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Pixel Insights: Online Marketing Blog

5 Critical SEO Mistakes that Corporate Websites Keep Making

An effective search engine strategy can take lots of planning and careful execution to get right, particularly in a competitive market. Sometimes though, you can make dramatic improvements just by not shooting yourself in the foot.

Here are 5 critical SEO mistakes that corporate and small business websites seem to keep running into. Check yours!

1. Setting "Home" as Your Title Tag (or other unfortunate title)

The page title is the text that appears at the top of your browser window or tab when a page loads. Each page on your website should have a different title, reflect what the page is about, and use keywords that you are trying to rank for.

Many websites miss a huge ranking opportunity by setting their home page title to something generic like "Home" (probably the most popular page title on the entire internet...) or "Welcome to ABC Company". Unless your trying to rank for homes or welcome mats, this is wrong. 

Example of a page title you don't want to use:

Bad page title.

This says "Welcome to the City of Brampton", which is what appears in my browser's tab and what the search engine views as the title of the page. Is your website making the same mistake?

Tip for Tilted Pixel customers: most page titles can be modified by using the "Browser Title" field under the "Search Engine Optimization" tab when editing a page.

2. Not Researching Your Keywords

Are the keywords that you are so carefully using in your website copy actually what your potential customers are searching for? If you have never actually compared the search counts of your potential keywords, there's a good chance that you aren't targeting the best ones!

Brainstorming is a good start, but once you have some keywords ideas you need to check how much search traffic they receive. You can also use tools to get ideas of other keywords you may wish to target. We recommend Google Adwords Keyword Planner or SEMRush as good tools for keyword research.

Examples of poor keyword choices: 

  • Technical industry terms that your customers aren't familiar with (it's OK if they are).
  • Picking the wrong synonym for your service (eg you say "development", but far more people search "design").
  • Inventing your own corporate jargon (eg. "integrated sales funnel prioritization solutions") instead of stating plainly what you do. Consulting firms and Fortune 500s are notoriously bad for this.

3. Never Updating Your Website

For better or worst, recency matters a lot in search engine results. Website content that doesn't get updated slowly loses ranking as it ages due to this recency bias.

But even if this bias didn't exist, keeping your content updated is a good idea. Old content inevitably doesn't use the latest search best practices, and as your services and marketing change, your website should really reflect those changes.

It's also a good idea to add new content to your website over time. Some website sections naturally lend themselves to this, such as a company blog or news releases. If you have these, use them!

4. Using Flash, Images Text, and Not Transcribing Key Videos

Search engines may be getting smarter, but they still rely heavily on the text within your website to determine what it's about. Certain media makes this difficult or impossible for the search engine:

Flash

An older technology that allows complex animations and video to be played on the web. You can tell that an element on your website is Flash-based by right-clicking on it. If you see a menu that mentions Adobe Flash, chances are that it is Flash. If the Flash element contains important text (such as a slideshow), consider replacing it with an HTML 5 based substitute. If your whole website was built in Flash, contact us. It's time for a redesign!

Text as Images

Sometimes web designers or people editing a website make the mistake of placing text inside an image instead of actually writing the text out. This is often done to make the text look a certain way (you can do anything in an image that your mind can think of), but it can backfire if that text is important (such as using images for website headlines, this is very bad!)

Bonus image tip: When using images (including without text), they should also contain a description (or "alt tag"). This is good not only for search engines, but for people with low vision who use screen reader software to have websites read out loud.

Videos and Audio

Videos and podcasts are hugely popular on the internet, but search engines can't necessarily understand their content. If your video contains important information that can help your rankings (such as interviews and tutorials), consider having it transcribed and posting the transcription (or in the case of tutorials, go one step further and make a non-video version of the tutorial). You will help search engines find your content, and you will help visitors who would rather have your information in written format.

Note: Google does love video, especially YouTube videos. If you are hosting your video on a 3rd party site such as YouTube, make sure that your video title and description is also carefully thought out. The video itself can appear in rankings!

5. Trying to Cheat the Search Engines (accidentally or on purpose)

Search engines, especially Google, don't like websites that attempt to trick them into rating your website higher than it truly deserves. This means any tactic that is intended to make your website appear as a greater authority on the keyword than it actually is. If a tactic feels shady, think twice.

For example:

  • Excessively using the same keywords over and over (for example repeating "kitchen renovations" 20 times on the same 500 word page). Especially when they are in placed in 6pt font at the very bottom of your website.
  • Buying or selling links for the purposes of increasing rankings. Note that paying for ads online is normally OK because reputable ad systems have code that specifically indicates that this link shouldn't be considered for ranking. Buying links off a site advertising higher search engine rankings for doing so, is a bad idea.
  •  Attempting to trick search engines into thinking that lots of websites are linking to you by creating tonnes of your own (low quality) websites that link to your site.

If you hire a search engine optimization firm (particularly one that has guaranteed you top rankings for $500/month...), make sure that they aren't using tactics like this either. A penalty from a search engine can be difficult to remove even if you didn't know better.

Further Ways to Improve Your SEO

Read our Local SEO Guide for step-by-step instructions on improving your local search rankings.

Mar 22, 2018 by: Gary Jones

As an anecdote, we went 3 months before we realized our title was set to 'Home'. We were surprised that this matters so much to Google. Thanks for sharing! Thanks for sharing these tips. Thanks.

Oct 26, 2017 by: Trep Helix

At last, incredible and real rundown of search engine optimization devices. By and by, i'm utilizing ColibriTool and it's worth to be said as search engine optimization web advertising apparatus. They have contender discoverer, catchphrase inquire about, Google Examination coordination and the sky is the limit from there.

Sep 15, 2017 by: Artificial intelligence

Decent Information , I need to state that for the last few of hours I have been snared by the noteworthy articles on this site. Keep up the awesome work.

Aug 17, 2017 by: Kaushik Sarkar

I found your suggestions very reassuring and incredibly common-sense-useful! People should focus more on User Experience rather than putting pressure on SEO.

Aug 17, 2017 by: Ajay Kumar

It was a very nice idea! Just wanna say thank you for the information you have shared. User experience is the number one topic on which one should consider before starting SEO for their corporate websites.

Aug 14, 2017 by: ZacharyKag

Compelling stuff, I hadn't been back to tiltedpixel.com in a bit but I love the content you've added :-)

Mar 20, 2017 by: Suryateja

Mistakes in SEO cost us a lot and sometimes even a penalty so, we have to give utmost priority to SEO while making links. This guide is really helpful and I kept this as a checklist before hitting on publish button.

Thanks.

Feb 23, 2017 by: anu

Great psot

Nov 6, 2016 by: Mehndi Design Video

This is one of the best articles that I have seen that outlined all of the various SEO mistakes. Keep up the great work!

Oct 10, 2016 by: A Oxford

Great Post. I think a 6th tip is patients good ethical SEO is not an overnight thing.

Google in particular seems to have slowed down it ranking and change process so just because you made changes a few weeks ago do not expect them to have taken effect that soon.

Oct 6, 2016 by: Jesse

Nice Information , I have to say that for the last few of hours i have been hooked by the impressive articles on this website. Keep up the wonderful work.

Sep 28, 2016 by: Naomi

These are great tips. We saw an increase in visitors once we started publishing content periodically. Great stuff!

Aug 25, 2016 by: Gerald

Thanks for sharing these tips. As an anecdote, we went 3 months before we realized our title was set to 'Home'. We were surprised that this matters so much to Google. Thanks for sharing!

Apr 2, 2016 by: Brenda Smith

Great post about SEO mistakes.

Search engine optimization is important as much as doing regular exercise by a person.

Regular exercise keeps a person healthy and in the same way, proper SEO is must to keep a website healthy.

But nowadays people are trying to fool Google by over optimizing their website. They think that filling lots of keywords and building spam links can increase their rankings but they don't know that Google is smart enough and they never let such people go up in SERP's.

The SEO mistakes which you have mentioned above are very much common and most of the webmasters doing these blunders so that they can achieve higher positions.

In the past 6 months, I have noticed that Google is making it difficult to rank a website in SERPs and rolling regular updates.

People should must avoid these mistakes If they really want to keep their sites at safer sides.

Thanks a lot for sharing these SEO mistakes with us. :D

Mar 6, 2016 by: Rubel

Hello,

Well, Greatly described points about SEO mistakes, we make or have made in our past.

When it started my career in blogging, the only thing I know, was writing article and building links, but majority of my articles were full of keywords and the links I was building was just spam links with optimized anchor texts.

Also, I was not aware of internal links important, but with time everything has improved and these days, I rarely make any SEO mistake.

But, still a huge number of newbies are making these mistakes and I sadly say, that they are wasting their valuable time.

So, considering this, a brilliant post written, it will help many out there, searching for this.

Keep up the good work.

Cheers.

Mar 6, 2016 by: David

Indeed a great post about SEO mistakes.

According to me, Search engine optimization is something which can make our future If we do it the right way.

You have listed most common seo mistakes which almost every blogger is doing.

In order to rank instantly in SERPs, people are trying un-ethical SEO strategies like keyword stuffing, building low quality or spam links.

Keyword stuffing is the most common and worst SEO mistake I have ever seen. People think that filling the article with so many keywords will help them to rank fast.

But It is wrong, Nowadays Google is very much strict for such webmasters and rolling regular updates to kill these webmaster's work.

Copying articles from other site is also a most common seo mistake and I had also did this mistake when I started my blogging carrier But now I have completely avoided it.

I am completely against keyword stuffing and copying content.

Thanks for listing all the mistakes here so that people can learn about these mistakes and can try to avoid them. :D

Jan 14, 2016 by: Mohd Arif

Finally, great and actual list of seo tools. Personally, iím using ColibriTool and itís worth to be mentioned as seo / internet marketing tool. They have competitor finder, keyword-research, Google Analytics integration and more.

Mar 5, 2015 by: MarkeTuned

One of the awesome information about the 5 Critical SEO Mistakes that Corporate Websites Keep Making .Nice post. I like the way you start and then conclude your thoughts.

Feb 25, 2015 by: Robomate CA

Best covering all basics of SEO.....anyone with little knowledge can start the SEO process..

Feb 17, 2015 by: MT Educare

Looking to implement...all of the above strategies...

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