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Top SEO Mistakes Part II

SEOThis is a continuation of our Top SEO Mistakes article from last quarter, where we covered the first 5 of 10 common mistakes (get the recap here).  You might be wondering why after all the talk about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), we’re writing yet another best practices-type article about SEO.  It’s because we still see so many common SEO mistakes and want to take the opportunity to remind developers and marketers that sometimes the most simple things are the most overlooked, and you might be surprised that these same mistakes are still being made, perhaps by you or your team.  Here is the second half of our top 10 SEO mistakes.

(Note: This list is only about organic SEO, not paid or sponsored SEO).

6. Not growing site content – so many websites don’t have an ample and appropriate amount of RELEVANT page content, this is especially common on retail/commerce sites that are product driven, and only have pictures and short descriptions.   Visitors and search engines like fresh content, laden with keywords.  Good content not only tells about you and what you offer, it also shows that you’re committed.

Designers/developers worry about too much content, BUT if it’s pertinent and organized properly (in the information architecture, page format and layout, taxonomy), then you can find a nice balance. Also, get creative about the ways you generate content: i.e. Articles, News, and Resources sections and/or creating a blog to link to your website, as well as social media, user generated content and reviews.

7. Not utilizing links properly –relevant inbound links (from other websites or web networks linking to your site) are not always easy to get, but they are very helpful to SEO if you do get them.  Examples of places that direct credible links to your site are: well-known industry directories, forums, article/resource directories that you provide content for, reciprocal links with websites that compliment what you offer, and links from blogs and reviews. If you’re going to pursue linking as an SEO tactic, make time for it and follow through, consistency is a must.  Note:  it’s better to have no links at all than irrelevant links – as those can actually hurt your site rankings.

8. Being hands off – if you hire a reputable SEO company to assist you in your search engine optimization and online marketing, make it a cooperative effort and stay involved.  There is only so much a third party can do to help you if you don’t know your own company and marketing needs/goals.  Every business and its employees should at least know their basic keywords.  The more you participate in the process, the more you will be able to steer the SEO professionals, honing in on the results and monitoring the resources you’re spending with them in correlation to those results. If you decide to do your own SEO, that’s okay, but make time for it and have a plan and rework the plan.

9. Putting all of your eggs in one basket - there are many different SEO tactics, some of which we’ve covered in this article and the previous one; everything from site structure and inbound links to keyword rich content and social media.  There are many pieces to the puzzle, and you increase your organic presence the more pieces you incorporate.  Ignoring any of these could limit your results, so try different things and adjust accordingly based on the results of your efforts.

10. Choosing SEO over user experience – do not let your SEO efforts undermine your user experience; both are important and both can be accomplished simultaneously by using the right amount of relevant content that appeals to both human readers and search engines, and also by applying other website best practices mentioned in this previously in this article.

There are a lot of pieces that can go into SEO; there is no magic bullet, so try different things together.  Start with a good strategy and once you’ve implemented some SEO tactics, give it time and be patient – don’t switch tactics every 3 days, though after a while, obvious adjustments/changes will need to be made.  Good, effective SEO is well thought out, takes time, is methodical, and may require some trial and error.  SEO is ongoing, always needs maintenance and should be given the resources and investment to keep it up and keep it relevant.

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