3 SEO Errors to Avoid or Google Will Banish You to 1,000,000th Result

There are three simple SEO errors to avoid to get your site ranking better: unique content, good keywords used correctly, and a fast-loading site. Google don’t black-list sites as quickly or viciously as some people would have you believe, but you can make changes to avoid being classified as a spammer or low-ranking site.

When I first started working with SEO, it was conducted by mavericks, people who lived in the grey area. There was a lot of keyword stuffing (things like having a white background and having white text on it repeating keywords again an again) and more unethical behaviour than you can shake a stick at.

Google got smarter and are constantly refining how their analytics work, how they figure out what are the most relevant results to display. But there are a handful of things you shouldn’t be doing to avoid punishment by the SEO Gods.

SEO Errors to Avoid So You’re Not Punished by the Google Gods

There are blogs that foretell being black listed by Google for simple infringements. That Google will smite your rankings for a bit of duplicate copy, or banish you forever to the dungeon of 1,000th page of results. Google doesn’t do that unless you are spectacularly stupid. However, you can do things that will make them a bit tetchy.

Avoid Duplicate Content

This is pretty well-known tip: Don’t copy someone else’s work. Don’t even replicate your own work across your site/s if you can avoid it. Create original content or paraphrase. My rule of thumb is that I can’t have five words in a row the same as the original content. If you’re unsure, you can run your writing through Copyscape and see if it’s copied from another site (or, if someone has copied you!).

To a certain extent, nothing is original, but if you can make your site significantly different to your competitors, this is good. Try not to copy manufacturer’s specifications and use them for your product descriptions. While your page may not suffer because of it, it still won’t make your rankings any better (and here’s a guide to writing product descriptions, here).

Use Keywords Sparingly (and in the Right Places)

Keyword stuffing doesn’t work. If my site had ‘content writer’ written a million times, Google would see through that pretty quickly. It’s best to come up with keywords and key-phrases and pepper them throughout your writing.

Your content should be confetti of good keywords, formulated into beautiful sentences.

Too many keywords also makes for terrible writing that will turn off your customers. You can tell when a company has  specified awkward yet high ranking keywords. You’ll find sentences that stumble over awkward phrases such as ‘if you want a best horse float New Zealand’.

Also, think about your URL. While using www.wheretobuyfluffycats.com might seem like a good idea, it’s really not. It’s true that having a keyword in your URL will help search rankings (why a plumber’s site should be www.joebloggsplumbing.co.nz and not just www.joebloggs.co.nz), stuffing your URL with an exact search term makes Google think you’re a spammer. Consider yourself smited.

Hare Websites Will Always Beat the Tortoise

Your site should be fast to load. That means cutting down on big slow-loading graphics. This is one of the most important SEO errors to avoid because it has such a big impact on rankings.

If you are only interested in your local market, then consider having a local hosting provider. This will make your website load faster and that makes a big difference. A quarter of people abandon a website if it takes more than four seconds to load. FOUR SECONDS and 25{bf336c7f8c6e4f6287fead86e991a7d893466d2f1404832bb033f136371af9f0} of your potential customers are gone. Google doesn’t like it when the bounce rate is poor or when people click away, and you’ll lose rankings.

Things You Should Definitely Be Doing To Improve Your SEO

Don’t be overwhelmed by this list. This is an elephant of a task. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. As you develop each page, simply tick off all these things for each page. I have a checklist when writing blogs and website pages, and work my way through the list every time.

-Choose a keyword for each page (more about keyword selection in another blog…. If you choose the wrong keyword you are going to achieve nothing)

-Insert the keyword in your H1 title

-Insert the keyword in one of your H2 titles

-Insert the keyword in your Meta-description of the page

-Insert the keyword a *few* times in the body of the text (But not too many…)

-Insert the keyword and other relevant keywords as the alternative attributes text for images on the page

-Add relevant tags

-Have links to other pages on your site

-Have outbound links to relevant pages. You should also be checking if the sites you’re linking to are legitimate and high-ranking themselves. Linking with a dodgy site will not do you any favours.

-Update old content. Google loves new content and the world is constantly changing- your site needs to reflect this.


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