Seven common SEO mistakes

When it comes to those who do SEO, there are four basic categories:

  1. People who don’t fully understand SEO and are just trying to learn as they go
  2. People who are misinformed about SEO and are going about it all wrong
  3. People who understand SEO but knowingly violate Google’s webmaster guidelines
  4. People who understand SEO and try to abide by Google’s webmaster guidelines

Unfortunately, the people from group 1 are often getting their information from groups 2 and 3 and the vicious cycle of misinformation continues. This all leads to a lot of mistakes when it comes to running an SEO campaign. Here’s a look at seven SEO mistakes. Chances are you’re guilty of at least some of these.

Failure to configure your CMS

There are a lot of different content management systems (CMS) out there but all of them require at least some configuration. In addition to common settings that need to be configured there are many other settings that are overlooked. Failing to configure CMS settings will make your SEO campaign much less effective.

Duplicate content

Simply put, duplicate content is when you have the exact same content (or very similar content) that appears on two different URLs. Duplicate content can cause search engines to give your website a lower ranking and that means less web traffic to your website.

Thin content

Having different pages for different topics is a great way to get more web traffic. Unfortunately, it can also lead to thin content which will lower your website’s ranking. If you have a lot of pages with very little in the way of text or a lot of pages that are similar (though not enough to be considered duplicate) they you’re guilty of having thin content.

Act on rumors

Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation out there concerning SEO. It’s important to make sure the sources where you’re getting your information is credible. For example, if you read somewhere that Facebook “likes” can boost your ranking. You might invest a lot of time and money to center your SEO efforts on accumulating Facebook “likes.” It would be a misuse of time and money as it simply isn’t true.

Lose focus

While SEO is crucial to success, it isn’t everything. It’s easy to get sucked into SEO and lose focus on other things that matter like your customer’s satisfaction. It doesn’t matter if your page is ranked highly on Google if your customer’s aren’t having positive experiences with your website.

Under invest

This is a mistake most commonly made by those who don’t have a good understanding of SEO and why it’s important. Even if you’ve got great web content and a lot of online traffic, a good SEO campaign can greatly improve your success. Some businesses never get off the ground and others fail to achieve their full potential because they ignore SEO.

Invest “after the fact”

Many business owners say they’ll start with SEO once their website is completely finished. As a wise person once said, “You can do it right, or you can do it over.” Investing in SEO while creating a website will result in a better website. Waiting until the website is complete to start SEO will ultimately waste time as much of what has already been done will need to be redone.

Source: Forbes