Reaching the top of google has become sort of the Mecca for businesses, yet getting -and remaining- there is not a simple task, and what you or someone that you hire does in the name of SEO can have a lasting and significant impact for your pages, both positive and negative.

Although SEO factors have drastically changed in the last couple of years, and the “original” ones play a smaller role nowadays,  you’ve got to be aware of the basics of what works and what doesn’t, and also what may actually be counter-productive, and even damaging in some cases.

We’ve listed the 6 SEO mistakes we see most often, and if you are making any of them, you’ll want to address them immediately.

1. Ignoring Mobile – This is a major one. With nearly 70% of web users going online via mobile, Google is now ranking those sites that adapt to mobile screens much higher on mobile searches, and labeling those that don’t with a rather unflattering tag that reads: “May not work on your device”. You can read more about this and check how Google sees your site on mobile here.

2. Having a Welcome Page – Although these are not as popular as they were a few years ago, we still see them around, even in newer sites. These are pages that greet visitors and have nothing on them but a large image and a button to “enter” the site. The problem is that when google crawls your page it finds zero content on your home page, and doesn’t know what to rank it for.  And for the visitor, the extra step to find out if this site will have the information he/she is looking for, increases the chances of them leaving the site.

3. Misusing Keywords  Keywords are an important part of SEO, but not quite the way it was not too long ago, when SEO revolved around keyword manipulation. Today the Google algorithm has changed to the point where it can detect keyword “stuffing” and other keyword manipulation, and will “punish” those sites pushing them down the rankings.  The best practice today is to use keywords naturally on your pages as part of informative content, utilizing related keywords and synonyms, so it reads well from the end user perspective.

4. Using Tags and Tag Clouds – This was another popular practice especially for blogs, but it’s a bad idea today. The first and most important reason is that it automatically results in duplicate content issues, and second, it uses up valuable virtual real estate on your website, and has little or no purpose to your visitor.

5. Using Flash – Although designers have mostly stopped using flash animation in newer websites, we still find way too many out there using flash. It not only has a negative effect on your SEO, but it can ruin your mobile rankings, unless you have a separate mobile website.

6. Not Taking Advantage of  Internal Linking – An effective way to secure better rankings these days is to make sure your pages are optimized well, and sound internal linking is an important element to this end. Google loves this, and it is far easier to implement than getting those valuable external links.

And there you have it! If you need help or would like to discuss your current SEO situation please schedule a free consultation, and we’ll be happy to address your specific issues.

Your questions and comments are welcome!