Top 3 SEO mistakes marketers are making in 2017

Black hat SEO techniques still exist in New Zealand. We look at how you can avoid making SEO mistakes that could impact your search rankings.

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In Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), the term ‘Black Hat’ refers to the use of unethical SEO strategies which are used by digital marketers to manipulate organic keyword rankings on a search engine result page (SERP). These strategies generally violate a search engines terms and can lead to penalties for the infringements, which can include being removed from the search engine entirely.

SEO done correctly can be incredibly cost effective here in New Zealand. With a lower level of competition on search engines such as Google you can make big inroads for low spend. And unlike PPC there’s no ongoing cost. We believe SEO is the cornerstone of any successful digital marketing strategy for any business. So it’s important that you focus time and energy on SEO and it’s equally important that you’re not making mistakes that could be hindering your progress.

If you’re not seeing the results and you’ve been working on your optimisation for while you could be guilty of implementing one of the following top 3 SEO mistakes:

SEO Mistake 1 – Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is a practice which consists of intentionally overusing specific keywords in order to manipulate search engines to rank you higher organically.

Here is an example of a sentence with ‘Keyword Stuffing’ and one without:

Without Keyword Stuffing (Good)
“If you are interested in Digital Marketing, then you may want to subscribe to our mailing list for the latest tips, tricks and upcoming industry trends.”

With Keyword Stuffing (Bad)
“If you are interested in Digital Marketing, then you may want to subscribe to our Digital Marketing mailing list for the latest Digital Marketing tips, tricks and upcoming Digital Marketing trends.”

At NZ Digital Marketing we encourage the regular/natural use of primary keywords when writing web content for SEO. However, in saying that there have been instances where people go overboard with primary keywords and repeat it over and over in their page copy hoping that it will impact their search rankings.

Do NOT do this. Instead create a list of primary keywords, phrases and LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords which your target audience may use. You can then sprinkle these around your web content rather than stuffing the same keyword continuously.

Remember, the key is to write naturally, be aware of your keywords and plan accordingly yes but try not to over focus on your keyword.

SEO Mistake 2 – Low Quality Backlinks

Low quality or non-credible links mostly apply to external links which direct traffic to your website. Most people think that gaining links from random websites or directories will be beneficial to their businesses organic ranking on search engines. This is not the case, if anything; this approach can be detrimental to your rankings.

One of Google’s main ranking factors over the past five years has been quality external links. Backlinks to your website act as an endorsement. To simplify the process and this explanation SEO experts MOZ developed ‘Domain Authority Score. Ranked out of 100, the higher your website scores, the more credible search engines see your website. You can use the MOZ Open Site Explorer tool to find your domain authority score.

For businesses implementing a link building strategy, the objective is to obtain and build external links from websites which have a high domain authority and are relevant to your sector. e.g. a car firm having a backlink from a car parts or transport website is good, a link from a woman’s clothing store is not. One or two irrelevant links are unlikely to have a negative impact on their own but get to many and Google may start to take note.

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