Unless you want to pay for all the traffic which visits your website, you must have an effective SEO strategy to improve your search engine ranking and thus generate free traffic. If you plan to implement this yourself, you must avoid some of the most basic and damaging mistakes that can seriously harm your website’s chances of being ranked well.
- Using ‘Black-Hat’ Tricks
For every SEO technique which Google and the other search engines accept and welcome, there is one which tries to ‘game the system’. These black hat methods may bring some short-term improvement to your ranking but in the long term, they will only serve to damage your site. It can even be blacklisted altogether meaning it will never rank.
Don’t be tempted by dodgy shortcuts, and instead practice sound, well-established SEO techniques. They may take longer to work, but they will mean your website is safe, with the added bonus being you are not constantly worried about being caught out.
- Website Overload
Whilst lots of photos, images, audio and video may make it seem you are giving your visitors the best experience possible, it can lead to the opposite of what you planned. Lots of media files mean your website and its pages can take a considerable time to load. This can mean visitors clicking away as they don’t have the time or the patience to wait.
Not only will you lose these visitors, your website’s ranking will be damaged as the search engines consider load times, and measure how long each visitor remains on a website.
- Poor Navigation
Having good navigation on your website is essential for many reasons. The obvious one is that it makes the experience of your visitors a positive one, and they are therefore more likely to return, or better still, recommend your site to others. Good navigation will also see visitors staying on your website for longer, which the search engines will take note of.
Search engines also analyse navigation when their bots visit your site and this forms part of the algorithm when they determine website ranking. Poor navigation damages rankings, good navigation improves rankings.
- Flawed Backlinking Strategy
Backlinking can have a positive impact on your website’s search engine rankings, but only if that strategy is based on sound SEO principles. Too many website owners make the mistake of simply buying as many backlinks as they can, without any thought being given to the quality or relevance of those backlinks.
Buying backlinks is not a great use of your resources, and it will be more beneficial if you build up your backlinks, naturally, and with reference to the authority and relevance of the sites those links are coming from.
5 Lack of Relevant Content
Google and the other search engines want their results to be the best they can be for users, so for any given search term, they rank websites whose content is relevant to that search term. As the years have passed they have become ever more effective at deciding the relevance or otherwise of content on websites.
The simple solution for website owners is to ensure that any content which they have is relevant. In addition, informative, interesting, and unique content should be used whenever it is possible to do so.