Achieving top rankings is time consuming, but it’s really not that difficult. Most of us who work in the SEO business know that low quality, rehashed content and shady backlinks no longer cuts the mustard. While there are few who still take the “black-hat” route, there are still some extremely poor practices that seem to be commonplace in the industry.
If you’re making the following mistakes, best change your strategy. While things might be working out for you, you’re on dangerous ground…
Granted, keyword stuffing isn’t what it used to be. We very rarely see keyword densities of 5 per 100 words anymore. However, for some bizarre reason many marketers still try to sneak in preposition-free keywords like “buy training courses London” and “finding jobs London”. This is another form of keyword stuffing that is extremely damaging.
The average Joe has no idea what SEO is, let alone the purpose of keyword optimization. If they were to browse a website and read a sentence like “Do you want to buy training courses London?” they’ll probably look elsewhere. After all, how good could the course be if there’s a grammatical error in the advertisement? If it isn’t already happening there will be a time when Google starts punishing any SEO technique that affects the readability of content.
Lack of Mobile Functionality
Websites absolutely must be geared towards the mobile generation – it’s no longer an option! That means they should be simple, sleek and responsive. Flash websites are dated and don’t function on most mobile devices, so don’t use it; nobody reads endless passages of text, especially on a smart phone, so get rid of it; and do not under any circumstances make a website that requires the user to scroll horizontally!
Believe it or not, these blunders are still ripe within the industry. Google takes mobile functionality extremely seriously and will prioritize responsive websites that work seamlessly across all viewing mediums. Any web development company worth its salt will ensure your site is geared towards the smartphone generation.
Excessive Home Page Linking
Home page links are powerful, there’s no doubt about that, but what’s the point in creating great content if nobody’s going to read it? Content alone is rarely enough to rank certain pages in Google. You’ll still need to acquire links and promote that content in order for it to be viable.
Too many home page links could also be regarded as a spammy backlinking practice, especially if they all have the same keyword. Keep your link-building efforts versatile, and focus on ranking that quality, newsworthy content just as much as your promotional home page – it’ll also make your job a heck of a lot easier!
This isn’t really an SEO problem, but it’s definitely a marketing problem. I regularly work in coffee shops, and when I’m browsing the web and come across a website that starts playing music, I instinctively close down the page. And I would bet my bottom dollar that most other people do as well.
If, for whatever reason, you must have music on your website, create a frame for the code and user controls. This will not only give the user the option to pause/play, but will also make the music loop continuous instead of stopping and starting whenever you visit a new page.
If you are making any of the above mistakes, stop immidiately. Remember, we build websites for people, we produce content for people, and it’s Google’s job to decide what the people want to see. While they haven’t quite nailed it yet – and probably never will – they do a pretty good job of punishing websites that aren’t human-friendly (and they’re getting better at it). Sometimes you have to forget about pleasing bots and remind yourself who your true target audience is.