A business’s website is only as good as its SEO.

SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is the key component of any website that attracts web traffic through search results. Without SEO, those visitors cannot be converted into customers.

But not every website prioritizes SEO as much as they should. These companies and organizations are leaving results on the table, whether that be a product sold, a request for service or a donation to a nonprofit fund. Other websites may try to employ SEO best practices, but fall short in certain areas.

At Emagine, we’ve seen it all. We have built strategies from scratch and have optimized existing strategies. We have seen the mishaps, mistakes and missteps that can kill a website’s SEO and destroy its search ranking on Google and other search engines.<br>

Good websites begin with SEO

Before we get into those mishaps to avoid, it’s important to understand why SEO is so critical to success online.

The best websites focus on search engine optimization. That’s because websites exist to take visitors and convince them into becoming paying customers. But those would-be customers can’t find your website if it does not show up on the first page of Google search results.

Why is SEO so important?

High SEO rankings are critical to your business’s success.

SEO is what points the over 1.3 billion internet users to your website. Search providers like Google want to be as helpful as possible to their users. So, they will crawl websites, picking up on the most useful content, keywords and keyword phrases.

The websites with those elements that best match a users search will show up at the top of the first page of search results.

Your business could have the best product or service in the world, but without a proper strategy to optimize content and focus on certain keywords, search engines will not put your website in front of potential customers.

Bad SEO won’t deliver results

Whether it is sales, leads or even higher visitor traffic you are after, bad SEO means your website is not going to deliver the results you are looking for. Websites that have little to no SEO strategies implemented simply will not draw search engine traffic to their websites.

How much business is that leaving on the table? A lot, to be honest. Some estimates have pegged the amount of web traffic that organic search results are responsible for at 51%. That’s unpaid search results that only rely on rankings.

Plus, 70% of searchers click on websites that rank within the top five of Google results. That means you don’t just need good SEO, you need great SEO.

So, what does bad search engine optimization look like? These are the mishaps our agency has seen and helped businesses correct.

1. Don’t duplicate content.

One of the most common SEO mistakes that causes sites to lose spots in search results is duplicate content. This is a number of paragraphs that could completely match in words and content or are very similar. Those paragraphs don’t even have to be on the same website.

Search engines don’t necessarily penalize a website for having the same or similar content, but your page may struggle to rank highly if it is competing with other pages on your website or some other website. You are competing against yourself at that point.

We should also say it’s never a good idea to copy content that you do not own. That’s plagiarism - and could be a route toward legal trouble.

2. Using bad keywords

Keywords are the building blocks of an SEO strategy. Without the right keywords, the entire website will struggle to return positive search traffic results.

This is where customer and market research can be useful. Learn how your customers or clients talk about your product and what questions they have in regard to the product.

3. Not thinking ahead

Search engines are looking for websites and copy that answer a searcher’s questions or provide them with enough related information that sets them on the right track.

You need to think ahead when planning content so that the information on your page provides those answers. Consider what types of questions your target customers will ask and what information they will seek most often. That’s what the bulk of your content should be about.

4. Poor website load speed

Users aren’t the only ones who hate slow websites. Google isn’t a fan, either. If your site is fast and loads quickly, then Google is more likely to list it higher in its search results.

Help your website load faster by resizing and optimizing images, enable browser caching and, if you use Wordpress, thinking carefully about what plugins are absolutely needed as too many or poorly designed plugins can slow down a website.

5. Not tracking analytics to see what pages are popular

A good SEO strategy will draw visitors from search engines. A better strategy draws the visitors that then become customers. Without tracking website analytics, though, business owners won’t know what keywords and content are proving the most valuable to users and convincing them to take the next step toward buying a product or service.

Use an analytics service to track what keywords draw those users who end up making purchases to your site.

6. A focus on quantity over quality harms SEO

Don’t let yourself fall into the habit of creating unnecessary website pages or blog posts in hopes of attracting more and more people to your website.

For one, Google will penalize websites that lack quality in their content. Quality content can also get buried by mediocre content. That is why quantity must never be the focus, only quality.

Increase your website’s Google search result ranking

Emagine has helped many businesses build websites and launch successful paid and organic SEO campaigns to increase their ranking on Google search results.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We’re ready to get to work for you and help your website deliver results.

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