• 5 SEO Keyword Mistakes That Still Happen Way Too Often

    SEO Keywords

    I’ve been in business in the online marketing field for nearly five years now (yes, it’s crazy how time flies!). When I started out my thinking was that in five years, the web-world would be quite different. But in reality, although the style of websites has changed, and Google’s algorithm has changed, the fundamentals of a good website are unchanged. Particularly when it comes to strategic use of keywords.

    Yet for many websites, strategic use of carefully chosen keywords is still the missing link. So, if you haven’t yet had time to consider your keywords and where to use them on your web pages, or you’ve considered it but not yet taken action, then read on. Today’s article is for you!

    And on the plus side, if you’re not making any of these mistakes, step away from your computer and treat yourself to something nice, as a reward for your attention to keyword detail 🙂

    What is SEO?

    If you’re new to the term SEO, it’s the abbreviation for Search Engine Optimisation, which, broadly speaking, covers everything you do to get your website to appear high up in the Google search results.

    If the purpose of your website is to act as an online business card, you don’t need to know about SEO. But if you’re one of the multitude of businesses who want prospective new clients to find you in Google, you need to either understand the magic of where and how to use keywords, or enlist the services of a web copywriter to add the keyword magic to your online pages.

    1. No Keywords in the Page Title (aka the Title Tag)

    The Page Title isn’t seen on the page, it’s added to the code and is the line of text that appears at the top of the browser. In the Chrome browser, you can see the Page Title by hovering over the words in at the top, like the example below where I hovered over “5 SEO Keyword Mistakes” and the full Page Title appears in the yellow pop up area.

    SEO keyword mistakes

    The Page Title is a really important place to add the main keyword phrase that you would like to rank for in Google.

    Yet I’m constantly surprised at how many websites still only have their Business Name as the Page Title, and it’s used on every page of their website. This is a massive, wasted opportunity.

    If you have a WordPress site, plugins like the “All in One SEO Pack” and SEO for “WordPress by Yoast” allow you to add a custom Page Title to each Page or Post. Capitalise on this opportunity!

    2. Keywords in the Page Title but not used on the Page

    As mentioned in Mistake No.1, it’s important to use keywords in the Page Title, and then you also need to follow through by using them on the page, for example in the headline, early in the body text and in subheadings.

    If someone finds you in Google by searching for a specific keyword, once they visit your website, they want to see (and see fast!) that they’ve found what they were searching for. If the same keywords aren’t used in the headline, or prominently on the page, they might quickly hit the “back” button to get out of there fast.

    3. Target keywords aren’t used anywhere

    This should probably be mistake No.1 because it definitely happens way too often!

    Often a client will ask me “Mel, why aren’t I getting any Google traffic for {insert keyword}”.

    The first thing I do is look at their website and often it’s a new phrase, that wasn’t incorporated in to their original SEO plan, and therefore isn’t actually used anywhere on the website.

    When this happens you can either:

    a. Add a new Product or Service page that targets the new keyword phrase

    b. Write a blog article that targets the new keyword phrase.

    4. Keywords are stuffed into the keyword tag

    It’s a fact that Google doesn’t use the keyword tag as a ranking factor, so it’s fine to leave it empty.

    If you add keywords there, basically you’re telling your competitors what keywords you are targeting on that page.

    If you choose to fill the tag in, add a few target keyword phrases. And make sure they are the same keywords you’ve used on the page.

    Don’t stuff it full of every keyword under the sun that pops in to your head that you think you might like to rank on in a dream Google universe where you have the only website in existence!

    Read more in this article by Kate Toon on Should I complete the meta keywords tag?

    5. Long winded or non keyword rich URLs

    The URL is the link that people can use to get directly to a page.  Ideally the URL should include only important words, rather than every word from the title of your article, or worse, a jumble of meaningless symbols and numbers created by your website platform.

    Find out more about this in a fab article by our Web Peep Shae Baxter on Why You Should Edit Your Permalink in WordPress

    Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 7.21.29 pm

    Want to learn more about SEO?

    SEO-training-SydneyWhether your want to learn about doing your own SEO, or enough to evaluate the results of SEO that you’re paying for, attending Kate Toon’s SEO Search Engine Optimisation For Small Business training course will help you learn essential SEO tactics that can improve your ranking, get more visitors and ultimately, do more business.

    The next courses are being held in Sydney on 23 August and Melbourne on 10 October.

    It’s a fabulous one day event full of valuable information, meeting new people, light-hearted laughs and a glass of bubbles at the end. What’s not to love!

    Post By Melinda (139 Posts)

    Melinda aka Mel, is half of the Grassroots team. Qualified in both Google AdWords and Analytics, Mel is committed to never using an acronym without explaining it first. She also likes grand slam tennis, cracked pepper and Melbourne sunsets.

    Website: → http://clickwinningcontent.com.au

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Join in! There's already been 16 comments

  1. Paula Johnson May 27, 2014 @ 5:09 am

    Another great educational article Melinda – thanks! I didn’t realise the Keyword tag area wasn’t that critical, and also the reminder about the long winded URL…I’ll watch that for sure! Thanks so much 🙂

    • Melinda May 27, 2014 @ 1:22 pm

      Thanks for your feedback Paula, I’m glad the info is helpful.

      Mel

  2. Serena May 27, 2014 @ 11:52 am

    I am pleased to say I am pretty good with all of these which is saying something as SEO is not my strong point!

    So I guess I am covering the basics!

    • Melinda May 27, 2014 @ 1:23 pm

      Like anything it takes a while for keyword SEO to become a habit.

      I suggest having a checklist of the things you can control easily to help an article rank in Google is a good place to start.

  3. Bec Christensen May 27, 2014 @ 4:51 pm

    This article is a real mind opener, because if you follow the five steps, you’ll automatically start thinking a little more purposefully about the keywords you want to rank for. Once you’re aware of them, you can tweak your website copy or write a blog post to target a particular word or phrase. As you say Mel, it’s a habit that might take a while to form, but this is a great beginning.

    • Melinda May 27, 2014 @ 5:56 pm

      Thanks Bec, appreciate your comment 🙂

  4. Tracey - Life Changing Year May 27, 2014 @ 7:09 pm

    Love these helpful posts Mel. They are written in such an easy to understand manner and they are packed full of useful info! I’m pretty good at these but I admit I cheat by using the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. Makes it easy and has a traffic light system which turns green when you’ve got it right! Love that thing!

    • Melinda May 28, 2014 @ 12:26 pm

      Thanks Tracey. I agree the Yoast Plugin for WordPress is great!

  5. Shae Baxter May 28, 2014 @ 12:51 am

    Awesome tips Mel. Keywords are still so important today and it’s important to use them correctly.

    • Melinda May 28, 2014 @ 12:27 pm

      Thanks Shae, your services and blog are fabulous for helping to make the keyword stuff easier for people too 🙂

  6. Belinda @ Copywrite Matters May 28, 2014 @ 6:01 am

    Great list Mel. I feel pretty chuffed that I’m not making any of these mistakes!

    One thing I should do more often (and maybe one to add to the list) is to revisit your keyword strategy regularly to make sure they are still relevant to my target audience and my services.

    In fact, I might add that to my to do list now!

    • Melinda May 28, 2014 @ 12:28 pm

      Great point Belinda.

      And it reminds me that the keywords on the home page of my business website need updating since I changed the main focus of my services!

  7. Cathy May 28, 2014 @ 9:46 am

    I found that installing Yoast has helped me stay on top of most of these, although trimming the URL is one I hadn’t really thought of.

    • Melinda May 28, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

      Yoast is great!

      As a bonus, trimming the URL also makes it easier to identify which article is which when you view your Content in Google Analytics.

  8. Carol May 28, 2014 @ 11:35 am

    Very helpful comments Mel, Thank you- have been looking at my keywords more closely wondering how to maximise this

    • Melinda May 28, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

      Thanks Carol 🙂