The number of people I have spoken to over all my years of on-line marketing the one reoccurring theme seems to be, Google hates my website or my business is different and the search engines down grade my site because there are well known names in the same market.
These are pretty serious things to claim and when ever I hear them I like to dig a little deeper into why the site owner feels this lack of Google love, the answers are as common as the moans, the reason the search engines don’t rank you well is one of several reasons but they all come down to poor SEO, some of the more common issues are
Poor keyword research
If you have a small budget you are being unrealistic to think you can compete with people in the mortgage or insurance markets, at least for the broad terms, the big players in these markets have some advantages, they have contacts in the media who write storeys on them and this gets them some very nice authority links from places like the BBC and you will find it hard to do the smae thing.
However if you are in this market and do not have contacts and money to go after the broad terms you need to look at the keywords you can compete for, and there are loads, the time spent doing keyword research can seem long and tedious but it is worth money in the bank when you find the correct combination of high searches and low competition.
Poor link quality
Too many people seem to think that the more links back to their site the better, this may have been true in the past but now it is defiantly quality that counts over quantity. You need to look at different elements when you are link building, these include,
Relevance of the page your link is from – why would a site about cars link to a site about tables, it is much more likely that a site about cars would link to one about caravans.
One-way links, the links should be just pointing to your site not you giving them a link and them giving one back to you, link swapping is an old and out of date technique.
Too many links too quickly, we have all seen the offers in our email of 5,000 for $49 this is just going to start alarm bells ringing at Google HQ and there is every chance you will get slapped with a penalty. Link building needs to be steady and something that happens naturally over a period of time.
Paid links, this is something to avoid as Google especially dislikes people forcing their way to the top through the weight of their wallets.
Anchor text, this is the part of the link that is underlined, so instead of using terms like click here use the keywords such as Salisbury web design this allows the search engines to understand what the page you are linking to is about.
Tomorrow we will look at the use of keywords on the site and Flash based site design issues