Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can be a tough nut to crack, it takes time, patience and the desire to continuously learn and stay up-to-date with the latest SEO changes.
There are a few common mistakes that many business owners, digital marketers, and SEO specialists continue to make. Many of these strategies are referred to as ‘Black Hat Tactics’ in the digital marketing industry; however, these hurt you more than they help you. We know it can be tempting to take shortcuts, particularly considering the long-term nature of search engine optimisation.
With the rapid growth of Google’s search engine algorithm, more and more outdated tactics are becoming useless – and in many cases, negatively affecting your rankings.
Sin 1: Keyword Stuffing
For the love of god, do not keyword stuff – this is rule number 1. Keyword stuffing refers to the old, now wasteful, SEO practice of overusing keywords, locations, or numbers in an attempt to manipulate your search engine results.
Instead, when you are writing content for your website, you should first focus on making the content valuable and entertaining to the audience. Google’s ranking algorithm understands humans scarily well, so there is no point in trying to outsmart it. Their goal at Google is to deliver a valuable experience to their users. So, if you just focus on providing the value, Google will focus on showing you to everyone searching for your offerings.
Google lists the following examples:
- Lists of Phone Numbers that Do Not Provide the Traffic Substantial Value
- Sections of Texts that Include Lists of Locations (Cities, State etc.)
- Repeating Words or Phrases that Sound Unnatural
Sin 2: Dodgy Link Building
Link building’s reputation was put on the line in 2012 – and many digital marketing agencies have abandoned the strategy entirely, which lives a great opportunity for you.
2012 was the birth of renowned Google PageRank update “Penguin”. The Penguin update was designed to crack down on any backlinks intended to artificially manipulate your website’s rankings.
Since 2012, link building has been seen as the ugly duckling of digital marketing. However, building strong backlinks to your website will provide enormous strength to your domain and benefit your site’s rankings.
Sin 3: Duplicate & Unoriginal Content
Copy and paste DOES NOT work. Deliberately duplicating content across domains to manipulate rankings will only yield negative results. Google does this so they can deliver a better user experience. If someone finds the same content across search results, there is no benefit to having multiple resources.
Google suggests the following:
- Use Redirect Links
- Be Consistent with Internal Linking
- Use Top-Level Domains
- Syndicate Your Content Carefully
- Boilerplate Repetition Minimisation
- Avoid Publishing Empty or Placeholder Pages
- Understand Your CMS (Example: Shopify, WordPress etc.)
- Minimise Any Similar or Overlapping Content
Sin 4: Not Optimising Meta Data
You might be surprised at how often these simple SEO strategies are overlooked. So many companies trying to rank up on Google still have their company name as the title tag for every page on their website.
To rank up on Google, every page should have unique and specific title tags based on the keywords that the specific page is targeting. The title should tell both users and search engines what the topic of a particular page is.
Our tips for Title Tags:
- Place main keyword to the start of your title tag
- Accurate Description of the Content
- Unique for Every Page
- Brief and Descriptive
Our tips for Meta Descriptions:
- Accurate Summary of the Content
- Unique for Every Page
- Outline Style
- Write for the user and not the search engine