The number of contents online is truly staggering. WordPress (a popular DIY blog/website platform) hosts well over 74 million blogs. Tumblr, a more casual platform, has over 300 million. And with 71% of all marketers using content to generate leads, it’s safe to say that more businesses are active online than ever before. This makes it harder to rank well in search engines ‒ even if you’re great at SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ‒ and with Google’s recent Penguin update, it might be worth revisiting the common (and tempting) mistakes that can stop your website from getting the shine it deserves.
So, let’s dive into where most folks get wrong with SEO and how you can fix the common mistakes with a few simple tips and tools.
Mistake #1: Buying Cheap Traffic
If you go to Fiverr and search for “traffic”, you’ll find people offering to drive unlimited traffic to your website for as little $5. This might seem like a smart SEO tactic. Google, Yahoo, and Bing! reward websites that get clicked on often in search results. It should mean that more traffic gets you better rankings.
Only it doesn’t.
First of all, your traffic needs to come from search engines if you want better rankings. Cheap traffic usually doesn’t. Second, cheap traffic tends to come from robots or low-cost freelancers. Both are easily recognizable by search engine administrators as sources of click fraud.
This means, never buy cheap traffic! And don’t be tempted into…
Mistake #2: Buying Cheap Backlinks
Another way to increase search engine rankings is through “backlinks”: instances where your website pages get referenced on other people’s sites. Naturally, some SEO companies offer you hundreds of backlinks so you can fast-track your way to the first page of Google.
But, like you learned in the previous point, “cheap” isn’t always “good”. Most budget backlinks come from disreputable or fraudulent websites ‒ and will, again, result in you being penalized or banned by search engines.
Like mistake #1, this one should be avoided outright ‒ and the same applies to…
Mistake #3: Keyword Stuffing
In the past, search engines mostly ranked you on how often certain keywords appeared on your pages. For example: if you wanted people to see your website when they looked up “dog houses las vegas” on Yahoo or Google, your page had to feature those exact words in that exact order. Some people took advantage of this by writing poor, low-value texts that featured the keywords they wanted to rank for as often as possible.
Today, this tactic no longer works. The link between on-page keyword frequency and search engine rankings is a lot weaker. So instead of trying to put more keywords on your page, focus on making great content. This is what Google, Facebook, and others reward websites for these days. And while you’re at it, make sure you’re not committing.
Mistake #4: Not Using Meta Tags & Descriptions
Meta tags and descriptions are page titles and excerpts that search engines see. When you fail to use them ‒ or use them ineffectively ‒ your ranking suffers. Let’s say, you run a barbershop. If none of your pages have meta content, search engines won’t see you.
But if each page has a unique and useful meta tag; e.g. “barbershop in New York”, “barbershop opening hours”, etc ‒ Google will “see” what you’re doing and link you up with people searching for your services.
Mistake #5: Failing to Use The Right Apps
SEO is complicated. Fortunately, certain apps make it way easier to do right. If you don’t have them yet, you’re likely spending a lot of time and energy unnecessarily.
While discussing all the wonderful SEO apps out there is beyond the scope of this article, here is a list of 10 brilliant ones that will maximize your results. Check it out and start rising in search engine rankings today!
After reading this article, you know that cheap traffic and budget backlinks have no place in SEO strategy. But what if you want to buy social media followers to bolster a friend’s confidence or win a bet? Is it okay to use sites like gramblast.com, where 100 Instagram followers can be bought for as little as $1.99?
Well… So long as you don’t trick anyone and do it in the spirit of fun, there’s no harm in that.
Just be sure to separate personal fun from business use. Facebook, which also owns Instagram, is very serious about users being ethical; like when it banned a photographer with 2,000,000+ page likes for failing to reference video sources. And make sure to follow best practices for engaging your organic instagram followers, even if you do buy some likes. The article teaches you to do just that in 11 easy steps.
So, to recap, here are 5 SEO mistakes you should always avoid:
- Buying cheap traffic
- Buying cheap backlinks
- Keyword stuffing
- Failing to use meta content
- Not using the right apps
Avoid these, and you’ll be well on your way towards being ahead of the game!
Also, If you want a thorough, simple checklist on maximizing your social media use in addition to your SEO, check out this 30-point Social Media Infographic by Infobrandz. You can save it and print it out as a checklist to make sure you’re always using your resources effectively!
Featured photo credit: photoduet via freepik.com