Search engine optimisation is one of the trickiest aspects of online marketing. Search engine algorithms are constantly being changed and updated, while the type of words and phrases web users search for are constantly in flux. If you run your SEO campaign effectively, you can rapidly attract huge numbers of new viewers and climb towards the top of the SERPs. However, if you misjudge any part of your SEO strategy, your site is likely to remain stuck at the bottom of the results pages. Furthermore, search engines may penalise you under certain circumstances and drive your site down their rankings. To help you avoid committing an SEO faux-pas and undermining your site, we’d like to share some insights into common SEO mistakes and how to sidestep them.
1. Never resort to blackhat SEO
The term ‘blackhat SEO’ refers to search engine optimisation techniques that exploit loopholes in search engines’ algorithms instead of helping you create prominent, appealing content. For example, some business owners create a set of websites that all link to each other (known as a link farm) to make it appear as though their sites have large numbers of inbound links. Blackhat techniques like this one can boost your page-rank in the short-term, which is why they are so tempting. However, because they do not focus on building content that users want to read, they will not help you convert visitors to customers. Furthermore, your viewers are likely to leave your site quickly, thus driving up your bounce rate and causing you to sink lower in the SERPs. Finally, if a search engine notices that you are using blackhat techniques, you will be penalised heavily. Using these techniques is a common mistakes, especially for business owners who are eager to rapidly increase their rank. However, the use of blackhat SEO is never advisable. Play by the search engines’ rules, instead: you are far more likely to reap the long-term rewards.
2. Don’t forget to localise your keywords and create long-tail keywords
Many business owners attempt to compete for major, popular keywords in the SERPs. However, ranking for these keywords isn’t easy because there is so much competition for them. If your business is relatively small or new, you can’t expect to rank for the most commonly-used keywords. However, you can rank for longer, more specific keywords because there is less competition for them. For example, if your business sells affordable electronic goods and is based in Bedfordshire, don’t try to rank for “electronic goods” at first. Instead, try to rank for “cheap electronic goods in Bedfordshire”. Individuals who are local to your business are likely to search for that long-tail, localised keyword which means potential customers will find your business. By visiting your page, they will eventually increase your overall page-rank.
3. Don’t forget about tags and meta-data
One of the most common SEO mistakes involves integrating keywords into textual content but not into images and videos. If you fail to add keywords to images and video content, you will be unable to recruit viewers who are carrying out image searches and video searches instead of standard web searches. Obviously, search engines can’t interpret the information in a video or image, so you should always add keywords to these types of content using tags and meta-data.
Here at Beyond Everything, we understand that it’s impossible to cover every possible SEO error in a single blog entry. However, if you can learn to avoid the three mistakes we’ve discussed today, your SEO campaign will be significantly stronger as a result.