SEO is a topic that continues to evolve on an almost daily basis, making it hard for newbies to get started learning SEO. Unfortunately inexperience is becoming more costly than ever as Google has started to penalize certain SEO activities, but the basics have remained the same for a number of years now.
Below are 10 SEO mistakes that are commonly made which you should try to avoid.
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but don’t stuff keywords all over your website in an unnatural manner. By all means, use keywords if they fit, but if you’re using the same keyword over and over in a spammy manner, watch out for penalties.
Missing Title Tag
The title tag is an important element in SEO and sometimes gets forgotten. Use this title tag to describe your website in a natural way.
Not Optimizing Images
Don’t forget that traffic can come from Google Images. Appropriately naming your images and using alt tags is something you don’t want to overlook.
This is an old method and one you should avoid. Don’t create hidden text on your site, colored white so no one can see it. Google sees it and doesn’t like it!
Going Overboard with Backlinks
For a long time we have been told that backlinks are keys to high rankings. Today it’s only partially true. Go easy on backlinks and don’t do anything underhanded or spammy.
Trading links worked in the past, but it’s an old SEO method that has come and gone and shouldn’t be done anymore except in rare circumstances when it makes sense.
Missing Out on Social Media
Don’t forget social media in your SEO efforts. Google has said that “social media indicators” are important to them and they do affect your rankings.
Not Paying Attention to Internal Links
Links from various pages on your website are important. Make sure that if you are referencing material that is discussed elsewhere on your website, that you link users to that section, just don’t overdo it.
URL Structure Matters
When creating your URL structure, use page URLs that are descriptive of your content. Page URLS like www.mycompany.com/pid?=30r80934u vs www.mycompany.com/yellow-widgets, the latter being a great title for SEO purposes if that page is about “yellow widgets.”
Reading Old SEO Blogs
This can be quite damaging. You have to get your information from somewhere, but watch out for the posted date on the information you are reading. If it was posted more than 6-12 months ago, it’s a good idea to find a newer source of SEO info as methods change.
The tips above are the most common mistakes that SEO newbies makes and ways to avoid them. SEO is in some cases a trial and error type of industry. Sometimes you just have to try things out to see what works and what doesn’t, but remember that you need to keep up on SEO initiatives because they can change over the course of weeks or months.
Do you have and SEO mistakes that you made when you were new? Tell us about it.
Kole McRae is the Internet Intermediate Marketer for Toronto based SEO & web design firm, 9th Sphere.