5 Red Flags For My SEO Traffic

2013-07-05 by Angie Mansfield

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a mystery to many small business owners.

Even those who do understand it may have trouble keeping up with the constantly changing rules, which can run you afoul of new search algorithms such as Google's Panda and Penguin updates.

Here are a few things you might be doing that can seriously hurt your website's traffic:

Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is a time-honored shady SEO tactic in which a site repeats a keyword or phrase over and over again, in hopes of manipulating its Google search ranking.

The recent Google updates effectively nipped keyword stuffing in the bud, penalizing sites that used the tactic.

If you're still cramming your web copy full of repeated keywords and phrases, it's only a matter of time before you find your site buried at the very bottom of search rankings -- which will drop your traffic drastically.

Using the Wrong Keywords

This is one of the biggest headaches in the world of SEO, and even experts may slip up from time to time.

When choosing keywords for your site, you might think that they're descriptive of your content. But to improve your results, you have to go a step further and decide whether an average internet user will use those terms in a search.

For example, if your site is about automotive maintenance, you might use that phrase as your main keyword. But if users are more likely to search for "car maintenance" or "car care," you might be missing out on a lot of traffic. In this case, you'd use the more common search term as your focus, and "automotive maintenance" as a secondary term.

Overlooking the Page URL

Many site owners don't realize that each page's URL also has an effect on the site's search ranking. By placing a good keyword in the URL, you might get a bump which can place you ahead of competitors who aren't using this tactic in searches.

Links from Spam Sites

Getting links to your site from other websites can give you a major boost in search engines -- but only if those other websites have a good reputation. Link farms, comment spam on blogs, and other bad backlinking practices can end up wiping out your search ranking.

Google, especially, places high importance on the content of the site on which your link appears. If the site contains content that's relevant to yours, Google considers the link more relevant, and therefore more valuable. This will help your search rankings.

If, on the other hand, the site giving you a link has no relevance at all to yours, Google doesn't place as much value on that link. It may have no effect on your search rank, or may even hurt it if the site has a bad reputation for link spam.

These are just a few of the ways your SEO strategy might be hurting your web traffic instead of improving it.

You can give your site a boost by studying Google's Panda and Penguin updates and following the rules to work your way up the search results.

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Angie Mansfield

Freelance blogger Angie Mansfield covers a variety of subjects for small business owners. From business growth to marketing to using a budget planner, her work will give you tips to keep your business running smoothly.

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