This is a question I ask often, and most of the time people either don’t really know, or know a little but are confused. Sometimes even SEO specialists struggle to identify the reason. Most of the time though, the source of the problem can be identified and addressed.
SEO is a complicated matter, there are no strict guidelines and the mechanisms behind it are constantly changing. Some things about it don’t change, for example, despite all the constant changes, getting links to your website is still the basis of search engine positioning.
Finally, one thing you cannot skip is optimizing your website for various browsers.
Here are the basic errors that can be stopping your website from getting more inbound search engine traffic.
1) If you’re using the NoIndex meta tag – stop. It specifically blocks site indexing by Google and you want your pages to be indexed. It might seem obvious, but I’ve learned we sometimes don’t pay attention to obvious things and it can be our downfall.
2) The Canonical Tag is not equal to the address of the page. Google doesn’t think they are the same and neither should you. By using this tag you’re sending mixed signals to google bots – the bot might be on website A, but you’re suggesting it’s on A/example.html
3) Robots.txt – another obvious thing, but if you block google bots in robots.txt, your website will never appear high in search results.
4) You have no inbound links. Think of links to your page as votes, and of search results as elections. If you don’t have enough votes, especially if you have competition that’s getting more, you will lose the election.
5) Ranking websites pages for the same phrases. If relatively simple scripts can find your websites using Whois, IP, DNS, AdsenseID, AnalyticsID and other tools, Google can do more. With Gmail data, Google webmasters tools and many more, they can see right through this.
6) Making access to your website password protected.
Having listed what you shouldn’t do, here’s a handful of things you should utilize to achieve seo success:
1) H1 – this is an extremely important part of your website. Use it to show both your users and search engines what the site is about.
2) Alt tags – tag your images and graphical content. Without alt tags they’ll be irrelevant, with them google bots will treat them as valuable content.
3) Make sure the website is directly accessible, any extra redirects makes you bleed link-juice and you don’t want that.
4) Generate a sitemap.xml. It will make it significantly easier for google bots to locate content on your website, especially if it has several thousand pages.
5) Optimize the loading time of your website – this way you’ll increase the conversion rate, usability and rank of the website.
6) Make sure you’re using a reputable server – if it’s hosting spammer domains, you can be punished as an “accomplice” of sorts.
Conforming to the rules listed above will not get your website to the number one spot.
This short tutorial is here to give you a heads up on common mistakes made sometimes even by seo experts, and very common with seo newbies.
If you listen to the advice, keep working on quality content and obtaining quality inbound links, your position in search results will soon significantly improve.
Remember SEO is a marathon, not a sprint.