Due to the advance in technology and the change in algorithms, SEO is not as static as it initially was. Google is trying its best to deliver quality and relevant content to searchers. Therefore old SEO tactics may not apply now.
Effortlessly, webmasters make terrible SEO mistakes. This is due to the numerous misconceptions surrounding SEO. Most people tend to follow this trend – making these SEO errors over and over again. Webmasters are fond of focusing on ranking on a short-term and neglecting the best SEO tactics that will go a long way in protecting the value of their website.
What are the most common search engine optimization mistakes that can negatively affect ranking and ruin the integrity of your website? Listed below are some of the 10 most common SEO mistakes. Applying these techniques to avoid mistakes and implementing the solutions will boost traffic and help your website stand the test of time.
Top 10 heinous tactics and mistakes to avoid are:
Hiring a bad SEO
Many people jump at the option of hiring cheap and not necessarily good SEO agencies. Some agencies involve themselves in black hat techniques; which puts excessive keywords on a page as hidden text to improve rankings. Google has gone to great lengths to curb such illegal actions (Ever heard of the Google algorithm update: Penguin?) So, if your website makes use of these illegal SEO techniques, Google will push so far down the rankings, you will be forced to end your website (if Google hasn’t shut it down already.)
Unrealistic SEO expectations
Page history is important for SEO. You can’t expect your newborn website to start ranking highly on search engines. It is purely unreasonable and unrealistic. Google algorithms have so changed that, you can’t buy your way to the top of rankings; you have to earn it. Days have long gone when crude tactics were all you needed to have good SEO and make money. Presently, you have to spend money and time in building your website before you can be successful in SEO. SEO isn’t cheap, fast, easy or simple; it’s a whole lot of work.
Poor or Duplicate content
Websites shook when Google announced a new algorithm update: Panda. The aim of this was to ensure that only higher quality websites are displayed at the top of Google search results. Those website owners who were fond of paying little attention to quality of content have suffered dramatically from this new algorithm change. Only websites displaying unique and original content, and information including research and analysis, can rank high.
Also the issue of duplicate content on one’s website is detrimental to SEO. Finding and fixing duplicate content can be a daunting task. Make use of Google webmaster tools to check for such problems and make use of 301 redirects rules from lower quality pages to preferred web pages.
Duplicate and unoptimized title tags
Title tags are very important factors in your quest to improve rankings. Google and other search engines use title tags to depict what your page is all about. What happens when the same title tags appear on the multiple pages? Search engines will see them as similar and may put a huge dent on your rankings. Simply put: title tags have to be optimized. They have to be unique. Remember, your title tags should contain your main keywords and phrases.
Having thin content
Shallow and thin content have been rebuffed by Google via its new update Panda. Google wants to ensure that content are well written, detailed and user friendly.
These are hyperlinks which no longer lead to its intended destination. Websites accumulate broken links over time and it is up to the owners to constantly check for these links and fix them. Broken links leave you with a bad reputation and Google doesn’t like them either. Websites who have lots of these issues are way down on rankings. Make use of your analytics to find such links and fix them.
Not brainstorming the right keywords
You may be getting a lit of traffic but you’re also losing a lot of visitors. The reason may be; you are not optimized with the right keywords. Many websites try to rank with unrelated keywords because they weren’t thought through. The keywords you use must be very specific and in line with the products and services you offer. Using broad keywords will get you traffic but not the customers you may need.
Not linking internally
This is also called cross linking; where you link relevant pages together. Most people tend to ignite this practice. What they don’t know is: it reduces bounce rate and once Google Panda update notices users spend more time on your website, it will classify your content as relevant and informative – hence an improved ranking.
Inbound links with little or no value/ from non credible source
Also known as backlinks; inbound links are important factors of SEO strategy. People make the common mistake of linking massively from low quality or irrelevant websites. If these sources do not fit into your niche or are substandard compared to your website, you could be damaging your brand’s image. Quantity doesn’t matter as much as Quality does in SEO; 1 quality backlink from a well-known website which has authority in your niche and commands respect is worth more than hundreds of inbound links from low-quality websites.
Other SEO implementations overlooked are:
- Avoiding analytics
- Not allowing your website to be crawled
- Irrelevant anchor text links
- Not using proper redirects
Avoid tactics below; they will backfire and get you penalised by Google…
- Keyword stuffing: excessive addition of specific keywords to placate search engines
- Copied copy: Stealing and using content (as it appears) from competitors.
- Buying inbound links (SEO is genuine. Buying back links is not.)
- Extreme use of flash content: Search engines read content in HTML format better. Curb or reduce your use of flash.
- Too many ads: Need I tell you will be penalised? (Google page layout update is against this.)
Always try to implement the best SEO practices and avoid mistakes as much as possible. By doing so, you are ensuring that your brand can be found as a result of optimizing your SEO strategy. Make use of Google and BingWebmaster tools and Google Analytics. You need them. Good luck!