The world of SEO is constantly changing and it is essential that you keep up-to-date with the latest news and tips in order to keep and/or increase your rankings in search engines such as Google. In many cases a website will appear on page one of a search engine with little or no SEO, but some are not so lucky and have to put in a lot of work in order to achieve that page one spot. Here is a short guide on the top 10 SEO mistakes.

1. Missing out on-page Optimisation

Very often website owners focus more on keywords and link building rather than optimising their actual site’s coding and structure to be more search engine friendly. Things to look at when performing on-page optimisation include: keyword density, keyword structure, internal linking, image titles & alt tags, how your pages are structured, navigation and coding standards.

2. Panicking when your rankings drop or disappear

The gut wrenching feeling of seeing your site dramatically drop, or even disappear from the search engines is not nice! In many cases this can be due to something that is called the “Google Dance”. This usually occurs with newer websites as Google can not determine an accurate rank overnight.

If your website is not new and has dropped in rankings, you may need to put some work in to getting your position back. Take a look at your website’s content and keywords and think about how often you are adding relevant, keyword rich content. You should also consider building more backlinks to your site.

3. Writing content for search engines

Something that search engines such as Google look at is how well written the content of a website is. They are intelligent enough to know if you have poorly constructed, keyword stuffed content and will penalise such sites. Of course it is important to be mindful of keywords when writing content, but search engines want natural, quality content that is actually useful to your visitors.

4. Building low quality backlinks

Low quality backlinks have little or no value in helping your search engine rankings and in some cases can actually have negative effects. You have probably seen an advert, or have had an email saying you can get 10,000 backlinks to your website for $10. No good can come from that, search engines want quality, relevant links from respectable sites.

5. Be aware of nofollow links

A beginner’s mistake is to think that a link is just a link, but things are not always as they seem. Some sites put something called a “nofollow” attribute on outbound links which basically means the link holds no or very little weight for search engines. This is because the nofollow attribute tells the search engines not to follow that link. You will find that most blog comments and some link directories will use nofollow.

6. Expecting results too quickly

Many people think that after a bit of SEO work, they should start to see results overnight, but unfortunately it does not work that way. Building reputation, links and quality content takes time and cannot be done in a matter of days or weeks, but in most cases months. Remember to not get disheartened and give up when you do not see results straight away, it can be a long painstaking process, but very rewarding when you get the results you want and start to see your website climbing up the ranks.

7. Not being consistent

As mentioned above, SEO can take a long time to see results and if you are serious about getting your rankings up, you must put in a lot of work and effort before you start seeing results. Backlinking and content writing need to be a constant thing, even when you have reached where you want to be.

8. Not Diversifying Your Link Building

Search engines want backlinking to be natural, so it is important to approach your link building in a way that search engines want and obtain links from many different sources. Link baiting is the perfect way to achieve this, if you have an article or tool that is useful or helpful to someone you are very likely to get links back to that page. Other backlinking sources include: social media sites, article directories, blogs, blog comments and forums.

9. Not Getting High Page Rank Links

“Pagerank” has not been a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm for a while now, but it can be a good signal of how “quality” a website is. Of course it is harder to get a high PR link but that’s the point. The harder it is to get a link, the more valuable that link is likely to be.

10. Not updating your website’s content enough

Search engines want a website to be fresh, consistant and relevant. If your content is stagnant and rarely/never updated then other sites that do add content regularly will rank higher in the search engines. Having a blog section on your site is the perfect way to do this, but you must remember to post relevant, keyword rich articles to it regularly.

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