SEO Mistakes on Your Website & How to Avoid Them
What is SEO?
SEO is Search Engine Optimization and is the name given to what webmasters do to ensure that their websites are found and ranked by the search engines such as Bing and Google. Some of what people do with SEO can be seen as questionable and some things that you will see on a website SEO checklist from only a few months back could now cause you penalties rather than boost your rankings. SEO is a continuously evolving technique as the search engines are constantly improving how they rank pages on the internet. There are two sides to SEO: On page SEO which is about what you do within your site for internal website optimization and Off page SEO which is mainly about link building.
Top 10 SEO mistakes that you can make
The following are what we consider to be the top 10 SEO mistakes that you could make within your site that could see you being penalized within the search engine rankings:
One of the easiest problems to fall foul of is keyword stuffing. Your keywords are the words or short phrases that you use within your pages to help the search engines understand what traffic to send to your site. Once upon a time the more you used a phrase within your page the more likely that the page would rank for that page. Today however the search engines no longer use this as a positive ranking signal and may actually penalize your site if you use the same keyword phrase too much.
Not SEO’d for the right Keywords
Another issue that many site owners suffer from is that they fail to actually consider what the searchers will actually be searching for and fail to include the relevant keywords within their pages. While overuse can see you penalized the complete failure to use the right keywords can leave Google and the other search engines confused over what visitors they should send to your pages.
Over Optimized pages
Like keyword stuffing if your page or is obviously created to be the “perfect” example of SEO with bolded keywords in the first and last paragraphs. Keywords in all of the meta tags and alt tag descriptions and every other possible improvement or PDF SEO optimization you can suffer. Achieving perfection for the search engines can be a signal to them that you are actually writing for them rather than the searcher.
While Google has said themselves that the use of duplicate content is not going to harm your site there are a few things that you do need to consider that could cause you problems. Firstly if your duplicate content is from another source and you do not have permission to use it this is plagiarism and is illegal and you could face action. Secondly if you are duplicating content within your site with the same titles and keywords you could give Google problems knowing which pages to actually show to the searchers within the SERPS.
Links within your site that point out to other resources online or even internally within your site do on occasion end being broken.
Excessive numbers of links that are broken can upset your site users and can lead to a loss of reputation and rankings. Check our guide on internal website links to identify and fix issues fast.
Use of Meta Keyword tags
Most search engines no longer use meta tags as ranking signals so they are actually of very limited use to your site.
However they are of great use to your rivals as they can access your tags to see what keywords you are targeting with your site.
Links from a “bad neighborhood”
Links that point to your site should all be from credible sources. If your links are coming from sources such as link networks then your site could easily be penalized because of them. Google used to look at the number of links pointing at a page as a vote for that page. So the more links you had the more votes and the higher your page would appear in the search results. However all this did was encourage webmasters to build links in any way that they could to artificially increase their rankings. The search engines however are very aware of how this is done and there are algorithms such as Google penguin that are specifically there to catch and penalize this behavior.
You have not allowed your site to be crawled
One of the surprisingly common SEO mistakes is not actually allowing your site to be indexed by the search engines. There are settings within your website that allow you to “no-index” pages and prevent the search engines from crawling your pages and indexing them.
Ensure that you have not prevented the spiders indexing your page.
Improper anchor text
The anchor text is the text that is used within a link to your site or even within your site. The search engines use this text to decide what the link leads to. So if every link says “SEO mistakes” then they know that that is what the link is about. However if every link’s anchor text is identical then this will be seen as over optimization and once again you will be penalized by the search engines.
Not using your analytics
Google webmaster tools and analytics and also the equivalent Bing tools are your biggest asset that you have to improve your sites performance.