include the keywords of that page.
For example, since the title of this blog post is ”5 SEO Mistakes I didn’t know I was doing when I started out”,it would lead to quite a long URL. As such, The URL shouldn’t include all the words. The words that should be left out of the URL are the words that are redundant and doesn’t bring any value to Google.
If I would decide, I would probably make the URL to ”SEO mistakes”. That’s it! It includes the focus topic which the article is about, and it’s short and sweet.
2.Quantity over quantity
It’s no secret that the key to ranking well on Google is text-based content.
Google can only crawl text-based content for now, and this means that text is crucial for great SEO.
As such, blogging tends to play a major role in just that.
But just like many others, when I first started blogging, I thought that the more blog posts I cranked out, the better. The more traffic I would get, and the better I would rank in Google.
Oh, how wrong I was.
If there’s one single ranking factor that Google is all about, it’s quality.
Google’s goal is to present the most thorough, high-quality and relevant answer on the first page and in the first result.
But if my article and blog post hardly answers the initial question and is so thin that it only gives a few tips and nothing more, do you think I ranked number one? Safe to say, I didn’t.
It has been found that the average length on articles ranking in the number one spot in Google is more than 2,000 words. Now, this doesn’t mean that shorter content cannot rank number one in Google, but what longer form content allows you to do is go more in-depth and provide more value to the reader. And if you can grasp the reader with your text, you’ll increase your retention rate, and Google will reward you with higher rankings.
3. Titles are key
It is said that you should pay more attention to your article’s title than to the article itself, and that is to a large extent true.
The fact is that without an amazing and optimized title, your article is probably not going to rank well.
A perfectly optimized title that is appealing and clearly explains what your post is about is key, but of course, I paid no attention to this.
I would say ”Okay, my article contains tips to increase traffic, so therefore, I should name my article “Tips to increase traffic”.
Needless to say, those posts didn’t perform well.
As such, make sure you pay great attention to your headlines and that you optimize them to perfection.
There are a number of headline analyzer tools out there that will score your headline and help you improve it.
4.Not mentioning my keyword once
Now, the concept of keyword stuffing is long gone, but this does not mean that keywords aren’t relevant in articles and for ranking in Google, and this was one of my major SEO mistakes that would eventually cause an upswing in ranking once I got a hold of it.
Here’s the deal:
If you write an article with the focus keyword ”SEO mistakes” like in this article, isn’t it strange if I not once mention my keyword in the body of the post?
In Google’s eyes, it certainly is strange, and they’ll wonder if you’re trying to manipulate the system.
Now, at the same time, keyword stuffing and mentioning SEO mistakes time and time over isn’t a good strategy either, but make sure that you seamlessly incorporate your keyword in your text every now and then, and also don’t forget to use variations of your keywords as this has proven to be effective as well for obvious reasons.
5.Not working with other parts of SEO
When I first started with SEO, I went all in on blogging.
I sat down and started blogging, and I didn’t leave until my fingers were sore and my eyes were read.
I thought that if I would only bash out a ton of blog posts, I would eventually rank high on Google.
Safe to say, I didn’t, because I didn’t factor in the fact that there are a ton of other ranking factors on Google. While high-quality content is the single most crucial part and a precondition for ranking high on Google if you’re only focusing on writing content, your Google traffic will probably remain quite stuck wherever it’s at.
As such, while writing a good blog post is important, it’s even more important to go out and promote it. Build links, get people to repost your content, and share it on social media.