Ever hear that funny, but memorable phrase... K.I.S.S referring to this specific meaning.. Keep It Simple Silly or Stupid..or whatever you feel comfortable with. It's fair to apply that to a litany of things no matter the industry, the situation or place in the world. There's something inherent about avoiding the simplest of answers when that's all we need for the most common problems. We come across this issue as bloggers, as webmasters, for the newbies and even in cases of the most seasoned among us too.
Mistakes are imminent, there's no escape and I would even argue that they are necessary. Without mistakes, individual growth just doesn't seem as potent. Mistakes give us tangible and real reasons attached to memorable experiences that teach us invaluable lessons. We use these lessons to drive decisions, to give us perspective in life, work, love and many other things unmentioned that may still apply to you as well. Carry a love, hate relationship with mistakes if you like, but they may as well be akin to the air we breathe.. we need mistakes to live viable lives.
Living, breathing, eating and drinking SEO is a lifestyle of sorts.. With that lifestyle comes decisions that webmasters, bloggers, businesses and corporations all make on a daily basis. Every decision impacts their business which in turns impacts their website or maybe it's the other way around, but the point is that it's a relationship where each move impacts another. In making these decisions, silly mistakes are made, careless mistakes are made and as I like to often say.. you don't know what you don't know until you know what you don't know. Quite a mouthful, but it's profound so let that sink in a bit.
Matt Cutts sees mistakes being made everyday as people from all over the world try to make their mark within the Google search engine. In this video, he addresses a question that he received on the mistakes that people make, provides insight and answers as to what people should focus on to avoid making simple but costly mistakes.
After viewing this video, what I found interesting is that these are areas that are very avoidable and simply requires that you pay attention to "small" things. One thing that I have learned in building websites, my involvement in search engine optimization, link building and writing content is that if you're going to have a chance in this game, you've got to learn to pay attention to the little things, you have to be aware that the most minut things still have an impact on search, results and SEO placement.
A very impactful takeaway is that you have to think about the user. Think about what they are going to be searching for. I created an "in the news" post regarding how voice is going to take a more prominent place in how search results are delivered and it's coming.. sooner than later. You can find the post here: Voice Is Changing Search.
As Matt says, we have to start getting away from being so focused on the search engines and link building. While even I have my own issues trusting Google sometimes, I think there's something to be said for this since the ability to search by voice is sprouting up in search engines, apps and on other media more and more frequently. It's probably fair to say that there's something more to this than mere speculation. Besides, people don't search the same way they would using their voice verses typing something into a search box. Thinking about how people search using natural language is going to change search altogether. However, the larger point is that we all have to think about the visitor and the content we're providing and that content has to be compelling and provide value too.
If you're a business, get away from the using a subdomain. Invest in a TLD (top level domain) ex. something.com while subdomains looks like this: something.mysite.com. You are going to look much more natural to Google with a TLD as opposed to going the subdomain route. The biggest benefit to using a top level is that the likelihood of your content getting crawled gets a LOT better and you have far more control. On a subdomain, the domain belongs to someone else and if you're a business, the easiest question that I would ask is, why would you want the island you're on to belong to anyone else but you ?
While we're on the subject of business, what kind of business are you ? What literature about your business have you posted on your website. Is the information on the page something that your visitor would be looking for ? Have you thought about the questions that your visitor would be asking if they came to your page and would you have content that answers those questions ? If there's something in particular that you sell, how is your page optimized to help your visitor find that information ? Your page has to speak to what your visitors want and need. If not, that's one less visitor that is going to stay on your page and when people don't stay very long, your bounce rate goes up. So while you may not be thinking about the bounce rate metric, it is a piece of valuable information that says something about whether people find what you're offering valuable or not to them.
What's the most important content on your website ? Can people access this quickly ? Where is this information located ? Is your navigation pane cluttered or uncluttered.. how many links to other destinations on your website are there ? The navigation of your website should not be frustrating to your visitors. Let me just put it this way.. you need to make it easy for them. When they feel like they have to work, then you're going to lose them and when that happens don't expect them to come back. Matt explains that not only does your site have to be crawlable, it also has to be easy to navigate.
These are straightforward ideas, tips and changes that you can make to address on your website that will positively impact your business. Ultimately we're looking for more positive movement in rankings and a more favorable outlook from a search engine analytical view. So implement the advice.. besides first and foremost on the generality of the subject SEO.. the advice is genuinely coming from a trusted source in Matt Cutts and there's something to be said for that.
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