Over the years, SEO has evolved and become much more sophisticated, but you cannot deny that there are still some common mistakes most newcomers and even some veterans continue to commit. It’s better to return to the start and have a look at the tactics you have been employing so far to avoid being the bungling amateur.
In a nutshell, these are the top ten SEO mistakes that businesses frequently commit. These are also some of the most common SEO mistakes my company regularly find while doing SEO work for our clients at PageTraffic. If you are an SEO, spot these mistakes, blow the whistle and fix them immediately for better results.
1. Low Quality and Copied Content
It’s annoying to find a website which has exactly copied your content from top to bottom and still ranks higher than you in Google search results. The same applies to others. Stop being a mimeograph and create your own original content which is authentic and genuine. Create content that is compelling and of some value to users, and Google will definitely reward you with higher rankings in the search results, or lift it from other websites for penalization by Google. The choice is yours.
2. Internal Duplicate Content
As condemning as copying content from other websites is duplication within your own website. In-site duplicity occurs when you replicate the same content in more than one location within your website or use the same title tags and Meta descriptions on multiple pages. While the former is typically seen on e-commerce sites with several pages listing the same set of products, the latter occurs when content management systems auto generate page titles. Apart from being unique, title tags of each page should represent the content on that page. Don’t slip up on Meta descriptions. Make these as effective and powerful as possible within the 160 character limit.
3. Using the Right Keywords
Keywords can be the heart of your SEO campaign if optimized properly. It is not only critical to use keywords that best reflect the products sold by you but also coordinates with what the searcher types in the search box. Be specific while using keywords. You might think that this particular keyword is fit for your industry but searchers might not necessarily think the same. Before incessantly inserting keyword phrases in your content, get yourself educated on keyword research and analysis first. Another unscrupulous tactic used by SEOs is unnecessarily inserting keywords in the web pages just to improve a site’s ranking unnaturally. The recurring words and phrases create a bad impression and can even earn you a Google penalty.
4. Broken Links
Think of it this way. You see a link, which claims to show you how you will look after 20 years. But clicking on it no longer directs you to the page it is intended to, because it is broken. Now, isn’t that annoying? Don’t earn yourself bad repute by accumulating many such broken links.
5. Getting Links from Incredible Sources
Yes it is difficult to get links from quality sources and equally easier to get them from article directories. But don’t go for quantity at the cost of quality. A single link from a reliable and authentic source is better than dozens from poor quality sources.
6. Not Using Webmaster Resources
Matt Cutts, Google’s Ex head of Search Spam, said that not using webmaster resources and learning about how Google works, is another common SEO mistake. Configure your Google Analytics and Search Console to be updated about your website’s data. Set up conversion goals, reports, and track which keywords and phrases convert the most.
7. Not Using the Alt Tag
Use the Alt tag to name your images. Images cannot be deciphered by the search engines. So you have to fill in the Alt tag to tell the search engine what the image is about. The Alt tag can be a brief descriptive phrase of your image and can include your keyword phrase. Don’t use the same descriptive phrase on more than one image, unless the images are same.
8. URL Structure
Just as it is important to target keyword phrases in your content, it is necessary to name your URL structure after your prime keyword phrase. The URL structure should also be relevant to your website content. This URL structure can help search engines and searchers to relate to your content.
9. Not writing for human beings
Have you heard about the adage, “Jack of all trades master of none?” Well, avoid being that. Instead of writing about anything and everything, choose an area of authority. Google will definitely not want to show you to the searchers when you don’t have expertise on any particular subject. Obviously, it would like the searchers to get their queries solved from masters on that particular topic. If you still want to write on multifarious topics, then don’t anticipate much traffic from search engines, because as such you are categorized only as a personal blog or website.
10. Non crawlable site
Lastly, everything is in vain if your website is not crawlable. According to Google, not enabling your website to be crawled by Googlebot is the biggest mistake made by webmasters. No crawling means no indexing and hence no ranking.
11. Now, it’s your turn
Tell me what other SEO mistakes you come across regularly? What is the most frustrating out of the ones above?
Share your experience with us in the comment section below.