The constant changes to Google’s algorithm over the past few years has kept everyone on their toes regarding SEO best practices. The businesses with the best SEO strategies in place received more web traffic and increased their online presence. So what are the best ways to proceed with SEO in the coming months? First, avoid some of the following SEO mistakes and your business is more likely to achieve your marketing goals in 2014 and beyond.
Focusing on Meta Keyword Tags
Meta keyword tags used to be important for improving rankings in search results pages, but not anymore. While most search engines don’t use meta keyword tags, they do look at meta description tags. Write good meta description tags and they may be used as snippets in search engine results pages. Well-crafted snippets can also improve click-through rates and therefore have an impact on conversions. In the future, avoid meta keyword tags. Instead, focus on creating relevant meta description tags for your most important web pages, and publish quality content that promotes content sharing and supports natural backlinks.
Ignoring Keyword Density
Using relevant keywords throughout your content is still an important part of improving website and content rankings on Google and other search engines. Yes, it’s now more important to use a variety of related words and phrases, but including relevant keywords two or three times will still help search engines evaluate and categorize your content. Write high quality content, but don’t forget that keywords are still an important part of an overall SEO strategy. Just don’t repeat words and phrases too often – especially anchor text keywords – or Google will penalize you. Focus on creating reader-friendly content.
Not Understanding the Importance of Social Media
The relationship between content and social engagement is an increasingly important factor in SEO, and will only get stronger in 2014 and beyond. Useful, engaging, and interesting content is becoming essential for businesses striving to improve their SEO performance. When Google sees content with more social shares, it considers it more valuable. In 2014, aim to include social media share buttons throughout your website and at the end of articles and blog posts. This not only encourages shares, but also builds your social media presence, keeping Google happy. Businesses can no longer afford to ignore Google+ and other major social media platforms. To boost your SEO, concentrate on publishing content on social media sites populated by your target audience.
No Content Variety
With content marketing, many businesses still make the mistake of concentrating too much on text. Varied content, such as photographs, infographics, videos, animations, and slide presentations are going to help boost your website rankings and enhance the user experience. With the increasing domination of sites like Pinterest, SlideShare, and Instagram, visual content is on the rise and will play an even more important role in online marketing in 2014. Remember that it’s still important to include text among the visual content so that search engine spiders can evaluate your content as a whole.
The Panda algorithm was developed to find sites with duplicate web content and penalize them by lowering their search engine rankings. Instead of “spinning” content, focus on creating a varied mix of content to describe your company, products, and services. Copying content from other websites may even result in the removal of your website from search engine results pages. Instead, repurpose content for different segments of your target audience. For example, turn a blog post into a slide presentation for SlideShare.
Publishing Minimal Content
As Google will be rewarding websites that feature more in-depth content, writing short, 300-word blog posts won’t keep Google happy anymore. Anyway, people are seeking out more detailed information nowadays, and businesses are not going to inspire customer loyalty without credible content. While it may be a struggle to consistently write articles that are over 1000 words, at least try to include some in-depth content that Google will notice.
If you want to improve your SEO strategies in 2014 and beyond, start by avoiding these SEO mistakes. These are just a few examples of how not to improve your search engine rankings. If you really want to take your marketing efforts to the next level, it’s important to be aware of the constantly evolving nature of SEO, and realize that there are no shortcuts. For now, high quality content, natural links, and social media are key. It may take time to see the results, but these are the best ways to gain higher search engine rankings and help your business grow.
9 thoughts on “Warning: Don’t Make These Six SEO Mistakes in 2014”
I’ve also read that including your keywords in your meta tags can tip your hand to competitors about what keywords you’re trying to rank for. If there’s no SEO value in having them anymore, might as well not use them and be safe!
I actually recently changed my mind on this. I used to add them for good measure, but Matt Cutts from Google officially stated that google is not looking at meta keywords. That being the case, I don’t add them, but not because I am afraid of competitors stealing my keywords. I just dont want to spend time on stuff that has low value.
I’m curious, is there currently a direct link between the number of social shares a website (or a page) has and it’s Google rank?
Hi Tony, this is controversial at best.
Lets review whats happening today:
1. Many peoples Facebook Profiles are not public and many are, bottom line, google has said it does not look personal social signals. Excluding Google+ more on that later.
2. Some people confuse social with links – so is Reddit social? Well its really a link so to google it’s a linking signal. Same thing for Social QA sites like Quora.
3. Google personalized rankings based on the people in your google+ circles. So, if you have 10,000 people searching in google that are in your circles you will rank higher for a specific term (for those 10k people) than you would if those people were not in your circles. So Google+ has a significant impact on your ranking.
4. Social is a great way to get the word out and publish your content, I get tons of links from people picking articles up off twitter, facebook, and linkedin.
Summary – Its very valuable, but the jury is out on the effect of social signals on ranking. Oh, one other thing. Likes have not been proven as valuable as Shares! When people share you content, they post it on their timeline, vs just liking your brand or page.
Exactly how strict is Google about duplicate content? For instance, if I have a product listed on multiple platforms with similar (if not identical) product descriptions, does this negatively impact my SEO?
Hi Marta, couple things:
1. Google will only rank one of the pages of your duplicate content. So Duplicate content doesn’t always “hurt” your SEO, but it diminishes your potential return on your effort. Why take the time to post 5 pages when you only get credit for one.
2. Now, where it will hurt your site, is if your site is MOSTLY duplicate, or “Thin” content, meaning lots of pages with low word count. Your site will not perform well as google will perceive you as having low value.
You make a good point about variety of content. I think this is a good rule of thumb for making your website interesting and dynamic — but it does it really directly effect the website’s ranking?
Hello Tyler! Google is trying to rank better quality content vs just poor quality but very well optimized. For instance, Google tracks the time between you clicking on a page on google and when you return to google. So if you click a page, the in 10 secs hit the back button and go to another page in google, then google deems your page had low quality content that did not keep the user engaged. You can imaging with that type of metric google can weed out the pages that people seem to find a bad fit based on the search results. This can and does effect your ranking, so quality is very important.
Great tips here! I just started a blog and am learning about SEO. I found your website through Google, so you might be doing something right!