Know the biggest SEO mistakes most people do while doing search engine optimization (SEO) for their projects. Top 10 deadly SEO mistakes to avoid. Most dangerous but most common SEO mistakes.
Most Common SEO Mistakes
Find below the most common but killer SEO mistakes people do while doing their SEO for their websites. Worst SEO mistakes to avoid.
SEO Mistake 1: Not Focusing on Content for Human Readers
Despite the fact that ranking parameters have advanced enormously since the earliest days of SEO, many people still think that they can get away with writing shoddy content that won’t interest anyone and making up for the deficiency by stuffing it completely with keywords that they think the search bots will go wild over.
Nope; not true at all anymore, particularly with Google, the mother of all search engines. These days, especially after the last year and a half of nearly constant algorithm changes to their page ranking procedures during search queries, the people at Google are far more interested in rewarding pages that focus on human readers and offer as much genuine, informative and high value content to their readers.
A website whose text and other content is thin, copied, poorly written or stuffed with an unnatural keyword density not only won’t rank highly, it will actually suffer thanks to the much more stringent and intelligent search algorithms that are now in effect.
You have to deliver value, quality and freshness with your content if you want to have well optimized content; keep the keywords to a normal looking quantity, use them where needed to legitimately describe.
SEO Mistake 2: Failing to Thoroughly Research Keywords
Funny how, just after talking about overdoing the keyword use in mistake 1, we now mention incomplete keyword research as the second mistake. But, that’s how it is. While overusing keywords is a big SEO mistake, it’s also just as big of a mistake to not take full advantage of the diverse niche keywords you could have on your site’s content wherever they have a natural position to fill.
As a DIY SEO campaigner, you’re going to want to stick with a natural looking, genuinely descriptive use of keywords, but as part of a well done SEO campaign strategy, you need to thoroughly research your online niche to find the most highly relevant keywords, keyphrases and long tail keywords (keywords that are very relevant but much less searched for than your main words).
By creating such a list, you can then strategically use the best, most relevant possible words in your content, Meta descriptions, image attributes and other on-site text bodies. This in turn will eventually give you a decent or even great search query rank for exactly the people that are closest to your target audience -the visitors most likely to convert into sales.
Related reading: Keyword research guide
SEO Mistake 3: Getting started with Black Hat Tactics
Again, a very common mistake amongst site owners who are just getting to know SEO strategy; starting off your efforts with outdated information and either unintentionally or deliberately trying out black hat search spam tactics in the hope that you will get quick results and find yourself ranking highly on Google search in just a few days instead of the weeks or months a high ranking might normally take to achieve.
However tempting this is, avoid it! Educate yourself on the clear differences between white hat and black hat SEO and stick to the former. Provide value, get your readers to naturally share your content; build links organically by cultivating relationships with other owners of quality websites and build a strong long term ranking that isn’t subject to detection and sudden deranking because it was caught spamming backlinks across the internet, manipulating its pages with secret keyword lists or building a link profile by buying the links off of content farm and link farm sites.
Related reading: How to stay safe from Google penalties
SEO Mistake 4: Forgetting about Structural Optimization
As a newbie, you might find yourself getting so caught up in building links back to your site with other websites, social network SEO campaigns and Content development that you forget about one fundamental fact: Google, other search engines and human visitors will not like what they’ve found if your site itself is badly organized.
As part of an on-page SEO policy that includes well developed content, images that have been tagged with descriptive HTML tags and well written URL titles you also need to make sure that your site itself is cleanly coded, free of errors and easy to navigate.
Make sure that all of your pages connect easily and that your readers (as well as the search bots) can find all of your important content without having to hunt for it. Also, avoid excessive use of flash; not only is it deeply annoying when it freezes someone’s computer, it’s also invisible to search engine spiders, meaning it won’t help your optimization much.
Related reading: How to optimize your website for SEO
SEO Mistake 5: Inconsistent SEO management
SEO campaigns are not one time affairs or even short-term projects, they require constant effort. Optimizing your site will include tactics that you can do just once and forget about them (such as programming your site on clean SEO friendly code) but for the most part, a successful optimization effort is a long term job that will continue for as long as your site is up and running.
You should never stop adding fresh, interesting new content through a blog or article archive; you need to optimize any new images, videos or pages you add to your site and you need to regularly work at creating new backlinks to your pages by promoting them to other website owners or offering to guest post elsewhere so that you can include links back to your site in your articles.
You should also concentrate on consistently engaging your audience so that they trust you, respect your work and keep coming back to it.
Matt Cutts Lists Top 5 SEO Mistakes
Usually SEO is all about finding out what works for your website and what doesn’t. Then, you stick to the tricks that offer you greater dividends! But when Matt Cutts offers you some piece of advice about SEO, it is like some betting tips coming from the race horses themselves! Recently, Matt Cutts, the head of the search spam department of Google, listed what he thinks are the top 5 SEO mistakes committed by SEO teams. Here’s what you shouldn’t do as a SEO team:
- Websites Matter: Websites that cannot be crawled by search engine crawlers and algorithms are as good as non-existent at all! Matt Cutts lists faulty websites as the numero uno mistake that SEO units can commit. With a website that cannot be crawled or no website at all (yes, he mentioned that as well!), your SEO is going nowhere.
- Wordy Matters: The right words, or precisely, keywords, are integral to the content of the website. You must choose keywords by studying and understanding the psychology of your targeted consumers instead of blindly following keyword trends. Take a moment to evaluate and think what your users will search with and then use those words in your content.
- Content Matters: Content of a website must be engaging and compelling. The content of a website has a far more important function to perform than link building or other traditional SEO practices. If you want to do well in the field of SEO, invest in great content and engage the attention of online users.
- Optimizing Each Page: It is important to optimize every single page of your website individually. Fix the title tags and descriptions of your most important web pages and optimize them on different keywords to stop cannibalizing among your web pages on SEO.
- Research: You cannot do without this as a SEO unit. Read continuously and keep yourself updated about Google and SEO trends. Changes in Google’s algorithms are not announced with much noise and fanfare! So, you have to keep your nose on the ground and sniff out updates about modifications made to search engine algorithms. Research is the key to understanding SEO and improving your own work.
Read about top on-page SEO tricks that work best.
SEO Mistakes from Client’s Side
There are some areas where the client’s mistake can cost the efforts of the SEO team. Here are some SEO mistakes the client can commit.
There are some areas where the client’s mistake can cost the efforts of the SEO team. The days when you thought that the client is always right are sadly over! In this age of the internet, you can find your well-laid SEO plans falling apart because the client has committed some blunders from their end. Let us make it clear at the very onset that this post is not being written with the dreadful assumption that all clients understand SEO. That cannot happen and that is why SEO teams are hired! With that possibility out of the way, let us look ahead at what mistakes the client can commit in the SEO scheme of things.
- Firstly, and probably the most basic mistake that clients can commit is not implementing the changes and modifications suggested by the SEO team. If you are hiring an SEO team for your business, you might as well implement the changes that they recommend! Otherwise the whole purpose of hiring an SEO team is defeated. The changes can be about your website, ongoing SEO initiatives or simply profile pages on social media marketing, if they are blended with SEO. As a client, carry out the changes recommended instantly and place that trust in your SEO team.
- Secondly, discuss the goal and objective of your SEO plan with your SEO team. The company’s aim is best known to the client. It is their job to share their vision with the SEO team so that both parties are on the same page. Any discrepancies here will mean that the team work will not kick in. The SEO team must not assume that because clients are less likely to understand SEO, there is no room for discussions. Always remember that the SEO plan is drafted keeping in mind the objectives that the company wants to achieve.
- Thirdly, do not abort SEO efforts because the results are not coming in as quickly as you might have wanted. Organic SEO takes time to take off and unless you are patient about it, you might as well forget about this arm of online marketing! There will be months gone before you begin to see the light of day! So be prepared for this and do not give up on your SEO idea too soon. Allow your SEO team to keep on working on it and the wait will be fruitful in the end.
Top 3 SEO Quick-fixes to Avoid
Know about the top 3 SEO quick fixes to avoid – SEO experts have exploited the loopholes and other inconsistencies in the search engine algorithms to try out black-hat strategies
There are quick-fixes for almost everything in this world if you are smart enough to pull it off! Believing this maxim, SEO experts have exploited the loopholes and other inconsistencies in the search engine algorithms to try out black-hat strategies and achieve success.
But with the rise of sophisticated technology, software and codes, quick-fixes are no more the order of the day. Your website can get into serious trouble with Google if you are caught at the shallow end of the SEO pool. There are some SEO quick-fixes that are suicidal for your online business and website. Here are the top 3 SEO quick-fixes that you should avoid:
Backlinks can get you into the top slots of SERP results and is looked upon as the few means by which a website can get ranked at the top in quick time. There are many companies out there selling you backlinks to make your SEO dream possible. Buy those links at your own risk! Google is particularly severe on websites buying backlinks to claw their way into SERP results. It is a much better idea to work your way in. It takes time but you won’t risk getting kicked out for good!
Related reading: How to build backlinks
SEO Mistakes: Links from PR Pages
This SEO quick-fix is more an extension of the first one. In this case, overzealous websites buy web links from high PR sites so that they get a greater number of online traffic in quicker time. The spurt in the online traffic will definitely boost your case with the Google SERP ranks till the search engine giant’s sophisticated codes crack your little game. Expect your website to be banned from Google’s search results and because Google is the number one player in the search engine domain, your online business will lose a large chunk of business revenue. Certainly not worth the penalty!
SEO Mistakes: Content Farming
This is a term for content churned out just for the purpose of feeding SEO streams. This kind of content is not written with the online readers in mind, but search engine algorithms. Packed with keywords to grab SEO ranks, content farming is a serious offence according to Google. The Panda of Google is particularly designed to catch hold of websites that use content farming material. A far wiser idea would be to get genuine web content on your website and for SEO purposes.
Mobile SEO Mistakes to Avoid
There is a lot of chatter all over about the rise and rise of mobile phones, and how it will all affect the SEO world. Google has already stated how you should have mobile-friendly websites if you are to stay in contention. So many brands these days have a mobile version of their original website. However, while browsing through these mobile sites, you will find several glaring mistakes. It is not enough that you cater to the mobile market during SEO, you should do it right to make the right impact.
The most common among SEO mistakes is definitely the time it takes for a mobile site to upload.
Stats say that 53% of your visitors will leave your site if the page doesn’t show up within 3 seconds! Yet, you end up uploading heavy pages. Ideally, you should have mobile pages that upload within the span of a single second. There are various ways in which you can cut down on the time it takes for a mobile page to load up. For example, cut down on 301 redirects and streamline the CSS and Java scripts. Optimizing the images on the website will help you too. Also you can start with AMP (Accelerated mobile pages)
The second common among SEO mistakes is to block the access of Google.
Often, mobile site owners end up blocking Google’s algorithms from entering their CSS scripts and HTML pages, including images. You have to treat the algorithms are your average user. Let them have unhindered access. Only then can your website grab rankings higher up in Google’s pecking order.
Popup ads in the mobile version of a website can be quite a pain in the wrong place.
You need to restrict the use of popup ads and interstitials. This will give a more transparent access of the mobile site to your users. People don’t like wasting time on popups anyway and they almost never click on them. You will rarely get any business revenue out of these popup ads, so why tamper the user experience of visitors which will get you brownie points with Google?
Videos are the future of digital marketing.
People watch videos across devices, like mobiles, tablets or computer screens. Mobile site owners should make optimum use of videos and other multimedia content. During this screening process, throw out videos that are too heavy on the bandwidth and consume uploading time. Some videos don’t play well across devices. You should work on them to increase their flexibility or remove them from the site. Keeping them will burden the site unnecessarily. Use embed feature of YouTube or Vimeo
Related reading: Guide to video marketing
can give you a clear heads-up on SERPs, even in the mobile domain. Correct, accurate and precise answers to queries always impress Google. You can use schema.org to provide answers to questions that are frequently asked in your domain of work. By using the markups of Schema or Structured Data, you can get yourself the cream of SEO juice in the form of organic CTR.
Not offering the coordinates of mobile viewports is among common SEO mistakes.
Mobile device users will not be able to view pages on their mobile devices in the correct aspect ratio if you don’t provide viewports in the meta tags. You should not use viewports that are inflexible and make the site viewable only on some particular devices. Additionally, if the viewport coordinates are set at a bare minimum, users with smaller mobile screens can barely see anything! You should address these issues if you want to be in the good books of Google.
Finally, a word on the mobile website designing needs to be said.
Design the mobile version of the site on a different template than its desktop version.
Sites look completely different on mobiles as opposed to desktops. The same kind of fonts or color, or even the use of the screen space, varies. What looks spacious on desktop screens may look cluttered on mobile devices. Ensure that your mobile version comply with the visual aesthetics for Google to take notice.
Develop and optimize the mobile version of your website with as much care and effort as the desktop edition. That should take care of most issues!
Mobile SEO Equally Important to Google
If you want to make use of Google to survive and expand your online marketing chapter, you need to pay heed to its rules as well. Google has made it abundantly clear in the recent past that mobile SEO is here with a bang and it is slated to stay on.
Internet marketers who took a step-motherly attitude towards mobile SEO as compared to SEO for computers have to change their thinking and approach. Without mobile friendly websites and content, your SEO will be severely hampered. An added incentive is the sharp and continued rise in the number of users who tune in to the internet through their cell phones.
Google has particularly pointed out the prevalence of wrong redirects for mobile users. It has often been noted that websites redirect users to irrelevant web pages simply because they don’t have a mobile-friendly equivalent to serve up. For example, if you are looking for LED TV on an online store and the website does not have a mobile-friendly web page for LED TV, the redirect goes to a page for TV or electronics or something similar. You don’t get what you are precisely looking for because a mobile-friendly web page is not there. Such redirects are not a good idea when it comes to Google.
Experts suggest a way out. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly page for a specific search from the user, show the computer-friendly web page itself on the mobile instead of redirecting to irrelevant pages. In the above example, since you don’t have a mobile-friendly page for LED TV, give the mobile user the LED TV page suited to a computer.
Of course, if you have the time and resource at your disposal, there is no better way than building up individual web pages tailored for cell phones. The same goes for videos and other web designing trappings. A good case in point is that iPhones cannot play Flash videos. Offer other compatible modes for online videos so that iphone users can watch them as well. It is equally important to test your mobile-friendly web pages for quality of content and web links.
Responsive Design for Mobile SEO
Responsive design is the best possible way in the existing web demography. Here is an insight on responsive design for mobile seo in this era of smart phones.
This is the era of tablets and smart phones. So, who would like to spend extra time in front of the computer? People are ready for news feeds on their mobile phones, tablets, etc. According to Yelp, around 40% of the net searches is done through mobile apps. Now nobody has a doubt that mobile devices will take over computer or laptops in web searches.
Gone are the days when people used to just predict the rule of mobile. Future is right here and the mobile is already ruling. Seeing this amazing popularity of mobile internet, Google recommended mobile websites. But much before that, opinions about mobile SEO started floating in. When Googlebot mobile got invented for smartphones, SEO specialists had long sessions of debate on numerous different ways to serve the mobile websites. Naturally, they went to the top of the list for mobile searches.
The different methods of Google’s recommendations to make mobile-compatible variations of a web page include:
- Get a new sub-domain for user-agents, for example, http://m.google.com/, etc.
- Make the site responsive (you can serve the same page with the help of an altered design by techniques like CSS 3 Media Queries)
- Give HTML output depending on the type of user-agent , e.g. desktop or mobile
Responsive design is probably the best possible way in the existing web demography. This lets you enjoy several benefits. But, the experts say that the best way to leverage mobile SEO is by having a different domain based on user-agent. While redirecting a user to the mobile version of a website based on a user agent you need to guide him/her through a few complicated steps. These steps include adding switchboard tag, using robots.txt, etc.
The responsive design helps you getting rid of such complexities and makes the process simpler. This helps in simple management of content, link juice and page authority is preserved. You need to keep a few things in mind for making the website mobile specific. It is important to keep keywords short. You will need to keep specifically the mobile users in mind. So, it is important to find out which keyword is driving traffic to the site. You will have to focus on them. Small tweaks can definitely yield more result for mobile SEO efforts.
Top 5 Mobile SEO Traps to Derail You
mobile SEO has derailed many projects and online companies. To steer clear of these mobile SEO traps, we have listed the top 5 mobile SEO traps.
In the context of online businesses, mobile devices have emerged as important, if not more, than desktop computers. Smartphones are the devices used by most to surf the internet and check out products and services. However, lack of technical knowledge about mobile SEO has derailed many projects and online companies. To steer clear of these mobile SEO traps, we have listed the top 5 mobile SEO traps that can derail your online project. Read on:
- Wrong Web Links: This error is common to both the websites built for computers and those specially created for Smartphones. Wrong redirects and broken web links can repel your mobile users from using your website. Nothing is more irritating for a mobile user than a web link that leads to the wrong web page.
- Faulty Videos: Many videos are there that are not playable on certain Smartphones. For example, you cannot play a Flash video on the iPhone without tripping over! This is a huge handicap for mobile SEO companies.
- Smartphone Errors: Due to technical problems, there are some mobile web pages that cannot be viewed on certain Smartphones. This is analogous to the 404 Error that you find on computers for those web pages that simply refuse to upload on to your computer screen. With this error blocking out the Smartphone screen for some mobile users, your mobile SEO division can fall short of required results.
- Invalid Cross Links: This problem is a slight variation of the first one listed here. Wrong web linking is dangerous for SEO in general and much more so for mobile SEO teams. Invalid or irrelevant web links have derailed many mobile SEO projects because the tolerance level of mobile users who visit wrong web pages is so low. Google is particularly severe on mobile SEO links that are wrongly cross linked.
- Sluggish Uploads: Mobile users have little time on their hands to go through slow web pages. They will quickly shut down the tab and move on to the next available option. Mobile SEO teams have to be particularly careful about slow web pages and unresponsive websites. Google is wary of such websites as well and slowness can affect your mobile SEO rankings.
Top 3 SEO Services that are Cheap but Dangerous
Today every online business venture with a website is into SEO. At least, what they think is SEO! To offer services to these companies, there are numerous dubious SEO firms, which have mushroomed in the last couple of years. With little of either experience or knowledge about search engine optimization, the SEO services offered by these companies are neither ethical nor effective. Your website will suffer terribly from their complete disregard of Google’s norms and though your website’s incoming traffic may show an initial spike, the damage done will be irreversible.
To warn you about these SEO companies, we have compiled here a list of the top 3 SEO services that are cheap but dangerous for your website and online brand. Read on:
- Add-ons by Hosting Company: You will find some website hosting companies offering to do the SEO bit for you other than hosting your site, in one small package deal. You jump at the offer and submit your website at their disposal. Utter disaster! What they do is use some automated software that plug keywords, resort to spamming and do everything that an online business cannot afford to do. Your website gets into the bad books of Google and you can never pull things back.
- SEO by Friends and Relatives: This is probably the worst on this list! There are friends and nephews, and cousins who claim to be ‘great’ with computers and tell you to hand over the SEO job to them. You doubt their SEO skills or domain knowledge but you find that their services come in dirt-cheap! You hire them. What do you find? They have zero accountability, skill or professionalism! Your SEO is very wayward and when you finally hire a professional team, you find that the scars are too prominent for comfort.
- Shady Offshore Firms: You will often find emails coming in from shady sources offering exorbitantly low rates for SEO services. These offshore SEO firms are beyond your legal purview anyway. You bring them on board to cut costs and get the SEO done. What they do is use automated tools to promote your website on Google: a strict no-no if you go by the guidelines of SEO. Your website is most likely to be banned by Google!