What to do, not to do with SEO

There are a number of websites that seem to be ignoring SEO best practices, sacrificing visibility, traffic and revenue in the process. What many companies do not realize is that following some basic rules, a local SEO strategy can make a significant difference in a business' online success and growth into new markets.

Shocking stats on SEO
There are many SEO traps a company can fall into that will end up hurting website performance with regard to search engine results pages. To avoid these mistakes, companies should work with SEO experts to develop and maintain a strong strategy and refresh the website regularly to optimal performance and searchability.

A recent infographic pointed out that just 10 percent of websites have basic web page elements (page title, H1 tag and meta data description) for optimal search engine performance, 65 percent have a highly-optimized title, 32 percent have strong H1 and 39 percent have beneficial meta description.

Companies may be confused when implementing SEO tactics inaccurately on their websites hoping to achieve success in all basic web page elements. The study revealed 6 percent of websites have no page title, while 2 percent have more than one. About 55 percent of websites have no H1 tag and 14 percent have duplicates, while 36 percent are missing meta description and 2 percent have duplicates there as well.

Further, some websites may be hiding content from search engines without realizing it. If a search engine is unable to locate a web page or it has been blocked accidentally, a keyword strategy is pointless and the website will have minimal visibility at best. Sitemap.xml files enable search engines to see a web page, while robot.txt files must include all web pages so nothing is blocked to the search engine. The study found 61 percent of websites have errors with their robots.txt files, leading to pages being blocked, and 30 percent have an inaccurate Sitemap.xml file in place.

Lacking connection
In addition, many website are not offering enough information for search engines to read and identify with in order to connect a web page to search engine results pages. Search engines look for page titles, URL and content in the meta description tag to create a listing of a website on their search results pages. Therefore, websites with any of these components lacking or missing are unable to offer sufficient data to fill out a search engine results page entry to be viewed by visitors.