Top 10 SEO Mistakes
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a vital component in the running of a successful website, and ranking highly in search engines is the number one priority for many webmasters. SEO is an excellent way of driving traffic and growing an online business; however, it must be done correctly. Unfortunately, in a crazed desire to get their website to the number one ranking, some people stray away from the good elements of SEO and allow mistakes to creep into campaigns. These mistakes will only ever result in disaster, seeing your site plummet down the rankings and possibly removed altogether.
If you are looking to develop a winning SEO strategy, here are the top 10 mistakes you will want to avoid.
1. Targeting the wrong keywords
Targeting the wrong keywords is not just a newbie mistake, it is one made by even the most experienced of SEO practitioners. Choosing the right keywords can be the difference between success and failure. It is not just about using the keywords that you think sound good; it’s about finding the ones that people search for – the ones that work for the competition. Research is critical.
2. Keyword stuffing
Keyword stuffing is a shady tactic that worked once upon a time, but will only see your site punished severely in today’s SEO landscape. Stuffing keywords into text results in low quality content – something that post-Panda Google will not stand for.
3. A Flash website
Flash websites may look, er, flashy, but search engines do not read them. Spiders cannot read Flash content and therefore cannot rank it. If you insist on using Flash, always provide an HTML equivalent.
4. Non-relevant backlinks
Backlinks are checked for quality by algorithms, if they are found to have no relevance to your website, they will be ignored, and may harm your ranking. Link farms, and spam comments on forums and newsgroups should all be ignored. In fact, do not even think about using a backlink that is not from a reputable site related to your own niche.
5. Ignoring the Title tag
Too many webmasters neglect the <title> tag; however, search engines use it to determine ranking and it helps greatly in optimisation when the correct keywords are used. Do not ignore it!
6. Duplicate content
Copying or stealing content from others is a big no-no and a mistake that can land you in serious trouble. Do not do it – ever.
7. Meta keyword tags
Like keyword stuffing, Meta keyword tags were old SEO tactic used for a quick boost in search ranking. Today, they are useless, as search engines do not consider them. What’s more, using them only lets competitors see what keywords you are using to rank, allowing them to use them in their own PPC campaigns and steal your traffic in the process.
9. Hidden text
Hidden text is straight out of the black hat SEO handbook. Another early SEO tactic, hidden text involves making the text the same colour as the background so that it can be read by search engines but not by the visitor. Do not let anybody tell you that this technique is good, because it most definitely is not.
10. Ignoring URLs
The URL is a much-underestimated part of SEO and too many people choose to ignore it. Keywords in URLs are important to SEO and can have a positive effect on your ranking.
SEO mistakes can be damaging to your ranking and to your reputation; make sure you avoid them by keeping this list close to hand when developing your strategy.