8 SEO Mistakes to Avoid
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, I hope you’ll have picked up a number of great tips to improve the SEO of your website, from how to successfully build backlinks to using social media to your advantage.
However, while it’s undoubtedly important to know all the good things you should be doing, it’s equally, if not more important to know what you should be avoiding at all costs.
With that in mind, here are my top SEO mistakes you should avoid:
1 Paying for links
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Never, ever pay for links. However cheap they are, however ‘high quality‘ they claim to be, they will ultimately do your website more harm than good. Just don’t do it!
2 Publishing Poor Content
This should speak for itself, but unfortunately some webmasters still seem to think that any old content is better than no content. That’s simply not true. Google is massively user (ie: searcher) focused. If you are publishing content that nobody wants to read, why would Google help promote it?
Ensure that everything you publish is high quality, relevant, current, and above all, unique. Check and double check there are no silly grammatical or spelling errors. Review all your links and make sure they point to the right place before hitting publish. Aim to write quality, readable content that your visitors will enjoy and work in your keywords afterwards so they flow naturally into the piece.
3 Publishing Plagiarised Content
Never, ever ‘lift’ content from another site. You will get found out, and you will be penalised. Moreover, if your readers happen to also read the site you copy from, they will make the link themselves and your site will instantly lose credibility.
The same goes for re-writing someone else’s copy and just changing a few words, or even re-writing content of your own with a few minor changes and using as ‘new’ material. It’s a big no-no, so don’t be tempted!
4 Overusing Keywords
Yes, keywords are important, and yes, when used properly they can be an invaluable part of your SEO strategy, but you can have too much of a good thing!
If you post an article that is a blatant stream of keywords, stuffed so tightly that the resulting text makes little sense to the reader, that’s overkill and it won’t go down well – with your readers or with Google!
As I mentioned above, keywords should be a secondary concern. If you are writing high quality content that’s relevant to your readers, keywords should fall into place naturally.
5 Underuse of Keywords
As bad as an overuse of keywords can be, a complete lack of them is no good either! If you’ve written a great article on a relevant subject, be sure that it includes at least one keyword per 100-150 words. If it doesn’t, edit so that it does, while staying natural.
6 Using the Wrong Keywords
If you’ve been chasing the same keywords for months and aren’t seeing results, perhaps it’s time to review. Google’s keyword tool is a great way to find suggestions and work out phrases people are actually searching for. Work that out, and you can target the right keywords, not the ones you think are right! Also, be sure to mix it up. Don’t limit yourself the same half a dozen keywords in every article you write, aim for a widespread range of content within your niche for greater flexibility and exposure.
7 Obsessing over Backlinks
Yes, backlinks are important. And yes, part of your SEO strategy should be building them, or more specifically, implementing procedures to help them build naturally. But, backlinks alone are not a solid SEO plan!
Your most important concern should be your readers – current and potential. You need to concentrate on building a fantastic website filled with excellent, useful, shareable content. A quality site that people will come to, enjoy, bookmark and share.
If you can do that, chances are you’ll also create the most natural portfolio of backlinks in the process.
8 Being Inconsistent
SEO is not a one time job. In fact, there is absolutely no point in optimising your website once if you have no intention of maintaining it regularly.
SEO should be a consistant effort. You need to make time to keep an eye on your own statistics, and on the competition. You need to track what’s working and what’s not. You need to engage on social media networks. You need to continue publishing fresh new content. You need to drive new traffic to your site while maintaining the attention of your existing readers.
Your SEO efforts should be as much a part of your business routine as checking your emails. That means implementing a strategy that works for you, one that you can keep up with on an ongoing basis. Whether you allocate half an hour or three hours a week, be clear on what you want to achieve in that time and make sure you do so, week in, week out. Consistency is key.
Are you guilty of any of these mistakes? Don’t panic if you are, they’re more common than you might think! If I can help get you back on the right track, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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