SEO. It’s the buzzword of this half of the century. It’s also one of the most muddled and slightly confusing topics on the internet.
But the actual act of search engine optimization isn’t that confusing at all. It’s just been a moving target for so long that information about SEO is plentiful and varied.
But, that’s okay. The real information is available from SEO masters around the web willing to share their knowledge.
1. Conflating Causation With Correlation Is A Massive SEO Mistake
You can extrapolate what happens under Google’s hood when it comes to SEO. But it takes an understanding of what constitutes actual proof. Same goes for your local SEO analytics.
See, the problem with mankind is that we want to have a cause for everything. And thus we jump to conclusions. We say that walking under a ladder of crossing paths with a black cat caused you to break your leg later in the day.
Don’t assume that if some major break happens around the same time as you made a minor change to your method that the method change caused the major break.
2. You Fail To Reciprocate Links
One of those pesky SEO mistakes a lot of newbie makes: ignoring inbound links.
Yay! You got a backlink!
And then go back to what you were doing. Oblivious of the potential.
Bad webmaster! Bad!
You need to follow up on those links. Find out where they lead. Then try to link back to their page. There’s SEO juice in there somewhere. Suck it out! Suck that SEO marrow from their bones.
3. Ignoring Your Homepage
While you should never ever focus all your effort on your homepage (That would be another SEO mistake.) you shouldn’t forget about your homepage when it comes to SEO.
Since a lot of people already include keywords as their business title, their homepage will probably already be slightly search optimized. But, according to Michiel Heijmans at Yoast, you should optimize the page for SEO related things. Things like focusing your homepage title on your brand name. Structuring your menu. Declutter links on your homepage. Etc.
4. Ignoring Free Tools
FREE! Need we say more? Ok. We’ll say more.
There’s always the customary Google AdWords Keyword Planner. And a host of other free tools available. So avail yourself of the free stuff. Everybody loves free stuff! Don’t deny yourself.
5. Ignoring Free Web Hosting
We might be sounding like a broken record now, but free web hosting. It can’t get much sweeter than this. This means you can build a website with very little capital. When in the history of mankind could you build a business without taking out a loan or using some of your own money?
You can have a WordPress blog for nothing. Literally. It takes only your time to set one up. Blogger.com is another place to go for free web hosting.
6. Getting Technical
You’re not giving a presentation to a bunch of engineers who will know the in’s and out’s of your product. Unless you’re a true niche service aimed at a niche audience. Even then, people want readable or scannable content. Especially engineers who had to read dense content all day long at work.
You have to communicate naturally. And that means natural sounding content on your page. Not doing this is in the list of egregious SEO mistakes.
7. “Broad Match”
Most software defaults to something. Most people don’t use the default. We’re personable. We’re also wise.
Google Adwords Keyword Planner defaults to “Broad Match.” This might give you a lot of matches. But it’s completely useless. You want exact matches. You want good information. “Exact Mode” is where you want to be when using the AdWords Keyword Planner.
8. Internal Linking Like A Boss…Or Not
You’re full of yourself if you think people want to constantly loop back to your page. Yeah. Sure. You probably have great content to share. But people have things to do.
Two or three internal links per page are enough. Don’t go overboard. People will quickly cry “spam”! And so will the Google bots. If you do. Or not. It’s not on us if you make that SEO mistake now that you know.
9. Trusting The Googles
Google is really well intentioned in creating webmaster tools for you to use. And you certainly want to take advantage of all the free you can get. But don’t drink the Kool-Aid just yet. Check it against other free tools. You need multiple perspectives on a problem to solve it sometimes. And when it comes to SEO, it’s not a mistake to check things against several sources.
10. Using The Same Link Text OVER AND OVER AND OVER
Yes, we were yelling there at the end of that title. Just…don’t. Really. It looks bad.
11. Being Powerless On Social Media
Have you ever gotten a friend request on Facebook from someone who just joined the site only a few days ago? Yeah. That’s what being powerless on social media (SEO wise) looks like. This is one of those rookie SEO mistakes.
Relying on your brand new social media presence to get you social media signals is doomed to failure. Not that you shouldn’t start creating a social media presence. But, until you have followers and reach, you should look to other more powerful users in your niche to link back to your content.
12. Not Fixing Broken Links Is The Worst Of All SEO Mistakes
You should be constantly checking your site for broken links. These things will seriously sink you like an ape in the ocean.
Check for broken links daily. You won’t regret this small extra step.
Conclusion: SEO Mistakes Are Common
These aren’t myths. They are real mistakes you can make. Avoid them at all costs and you’ll do just fine.
Thankfully, out of the many sources out there, you can, every once in a while, find a legitimate source. May your SEO juice always flow and your days be merry.
Any questions come up? Reach out to us. We’re here for you.