Marketing your website extensively to attract and engage potential customers to your business is crucial to surviving in today’s competitive market. You need to bring your A-game to every marketing strategy, and you need to plan your actions well.

But, in the midst of your goals for marketing to your target audiences, are you also doing the same for search engines? While making your website visible to your target markets is vitally crucial, search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo are the means through which you make that happen. So you need to be sure your website is not only appealing to customers, but that it is also optimized to show up for search engines when they crawl the internet to compile search results.

That’s where SEO comes into play. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is an essential ingredient to a successful website. SEO can help make or break your website’s visibility to search engines and its ranking within searches.

Unfortunately, not all SEO actions produce the same results. Here are a few examples of SEO mistakes to avoid in order to help you maximize the efficiency and results of your work:

  • Unnatural keyword placement. Don’t take the approach of stuffing your content with keywords just for the intent of improving SEO. One’s initial reaction is to stuff your content with as many keywords as possible that could potentially tie into search terms. The thing is, the idea is to capture qualified, legitimate leads, not the entire universe of people searching for general topics.  Proper research and analysis of keywords can help you determine which words can help you reach the audiences most likely to buy your product. Be sure to follow a proper keyword density ratio, so a search engine doesn’t view you as spam versus real content.
  • Not taking advantage of image descriptions This is a prime place to add keywords. Search engines are constantly searching images, so optimizing your photos is a must if you want to show up in image search results. Adding keywords to your image descriptions makes it easier for search engines to find you because your images are detected directly without have to be found through the context of a full website.
  • Using too little or too much content. “Just a few words will do for now.” “Is it okay to delve deeply into my thoughts to provide a rich source of information?” These are always thoughts that run through a person’s head, so the best way to answer them is to think of your readers. Will they be happy with only a few words? Will they easily get bored if they haven’t finished reading your content after 10 minutes? Stick to a moderate word count to keep your audience coming back. This will also improve your SEO.
  • Not being flexible. Not all devices operate the same way. For example, formatting for laptops and smart phones are very different. Tweak your site layout and have different versions for different device types. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly and easy to read on small screens because mobile devices are the primary source of web activity for many people these days.

Not paying attention to internal links. Once people reach your website, you need to be sure it is intuitive and easy to maneuver.  The general rule of thumb to follow is the simpler the better. Capturing leads it he hardest part, so once they’re at your website, you don’t want them to get frustrated and leave due to difficulty of navigation on your website.