Every business on the web wants to be on the first page of Google search results. Even with the best SEO company in the world, a number 1 result is a huge mountain climb of never ending struggle. Google changes their algorithm so often that just as you figure a new thing out, the next change is already happening.
This doesn't mean that you should abandon all hope for a successful SEO program - it just means you must stay on top of it and be proactive with your tactics and have dynamic or flexible strategies.
The best things in life, don't come easy --- neither does SEO.
- Cory Ellis - CEO Pulse Media Solutions
Here is a guide to the galaxy of Search Engine Optimization and some roadblocks to avoid:
1 - Duplicate Content
Duplicate content isn’t useful content, it's actually extremely harmful. It doesn't matter whether website content or your blog content, you must provide useful and unique content for your visitors. Some people will fall for the lame idea that any content is better than none, but that's not entirely true. Here is some simple math to explain that:
- Quantity > Quality = Poor rankings
- Quality > Quantity = Good rankings
- Unique, relevant, optimized and Quality > Anything else = Great rankings
You must use canonical versions for content, meaning it has one URl, otherwise Google will register all the URLs and flag then as duplicate. The best way to check for duplicate content is via Copyscape.
2 - Lame Content
Having lame content is the next worst thing to duplicate content. It's a step in the right direction to not have duplicate content, but if you have lame content you're only taking baby steps. Baby steps make for a very long climb of that mountain to reach the first page of Google results.
Rich, in-depth, relevant, optimized and engaging content is what Google prefers. To remain competitive, you must have a content rich website.
3 - Link "Over-Optimization"
Wait...but you just read the article about having SEO friendly URLs ... right? So now I'm saying to not do that? This is confusing...I'm leaving your blog.
That's not at all what we are saying ... what we are saying is that you don't need to over-optimize for a keyword. Google used to give mass amounts of love to the websites who used the target keyword in their links, link names, anchor text and URLs.
The rainbow world of SEO is a constant battle between new ways to rank and penalties. Google will release new methods to help rankings, those will be abused and then Google enacts penalties.
The best things to focus on is relevant and unique content. We know that sounds like a broken record, but Google doesn't penalize for relevant, unique, quality content.
4 - Non-Optimized Page Titles
Search Engine Optimization is a balance - A balance of content and then backend optimization tactics that help the search engine prefer your content. Page titles are part of that backend optimization that Google likes to weighly heavily on. Reason being - Google believes the page title is the book cover to your page, it's a very brief summary of the content you have to offer.
Page titles must include the targeted keyword for maximum reward. A page title is also watch catches the readers eyes when they look at search result pages. So having a properly optimized page title will help your SEO efforts and also your user interactions.
5 - No-Indexing
This might seem really obvious - but trust us ... we've seen it. A small little piece of code in a file that only search engines read can completely negate any and all of your SEO efforts.
6 - Bad User Experience
SEO only gets you so far, if your user experience is bad it doesn't matter how many people visit your website because you aren't engaging them. Your bounce rate will be astronomically high which means your actual ROI is going to suffer drastically.
There are many factors for user experience. Simple explanation: Anything your website can do to improve the experience of the visitors:
- Easy navigation
- Review platform - allows users/clients to review your products or services
- Transcribing videos making is easily accessible content
- Fast load speed (very important in this generations - seconds actually do matter)
- Help pages that are easy to find
- Contact page that users can actually find and use
- Mobile-responsive design (extremely important - see our article: Is responsive design a ranking factor )
- Easy on the eyes to read (font isn't too small, similar color as background, too squished)
- Easy to share on social media
A good SEO will put the user experience before the search engines. A rich user experience is a very important part to having a good search engine optimization strategy.