Search engine optimization is certainly a discipline that sends waves of excitement particularly to new players in internet marketing. This is because singlehandedly, SEO can take you from the bottom of the pack in terms of rankings all the way to the top. With the huge potentials that SEO has, getting to page one of search engine results is the desire of every upcoming and established SEO professional.
That being said, SEO is much more than keyword research because irrespective of the search phrases that you come up with, it is possible to see your site struggling. There are behavioral as well as hands-on approaches you need to pursue to get to the top. In the discussion below, I will highlight a number of SEO mistakes and how to avoid them on your way to the top.
Ignoring Local Search
If your business targets customers within a certain locality such as a city, state or region, not optimizing for local search is a sure recipe for failure. Local search keywords are handled differently by search engines and hence the need to include region-specific keywords in your meta descriptions and page titles. Also, do not forget to include your local phone number and address on your site headers and footers because this matters to search engines.
Using Generic Meta Descriptions and Title Tags
It is a damaging mistake to use your company or website name as the title for each of your pages. Lack of uniqueness is not only detrimental to your brand, but also inappropriate for SEO purposes. Since your page titles are tweeted, bookmarked, and shared, having a unique title is very important. Let every page have a title and meta description corresponding to the content written on it.
Creating Sub-Standard and Duplicate Content
Search engines feed on content and the more unique it is, the more relevance your page or site will be to Google. Your content should be balanced between graphics and text. Adding videos can also make it interactive. Do not duplicate your content because this can land you in Google’s sandbox.
Prioritizing Link Quantity Instead of Quality
Links are more or less like votes and the more quality links you have, the greater the number of votes you get. A single link from a popular blog or site is worth more to search engines than hundreds or thousands of low quality spammy links. Inasmuch as they are harder to get, quality links are the way to go.
Abandoning Anchor Text in Internal Links
For navigation purposes, your internal link strategy needs to be smooth to facilitate your traffic moving from one point to another within your site. From the homepage, traffic should be able to click and be taken to the internal pages without a hassle. Using appropriate anchor texts can give you an advantage over a competitor who is not using them.
Using Wrong Keywords
This is the same as giving the wrong signal in a highway to incoming traffic. Knowing the keywords to target will position your site as an authority in the niche you are operating in. Long tail keywords are much more preferred than short tail ones.
Analytics give you lots of information about traffic, where it is coming from, and how it interacts with your site. This is important for conversion purposes. By ignoring these analytics, you may not know the keywords to target, who your competitors are and how to optimize your site to attract more traffic.
These are just a few of the common mistakes people make in SEO. Do you know of any other ways people blunder in SEO? Kindly share your story.