Being aware of these common SEO issues is critical to making sure your website earns high visibility in search results, yet are issues we see repeating themselves throughout many different sites across the web.
So without further ado, here are 7 of the most common SEO mistakes to avoid.
The formatting of title tags and meta descriptions was one of the quick wins noted in last month's blog post and is without doubt one of the foundation elements of SEO. Sadly, too often organisations think meta tags are the only thing that matters to search engines. What they don't realise is that there is much more under the hood such as link building, keyword research, content creation and more. Yes, meta tags were the bee’s knees in 1999, however, this is only a small piece of the puzzle today.
When organisations hear you have to get links, they often think of a number they have to get. When trying to get a backlink, numbers are not the most important factor anymore - quality is. In fact, it's going to be a lot better to get one link from the BBC than 10,000 low-quality directory links.
A common mistake many people make is targeting keyword phrases that sound good to them, but may not be relevant to their content or not used by searchers. Considering keyword research can make or break your SEO campaign, it is important to do a thorough amount of keyword research using tools such as Google AdWords Keyword Tool, rather than guessing based on your own subjective viewpoints.
Duplicate content is having the same content on more than one page of your site. This includes, but isn’t limited to, having duplicate web copy, title tags, meta descriptions and URLs. In many cases, duplicate content is something that can happen without you even realising. Nevertheless, search engines are not fans of seeing the same thing twice and can result in them being unable to decide which content to index, eventually not showing a web page (or web pages) in search results.
Internal linking is another of the quick wins touched on in last month’s blog post, yet this simple method of cross linking relevant pages together is something so often overlooked. When a search engine crawler is going through your site, it counts on your internal link structure to direct it where to go on your site so it can be indexed easily and clearly. With a poor internal linking structure, there may be pages the crawlers cannot reach because there are no internal links providing direction.
To use an analogy, optimizing your website for SEO is like having a pet. You’ll need to feed it regularly and give it some attention. Just like your pet, search engines want you to pay attention to your site and feed it regularly with fresh content. There is nothing wrong with going back to an old article and adding a paragraph, link or image to keep it updated.
The “content is king” mantra is well-worn, but it still holds true. Creating exciting, useful content that people want to share is the best SEO tactic there is. Many people think that stuffing their website with keywords will attract more visitors via search engines. And it might, but keep in mind that if you over-optimise your information and your content holds little to no value to the reader, you won’t get very far.
Unfortunately, creating great content is also the most difficult SEO tactic. But if it was easy, everybody would be doing it!
We hope you can use these tips to improve your website in 2014. And as always, if it gets too much, our friendly SEO team is here to help!