Eight common SEO mistakes

Aug 27, 2013 by
Eight common SEO mistakes

A few of the top SEO mistakes that you’ll really want to avoid!

1) Using a hosted platform

There are numerous blogging platforms such as Blogger, Weebly and WordPress.com (not to be confused with self-hosted WordPress) that offer free hosting and are quick and easy to set up. It’s true that services such as these provide a great platform to SEO mistakes to avoidexpress yourself creatively and advance your craftsmanship as a writer, however, it’s far more suitable to blog from your own domain for SEO purposes.

Having your own blog allows for greater flexibility in design, complete control over marketing and advertising and makes implementing google analytics and other SEO tools infinitely easier.

2) Picking the wrong keywords

For an SEO campaign to run successfully it is paramount that you target the right keywords. The only way to find out which keywords are appropriate is by conducting thorough research.

Fortunately there are numerous free keyword analysis tools to help you ascertain the most valuable keywords for your particular website. Remember, choosing key words that seem intuitive to you may not correlate with what the average users are actually searching for. That being said…

3) Don’t slack on the content

Efficient utilisation of keywords will only help to bring people to your site; you need an abundance of high quality content to keep them engaged enough to keep returning. Search engines also love sites which regularly upload fresh new content; don’t allow yourself to get complacent. Be constantly coming up with new ideas to provide value to your users.

4) Incoming links: quantity over quality

There is a common fallacy that the more inward bound links you can you generate, the higher your ranking will soar. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Bad back linking practises such as spamming on forums and paying for inbound links can incur a penalty from search engines and be detrimental to the reputation of your website.

Try to get high quality links from trusted sites and from sources with relevant content. Search engines are looking for indicators that your inbound links have grown organically as a result of the high quality content on your website. Trying to manipulate results and going for the quick-fix victory will usually have adverse effects over the long term.

5) Stacking keywords

Achieving a density of keywords at the expense of grammar, sentence structure and semantics is a highly ineffective (and unethical) method for boosting rankings. Everyone has had the displeasure of reading a web page or article where the same keywords have been repeatedly weaved into the content in an unnatural way. In some cases entire pages of complete gibberish have been invented as a crude SEO technique. Search engines have been aware of pages with stacked keywords for a long time and are constantly getting better at finding and eliminating them. Using this kind of technique will probably get your site banned from major search engines – don’t do it!

6) Hidden text

Also high on the list of SEO malpractice is the technique of including keyword laden text on your website which is hidden from readers (using white text on a white background for example) but appears in search engines. Search engines are well aware of this technique and will give your website a severe penalty or ban if you are caught using hidden text for SEO purposes.

This has been recognised as seriously bad practice for years now, but is amazingly still seen in different forms.

7) Failing to optimise your images

Use image alt properties to write a brief description for every image on your site. Alt text provides a great opportunity to some additional SEO text which will not be penalised by search engines.

You should also be conscious to choose appropriate, meaningful file names for your images, as these can pull in traffic from Google image search. Always use an image editing program to resize your images before uploading it to your content management system (CMS). The smaller your image the quicker it will load, and search engines like fast loading sites.

8) Duplicate content

Search engines only rank the same content once. If you have the same content on multiple URLs within the same domain name, this will confuse the search engine and be detrimental to website traffic. Some of the most common causes of duplicate content include printer friendly versions of pages and poorly designed category systems.

If it is not possible to find an alternative to having duplicate content on your site, the canonical tag can be implemented for the benefit of search engines.

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