It’s a mistake to populate your website with content and then expect it to attract customers forever. SEO work is a lot like gardening. Planting is only half of it. You must tend to it constantly or the weeds will take over. Our Los Angeles SEO company is often asked to improve an existing website’s performance in search rankings. This can lead to surprised looks on our customers’ faces when we achieve it by fixing what’s already on the webpage instead of simply adding more content to the mix. Here’s a list of 5 Simple Mistakes That Are Killing Your Website SEO, and what we do when our Los Angeles SEO company finds them:

Keyword Stuffing

You’d think that trying to trick Google by repeating a few keywords over and over would be a thing of the past. You’d think wrong. Content providers that serve SEO link building companies are still advertising keyword rates of up to four percent. Google’s not interested. Search engines have become a lot better at determining context on the pages they crawl. They’ve also become much more interested in ranking the amount of attention your website receives from sites that feature your keywords. Chanting your keywords over and over doesn’t work. Readers have become very savvy about spotting keyword-stuffed writing, and they’ll quickly click away when they see it. Google knows what your site is about. Concentrate on saying something interesting or useful about the topic you’re trying to rank for. Preferably both.

Neglecting Your Images

The people who work at Google are really smart. You can’t tell them much about Search Engine Optimization that they haven’t heard already. Google’s search engine is really dumb, however. You have to tell it everything. Search engines rely on you to clue them in on every aspect of your business. Google, Bing, and all the other search engines reward sites that supply their users with rich content. They like images, and they reward you for adding them to your pages. They need you to explain what the images represent, however, because their spiders can’t effectively look at pictures or watch videos.

Optimizing pictures is generally the lowest of low-hanging fruit to quickly improve a new client’s website. We make sure that photos have appropriate alt tags. That lets Google know how they fit in with the text on the page. It’s also helpful to put a description of the photo in plain English.

Misunderstanding What Mobile-Friendly Means

Google has done a great job with their Mobile-Friendly Test for developers. If you enter your main website page, or an interior page, the utility will show you what it looks like to Google’s spider. It’s a pass/fail type of test. It’s useful, but there is one problem with it.

The Mobile-Friendly Test only analyzes what your website looks like to their bot. It measures important things, but the actual appearance of your site to a person on a mobile phone isn’t one of them. Your website can be easy for a search engine bot to read, but awful for a real user. Our Los Angeles SEO company also checks our work with Google’s Page Speed Insight utility after checking for mobile-friendliness. The utility can point out many problems on both mobile devices and desktops, with suggestions on how to fix them. It’s a great resource.

Botching Duplicate Content

If you’re a conscientious webmaster, you’re always adding fresh content to your website. That can eventually lead to problems with duplicate content. Most SEO advice instructs you to simply avoid having any duplicate content on your website. That’s easy to say and hard to do. If search engine spiders can reach the same content from multiple URLs, it’s duplicate content. There are many reasons why you might want to be able to do just that, but not incur a penalty. Smart SEO strategy is to use canonical tags to let spiders know which content is the primary example, and which is similar but secondary.

Busted Pages and Bounce Rate

Search engines hate broken pages and dead links, and they’re really not crazy about a lot of redirects, either. It’s really important to clean up anything on your site that interferes with visitors finding what they’re looking for. One aspect of dead links that’s overlooked is bounce rate. Google measures how long visitors to your site stay and look at the content. People don’t stay very long on a dead webpage. That increases your bounce rate and lowers your search rankings. Fix those 404s!

If you correct these 5 simple SEO mistakes, your website will be more attractive to search engines. That’s bound to increase traffic on your site. If you need help with these aspects of SEO best practices, contact our Los Angeles SEO firm for a more thorough analysis of your website.