It’s easy to make SEO mistakes as a Webmaster because SEO is constantly changing. Between new algorithm updates and constant upgraded tools and expert tips, SEO can be an overwhelming (yet very important) aspect of your business. It’s important to understand some of the most common SEO mistakes that Webmasters are making today so that you can either A). Avoid the mistakes altogether, or B). Learn how to recover quickly so you don’t fall too far behind.
The Most Recent Top 5 SEO Mistakes According to Cutts
One person who understands SEO better than anyone is Matt Cutts, head of Google Webspam team. Cutts is the one to talks to the public about different aspects of SEO. Whenever there is a change made in the Google world, Cutts is the one to announce it and try and help Webmasters adapt. By creating short videos, Webmasters can get a peek into the minds of those behind the search engine they’re trying to impress.
Just a few weeks ago, Cutts created a video that listed off the top 5 SEO mistakes that Webmasters make. The five mistakes he discussed include:
Your Website Isn’t Crawlable. This is the biggest mistake that he sees. It’s important to click around your website and make sure that you can easily find all the pages on your website and nothing is hidden. If your website isn’t crawlable, that means that the Google bots will not be able to easily index your pages.
Right Words Not Included On the Page. You want to make sure that the words on your page are the words that people are going to actually search for. Examples: If you’re a restaurant, put your menu on the page; if you are a site that focuses on facts, put a few questions on the page because people are going to search for questions.
Not Thinking about Compelling Content and Marketing. Cutts explains that people are too concerned with thinking about link building. The key is to give users a reason to want to read your content, and then focus on other avenues of marketing such as reaching out in the community, paying for marketing, billboards, etc.
Forgetting the Title and Description of Your Important Pages. Make sure you’re paying attention to things like your homepage. Your description is also what shows up in your snippet, so you want something engaging. The problem here is that people don’t want to do this on every single page, and that’s OK; however it is important for your high traffic pages.
Not Using Webmaster Resources. There are tons of free resources out there to learn about SEO including a Webmaster forum, blogs and many Webmaster videos, as well as seminars and conferences you can pay for to really take your SEO to the next level.
Below is the Cutts video if you’d like to watch it for yourself:
The Other Top 5 SEO Mistakes Not to Forget
Of course, there are a few older SEO mistakes that many companies are still making. Although Cutts didn’t mention these this time around, the problems have certainly been addressed in the past. Below are the last Top 5 “classic” SEO mistakes that Webmasters should keep in mind:
Over Optimizing Pages. It’s very easy to get caught up in the SEO hype and over-optimize your website. This usually happens by using too many keywords on a page, which then makes for poor quality content that users won’t want to read (and in the end, Google will probably catch-on as well).
No Canonical Redirect. If you do not add in the rel=canonical tag you risk being flagged for duplicate content. It’s important you understand how to use 301 redirects correctly so that you do not get penalized and see a drop in SERP rankings.
Hiring a Poor SEO Agency. Too many companies are still falling for the “number 1 ranking after two weeks or your money back” scam. This isn’t a technical SEO mistake, but it’s a mistake that seriously affects your SEO. There should be no guarantees when it comes to SEO success, and allowing someone to come into your site with this promise is dangerous. Not only will you not get the results you want, but your site could become connected to link farms and other black hat tactics that will send you into recovery mode.
Internal Anchor Text Mistakes. Choosing the right anchor text is important because it helps search engine bots understand what your link is actually about; thus helping them rank your site for that keyword term. Using anchor texts like “more” or “here” aren’t ideal (particularly if you’re referring to your own website).
Too Much Internal Linking. Internal linking is a great way to help users navigate around your website, but there is such a thing as too much internal linking. Try to limit yourself to one or two links every 500 words. Google and users will appreciate this control.
Amanda DiSilvestro is a graduate of Illinois State University. Although she graduated with an English Education degree, she found herself working as a full-time blogger in the SEO/social media department at HigherVisibility.com. Connect with HigherVisibility on Google+ and Twitter to learn more!
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