Although it can be easy to start developing your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to increase your online visibility (see our top tips here!), it can be just as easy to destroy it with a few simple mistakes. If you’re spending time, money and effort on improving your search engine ranking, it’s important that you’re avoiding the errors that could be costing your business greatly.
Here are 9 SEO mistakes that you should avoid at all costs:
This is the SEO ‘technique’ in which you effectively spam your webpage with lots of keywords in the meta tags or content of the webpage to try and manipulate search engine rankings. This could actually have the opposite effect as many major search engines have implemented algorithms that recognise keyword stuffing and eliminate any unfair advantage it may have offered.
Creating poor, pointless content
Although short content can rank highly, longer and detailed content tends to rank more favourably. If your blog is looking a bit thin on the ground, don’t put up just anything for the sake of it. It will always be more beneficial to work on a quality piece of content that will drive real engagement and help to build your SEO properly.
Don’t forget about your existing content and how it could be damaging your SEO now. If you included links to external content within an article or blog, it’s important to check that these are still working, valid and directing to the correct content. Broken links will not only irritate your visitors but can impact your search engine rankings.
Guest posting on disreputable sites
Guest posting on websites or industry blogs can be great for business. You can reach a wider audience, drive traffic to your own site and build your reputation within a desired community or field. However, it’s vital that you research the reputation of the website you’re hoping to feature on. Ensure the audience is appropriate, the content is high quality and they’re trusted online. If you’re not certain, it’s better to steer clear.
If you’re busy and don’t have the resources to create content regularly, it can be tempting to rip off some great copy from another website. Although obvious, it’s important to recognise that not only is this plagiarism but you will be penalised by the search engines. It’s best to stick to creating the best copy you can within your own means.
Duplicating your own content
Similarly to copying content from competitors, it’s a bad idea to duplicate your own content. There’s two ways you could be doing this without even realising! Firstly, if you have an ecommerce website and products or services that are similar, you could be using words and phrases repetitively. This can cause a problem for search engines in recognising the correct version of the content. Secondly, your page titles and meta tags could be similar or duplicated across the site. It’s important, however, that every webpage has a unique title and the tags only reflect what is on that page.
Non-credible sites and sources
If you are linking to external content within your site or blogs, you should be cross-referencing the reliability of the source. It will be much more beneficial for you to link to an authority in your field, established thought-leaders or respected businesses. Scattering your website with unrecognised sources could damage your brand’s reputation and credibility, as well as your SEO.
Forgetting to internally link
Internal links are great for your search engine ranking and user-experience. These internal links can feature on your webpage or within blogs and help to direct visitors through the site. This can increase the time users spend on your site and your page views. However, it is important that you only link to relevant content that will benefit the visitor.
Not prioritising your SEO activities
Alongside carrying out bad SEO practices, it can be just as damaging to carry out no activities whatsoever! Even if you have a great website and you are sharing fabulous content, you can always benefit from an SEO strategy to generate brand awareness and increase website traffic. This Superfast Business Wales blog offers some simple steps you can take now to boost your search engine ranking.