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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid

Search engine optimization (SEO) is really important to any successful blogging campaign, and it is only logical that it be approached in the right manner. SEO is quite intricate for many reasons, but mainly for the purpose of Google, which takes into several factors even right now as new features are being added in. There are a ton of advice on SEO out there and I thought that I could compile some of the data that is already out there and give some truth and variety to help you out with your SEO. 

Hey I am no means a pro myself, but everyone is trying to make it and I thought these mistakes are something I would do if no one actually told me not to do it!

1. Duplication


Duplication in SEO terms, means the same thing appearing on the same webpage;url within the same or different domain. The problem with all of this is that search engines find it tough to filter through what is right and which to actually show on searches!

Different URLS:

www.example.com/about-us & www.example.com/About-Us are different and the webpage would have a really really tough time to decipher just which to show; which is actually the real thing, and you will want to just make sure all the links that point to your URL are all fixed so that your website will rank highest in the search engines.

Go through all of your content now and run up-keeping. Fix up all those loose ends and tie together only the webpages you want people to find, give search engines an easier way to decipher what is "real" and you should see much improved results.

2. Sacrificing looks for content

While most bloggers depend on rich content to grow, there are some that are very extremely obsessed with the way their blog looks. Appealing design does get customers attracted to your website, but too much of something is never good! Some websites opt for fancy graphics instead of speed, something that isn't a worthy trade off, considering most customers can't wait for things to load.

3. Forgotten content marketing

Yay! You just hired a SEO team, and you are all pumped up for it, but don't expect your newly hired team to suddenly take off significantly with onsite optimization, link building without any real content strategy in place.

What is content strategy? Your blogs should be a place for valuable resource and shouldn't be used as a sales page where you tell people about your "awesome" product, it should be a place where people come to for resources (relating to your business directly or indirectly). It should be a place where people can come to have a companionship if you would like.

Even if you rank number one in some keywords, your maximum traffic doesn't necessarily grow, and with constant updates from Google, it also mean that your existing high ranking will remain to be the same.

4. Poor website structure

Now you just got this great new idea and want to build a website for it, but often your web developer doesn't integrate the best SEO practices into the website infrastructure, and this is totally understandable because after all your web developer isn't an SEO specialist. Therefore an often overlooked facet of site architecture is extremely common.

In general your home page is going to command the most authority because, well it is the very first thing everyone sees, and having a lot of authority is in somewhat good, but it is going to make the homepage continue to worsen in ranking.

A flat structure often satisfies most requirements, and it would get you more users to your site through search engines.

5. Keyword stuffing

The most common SEO mistake is keyword stuffing. Not just is it unethical but it really hurts search rankings. Imagine the poor search bot trying to decipher all of those keywords, it would confuse the poor thing, and manipulating Google's search engine is a sin.

6. Unreasonable expectations

SEO, shouldn't be thought of as a cheap, fast, or easy method of advertising. Loopholes in algorithms are long gone, and as with anything good, it requires time, money, and effort to nurture it to become what you expect it to be.

Now with the new Hummingbird search functionality by Google, Short-tail searches like "finance book" doesn't seem to ring a good bell, but Long-tail searches like "What is the best personal financing book?" rings a better sound to it, as Google hopes to create an organic search that would eventually tailor to individual specific needs.

7. Using free hosting blogs

Free blogging services do offer a decent amount of value, but they do not give enough flexibility to install plugins, themes, and other extensions for the ultimate SEO results.

All it takes is to register your own domain, and purchase an inexpensive hosting plan. With the right plan you could get something on the cheap, and with that little bit more control and power it could reap you a ton of benefits. 

8. Forgetting the ALT tag

Google doesn't place an emphasis on ALT tags, but other search engines like AOL, Bing, and Yahoo do. You just don't want to miss out on other traffic as well! Rather than just putting your image as DSC_00001.jpg consider putting a name to it hosting-comparison.jpg would be much better, because the first one just doesn't do you any good whatsoever.

9. Hiring the wrong SEO consultant

Hiring the wrong personnel, or consultant is already logically a crime, and hiring the wrong SEO consultant is just a crime. A total useless SEO consultant would have

  • missed any of the items listed here in this posting, 
  • and would actually build large numbers of stupid links that would make your blog spammy, 
  • and claim that they can't show you the links to how they do it, because it would reveal their "secret" formulas.
The conclusion to it is, hire a credible SEO consultant, it may cost you more, but in future it would be a worth investment when the returns start to flow in.

10. Buying links

Short-term boosts are great, but you would want your website to be constantly popular, and this would be in any case taking a big risk. Paid links are sometimes flagged by Google's search engine experts, and there is a specially dedicated team that search for questionable linking patterns every day!

It is recommended that the old fashioned method of comment linking, manually will grow your blog slowly but surely!

11. Leaving Title Tags Automated

The title tag is the most important aspect for search engine rankings and beginner bloggers normally write long title that describes the topic in too many words, Keep your title shorts, and it should focus on what you want to express in your post.

12. Not mobile ready

Google is taking heavy consideration for mobile, and how they are important in searches.

61% of customers who visit a mobile unfriendly site is more likely to jump to a competitor's website (Tesmani 2012). With such a great buzz on usability, don't miss out on it. Google has already made this a clear point, so take mobile seriously or Google won't take your websites seriously. 

13. Not doing it correctly

Do your SEO right, because when you optimize every posting, search engines love you and in general there are some proven methods you can use. Links shouldn't just be home pages, but also popular posts/pages, and keep an open mind because there are always new things to learn about SEO.

Conclusion

There are a ton of SEO advice out there and if you have more to add or things to correct from this post please share! SEO is a diverse topic and do consider the points above as you are evaluating your blog, and just make sure everything is in a spiffy condition. Don't just flush your readers with a bunch of text, and making it easier for their overall experience with the right spacing, and text separation. Fix broken 404 pages and grammatical errors all across and your readers will be eternally grateful.

 
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