When I first started building websites of my own many moons ago, I read almost everything I could lay my hands on about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I could foresee the importance of search engines then and wanted to be ahead of competition. Soon, I knew by heart the methods needed to improve my websites’ search engine rankings by leaps and bounds, or so I thought.
Unfortunately, not all my websites were able to achieve great SEO as well as I had desired. Some websites were ranked pretty high and were sitting on the first page of search engine results for years; while others did not even make it to page two. Looking back, I saw that I had committed countless mistakes in my quest to SEO my websites. And through the years, I had learned from my mistakes and had managed to put these websites back on track, though it did take some time. Today, I have put together a list of 5 common SEO mistakes to be careful of, that I would be sharing with you, so you don’t have to learn it the hard way like I did.
Mistake #1: Wrong Keywords
Choosing the appropriate keywords is the most important part of the SEO process and yet the most common SEO mistake ever. Most webmasters, regardless of beginners or experts, commit the crime of applying keywords that THEY think best suit the website, instead of what keywords the search engine users pick to look for information offered by these websites. Most of them failed to realize that their keywords are not necessarily the ones that their targeted readers choose to search with. So do ensure that you do keywords research first and one way of doing so is through Google’s free Google Keyword Tool.
A tip here is to concentrate on keywords that have lesser competition and higher monthly searches. This way, you get less competitive sites but comparatively higher traffic, thus elevating your chances of ranking high in the results page.
Mistake #2: Keywords Saturation
I’m sure you have come across some sites which seemed to be saturated with the same keywords. Some webmasters believe that by stuffing the website with the keywords over and over again, the search engines would be able to detect them better. While this may hold some truth few years ago, it is not the case these days. In fact, most popular search engines today would penalize websites that have excessive keywords and poor content.
Regardless of whether it was done intentionally or unintentionally, cramming keywords in the websites or articles should be avoided. Do ensure that you produce quality articles and not quantity keywords only!
Mistake #3: Duplicating Content
Seen an article in another website and think that it’s so well written that you are tempted to just “borrow” it for your website? Don’t even think about it. Not only would search engines drop your site from being indexed but you would also be committing the ultimate crime in writing i.e. plagiarism. It is not worth the trouble.
You may be able to get away with it once or twice but what happens after that? You have to think long term and you definitely have to put in the effort.
It is not easy to come up with quality articles and sometimes you may encountered writer’s block but do persevere through it and your readers will come to appreciate it. So will the search engines.
Mistake #4: Not Doing Any Site-keeping
Like housekeeping, you have to consistently monitor and manage your website’s SEO progress. This is because search engines are changing their algorithms every so often and in order to maintain your high ranking, you would need to constantly put in SEO efforts besides updating your websites.
Mistake #5: Using Black Hat Techniques
Most people are tempted by the less-effort and quick-result offered by black hat SEO techniques like invisible text, doorway pages and overstuffed unrelated keywords. These are short-term and therefore, should be avoided. Bear in mind that search engines are improving their techniques too and will heavily penalize websites found to be using black hat techniques. Do not every use any black hat SEO techniques!
While many knew about the importance of SEO in generating traffic to a website, not many would take the trouble to SEO their websites. But if you are serious about internet marketing, I suggest that you put in the effort to learn more about SEO as well as the above list of mistakes to be careful of. Armed with this knowledge, you would be able to build a great SEO strategy and with some patience and effort, your website would soon be ranking high in search engines results.