Doing SEO wrong is almost as bad as not doing SEO at all. Unfortunately, with so many people weighing in on optimization best practices, it can be easy to get confused about how to drive more traffic to your site.
Check out this list of common mistakes you could be making with your home improvement SEO.
1. Linking out to other sites just for the “outbound link cred”
Google has stated that outbound links could increase the value of content to users, and that’s a good thing. But the search engine doesn’t have a magic number of outbound links it looks for in its ranking algorithm. That’s because it doesn’t look for them at all.
Linking to other sites just to do it only siphons your own traffic. Only link to other sites if you’re referencing a quote or statistic or the page in question provides extra value to your reader (without offering them a competing product option).
2. Not creating a mobile-friendly site
Google does care whether your site is mobile-friendly. As of mid-2019, Google officially started indexing with a mobile-first approach. That means if your site doesn’t work well for people on smartphones and tablets, it doesn’t work well in Google’s eyes either. Which means your page rank suffers (if your site gets indexed at all).
3. Not having an HTTPS (secure) site
Google’s also been clear that HTTPS is a ranking signal. Sites that opt for this extra level of security get treated better in SERPs, especially when all other factors are equal. Plus, if you’re selling products or services directly from your site, the security can help you close more deals. Many consumers will only make online purchase on sites with the HTTPS designation.
4. Ignoring site architecture issues
It takes time to build and maintain a site, we know. But your website is like your lawn: A little regular maintenance goes a long way to keeping it from becoming an untenable jungle.
If your pages are full of broken links or confusing and looping menus, it hurts user experience. It also impacts Google’s ability to index your entire site. John Mueller, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, outright said site owners should create sites that are easy to navigate. The fewer clicks it take people to find what they need, the better.
5. Not linking internally to relevant pages on your own site
To round out this list, we come full circle back to linking. Internal linking isn’t just another way to subtly hint that visitors should stay on your site. Google uses internal links to make contextual conclusions about your content.
Link to relevant pages on your site and use anchor text that describes them. If you’re linking to a gallery of window decor products, for example, anchor text might be “window decor options.”
These five mistakes can hurt your home improvement SEO. But you can easily fix them by using SEO best practices—or hiring experts to do it for you.