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10 TIPS TO OPTIMIZE CONTENT AND AVOID COMMON SEO ERRORS

Por María Eugenia Guidara |

10 tips to optimize content and avoid common seo errors

 

Each time you publish a page on your website, you need to apply SEO strategies, in other words, Optimization strategies to search engines. Spending a few extra minutes optimizing content positions your website in the Google search results. What are the 10 essential tips to optimize your site? Which SEO errors should you avoid? Keep reading this post and we promise to give you all the answers.

Is the SEO, the best technique to send traffic toward websites?

For many specialists, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or the Optimization for search engines is an art. For example, Harold Davis, photographer , developer of software and author of several books about technology, defines it as “the art, the craft and the science for directing traffic toward websites”.  

Without a doubt, free access is the best value proposal for an SEO strategy. However, an investigation by the Shareaholic site defined that “searches only represent 1/3 of the total traffic toward sites”.

Let´s take a look at the results on this table:

Organic-Search-Engine-Traffic

Google: the best friend for successful searches

With the highest traffic share toward websites (final 31,04%), Google placed first in the ranking of the 5 best search engines in the United States. But not all the results are positive ones: during the period of time the study was conducted (six months), the percentage of traffic the search engines sent toward the websites decreased.

With this in mind, the SEO isn´t the only way to direct traffic (in other words: the heyday of searches is over). Social networks adds a significant proportion of visits thus providing a higher audience for a brand or business.

Despite these new findings, this introduction allows us to understand the importance of SEO and that it continues to be an essential ally when traffic is generated. Especially where organic traffic is concerned.

Now let´s look at the most common SEO errors

SEO errors more common 1

SEO ranking errors: Optimization Images, Meta, Link, Page, Visibility and Semantic Issues.

According to a publication on Raventools, solving the most frequent SEO issues can better position your website on search engines. Raven’s Site Auditor, based on the their investigation (regarding the SEO 888,710 website errors analysis), explains in the post what SEO errors are made regularly:

  1. Image Optimization Issues. Is the main SEO problem of all the analyzed websites. The proportion is larger than the sum of the rest of issues combined. In 78% of the cases, the images were not related to the text of the article, 53% of them did not contain “title attributes” and 25% of them did not have ALT attributes.
  1. Duplicated content. 29% of the pages had duplicated content. “The management and maintenance of duplicated content can improve the visibility of the site”.
  1. Meta – Descriptions. Directly, 34% of the pages didn´t have meta description tags. These are HTML tags that offer a short description of the content of a page on the search engines. This does not influence the positioning but it improves the click rate in the search results.
  1. Data structure. 80% of the pages lacked data structure according to Schema.org. What is Schema? It began in 2011 as an initiative of Google, Bing and Yahoo. Schema is standard structured data available for webmasters to improve the visibility of their websites. The objective is to “create and serve a common base of diagrams focused on structured data tags on a webpage”. Applying this optimization can increase and improve the position of search engines.
  1. Link Optimization. More than 250 problems with links halt the arrival of websites: 181 Links without an anchor or alternative text (Alt Text), 60 internal “nofollow” links and 23 broken links.

link-optimization

10 Tips to optimize content and avoid SEO errors

Following the advice of an article on Vertical Measures, in order to optimize search engines one needs to apply a series of considerations and techniques. Some of them are basic or elemental issues of the SEO. Meaning, those that are known to work incorporate the fundamentals of optimization. Others are not so popular and consider themselves part of the new SEO. That is how we are going to divide these tips to optimize content and avoid the most frequent SEO errors.

Basic SEO Tips

1.- Meta Tags

Without meta tags, your website would be positioned wrong in the Google search results. These are hidden HTML tags (invisible to visitors) in the code of your page. Search engines use these tags to get to your site and process them quickly.

2.- Titles

There are also HTML tags that serve to communicate with search engines about the content of our page. In this case, there are three types of specific tags tittles:

  • H1: indicates the title of the webpage content. Attention: must make reference to a page and not to a main website.
  • H2: is similar to H1 but indicates the importance of titles for subsections (subheaders) of the actual web document. For better clarity, let´s say that H2 tags serve to divide the sections of a page. They are important subtitles.
  • H3 and above (H4, H5, etc.): Are titles of subsections of a block header with a H2. Meaning, within the subtitles of a header such as H2, title tags can be added to other less important subtitles.

Management content tools exist in order to write appropriate SEO titles for this purpose: positioning. Because ultimately the great controversy is made when we wonder if we have to write a title that attracts the audience or a title for the search engines. Neither one. The titles must be created thinking about what your potential client is looking for. Here are some key points to add title tags:

  1. Incorporate key words regarding search intentions. In a Harvard Business Review publication regarding content marketing , the author uses exact questions to find effective keywords: “Who is your audience? What answers are you looking for from these people? What key words are they using to find answers?
  2. The H1 tag shouldn´t be too long. They must include relevant key words no matter what.
  3. In the case of subheaders, H2, H3 tags, etcetera, you must think about those tools as resources to organize text and offer readers pieces of the content. We already know that readers scan text, and these subtitles must help them break the monotony.
headings

Source: vertical measures

3.- Meta Descriptions

If this element doesn´t influence positioning when it appears in the results, it does influence the possibilities to attract clicks to the site. If you don´t include a description in the search engine, choose a description automatically based on the page content. The best thing is to control the aspect and find the appropriate words (including keywords) to get the attention of your potential client.

4.- Optimization of the image

Always, always dedicate five extra minutes to the optimization of the SEO image. Here are some tips to work on:

  1. Don´t use any name for an image. Imagine you have an image saved in a file with a name that has nothing to do with the image. Change the name to something related to the content on the image. This action helps search engines to understand the image better in relation with the text.
  2. Use alternative text. This is a brief description of the image or graph. This is related to the context of the article and must include a keyword.
  3. Add a title to the image. The title is shown when someone places the mouse over the image. It must contain keywords.
  4. Place keywords on the image to add more strength.

 

5.- URL

Never use URL addresses that don´t represent the content page. Meaning, if your content administrator creates URL defaults, you must modify them before you publish. These URLs must include keywords that have relation with the titles and they must be friendly. Some call these URLs semantic.

Unfriendly URL examples for search engines: http://www.misitioweb.com/?p=54382

Friendly URL SEO examples:  http://www.misitioweb.com/how-to-optimize-content

6.- Text Optimization

Content in general must be optimized for search engines. How do you do this? By using keywords a number of times (can be included within “strong” tags). The length and quality of an article is also important. According to some investigations, long content (more than 1,500 to 3,000 words) tend to position articles better.

But the most important factor is quality. Technical elements help a lot and what´s most effective is that your content <is great and has quality. The search engines focus on showing users the most adequate answers to their questions.

Tips from the New SEO

The SEO evolves as rapidly as new technology does. In this sense, algorithm updates are focusing on the experience of the mobile user. Nevertheless, the following tips have to do with a series of techniques that help you position your webpage, not just mobile searches, but for those that are made from desktop computers.

7.- A semantic focus on keywords

Until recently, Google focused a keyword or keyword phrase one on one. Today the focus must be more comprehensive, relating to content or topics. This is what we mentioned in the previous point regarding content optimization. Google doesn´t position results only on keywords, but on the relation between the keyword and the text. Let´s discuss quality. Content must meet the expectations of those who are looking for answers. And the keyword must always be connected with that in mind.

8.- Loading page speed on mobile devices (Mobile-friendly)

From April 2015, this factor began to influence Google´s ranking results. Google offers and excellent tool to test the loading speed of your website on a mobile device: testmysite

9.- Structured Data

Schema.org  (created for Google, Yahoo and Bing) is a site that shows the outline of correct data to position the search better. Basically they are HTML tags that must be located in specific locations within your website. Search engines can understand clearer that this is a webpage and can offer richer information to the search. Remember how one of the most common SEO errors is the absence of this type of data?

organization of schemas

10.- Facebook Instant Articles & Google Instant Accelerated Mobile Pages (Google AMP)

There are two resources to accelerate loading a webpage from a mobile device. According to Facebook, an article can take an average of 8 seconds to load onto a mobile device. With Facebook Instant Articles, this time can be reduced significantly. The same thing happens with Google AMP. The objective is to improve the web experience on a mobile device so pages are loaded at the speed of light.

This is the end of the post! What did you think about the tips to optimize content and avoid the most common SEO errors? We look forward to your comments and we bid our farewell with some articles on Social Tools that may be of interest:

 

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