How to SEO: Four Common Mistakes and Problems

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Many SEOs and Internet marketers are still failing to get a good balance between on and off-page optimisation.

Often, this comes about because they are focusing too much on external activities, such as link building. This means they tend to neglect basic housekeeping on the web pages themselves.

1. Trying to get results too quickly.

There is no quick-fix method for driving traffic to a website other than resorting to underhand Black Hat techniques, which can only ever be short-lived. Building a solid community and remaining totally organic is hard work and very much a long-term project.

2. Not having a solid web content strategy

Despite numerous online articles written on the subject of web content, as well as very specific advice from Google, webmasters still harbour pages on their sites that contain out-of-date information, are badly written and lack basic functionality, such as correct internal linking.

Many sites also lack consistency in their updating policy, thinking that once optimised, their site can look after itself; sadly, this is far from the truth. Modern search engines, especially Google, demand a constant supply of new, relevant content for the site to have any chance of achieving and maintaining a good ranking in the SERPs.

3. Failing to use Analytics properly

Analytics are a useful and necessary part of every online business if used correctly, but many webmasters fail to really understand what they are actually about. This can result in a panic response when they experience an unexpected drop in Google ranking.

Relatively new websites are the most likely to experience this due to a phenomenon colloquially termed the Google Dance. When new websites are first indexed they will often appear quite high in the SERPs, then after what is known as the 'honeymoon' period (which can be anything from 2 weeks to several months) they will assume a more natural position.

4. Not keeping up with Google Updates like Penguin or Panda

An older website that has dropped down the rankings, especially when this is immediately following a major algorithm update, has a bigger problem to overcome. The only way to regain position is to find out exactly what the site has been penalised for and to correct it as soon as possible.

This will involve a professional SEO carrying out a full site audit for you, carefully reviewing how your site sits within Google's most recent guidelines.

Inbound links are still one of the major issues, especially following Google's Penguin attack on spammy and unnatural link profiles. This update was largely aimed at Black Hat sites that have thousands of low-quality and irrelevant inbound links, but it can easily affect organic sites which are inadvertently displaying similar traits. There are literally hundreds of articles on good link-building practices to be found online, but the main thing to remember is that one good-quality link (PR5 or above) is better than 1,000 low quality links.

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