When it comes to building trust and establishing credibility for your website, SEO beats PPC and social media hands down. But many websites sites tend to overlook it. They optimise for search engines instead of people.
While this approach might get people to your site, it’s SEO that keeps them there and convinces them to go down the sales funnel to the check-out page. We’ve compiled a list of the top six SEO mistakes you might be making. And we offer suggestions on how you can rectify them.
- No product reviews
Product reviews can help new customers make purchasing decisions. And they can contribute significantly to your conversion rates. You won’t lose money if you don’t have product reviews on your site, but they can help you earn more.
The Solution: Encourage customers to leave reviews on your site in emails and social media platforms.
- No product descriptions
You wouldn’t send a salesman out with your product and not expect him to talk to customers about it. So why do that on your website? Product descriptions should be unique, emphasize the benefits and include some SEO keywords.
The Solution: Start writing product descriptions for all of the products on your site. If there are too many for you to handle on your own, use freelance copywriters to help you.
- Generic Product Descriptions
This may be worse than having no product descriptions at all. But this is common for products that are listed on many different websites. Using the product description that the manufacturer has supplied just means you’re duplicating content. And Google doesn’t like that.
The Solution: You guessed it! You’ll have to spend some time writing fresh product descriptions that are SEO-friendly. Break them up into batches and work through them steadily. Yes it takes time, but the results are worth the effort.
- Generic title tags
Sometimes it can’t be avoided. Think about a website that sells bicycles. How many of their pages can have a title tag that doesn’t use the word ‘bicycle’ in it? Like generic product descriptions, this is a red flag to Google.
The Solution: Get creative and use unique key phrases instead. When most people search, they tend to use phrases, often in the form of a question.
- Pages that don’t include the keywords your customers are using
While it can be tempting to use every keyword you think applies to a product, this only looks clumsy. At the same time, you want to avoid bland descriptions. Remember that search engines favour unique, targeted titles and page text.
The Solution: Use Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner to find out which search terms are in use. Then think about the things that differentiate your product such as the colour, size or material it’s made from.
- Spammy-looking URLs
If the product code or long strings of gibberish show up in the URL it can turn your customers off and it doesn’t help your SEO. If it contains SEO-friendly keywords that give you some idea of the product on that page, people and search engines will thank you.
The Solution: Try to make your URLs easy to understand with clear, natural language. Google doesn’t place as much importance on keywords in URLs as it did, but it’s still a good idea to rewrite to reassure your customers.
These are simple mistakes that are easy fix. If your site is large, it will take some time. But you’ll avoid unnecessary penalties and your customers will have a better experience on your site.