SEO, or search engine optimization is a tricky thing. The rules of the game keep on changing rather quickly, and catching up with them is hard. New turns to old rather quickly. Google changes their algorithm between 500 and 600 times a year for example.
Due to its ever-changing nature, it is common for people, even marketers themselves to make mistakes. Hiring a firm to help you avoid these mistakes is a good idea, but even some of these SEO firms repeat the same mistakes themselves. So before you ship off your SEO worries to someone else, you should know what are some common SEO malpractices.
Here is a look at some of the most common mistakes made in SEO:
1. Keyword stuffing: This is a technique that has been around for a long time and despite the fact that it has been blacklisted since forever, is still widely used today.
Keyword stuffing consists of inserting a targeted keyword a significant number of times in the text of a page to try and boost your site’s ranking on Google. The placement of the keyword is not only excessive but illogical. Google has strict policies against keyword stuffing and Black Hat Techniques which are highly frowned upon. Doing this will certainly affect your placement in search results, but only negatively.
Remember, there is nothing wrong with including your keywords in your web page’s content, as long as it is done in a way that makes sense in the context it is in. Visitors to your page should be able to find text that flows naturally and that is made for them, not for robots.
2. Not allowing Google to crawl your website: While it might seem a little obvious (and silly), like shooting yourself in the foot, it is still done. In fact, it is is probably one of the most common mistakes people do when creating their website. Many people fail to take SEO into consideration when building their websites, which is why it is important to get professionals to build your website.
Websites that are poorly designed often cannot be indexed by search engines like Google, and thus do not appear in their search results. A sign that your page is not crawlable is by seeing how many pages of your site are indexed by Google. A good way to can see this is by searching for site:URL on Google (replace “URL” with your page). For example, I were searching for my site in Vancouver, it would be site:codetactic.com.
If you see that only two or three pages come up, and you have more than 40, it is a clear indication that your site is not crawler or Google-friendly.
3. Using short-tail keywords: Keywords are probably one of the most basic of common of SEO practices, and getting them right is essential. While many will use short-tail keywords to rank your site, research shows that long-tail keywords lead to more conversion.
Short-tail keywords can be defined as phrases that are 1-2 words. Although they are usually characterized as leading to more traffic, they do not necessarily lead to higher conversion rates. High traffic can also mean high bounce rates and other things of the sort. Long-tail keywords are less vague, and usually contain 3 words or more. Because of their length, long-tail keywords have shown to be less competitive and lead to more conversions. Because of their nature, short-tail keywords are more competitive and less realistic with people’s search styles. Long-tail keywords on the other hand are more realistic in that sense; they mimic how people search for things online. They have also been proven to have been utilized by people who are closer to making a purchase.
4. Having Duplicate content: This refers to duplicate content within your own website, not plagiarising or copying other people’s content. Duplicate content is content that is fairly similar or identical present in two different pages or URLs. This problem is seen in websites that have several web pages, have poor coding jobs or have bad CMS techniques (again, pick your web team correctly. We have both an SEO and web design team in Vancouver, in case you were searching ).
The problem with duplicate content is that it confuses Google. Having more than one page with nearly identical or similar content gives search engines a harder time with your site. They don’t know which of the two versions of the content to index to, which leads them to not include them in their search results. This will not only lower your site’s rank, but consequently lead to less traffic.
Remember, a good SEO firm will not assure you that your new site will show up on Google’s first page immediately. SEO is definitely not fast, and if anyone makes it seem so, they may be using improper techniques.
Next time you want to hire an SEO firm to get your page noticed, make sure to check up on the strategies and techniques they use for SEO. Having a good SEO expert or consultant at your side (like us for example, a Vancouver SEO company) will bring up these issues in a simple SEO audit.
If your website is struggling from a past SEO firm, or is simply not on Google’s radar, you might want to take a look at our SEO plans. We are a company that does SEO in Vancouver. We offer plans that are not only affordable, but comprehensive. What do I mean by this? Our SEO plans are also engagement plans. They do not only include SEO in the package, but other topics relevant in online marketing today, such as content marketing, social media and online reputation management.
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