Whether your search engine optimization takes place in-house or by an SEO company, these mistakes will keep you from best results. Overlook our list of reasons as to why SEO campaigns aren’t successful and you’ll be wallowing at the bottom of the SERPs. Don’t say I didn’t tell you so!
Mistakes You Made Before Starting on SEO
1. Deciding that keyword research was a waste of time.
2. Using industry jargon as your target keywords (terms your customer don’t use).
3. Not spending time to accurately analyze your competitor’s keywords.
4. Only focusing on the “money” or generic keywords- completely ignoring long tail keywords.
5. Deciding you don’t have time to analyze your competition.
Mistakes Made Before On Page SEO Begins
6. Verifying that the existing website is already search engine friendly.
7. Not analyzing your robots.txt file to make sure certain aspects of the site are being blocked from the search engines.
8. Not noting whether the website is on your own domain instead of a free hosting service (such as blogger, WordPress.com or the old Yahoo Geocities).
9. Not looking into any existing search engine penalties.
10. Not identifying any “black hat” SEO techniques previously implemented on the website.
Mistakes Made While Completing On Page SEO
11. Not setting up a Google Webmaster Tools account to catch any SEO/critical website errors you may have missed.
12. Choosing to not give every page within the site a unique title tag that incorporates keywords that match that pages content.
13. Not placing your targeted keywords towards the front of the title tag.
14. Not writing custom meta descriptions that are unique to every page.
15. Spending any time optimizing your meta keywords tag. These tags no longer offer ranking value.
16. Having thin content on your pages.
17. Creating your pages content within images.
19. Placing links without “no follow” that are obviously purchased within a “sponsored”, “supporters” or at the footer of your site.
20. Creating a links page that you intend to use for trading hundreds of links.
21. Building navigation that takes more than three clicks to reach all internal pages.
22. Not utilizing bread crumb navigation for large websites.
23. Linking products pages by the image (without alt text) instead of a text link.
24. Only optimizing a few pages within the website.
25. Incorrectly setting up a robots.txt file that stops the search engines from indexing your website.
26. Not using any alt text for your images.
27. Not using any header tags or keywords within your body content.
28. Using doorway pages.
Mistakes Being Made While Link Building
29. Forum signature links make up the majority of your link profile.
30. Writing content to publish on your site then you outsource it to a site that has higher domain authority, essentially outranking your own site with your own content.
31. Focusing any effort on spam blog commenting.
32. Outsourcing your link building efforts to someone who offers 100 links for $10.00
33. Creating a links page and trading hundreds of reciprical links with other sites.
34. Purchasing links from link buying brokers.
35. Not creating a diverse link profile
36. Opting to register your site for every free web directory created.
37. Turning down links because they aren’t keyword based anchor text links.
38. All of your links only point to your homepage.
39. Obtaining every single link using the same anchor text.
40. Writing SEO professionals or tech savvy webmasters for links without offering anything of value to them.
41. Wasting your time by re-submitting to DMOZ directory every single day.
42. Sending out spammy link request e-mails that doesn’t include any linkable content.
Mistakes Made With Social Media & Review Sites
43. Creating social media accounts just for the SEO benefits.
44. Every one of your “tweets” is promoting your business/website.
45. Not tailoring your message for different social media platforms.
46. Automating everything.
47. Writing your own company reviews or paying people to write positive reviews for your company… A low of all lows.
48. Setting up social media accounts and then abandoning them. (I would argue this is worse than not having any at all!)
49. Not trying to engage any of your fans and followers.
#1 Biggest Mistake
50. Focusing just on optimizing for search engines instead of optimizing for your users. (This includes creating content only for search engines and isn’t valuable to your users.)
SEO techniques change often, which is why we felt a need to update our old article. Avoid these 50 mistakes, and you should be on your way to a happily optimized website and web presence. If all else fails, please abide by mistake #50. Focus on your user and good things will ensue. For experienced SEO and a campaign tailored to your business, contact us.