Top SEO mistakes by Webmasters & Marketers
Webmasters often grind away for months on a site’s search engine optimization (SEO) only to see their efforts sabotaged by a rudimentary error. If you are just starting out with SEO and want to avoid common pitfalls, read on… The mistakes listed here can render an otherwise solid SEO strategy worthless.
– Going for quantity over quality
With endless services available that can deliver tens of thousands of backlinks for five dollars, you may be tempted to blast your site with backlinks in order to finally make the first page of the search engine results. But services like these usually do more harm than good. These inexpensive links are probably going to come from comments on irrelevant blogs left by spambots, which means that they will earn you a penalty from the search engine as well as irritate the webmasters who must deal with all the spam. Instead, aim for backlinks from high-quality sites in the same niche as yours. Email the webmaster and ask if they are interested in a link exchange. In addition, creating great content will lead people to link to your site on their own.
– Over optimizing
Anyone who spent a lot of time on the internet of the ’90s probably remembers seeing website footers filled with giant blocks of text, all of its keywords. This used to be an effective way to rank a site: simply use the keyword as many times as possible on the page. SEO has become much more advanced since then, but shoddy SEO strategies still abound on the world wide web. You may run across a website with the keyword-stuffed into as many sentences as possible, even where it makes no grammatical sense, and always in boldface or <h1> tags. Sites like these are over-optimized, often as an attempted remedy for low-quality content. A rule of thumb is that if you can spot the SEO on a page, it is bad SEO. Manual reviewers from search engines will spot this too, and your site will be slapped with an over-optimization penalty. Good SEO should not be visible to the ordinary user.
– Reusing anchor text ad nauseum
It can be aggravating to spend months trying to optimize your site for a particular keyword and see no results (or even a drop in rankings). It used to be as simple as building tons of links with identical anchor text, but these days search engines need to see a natural variety of anchor text. Think about it: every single website that links to yours is not going to use the exact keyword as the anchor text. For example, if you run a website about exercise, all of your anchor text should not be “how to lose weight”. A natural backlink profile will include variations on the main keyword, such as “how do I lose weight” or “weight loss guide”. In addition, some of them will use phrases like “click here” or the URL itself. Anchor text diversity is key to ranking your site.
– Relying on exact-match domains (EMDs)
Exact match domains were once a ubiquitous tactic for increasing page rank. But severe overuse by low-quality micro-niche blogs recently led Google and other search engines to devalue certain uses of EMDs. The main target was overly specific EMDs such as “QuitSmokingWithHypnosisTherapy.com” or “CreditCardDebtReliefOnline.com”, etc. These are sites that were over-optimized and spammy, to begin with. These days, search engine algorithms favour sites with quality content and an authoritative brand. A site with content that is duplicated, spun, or low quality will not be saved by an EMD.
– Building links too fast
While you may have a solid strategy planned out, do not let your eagerness to start earning spoil it for you. Building backlinks too fast will be a giant red flag to Google. When dozens of web 2.0 sites (all linking to your money site) appear overnight, this is an obvious sign of SEO, which search engines seem to dislike in all forms. The formation of links must be natural, or your site will surely be penalized.
– Throwing money at the problem
A webmaster sometimes becomes frustrated with the lack of progress on their SEO projects, and jumps to the conclusion that “it takes money to make money”. While it is not always possible to do high-quality SEO on the cheap, going on a spending spree is not likely to improve the situation. If you are outsourcing some or all of your SEO, remember that the most expensive SEO service is not always the best.
Of course, these are not the only ways to bungle an SEO project, but they are some of the most common. Avoiding these mistakes will guarantee you a much easier time with ranking your website.