Given the unveiling of SEOmoz’s latest Top SEO Ranking Factors survey and some discussions I’ve had recently regarding what not to do in terms of SEO, I thought a top SEO mistakes post was appropriate.
People often get so carried away with the idea starting an SEO program that they fail to do their research properly and succumb to common SEO mistakes which often undermine your efforts.
Here are 10 of the most common SEO mistakes to avoid and why:
- 1. Targeting the Wrong Keywords
At the most fundamental level, SEO is about keywords. Select the wrong keywords and you could waste months optimizing for search terms no body uses. Keyword research is always worth the investment.
- 2. Focusing on Flash and Rich Media
Even though Flash and Rich Media is getting better at being indexed by the search engines, where possible provide HTML alternatives for your rich media. There’s no point looking good, if no one can find you.
- 3. Ignoring Site Structure
The issue here is that SEO is often an after thought when designing a new website. At a minimum, your keyword research should be done beforehand and used to help guide URL structure, navigational links etc.
- 4. Fresh Original Content
Content still plays a vital role in your SEO efforts. Most site owners don’t appreciate the importance of updating content and expanding content. If you have content that interests people, they’ll do your off-page SEO for you!
- 5. It’s About Humans – Not Spiders!
When you active start an optimization program, remember that you’re optimizing for humans – not search engines. Your website needs to make sense to the visitor or your SEO efforts are pointless.
- 6. Images in Place of Text
When starting a website, aesthetics often get in the way of good practice. There will always be times when using an image is unavoidable, but remember – search engines can’t view images – so is possible use text over images.
- 7. Ignoring the importance of internal links
Beyond making it easy for visitors to navigate through your website, internal linking is also an important SEO strategy. Every link is an opportunity to add SEO value – so you can’t ignore the chance to use strong link text, and ensure your important content is easy to access.
Duplicate content is a well known SEO taboo. While content is king, multiple versions of the same content is the devil in disguise. This is a case where less content is definitely more.
It’s a common misgiving – but SEO isn’t about having the same keyword term repeated 10,000 times on your web pages. If you’re serious about sustainable SEO – then scratch this archaic black hat practice from your strategy.
- 10. Forgetting about conversion
Your website’s primary goal to encourage action from visitors, be that buying a product, downloading a guide etc. Remember that your web pages need to combine SEO with Marketing or you’ll struggle to justify your SEO efforts on the traffic alone.
There’s plenty more mistakes that people make when embarking on their SEO journey, but more often than not, these can be avoided by taking the time to do your research properly. This post should just be a part of the process.
Have you encountered or seen any other SEO mistakes worth noting? Share them with our readers below: