SEO Mistakes You’re Bound to Make on Your Website
In an article published in the SEO-News newsletter this morning, Kanga Internet’s Chris Diprose details 10 of the most common SEO mistakes that you’re bound to make on your website. Whether or not the mistakes are done on purpose, are done because of a lack of SEO knowledge, or you had someone else build your site – these SEO mistakes should be avoided. Some of the mistakes that Chris mentions were covered back in January, when we published our “Common SEO Blunders… Must read for web designers” post.
If you find that you’re guilty of any of these mistakes, take the action now to correct them so you can start improving your search engine rankings.
Here are Chris’ Top 10 SEO Mistakes:
- Bad Titles
- Filename of the Page
- Duplicate or Bad Content
- No Links
- Incoming Link Anchor Text
- Bad Internal Page Links
- Live Links
- Keyword Selection
- Keyword Spamming and Stuffing
I certainly don’t have any objections to the list that Chris prepared. I might rank Impatience (#8) higher on the list, only because becoming impatient with your SEO can lead to more problems down the road. You’re more likely to try an SEO tactic that’s untested or engage in some type of questionable SEO practice if you don’t plan out your strategy properly and if you don’t give it time to work.
1. Bad Titles
A survey of top SEO professonals on SEOMoz.org a couple months ago ranked the Title tag as the most important aspect of SEO, so it only makes sense that bad titles are probably the worst mistake you can make when optimizing your website.
2. Filename of Pages
This one is a little off-base, at least in naming the mistake. This should be URL structure or “dynamic URLs vs. static URLs”. Certainly, having a site with long, dynamic URLs is a problem. Use Mod_rewrite or the Windows equivalent to rewrite your URLs to be more friendly. This is not a necessity unless your URLs have more than 2-3 variables on the query string in my opinion. We’ve had plenty of experience and success w/ single variable query string URLs.
3. Duplicate Content
We’ve covered this topic several times in the past and it’s probably one of the hardest mistakes to effectively communicate to site owners and content managers. They just don’t see the value of writing unique content for their products or their stores, when they can get a completed data feed from the manufacturer and plop it right into the site… unfortunately, that just won’t yield any long-term results.
4. No Links
This is a no-brainer… a site cannot rank on content alone. Every website should have an ongoing backlink strategy.
5. Incoming Anchor Link Text
See previous mistake… Just make sure your backlinks use keywords. Many site owners and marketers will try to use the company’s name and/or just the domain name as the anchor text. This is much less effective than using keyword-rich anchor text on all backlinks. Be sure to vary the keywords also – your incoming links (backlinks) shouldn’t all be the same.
6. Bad Internal Page Links
A site w/ poor navigation or linking structure will struggle to compete with sites who have good navigation and structure. Be sure to categorize your pages properly and to use keywords in the anchor text. Another common problem w/ internal page links is the use of images for navigation instead of text – always go w/ text unless you already have a full text menu elsewhere on the page.
7. Live Links
Broken links hurt… check your site frequently to make sure you’re links aren’t broken. If you find broken links, fix them ASAP. Setup a custom 404 error page if you have pages that no longer exist and if you can’t get the links changed (from backlinks for example).
This can kill an SEO campaign. Do the work and use the methods that have been proven to work over time. Allow sufficient time for all the work you’ve done to take affect (several months).
9. Keyword Selection
Selecting the wrong keywords is almost as bad as not selecting keywords at all. Be sure that you’re optimizing for the keywords your target audience is using, not the keywords you think they are (yes, there is usually a difference). Use keyword research tools like Keyword Discovery, Wordtracker or Google Trends to find out what your visitors are using, what’s most popular, and what keywords are slowly fading into oblivion.
10. Keyword Spamming and Stuffing
This is just plain dumb… Your website shouldn’t be stuffed with keywords you are targeting, let alone keywords you’re not (that’s a whole other story). Common keyword stuffing takes place in site footers, comment tags, meta tags or other typically hidden areas of the site and/or the HTML coding itself.