Everyone is talking about SEO so much it can be really surprising the number of people who are still getting it wrong. The truth is, there are so many advisors telling people how to optimize for SEO that most of the time they get it wrong. For once, low ranking on search engines is not so much because site owners do not know what to do, but mainly because they are going about it the wrong way. There are some common mistakes when it comes to SEO that many people do not realize they are making, or even more likely, just overlook it. The following are key areas in which most people make mistakes when it comes to SEO.
Everybody ought to know now that keywords are some of the most important tools to consider when optimizing for search engines. The problem is, everybody likely knows this. Keyword stuffing is a problem when it comes to SEO, and this is not only because it is annoying and can result in many readers and users from privately blacklisting your site, but also because the Google Algorithm and that which is applied by the other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo regards such sites as low quality or bad sites.
When most people use keywords, they tend to use generalized keywords which results in high competition, a situation you are most likely to lose. Use keywords which are specific and would point to you. When generating keywords it is beneficial to define what makes your own product different and include that in the keyword or phrase. Copying your competition has the effect of lowering the effectiveness of your keywords.
After keywords, content is the next most important tool in SEO. Good content is the most important way of increasing your ranking. Quality trumps quantity when it comes to content for sites. Most site owners know this and for that reason use blogs on their sites. Blogs are an excellent way to create and publish content on your site. However, the usage or publication of spun content, plagiarized content or generally content which is low in quality, once again, does not only annoy visitors to your site but is sure to lower your ranking. This is because the search engine, especially Google, comes to regard your site with bad quality and plagiarism.
Some people try to circumvent the spun content rule and spin the content within their sites. Repeating content on your site, even under different titles and on different pages has the same effect as plagiarizing another site.
One of the techniques which has been touted for search engine optimization is link building. It is an effective technique when utilized properly and can be disastrous when not applied right. Building links is an arduous task and most people prefer to buy links from different sources and while this may result in a minor boost in ranking at the time, it s usually found out almost immediately. Links from bootlegging sites, adult sites, gambling sites etc are usually already flagged and having your site associated with such lowers your rankings.
It is better to have a few links from quality sites than to have many hundred links from disreputable sites as this has a negative effect.
A better approach is to use the principle of internal linking by linking pages of your site to each other. Not only does this help visitors to navigate your site better, but it also enables search engines to crawl through your site more efficiently.
Meta Tags and addresses
Using the keywords in your title tags is one sure way to improve your SEO as it enables the search engine to correlate your content with the title tag and rank your site higher. Title tags should not be higher than 60 characters and they should be informative and catchy, description tags which can be up to 160 characters should also be included. Most site owners forget to include description tags in their posts. This results in the search engine randomly using any portion of the post as a description, and often this can be misleading.
Another tag which is often forgotten is the alt tag. The alt tag though primarily ignored by Google, is used effectively by both Bing and Yahoo. Without the alt tag, image files in your posts are just that, image files. Using the alt tag enables viewers who see images from your site during a search can be redirected easily to the main site. You should also take care to include a description for the image in the file name and this description should include the keyword.
Canonicalization is another technique which is regularly misused. It is common practice to utilize all possible links to your site in order to maintain identity, however, what is most often overlooked is the need to ensure that all the links refer to one particular one. This would ensure that the search engine does not regard all as separate sites.
Looks vs content vs responsiveness
It is appealing to open a site which uses Flash and is covered by a lot of images on all sides. While it is attractive, it should be noted that this lowers page loading time. This can be very frustrating for users and visitors to your site and can reduce the responsiveness of your site. Sites which load faster usually get higher click rates and for sites that rely on ads, this is great news.
In reverse, some site owners have sacrificed looks for content. While this may ensure higher ranking on the SERPs, it can also fall when users are not impressed and start to avoid your site. This would lead to lower ranking on the search engine results
Low responsiveness of a site can also be due to the absence of proper Plugins and widgets, which cannot be utilized on sites that are hosted for free. Hosting your site on a free platform is tantamount to accepting low SERP rankings for the rest of your life.