Are you feeling that you want more traffic from Google and other search engines? Then you want to ensure that your website’s search friendliness is absolutely top notch. It isn’t easy, Google makes it very hard for website owners to develop their SEO with all their algorithm changes and secret factors that can raise your rank – yet we do know what can lower your rank.
So here is our guide on what to avoid when developing your site’s SEO strategy.
1. Slow Server
Research has shown it is not how long it takes for your whole site to load, but more importantly how quickly it takes your first byte to download. This is all due to the speed of your server. If your site’s server is sluggish, then you will be penalised and your SEO will be floundering before Google has even seen the whole page.
There are several ways that you can solve this. These include:
- Upgrade from a shared server to a VPS.
- Upgrade your own server.
2. Too Many Plugins
Plugins are great for increasing the functionality of your WordPress / Joomla site, but they do have a secret; a rather deadly SEO secret – hidden code. There are many ways in which plugins can damage your SEO score. Firstly, they can contain hidden links. One of or two of these wouldn’t be a problem, but if you had a couple of dozen, then you might be labelled as a link farm and penalised.
Next, you have unnecessary code. A lot of free themes and plugins are guilty of this, although some premium ones can contain the code as well. This code lengthens the amount of time it takes for your business’s website to load and lowers the ranking on Google’s Insights tool.
To solve this:
- Use premium only themes and plugins.
- Get a developer to go through your code and minimise it.
3. Thinking Keywords Are All You Need?
Keywords used to have prominence in the SEO world; this led to keyword stuffing and a dangerous level of manipulation that negatively affected user experience. Since then, keywords have been found not to have a significant impact on SEO.
That doesn’t mean that they aren’t important, just that you have to use them in moderation.
How to use keywords:
- Choose one per page.
- Use it in the header, sub header and a keyword density of between 1 and 2%.
4. Poor Linking Strategy
Back links to your site are very important. All you need is a few high profile sites to link to your content and you’ve got a strong page with good SEO. Back links have to come from relevant pages, Google can tell which are and aren’t. So getting links from irrelevant sites and content can damage your SEO score and waste your valuable time.
There are numerous ways to improve your site’s back link strategy – consider reading our article on generating backlinks for more information.
5. Duplicate Meta Tags
When a searcher is looking on a website for information, products etc. – there are bound to be countless options available. What separates site’s from one another? The meta description is the obvious differential between the links.
Your meta description should be highly attractive, letting the browser know exactly what will be contained within the article / page and what makes yours different from the rest. Having duplicate meta descriptions will never do this.
How to ensure your have unique meta descriptions:
- Conduct a search for your business on Google.
- Compare your meta description to others in your market.
- Change if necessary.
Conclusion On SEO Mistakes
SEO is really important for your business. This is why you’ve got to start thinking about the best practices and ditching bad habits that can limit your search engine rank. SEO is never finished. Google will move the goal posts and other companies will improve their SEO campaigns. You should be continually improving your SEO to ensure that you maintain a high rank on search engines.
What is your SEO performance? How could you improve it?
Let us know in the comments below.
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