Top 10 Most Common SEO Mistakes with Solutions!
The Most Common SEO Mistakes Broken Down!
There are many common SEO mistakes made today that many people may not be aware of. Google and other major search engine’s are on a mission to give quality and relevance to their search queries, so getting this under control will help boost your SEO rankings.
Nobody is expected to know every detail that will work without trial and error, but the following are proven techniques to either avoid or implement to your site to boost traffic.
1. Poor or Duplicate Content – Through the Google Panda Update, Google is coming down hard on sites that don’t provide original or quality content. In the past, there have been too many loopholes to where people just copy and paste somebody else’s hard work to call their own and their rankings move up… Not anymore!
“This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.” (Source: Google Blog)
Don’t find yourself copying other people’s work, create original content on your own that has user value and you will be rewarded.
2. Targeting the Wrong Keywords – this is a mistake that many people make by targeting keyword phrases that sound good to them, but may not be relevant to their content.
As mentioned in the opening, the Google Panda Update is on a mission to provide the most relevant content to their search queries, so if you choose and optimize for a keyword phrase that doesn’t fit your industry, and your content doesn’t support the keyword phrase, then you are up a creek without a paddle as it is said.
There is also the other side of the coin… keyword phrases that you think fit your content, but the phrase is not used by searchers. Considering that proper keyword research can make or break your SEO campaign, it would be in your best interest to learn all you can on the subject of proper keyword research. An article that I recently wrote can help shed some light on this subject… How to Do Proper Keyword Research and Analysis!
3. Keyword Stuffing – this is a term used when a person over optimizes their content through the use of repeating the keyword phrase too many times. Keywords are very important to SEO, but their overuse can harm your rankings and quite possibly get you penalized.
The repeating of the keyword phrase over and over was a technique that worked well a while back, but search engines have evolved knowing that the results are not usually of high quality.
The continual practice of doing this may earn you a penalty or worse case scenario, get your site blacklisted which means you won’t find your site in the search engine results pages anymore, it will have been removed from their index database.
If you have the SEOPressor Plugin for your WordPress based site, you need to be warned that improper use of this tool can get you the results mentioned above… to understand more clearly what I am referring to, please read the following article The SEOPressor Plugin – Priceless or Dangerous!
4. Not Cross Linking – cross linking, also known as internal linking, is a method to link relevant pages together. This simple method will help reduce your bounce rate (something that the Google Panda Update takes into consideration) which will show search engines that your site has important information that readers like, because they spend a lot of time on your site.
Cross linking will also help boost other pages within your site by allowing some link juice to pass on to the linked pages, spreading the love as some say. This is often an overlooked task but should become a common practice, and can be looked at in this way… if you have mentioned something relevant to your article that you have previously written about, link to it.
5. Using the Same Title on Multiple Pages – If you have read my article about Title Tags, you will know that the title tag is by far one of the most important factors that will help your rankings increase. Google and other search engines use this tag to determine what your page is all about, and of course relevancy is also the key.
Each Title Tag needs to be unique… if you have many of your title tags identical, the search engines will see them as similar and can quite possibly put a damper on your rankings. Also, remember to make sure that your title contains your main keyword phrase.
For bloggers, don’t mistake the Title Tag as your main article headline, because it is not. The title tag is the wording that will show at the top of your browser and is also what will show in the search engines results pages as the Title and Link to your content.
Of course, if you don’t have a plugin that allows you to type a unique title, the WordPress-based site will automatically put the article headline as your title tag.
6. The Lack of Authority – there are many sites out there that write about anything and everything and aren’t an expert in any certain field. If you are not an expert for any particular subject then why would search engines want to send searchers to your site?
The search engines would like to send their searched queries to experts that are classified as an authority in the field of the searched phrase, not a ‘Jack of All Trades’ type of site.
If you have the tendancy to write about many different topics then don’t expect much traffic from the search engines, you would most likely be classified as a personal website or blog, not an authority site. I personally know of a few people that write about many different subjects, but it all leads to the same topic and conclusion, Network Marketing.
7. Backlinks with Little or No Value – Similar to keywords, backlinks are a very important factor for your SEO Campaign. Links from sites that are not within your site’s theme or are of poor quality do not matter much to your site.
Links are a form of ‘Vote’ for your website and as such it makes sense to have backlinks that come from a site that is within the same niche as your site. Links that lead back to your site that don’t use anchor text to describe what the content is all about, is of little value also.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… 1 inbound link from a high quality, high ranking authority site is worth more than 100 backlinks from low quality, low ranking websites.
8. Buying BackLinks – the above comments leads me to this next one… paid links. There are many people out there that know the importance of backlinks for SEO, so they are willing to pay for the inbound links to boost their SEO. Don’t Do it!
The Google Panda Update set out to remove this from the equation by getting rid of Link Farms, so think about this for a minute… The search engines would like to level the playing field, so Google and other search engines look at a person buying backlinks to boost their SEO as a form of cheating.
For those of you that have money to burn, if you decide to purchase backlinks for your SEO Campaign, don’t expect mercy if you find your site blacklisted.
9. Importance of the URL Structure – having your URL structure relevant to the content contained is an important factor for your SEO Campaign. The search engines and your visitors can look at this URL structure and in many cases determine association with your content.
Just as it makes sense to have keyword phrases within your content, it also makes sense to have your URL structure named after your main keyword phrase that you are shooting for… look in the address bar for this page, all the extra wording is not necessary.
10. Not Using the Alt Tag – there are many out there that leave this blank and don’t even realize they are doing it. To start with, naming your image using your keyword phrase is a good practice (separate your words with dashes, not spaces), but also using the Alt tag is a part of best SEO practices.
The search engines cannot read your images, so when you fill in the Alt Tag it represents to the search engines what the image is all about. This Alt tag should be a short descriptive phrase about the image and should include your main keyword phrase if possible.
When you add an image in your WordPress back office area, there is a box for the Alt tag that you can fill in… look at it this way, worst case scenario it is extra wording with your keyword phrase in there which can help your search engine rankings. If you have multiple images, make sure you don’t repeat the same descriptive phrase unless the image is the same.
Closing Comments about Common Yet Overlooked SEO Mistakes!
I felt compelled to give you a Bonus… this is a common SEO mistake that I come across in my daily routine with my On Page Optimization services. I feel that Bonus #11 is very important to your SEO campaign, and will help aid in higher rankings.
OK, Your BONUS #11 – The Use of Header Tags – although this is my last common SEO mistake that is often overlooked, it is an important one. The heading tags, h1, h2, h3 etc, act as a hierarchical used to outline and highlight what the content on your page is all about.
The search engines also weigh the heading tags with a little more juice during their ranking process to give you greater chances at being found in the search engine results pages.
A great ‘Heading Tag’ tutorial can be found at the following address: HTML Header Tags to Structure Your Content!
Another BONUS For Those that Use the SEOPressor Plugin
If you use the SEOPressor Plugin, be aware that your main Article Headline is most likely your ‘H1’ tag and does not need to be repeated within your content. If you have the latest version of the SEOPressor tool, you will have the option to put a check mark next to the h1 tag so the SEOPressor Score will take it into consideration.
There is a way you can find out if your article headline uses the h1 tag… for the Firefox browser, right click while on an article, click ‘View Page Source’, then press the key Ctrl + F at the same time on your keyboard and a little box that say ‘Find’ will appear, type ‘h1’ in the box and click ‘Next’.
If your browser highlights the ‘h1′ tag and your article headline is within the h1 tags you are golden and SEOPressor should not talk you in to adding the h1 tag within your article. This method to find the h1 tag should work similar if you use Internet Explorer or Chrome, etc.
For a Similar Article that can HELP Boost Your On Page Optimization Rankings, follow the Link for the: TOP 10 On Page Optimizing Factors to NEVER Forget!
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About the Author (Author Profile)
John Engle, known as ‘The Blog Optimizer’, is a Search Engine Optimization Blogging Specialist Taking SEO by Storm! He Specializes in Keyword Research and On Page Optimization. If You are a Busy Entrepreneur that Would Rather Concentrate on What You Do Best, Leave the Keyword Research and Optimization to an SEO Specialist, Hire John as Your SEO Blog Post, On Page Optimizing Specialist.