This is a guest post from Libby account manager and researcher at Speechless Web Design. She loves her role almost as much as Big Macs. She once ate 3 in 24 hours. Libby enjoys socialising. Which means that she likes to go out with her friends, drink, then hit the gym to work it off. She’s a social media addict, who turned it into her profession.
Today Libby gives us an insight into the big no, no's when it comes to SEO!
Let's get into it...
Search engine optimisation is very powerful when it comes to ranking and driving traffic to your website. However, when trying to rank your online website it is important to avoid SEO mistakes that could jeopardize your ranking and get your site penalized by Google.
What is the truth about Google?
Google will display only search results to the pages which it considers to be relevant and authoritative to a user's search - and whilst some web owners think they can trick Google, they simply can’t.
Google is constantly evolving, tweaking its algorithms to filter out any spammers who evolve on the web.
Often enough, Google will bring out a new update. This means that what works today, may not work tomorrow. In fact, it could even have an impact on your website, so it is important to keep an eye out for any changes in the way Google ranks a website.
So for those of you who are looking to get it right the first time, here are some of the key SEO mistakes which I’ve seen, as well as some advice on how to correct them.
Regularly updating your website with fresh and unique content is a great way of telling Google that you know your stuff. As a result, Google will want to share your content with its users.
There are two ways of creating a large quantity of content. One being paying low paid article writers to write rushed pieces of content for your site. The other being the use of article spinners - software used to take one piece of content, and word it in a different way. This way, the content will be viewed as unique by Google.
But why is this a bad idea?
Sure, it might make sense to get the most out of your money - spending little and gaining many articles as a result.
But the truth is this is the worst thing to do.
Nowadays, Google cares a lot more about the quality of content. All content on a website should be fresh and relevant, and most of all it should be researched first to see if it is a piece of content which your audience will find remotely interesting and will engage with.
Ahrefs is a great tool to find popular content. With its content explorer, you can discover how much users are engaging with content through social shares and likes.
As well as that, Google hates duplicate content. If Google comes across two pieces of content on the web which are the same, or very similar, then it will likely drop the rankings for both pieces of content for not being original. So original content is always a winner.
Buying Low-Quality Links
Gaining links has always been a determining factor to the success of a website. Google recognizes the value of an organic link, particularly if it is from an authoritative site.
It is often that people purchase many low-quality links to their site as an easy way to make it rank. You know… the more backlinks to a website, the more likely it is to rank well.
However, this method of link building is now identified as black hat SEO, which means that any website that chooses to perform this method of link building will be penalized by Google, destroying any of the ranks it once had. Instead, Google cares a whole lot more about the quality of links, over quantity.
Only links that are high quality, which have good quality content and natural anchor texts will be accepted and ranked by Google.
A great way of getting high-quality backlinks to your site is by organic outreach. Reach out to people, and offer them something of value, such as writing a good quality piece of content (guest post) for their site. If the content is approved, they will more than likely link back to your site in exchange.
Keywords are very important in SEO. Until you know which keywords and phrases are the most important for your site to rank, you will find it impossible to optimize the pages on your website properly.
Sometimes sites will focus on the wrong set of keywords - keywords which aren’t directly related to the business and what it has to offer. Whilst ranking for these keywords can still result in traffic to the website, it won’t be targeted traffic which you need to generate leads and sales.
This is both frustrating for the user, who lands on a page which has nothing to do with the keyword they have searched… and you, the website owner who didn’t get the lead.
It is best to use tools such as Google Adwords and Google Keyword Planner to help you choose the top keywords in your specific industry which you want to rank for to attract the right customers.
However, whilst having the right keywords for your site is important - keyword stuffing isn’t. Keyword stuffing is the process of placing your focus keyword within your content hundreds of times. This looks spammy to Google and can result in consequences for the site.
As a result, you should consider making the content look more natural by not overdoing it on the keyword use. Aim to use keywords once every 150-200 words. Placing the keywords unnaturally can have a big effect on the reader's experience on your website.
So when it comes to improving the success of your website through SEO efforts, it is best to avoid these SEO mistakes at all costs.
Making these mistakes could make all the difference from getting your site penalized by Google, to actually finding your website rank well organically.
The key to great website success is keeping an eye out for updates on Google's algorithm, and ensuring that your website is following the rules. Otherwise, you could find yourself on Google's naughty list.
As usual, share your thoughts in the comments below! Did you learn something new from today's post? Or, do you have something to add which will help out our readers?
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Written by Cheryl A Clarke Chief Happiness Officer & Director Of Ginger Marketing (unless stated otherwise)