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The Top Five SEO Mistakes

The Top Five SEO Mistakes

By Guest Blogger Simon Dell

SEO exists somewhere in the weird space between art and science and thanks to Google’s constant algorithm updates over the past ten years, has zero resemblance to where it was back then. But there are some things that have stayed the same with SEO - namely things you shouldn’t do. So here’s my top five.

Crappy Hosting

No-one likes a slow loading website and as it turns out, neither does Google. Not only does a slow loading website cause angst amongst visitors, it’s a signal of a poor experience to Google. Poor user experience converts into poor SEO rankings.

There are many tools out there to check the speed of your site - like Google’s own tool to see how your website is ranking but a good hosting company will be able to provide more sophisticated analysis and offer a solution. Many of them will move your site for free too.

Check out Hilenium
Check out Google tool

Keyword StuffingThe temptation to shove as many keywords as you can into a single page of text is big. Just another keyword here. And one more there. But aside from the fact that Google isn’t as stupid as you might think - there’s a highly sophisticated AI driving their site analysis these days - it often makes the copy really hard to read. And subconsciously this makes the reader reluctant to return to your site and read anything else you might have written. And that’s not going to help in turning them into a customer.

Missing Alt Tags

As smart and sophisticated as Google is, it can’t tell that a picture of a cow is indeed a picture of a cow. So we have to tell it. And this is where ‘alt text’ comes in. Or to use its full name - alternative text. Alt text is a word or phrase that is inserted as an attribute into the HTML to tell both website viewers and Google the nature or contents of an image.

So obviously if you’re going to write an article about cows and add a few photos of cows into the article, you’ll want to make sure the correct alternative text is associated with this photos.

No Backlinks

Once upon a time, entire SEO strategies were built on backlinks. However many of those used to be very poor quality and often, entirely unrelated to anything on the destination website. But Google saw through that and started to punish people - but it’s still amazing the amount of people who are still trading on poor backlinks, or worse still, none at all.

One of the main signals Google has about the usefulness of your website is the traffic coming into it. Making use of local contacts, sharing blogs and listing yourself in legitimate directories are just a handful of the hundreds of ways to get quality backlinks.

No New Content

Google’s SEO fuel is content. No new content means an unhappy Google. Content is one of the biggest challenges to all businesses and it’s one that needs some serious thought before embarking on trying to blog every day.

Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew. A blog a week will keep Google happy. Just make sure you share it around - on social media, enewsletters, even just email it to your clients one-to-one and ask them to read it. Every view adds authority to your site.

To Conclude

Many of these errors are simple to fix but frequently overlooked. However, the content issue does often take more effort and more internal resources. Either way, fixing some of these areas can do amazing things for your site traffic and with the right site, this can transform itself into more prospects and more business.

Simon Dell is a SEO consultant with over ten years experience helping businesses with their digital marketing. He’s based in Brisbane and has his own marketing podcast that can be found on iTunesand Soundcloud