Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is kind of like filing taxes. It’s a necessity for every company (as long as they want to be easily searchable on the internet), but it’s complicated and the codes are frequently changing. We have seen so many clients mismanage their SEO efforts and make costly mistakes before they reach out to us, and we would love to help YOU avoid those same mistakes!
If you haven’t already read the “SEO for Network Marketers” post, take a look it first if you want to learn the basics to help you get started. Now let’s dig even deeper into optimizing your website with on-page SEO.
Here are the 8 ways you will ruin your SEO ranking, and what you should be doing instead:
1. Overusing Keywords
SEO used to mean keyword stuffing. Years ago it meant overflowing the content with keywords until they were practically oozing off the screen. The result was poor quality content that was incoherent and (not surprisingly) insignificant to the reader.
Thankfully (for the readers), search engine algorithms have changed and overusing keywords will definitely get you tagged as spam. Your keywords probably wouldn’t come up in every single sentence in your natural speech, so why should they on your website? The goal is to identify which keywords you want your page to focus on and then naturally and sparingly work those golden words into your high quality content.
What’s the magic keyword density?
While it’s important not to overuse your keywords, there is no longer a hard and fast rule about keyword density. It truly will vary from one page to another. Your goal is to focus on quality, not quantity. One trick is to read your entire page aloud to someone else and make sure it conveys valuable information without sounding repetitive or annoying.
2. Wasting Keywords
Along the same lines (but definitely worth the emphasis) is to not trample your keywords with low quality content. It will not matter how many times your keywords pop up in your content if it is disjointed or poorly written. Your keywords should not be wasted on meaningless content. Nurture your keywords with writing that is engaging, relevant, concise, and extremely easy to understand – not artificial in any way. Think of optimizing your website for the reader, not the search engine crawler! Take pride in your web presence and establish your authority in the industry with informative content and wisely-placed keywords.
3. Boring Headlines
Uninteresting, pointless headlines are bad for your readers AND your ranking. Search engines store short snippets of information in their database so they can call up your results in an 8th of a second. The more your headlines cater to search engines, the more your site will be seen as an authority in your industry. Your headers should be:
- Targeted – Speak clearly to your niche market at all times. Don’t let there be any confusion about who your audience is
- Keyword friendly – Try to include 1 keyword in each headline
- Short and sweet – Limited to 15-65 characters
- Original – Don’t quote or rephrase the content in your body copy. Give it a fresh spin!
4. Ignoring Page Titles
Page Titles are tragically one of the most overlooked on-site SEO factors, but they can make a huge difference for your ranking and credibility. Think about what you see when you do a Google search: a main title, a description of the company, and a website URL. That main Page Title should sum up your business in one quick glance, and it needs to include your primary keyword! Here are a few guidelines for Page Titles:
- Use your keyword at the beginning of the title
- Try to stay under 65 characters
- Don’t duplicate – make sure each individual page has a unique Page Title
- Include your company name in every title.
5. Forgetting Meta Descriptions
Meta Descriptions are the short descriptions for each web page that appear under the Page Title and inform the search engine about the content of that page. This helps the search engine know when your website will be relevant to a user’s search query, and it compels visitors to actually click on your page. Too many businesses are forgetting that the Meta Description is often the very first impression a potential customer will have for your company. It should make a memorable impact and help your company stand out from all the rest. The search engine will highlight the main words in the user’s search, so make sure your keywords are used naturally and cleverly. Try to keep them between 150-160 characters.
6. Failure to Crosslink
You want search engines to crawl ALL of your website, not just a few pages. If your web pages are completely autonomous and independent of each other, most of them will remain hidden from search engines, and that will keep you from rising to the Top 10.
How can you get search engines to view your entire website? By crosslinking! Just as the name suggests, crosslinking is navigating visitors from one page to another with a relevant link. Every single page on your website or blog should link across your site. Drive traffic back to your list of services, your contact page, your products, or a relevant blog post. The bottom of a web page should never be the end of your visitors’ experience; keep them clicking! The more you crosslink, the better optimized your site will be.
As always, make it natural. Your crosslinks should make sense and follow an easy flow.
7. Generic Images
You know that beautiful, captivating image on your home page? It’s not doing anything for your SEO. Search engines are blind to images. You have to speak the crawler’s language in order to get it to notice your image and improve your website’s SEO. That means giving your images a hearty (and relevant) keyword with an Image Alt-Tag! An Alt-Tag is the hidden description of an image, and when it’s SEO rich it can play a big role in feeding search engines. Simply give your images a VERY short and applicable description with the most relevant keyword. Here’s an example: <img src=”image.gif” width=”300″ height=”20″ alt=”mlm software” />
8. Spending Any Time At All on Meta Keywords
Meta keywords may have been a big SEO technique back in the day, but it’s dead. Let it go. Google no longer uses meta keywords for web ranking.
Keep checking back for more SEO tips! And if you have any other advice for fellow network marketers, feel free to share it in the comments below.