We’ve said it time and time again – search engine optimization is absolutely critical if a business is to be successful online. Yet, so many businesses opt to try SEO on their own and fail, either because of lack of adequate understanding of the various techniques, or simply making mistakes. Here are 5 common SEO mistakes that will help you identify whether your business’s web marketing efforts are missing the mark.
Bad Quality or Duplicate Content – It’s incredibly tempting to “borrow” content from another source online and use it for your own blog or website, but it will hurt your ranking in the end, so it’s not worth it. Additionally, producing less-than-stellar content will likely result in any traffic you do manage to get leaving as quickly as they came. These days, Google is really cracking down on stuff like this, so be careful that your content is original and of good quality.
Wrong Keywords – Just using keywords in the right places isn’t what makes SEO successful. It’s more important to make sure the keywords you’re using are right for your niche. Otherwise you’ll be wasting your time. Make sure you do your homework and remember that it’s not what sounds good to you, but it’s what your target audience will be looking for. If you’re stuck for ideas, try looking into what your closest competitors are using.
Keyword Overload – Another mistake many well-intentioned business owners make once they have their list of targeted keywords is go crazy putting them anywhere and everywhere on their website. Keyword stuffing is not only frowned upon by the search engines, but if your content is obviously overloaded, it’s not going to read well and that means you won’t be getting too much repeat traffic.
Forgetting to Crosslink – Internal linking from one page on your website to others plays an important role in your site’s authority in the eyes of the search engines. This can be done by simply offering links to other similar blog posts at the end of an article, or including relevant links to different areas of your website throughout your content. By doing this, you will keep people on your website longer, which shows the search engines your site has information that visitors like, and will ultimately help your ranking.
Quantity Over Quality for Backlinks – Yes, it’s important to get other sites to link back to yours, but just like with keywords, too much can actually hurt you in the long run. It’s not so much about getting a ton of links as it is about getting a few quality links from established sites that have good page rank. These links add authority to your site – a key component of the algorithm that determines where your site ranks on the search engines.
SEO is important, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. If you’re committing any of the mistakes listed above, make an adjustment as quickly as possible to get back on track. You may also want to consider consulting with a professional web marketing firm to develop and implement an SEO strategy that will hit the target every time and get results.