Top Common SEO Mistakes You Should Avoid

On December 1, 2009, wrote:

Hard-pressed for time and money? That doesn’t excuse you from doing SEO. Now that small and medium businesses all over the world are learning the nuances of search engine optimization and paying greater attention to search marketing, you can’t let yourself fall behind. You’ve got to work hard – and work smart. Don’t make these common SEO mistakes that usually cost a lot of time and money.
SEO Mistakes Image via SEO Tips

Targeting Too Many Keywords in One Page

SEO is not about stuffing; it’s about sharpening your focus. When creating new pages or publishing new content, remember that – while targeting a lot of keywords is a noble intention – targeting a lot of keywords and trying to hit them all with a single dart is not necessary. Create unique content-rich pages, and make each of them target unique keywords. That way, you consolidate the focus of your SEO efforts. And you build the foundation of an optimized site whose rich content can bring in targeted traffic.

Hiding Secret Keywords

By “in secret” we mean stuffing keywords in meta tags, image alt tags, and page footers, or hiding keywords in lightly-colored or hidden text. That won’t work, and should be just as useless as “buying” 5,000 links or submitting to 10,000 search engines and directories. This isn’t SEO. You know what it’s called? Spam.

Forgetting the Basics

Some businesses, Internet marketers, and SEO specialists think they can get away with the basics. But things like bolding your keywords, using them in block quotes or bullets, building internal links, and other techniques taught in SEO 101: their effects might not be drastic, but taken collectively, they contribute to increasing and reinforcing the keyword relevance of your website.

Geo Target Your Website

The world is flat and on the web you have can have a reach across the globe, but in small businesses like yours will inevitably be part of a locale. So when optimizing, target keywords that aren’t too general; look for words of phrases that use local or regional references. The person Googling “rent apartment” is different from the person looking for “budget apartment rentals in Chicago”. Go for the latter.

Ignore Usability

Yes, as long as search engines can crawl your site, you will be OK, right? Perhaps. But search engines won’t bring you closer to conversion. Usability will. Again, we’re talking about SEO fundamentals. Proper site structures, easy navigation, and descriptive, persuasive content: these are all elements that are good not only for search engines, but also for individual users.

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What do you think? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

8 responses to “Top Common SEO Mistakes You Should Avoid”

  1. Brant Walker says:

    Have you checked out the first link checker tool? I think it could really help your SEO efforts.

  2. sue says:

    Thanks for the very helpful information. I enjoyed reading your article and I have learned a lot about SEO. Staying tuned for more.

  3. Chris Campbell says:

    Thanks Brant I will check it out, we will be posting a post on SEO tools this week- I will see if it makes the cut.

  4. Chris Campbell says:

    Michael I could not agree more, making sure your website has a focus on usability for your users is critical for your websites success.

  5. Michael says:

    Good article, Chris. Another SEO mistake I like to mention is failing to factor in the business side of SEO. You need to objectively evaluate how your website effects your customers and remember that ultimately most websites are there to sell things, not simply to rank well. I like to think of this as a problem similar to the “forgetting that your website is for human” mistake some people make. An example of this would be to make small trade offs in SEO for branding purposes or improved user experience.


  6. Mike says:

    Good job keep it up!

  7. Hipson Wisely says:

    Anyway, once a again a great post and worth a bookmark and from me thank you.

  8. Walter says:

    I am definitely bookmarking this page and sharing it with my friends.


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