Most people reading this will probably have a fairly good idea as to what SEO is, how it works, and how to go about doing it. Generally this impression involves a lot of article writing and guest posting, along with some on-site elements and a few modern strategies such as broken-link building.

But at the same time, many people who think they have a handle on SEO will find that their websites are still struggling to get noticed and that they still find it difficult to climb up the SERPs. You might be doing everything by the book, using all the latest techniques, but still failing to attract any traffic. So what’s going wrong?

Well chances are that you’re simply forgetting something. There are a lot of factors that contribute to good or bad SEO these days and it’s unfortunately very easy to overlook some of them. Read on to see what you may have forgotten.

Adds Above the Fold

Something that received a fair bit of attention at the time, but has since been largely forgotten, is that Google recently announced that webmasters should no longer have more than two Google ads ‘above the fold’ – those that do would end up getting penalised. The fold here refers to the bottom half of the screen which obviously varies from device to device, so the safest bet is to generally avoid having more than two ads on a page, or to at least make sure they are as spread out as possible. To me this is a big argument for not using AdSense at all though – being an affiliate or selling your own digital products is more profitable anyway!

Adaptive Design

Adaptive design means designing for multiple devices, and specifically for different screen sizes. What that means, is that if someone loads up your site on an iPhone, it should adapt to that screen size and change to make sure that everything fits.

Now adaptive design isn’t actually required by Google, but what is required is that you somehow address the issue of multiple screen sizes and resolutions. Whether you do this by using percentages for all your images to make the design fluid, or whether you use adaptive design is up to you. Either way though, if your website doesn’t look good on certain Android devices, then you will be penalised and your site won’t rank as highly as it could.

Speed

Also important is that your site load as quickly as possible. Once again, if your site takes five minutes to load because there’s an image in the background that has a huge file size, then you will be penalised and your site won’t be likely to rank as highly.

Authorship

Using Google authorship is not a requirement, but it is something that can help you to get a boost and that you may have forgotten until now. Essentially this means linking your website to your Google Plus account, so that visitors can view who wrote it and find other articles of yours. Google of course is a fan of people who support Google Plus, so this is a good strategy as is having +1 buttons on your pages.

That Old Bad Link

Everyone knows now that quality is more important than quality when it comes to building inbound links these days, and it’s similarly well-known that having low quality links can actually damage your ranking. However that doesn’t mean that you will necessarily have remembered all of the less-than-high-quality links you built back when this wasn’t the case so it’s worth looking for any that might still be damaging your reputation. This includes any links that are from disreputable sites, or that are from sites that aren’t in the same niche as yours. If you find any, then get in touch and ask the site owners to remove them, or use the links disavow tool to tell Google to ignore them.

These are just a few examples of the kinds of SEO tips that you may have forgotten along the way. There are many other pointers that may have slipped your notice too though, so perhaps if your site is struggling you just haven’t been looking in the right place…