When marketers talk about making the most of SEO, it is often in terms of ‘best practices.’ But what about the SEO mess-ups? SEO mistakes often happen by accident while other times they are deliberate acts, done with the best intentions, by overzealous marketers. Either way, these mistakes can end up undoing all your hard work. Check out these 5 common SEO mistakes and stop shooting your SEO strategy in the foot!
1. Wrong Keywords
You can get all other aspects of your SEO strategy right, but if you get your keywords wrong then you might as well throw in the towel. There are a number of resources on the web to help you fine tune your keyword strategy.
- Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool
- Google Trends
- Microsoft Bing Ads Intelligence
- Wordtracker’s Basic Keyword Demand
- Google’s Keyword Suggest Tool
2. Focusing on your site’s look, not content
Imagine buying your dream car. On the outside it’s everything you have ever wanted, but when you turn the key in the ignition…nothing. It’s the same thing when too much time is spent focusing on making your website look too fancy but fail to create quality content. Relevant content will grab your visitors’ attention faster than any bells or whistles.
3. Content written for search engines, not people
Once upon a time, in the not so distant past marketers would write for search engines and not people. It was common to use keywords throughout the content, whether they made sense or not. This led to web content feeling stodgy and scripted. Writing only for search engines rather than writing for your visitors might have gotten you to the top then, but it won’t keep people coming back or clicking through now. Plus, Google is savvy to this tactic and will penalize you pretty quickly.
4. Stuffing Keywords
Keyword stuffing is the practice of inserting a large number of keywords into web page content and meta tags in the attempt to artificially increase the page’s ranking in search results. There was a time when using a large amount of keyword in your blog posts and landing pages was a big plus. Today though, Google is all about getting high quality, useful content to the top of its search results pages.
5. Not Maximizing all on-page SEO opportunities
OK, so we’re back to best practices; but not taking advantage of all your on-page SEO can be a huge mess-up. Make sure before you hit publish you have optimized all your on-page SEO resources by including keywords in your:
- Meta Description
- Image alt-text
- Content (remember, less is more: use only 4-5 keywords for blogs and landing pages)
Creating an SEO strategy can cause even the savviest marketer to throw up their hands in frustration. With so many factors to consider it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But SEO doesn’t have to cause stress and frustration. By following SEO best practices and avoiding these 5 SEO mistakes you will be well on your way to creating an effective SEO strategy that shoots you straight to the top of page 1 of Google.
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