10 SEO Mistakes Bail Bondsmen Should Avoid
AboutBail has written about best search engine optimization (SEO) practices for your bail agency website, but we haven't touched on worst practices. These are things that can make your site's ranking sink faster than a lead balloon because Google and other search engines feel cheated or bored. Hopefully these common SEO mistakes don't ring a bell!
- Not brushing up on SEO basics
Whether you're attempting to optimize your website on your own or hiring a company to do it, you should gain a solid base knowledge of SEO and why it is important. There are right ways and wrong ways to optimize for search engines, and it would serve you well to be able to tell the difference.
- Targeting the wrong keywords
One common keyword mistake is trying to optimize for really general terms like "bail" or "bondsman" instead of being very specific. When you optimize for these general terms, you are competing with thousands or millions of other sites and are less likely to see positive results. Use keyword research to identify more precise words you should be targeting, such as "Los Angeles bail agent." This focused approach will have greater impact on drawing potential customers to your site.
- Not optimizing locally
Search engines want to show people results that are as local as possible. If someone searches for bail agents in Denver, Google prominently displays Denver bail agencies. This means that your SEO strategy needs to include optimizing for keywords such as "Denver bail bonds" and "Denver bail agents." To read more about local search, read How Local Search Puts Your Bail Agency on the Map.
- Stuffing your site with too many keywords
Keywords, like many things, are best in moderation. If you try to overload your website with keywords, the search engines will lose some interest and possibly lower your ranking. As long as your content flows naturally for readers and includes keywords in moderation, you're in good shape.
- Ignoring your title tags
The title tag is the series of words you see at the top of your browser. Placing keywords in the title tag is a hugely important component of SEO, so ideally your title tag will contain bail-specific keywords as well as your agency's location. Many websites still have "XYZ Bail" in the title tag, which tells search engines little about your site's purpose.
- Buying or trading links from dubious sources
Many people will tell you that they can get thousands of links to your website (a good thing for SEO) for a price. However, many of these link-building services are either scams, or they use practices that can actually damage your SEO ranking. Instead of placing your trust in these questionable link peddlers, you should either research best practices for building your own links or work with a reputable company.
- Trying to fool the search engines
Companies like Google pay their brainiac staff members well to write complex algorithms that sniff out attempts to fool their search engines. In other words, don't waste your time trying. Historically, people have tried things such as including keywords in white or light-gray text, hoping that search engines would recognize the keywords while website visitors remained unaware. This and other sneaky techniques are called black-hat SEO, and they can get you blacklisted from search engines.
- Not varying the content on your pages
Make sure each page of your website has unique content, title tags and meta descriptions (the descriptive text you see in search results under links). It's a turn-off for search engines when they come across a site where every page is very similar.
- Having broken links
Search engines don't like broken links and neither do your site visitors. This is an easy fix - just make sure that all links on your site go to the appropriate destination instead of an error screen.
- Not blogging
Blogging is actually optional, but it's beneficial. The more unique and relevant content you have on your website, the more impressed search engines will be. Another benefit of blogging is that if you write customer-focused content, potential customers will come to your site for bail information.
Related reading: 9 Essential Elements of a Better Bail Agency Website