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​The 6 easiest SEO mistakes to make (and how to fix them)

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a complex thing and getting to grips with it can take a lot of time and effort. And like anything you do in regard to online marketing there are things you could get right, and things you could get wrong. You have to keep up to date with the latest tactics and search engine algorithm changes, and also take into account what your competitors are doing and what your customers expect.

Below are six of the easiest SEO mistakes that website owners make and how they can be put right.

1. Confusing SEO and PPC

Pay per click (PPC) advertising is a completely different thing from SEO and the two should not be confused. The way that search engines display results – with PPC ads at the top and naturally optimised results below – can impact on your visitor numbers so it is important to work on both marketing tactics. Be sure to bid for keywords relating to your own brand in PPC to avoid your competitors stealing your thunder!

2. Expecting immediate results

The search engine bots trawl sites regularly, but changes you make will not make a massive or immediate impact to your ranking. Good optimisation that lasts takes time to build up and you should concentrate on continuing to get your methods right.

3. Leaving SEO until the end

If you are building a new website or making changes to your existing one you must integrate SEO tactics right from the start. Leaving it to the end to think about optimisation will make it more difficult to implement a really thorough plan – you might forget some elements or have to rush the final stages to get your site launched. Failing to budget for SEO activity is also a big mistake that many site owners make – remember to put funds aside for an ongoing SEO programme as it is a vital part of your online business.

4. Falling for black hat techniques

It can be tempting to go for the cheap and apparently quick SEO schemes but they will almost always backfire. Such offers use so-called black hat techniques that do not meet search engine guidelines so your site will actually get punished.

5. Forgetting to brainstorm keywords

The keywords and keyphrases you focus on in your SEO campaigns must be carefully chosen. They should be relevant and worthwhile optimising your site for. And you should not be afraid to add new ones and stop focusing on ones that aren’t working. SEO is a very fluid thing so keep checking in on what your efforts are doing for your website stats.

6. Not optimising all content

Content is king is the golden rule of SEO, and these days this does not mean just words but images and videos too. All elements of your site must be properly optimised behind the scenes – the tags and URLs matter as these are the bits the bots “read” in order to decide where to rank your site.

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