Common SEO Mistakes and How to Avoid Making Them

Today’s blog will appeal mostly to two distinct, but sometimes overlapping, groups of people:

  • Website owners who are struggling to make a positive impact on their search engine rankings
  • People who enjoy prolonged baking analogies

Picture your website’s search engine ranking as raw cake batter. Naturally when you subject it to the oven (Google’s search algorithm in this particular analogy) you will, naturally, want this batter to rise. However, baking requires technique and proven methodology. Simply chucking more ingredients into the mix won’t lead to delicious cake or improved search engine positions.

Effective, expert SEO provides this technique to improve your website’s search engine ranking. Our team of SEO Nigella Lawsons will talk you through some of the mistakes you’re making and how to avoid them.

Nigella - Disney ABC Television Television Group

Banc’s new SEO office has some unnecessary flourishes

PPC and SEO are Mates, not Alternatives

Continuing the cake analogy possibly past its sell by date, PPC can be considered the icing to SEO’s cake. Pay-per-click advertising can hide the deficiencies of a poor search campaign but can also be used to complement good quality search rankings. Ignoring SEO and concentrating solely on PPC can lead to short-term results but may not be the most effective method to achieving cost-effective, long-term results.

And, even when your cake comes out well, it’s always worth icing it.  

Baking - Pam Lau

Duplicate Content

The term ‘content is king’ is tantamount to cliché in modern online and search marketing, leading to website owners mercilessly filling their sites with all the content they can find. The old ‘copy and paste’ trick may seem like a quick and simple method to fill the website with relevant content written by industry experts, but search engines are incredibly tentative about duplicate content.

The clever search bots will determine which site hosted the duplicated content on the site first and attribute them as the original source – pointing the finger at, and penalising, the copycat.

Creating original, useful and relevant content can help the website interact with their visitors – and the search engines will love it.

Over-Optimised Content (Front and Back of House)

Search engine bots have become more and more skilled at rooting out unnatural-looking, keyword-heavy text. Filling your websites content and meta data full of the search terms you wish to rank for is known as ‘keyword stuffing’ and is frowned upon by search engines. Make sure your content is written naturally, helpful to the site’s visitors and only using keywords where helpful.

Google’s continued reputation is based upon sending people to the most helpful websites. If found guilty of sending cake fans to unhelpful cake websites, simply stuffed with keywords like a Victoria sponge stuffed with unhelpful amounts of cream and jam, Google will start to lose the trust of their following. Whilst it may seem impervious, Google could easily lose their loyal visitors if their algorithms start turning out counter-productive results.

Victoria Sponge - Carwyn Lloyd Jones

Overlooking Canonical Tags

Canonical tags are the internet’s ‘knot in the hanky’ reminding your website of your preferences and protecting it against a range of potential pitfalls including duplicate content and other canonical problems. The canonical tags specify the preferred version of a web page, so search engine bots only heed the pages you want to be judged on. Never be judged, and subsequently ranked, on the pages and parts of your website you are least proud of. It’s the internet’s version of finding your most photogenic side.

Forgetting to Remove Noindex Tags and Robots.txt Blocks

Akin to building site warnings, orange cones and ‘stay out’ tape; incomplete websites are protected from intrusion by Noindex Tags and Robots.txt blocks, ensuring visitors and Google search bots don’t get a sneak peak at the unfinished work. These development tools ensure incomplete sites are not indexed by Google whilst still on a development server. Therefore, this makes it vitally important to ensure they are both removed when the website is moved onto the proper server and opened to the public. See the removal of the Noindex Tags and Robots.txt blocks as your website’s ribbon cutting ceremony – letting visitors and Google inside to enjoy all your hard work.

Robots - Jeff

So if you’d like more help avoiding SEO pitfalls, or have simply been inspired to bake a cake for some, visit the Banc Media homepage, or give us a ring on 0845 459 0558.

Images Sourced Via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: Disney ABC Television Television Group, Pam Lau, Carwyn Lloyd Jones, Jeff