When webmasters create a website, they more often than not get carried away with the design, ignoring SEO best practices that will improve the integrity of their site. Want to be good? Don’t make these horrible SEO mistakes, ever!
- Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing refers to the bad practice of stuffing a web page full of words (mostly important key words) and phrases in an attempt to manipulate a site’s rankings in Google’s search results. Repeating a word or phrase over and over won’t boost your rankings. You’ll attract Google for sure, swiftly followed by a kick down the results pages.
- Duplicate content
Here the issue arises from duplication within your own site, not stealing copy from other websites. There are many ways to duplicate; the two of the most common types are listed below. 1) Duplicate content in more than one location. This often happens with larger websites. It is a special problem for the search engine because it usually fails to discern which of the two (or more) page is more relevant to the search inquiry. 2) Duplicate content in the same page. This is a repeat offender as it greatly degenerates both your site’s quality and your site’s ranking on Google. Better have a small page than a falsely long one.
- Meta Keyword Tags
Webmasters who still make use meta keywords are like someone insisting that NES is a superior gaming console to an X-Box. That might’ve been true when there was only NES; however, it is no longer valid with the advent of the X-Box. Once, long, long time ago, search engine algorithms took meta keywords into account, but now they have a negligible impact on SEO. What they really are – they’re inadvertent way of publicizing your digital strategy to rivals who can take the keywords, input them into a pay per click campaign and steal your visits, so don’t use them. Ever. Period.
- Avoiding Analytics
After implementing all the terrible tactics seen here, why not neglect your website’s data? Without measuring your website’s data you cannot possibly have any business objectives. Surely you’ll want to know which areas of your site are performing well and not so well in order to grow and optimize your site better. Setting up conversion goals and weekly reports are only the beginning. You’ll need to monitor which phrases are converting, rather than terms that are driving most traffic. The most important thing is to have Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools configured to your website, so you’re able to analyze your data in specific detail.
- Not Utilizing the Right Keywords
Once you’ve made your website, you’ll need to fill your pages with words that not only match the purpose of your site and match the products you sell: they should also be the words that reflect what people actually type into search engines. So if you’re a wedding planner, for example, you probably don’t want to describe yourself as an “organizer of social gatherings” on your site.
- Not Allowing Your Site To Be Crawled
Matt Cutts, Head of Search Spam at Google, recently cited this as one of the biggest mistakes people make when creating their websites. In a video about basic SEO mistakes Cutts explains that if you make your content difficult for a search engine crawler to find, Google can’t index it and won’t rank it. However, by configuring Google and Bing Webmaster Tools to your site, accessibility to it is constantly monitored. This should improve your site performance a great deal – make sure you use it!
- Irrelevant Anchor Text Links
Anchor text is the name given to the clickable hyperlink text on a web page. Creating cleverly phrased anchor text links is a much needed skill in the SEO world because they’re the main source of food for a search engine crawler. Going from page to page, a crawler uses links as indicators of the theme of the pages it’s heading to – and how to rank them. Tailoring your anchor text links to include keywords that you want to rank for can be tedious, and you’ll have to vary the pattern of anchor text so as to not attract suspicion from Google – but it’s something that you should definitely get into the habit of.
- Broken Links
A broken link is a hyperlink that no longer leads to its intended destination. Sites generally accumulate broken links: however they’re really annoying to your visitors and Google hates them to. But, if they’re so natural, why does Google penalize you for them? It’s because they’re annoying as hell! Google downgrades rankings of sites with lots of bad links, so do some regular updates going on your site. You’ll be thankful for it.
- Links from Non-reliable Sources
Links to your site are like confidence votes. This is the type of quality that you should aim your link building efforts for. Even though links from quality sites are more difficult to obtain than links from directories, quantity should never be a substitute for quality. A link from an authoritative blog is more likely to boost your rankings and traffic than a couple of hundred links from low quality sources. Not only that – authoritative blogs have a tendency to provide you with regular visitors that every site can profit from greatly.
- Copied Copy
It often happens that someone finds out that another website has ripped off all of their original content. What’s worse, it can happen the other way around. Creating an original, compelling copy can seem like a difficult task. But actually stealing it from a different website is not only illegal; Google can also push your site so far down the rankings that no-one will ever find it. As the worst penalty, in the most severe of cases, de-index the whole website. Just don’t do it. Seriously – write your own stuff, or not at all. Otherwise, you might regret your decision bitterly.
Based on everything that has been outlined so far, make sure that you avoid making these mistakes. While some of them may seem harmless, studies have shown that they can deeply impact the popularity and impact that your website has. What are the mistakes that you’ve committed from this list? Let us know in the comment section below.