Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a confusing subject with sometimes contradictory advices from different experts. Techniques are not easily testable for validity. Plus Google’s search algorithm is a tightly held secret. So it is not surprising that many SEO mistakes are often made. SEO mistakes cost you both, time and money.
TOP 5 SEO MISTAKES
1. Duplicate Content
The worst mistake you can make when building a web page is using duplicate content. If you have the same content on another site – don’t use it. If you are purchasing PLR content, don’t use it as is. Take the time to rewrite it. If you’re buying PLR, it’s always a good idea to run it through Copyscape. Then you can see where other webmasters are using this content.
This step does two things;
Duplicate content is your worst enemy as a webmaster, and might just keep your site from being found in the search engines. Search engines love well written, original content. If you’re not a writer, it may be worth hiring one to take care of this aspect of your site for you.
2. Using the website name as the Title Tag text
Many sites make the mistake of using the site name as the title tag for each and every page of the site. The words in the title tag are looked at very closely by search engines. Therefore, it is important for the title tag to contain search keywords that are relevant to the particular page. A good approach is to use the article title of the webpage as the title tag. And construct the article title to contain search keywords.
Since each page of your site typically talks about different topics. The title tag of each page should be different for each page. A page about how to feed goldfishes should have a title tag “Feeding Goldfishes”. Another page on the site about the different varieties of goldfishes should have the title tag “Types of Goldfishes”.
The title tag of each page should not all be the site name. The title tags of the pages should not be “ABC Online Goldfish Store”.
It is not necessary to have the website name in the title tag. But if you choose to have it, put it at the end of the title after the keyword relevant title. So “Feeding Goldfishes – ABC Online Goldfish Store” is acceptable. But “ABC Online Goldfish Store – Feeding Goldfishes” is not as good. This is another mistake. Search engines give more weight to the words at the beginning of the title.
Use a unique, keyword based title for each individual page on your site.
3. Having more than one H1 tag on a page
The H1 tag is to denote the main primary heading of a web article. Understandably, some articles will make several points and hence have several headings. But make these subheadings and use H2. Come up with a single primary heading that uses the H1 that encompasses all the sub-points.
Many people think that since search engines give more weight to H1 than to H2, so they over use the H1. We feel that this is a mistake. If your page has ten H1 headings, that will look pretty suspicious to search engines. A better approach would be to have ten H2 headings and then construct one over-encompassing H1 heading. Search engines will look at H2 headings and it does give it weight. So this approach is preferred.
4. Failure to use keywords in the Anchor Link Text
Many people correctly realize that backlinks to a webpage is an important aspect of SEO. But the link text is quite significant as well. The link text is the underline text on the page that is the words of the link. If the your page is about cell phones, then other sites should ideally be linking to you using the words “cell phones” as in the sentence “Learn more about cell phones”. It is a mistake to link the word “Click here” as in the sentence “Click here to learn more about cell phones”.
Be sure to take a good hard look at your anchor link text. It should be targeting high quality long tail keywords that have been well researched – high search volume, low competition.
5. Failure to have a Sitemap
Search engines have a lot of work to do processing indexing every single page on the Internet over and over again. You will be rewarded if you make it easy for search engines to do its job. It your site has a sitemap, the search engine goes straight to the sitemap and can easily detect when you have added a new page. And it can easily navigate through all the other existing pages to see which one had changed.
Without a sitemap, a search engine would have to go to your home page and follow links from your home page to one internal page after another. If the engine hits a slow loading page or a page that won’t load because perhaps the server is temporarily overloaded, it will present obstacles for the search engine spider from doing its job of indexing your site. Simply put, the search engine spider can index your site much more reliably if it goes though the sitemap. And that is what we want.
* Paid Links from irrelevant sites: Search engines look for backlinks that have been built in a naturally appearing way, over time. If you get backlinks too fast, through link farms or other methods, your ranking may decrease.
* Repetition of keywords: Over repetition of keywords can hurt you as well. As a general rule, try to use your main keyword no more than once per hundred words, to avoid being penalized for keyword stuffing.
* Irrelevant Outbound Links: Keep your outgoing links relevant, and use strong, keyword based anchor text whenever possible.
* Bad Code Programming: Be sure your code is clean, easy to read, and optimized for SEO wherever possible.
* Tiny/Hidden Text: If your keywords are hard to find, then they’re hard to recognize and read. Make them clear and a strong part of your website for best results.
* Lack of focus on one Niche in a website: Each website you build should be targeted towards a specific niche and specific keywords. If your site is all over the map, the search engines don’t know how to group you or what niche you fit in, and neither do your visitors!
* Focusing on the search engines and not the visitor can lead to mechanical pages. Be sure your content is well written and geared towards your human visitors. After all, they’re the ones who will be linking to your page, distributing your content, or purchasing your products.
* Using Auto generated content: High quality, original content is King. Auto generated content is neither.
* Cloaking/Use of Doorway Pages.
* Over Submitting site to Search Engines.