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Posted by: Matthew Cook

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SEO

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Search engine optimization, or SEO, is an incredibly valuable strategy that many companies use in order to boost their ranking on search engines and increase the web traffic to their company website. However, not everyone knows how to use SEO correctly. The improper use of SEO will not only be ineffective in generating web traffic that could actually turn into leads, but it could actually hurt your web ranking. The following are 5 SEO mistakes that you should be sure to avoid when setting up your SEO strategy:

1.  Using the wrong keywords

A mistake many companies make is not doing the research when it comes to choosing what keywords to use. Choosing the right keywords is all about knowing who your target audience is and what they need. For example, if you run a coffee shop, then “coffee” isn’t going to be a very good keyword. This is because other companies use this word millions of times, which means that it’s going to do nothing to help with your web ranking or web traffic. You need a more specific keyword, something that your target audience would use to find your products or services. For example, something like “organic fair trade coffee beans” would be a lot more effective.

2. Not optimizing for location

This is another common SEO mistake many companies make. Say you are running a small coffee shop out of Buffalo, NY. You may have done the research in order to create effective keywords, such as “fair trade coffee beans from Columbia” or something along those lines; however, if you only sell your products on a local level, then you’re not targeting the right web traffic. There are going to be visitors from outside of Buffalo stumbling onto your page, and unless you sell your product online, those visitors aren’t going to be a help to your business. If you sell on a local level, then your keyword should reflect this. “Fair trade coffee beans from Columbia in Buffalo” is much more effective since this would be something your target audience in Buffalo would actually search for.

3. Using generic title tags

So many companies use either their company name or their website name as the title for each one of their website’s pages. This is a common SEO mistake. Every web page needs to have a unique title. This title tags are essential for SEO as well as for identifying your page, since it’s the page titles that are used when a page is bookmarked or shared on Twitter. Use specific keywords for each page – you can even add the name of your company after the keywords if you like. Just make sure that each title tag is unique.

4. Not using anchor text for your internal links

Providing links throughout the pages on your website is another way to build strong SEO. However, you need to pay attention to the anchor text you use for your links. Many websites will make the mistake of using vague and often used phrases such as “click here” or “contact us here” instead of tailoring your anchor text. For example, have the anchor text be “fair trade coffee beans” instead. The entire sentence can be “visit us for more information about our fair trade coffee beans,” but the link should be anchored to “fair trade coffee beans” for the strongest SEO results.

5. Focusing solely on keywords

This is one of the most common SEO mistakes. Many companies will stuff their webpages with keywords without focusing on the quality of their website. This might result in increased website traffic – but none of your visitors will turn into leads, which is the whole point of SEO. Visitors will simply leave if your website is poor and most likely won’t return.

These are five SEO mistakes you should be sure to avoid when creating your SEO strategy.

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