We all make mistakes. But one area in which it can be particularly catastrophic to make them is in SEO, particularly if your business is dependent upon organic traffic. But SEO mistakes are more common than you might imagine and here are three of the biggest.
Dodgy Link Building
Is there any such thing as a pure white hat in SEO? I doubt it. There’s a scale that goes from pearly white to the blackest black and I reckon most of us would say we’re on the greyish-white side. I personally source links from high quality and relevant sites, often supplying unique, well thought out content that gives my link some editorial relevance. Yes, we ultimately want links. But how we get them determines how “dodgy” our link profiles look. And a profile made up of side bar links from multiple link farm style websites with the same anchor text just isn’t pretty.
Keep your link profile natural. Think less about paying for links and more about acquiring them on editorial merit. It’s more sustainable and Google will like you for it. Dodgy link building could ultimately lead to a penalty.
Leaving all your Eggs in One Basket
Link building strategies simply have to be diverse. For example, if your entire SEO strategy revolved around article marketing and the acquisition of links on poor quality article directories, then the Panda update might just have rained on your parade. No link building strategy can rely on link from just one source or type of activity. Updates happen all the time, albeit not often as big as the recent Panda update. But the point is that from one month to another, SEOs cannot take for granted that one method alone will be as effective has it has been in previous months.
Mix it up and be confident enough in your strategy that if one element of it became unusable for any reason, you would still be happy that your campaign could continue to progress.
Not only does Google hate this, but your users do too. SEOs can all too easily become embroiled in pleasing the search bots when ultimately, our audience is a human one. Keep your content sounding natural. Draft it the first time without even thinking about keyword numbers – instead focusing on how it reads for your users. If your keywords are relevant then you will find they make their way in naturally and if they haven’t, you can rewrite with your keywords in mind.
Read it aloud before you send it live. If it’s difficult to read or sounds unnatural.... don’t post it.
I’m not naive enough to believe the old adage, “build it and they will come.” It’s more like build it, market it a lot, optimize it, bookmark it, get it on social media profiles and then they might come if you do it well enough. But no matter how many visitors you get, if your site is poorly organized and the content is sub-standard, they probably won’t come back!