Here’s something most website owners eventually come to realize at some point in time. Using the right or wrong SEO tactics can either make or break your site. It’s widely known that if you do SEO right, you can propel your site up the ranks, maybe even to that coveted first spot on the search results. However, if you do SEO wrong and engage in risky tactics, Google could torpedo your site to obscurity.
The saying goes: “It’s a thin line between love and hate.” Well, the line between good SEO and bad SEO isn’t much thicker. Today I’m going to break down some of the most common SEO mistakes people make that can do long-term damage to their websites. Trust me when I tell you, NEVER commit these 5 SEO mistakes….ever.
Let’s start with this SEO mistake beginners often make…
1. Buying links
This is a huge mistake that website owner’s unfortunately make far too often. If you’re contacted by an SEO firm or see an ad guaranteeing you hundreds of links for a one time fee do yourself a favor and ignore it. Buying Links will no doubt get you penalized in the long run and that’s coming directly from former head of Google web spam team Matt Cutts.
2. Keyword stuffing
This is one of the most common SEO mistakes. Keyword stuffing is the process of adding the same keyword to your content many times in an attempt to fool Google into thinking your content should be ranked highly for that keyword. This may have worked years ago, however, the Google algorithm has caught up and can penalize such activity. If you stuff your pages with keywords for SERP’s, then chances are it won’t read naturally for HUMANS, and Google’s number 1 priorities are delivering great results and a great user experience. You aren’t providing a great user experience if you stuff your keyword in the text every few sentences. So don’t over optimize. Instead of keyword stuffing, simply create your written content so that it flows naturally. If you still think you need specific keywords, go back and place a few within the content as long as they are used naturally. If you use WordPress, you can download the Yoast SEO plugin to alert you if you’ve over-optimized for your chosen keyword.
3. Jumping on the latest SEO scheme
Link wheels, link pyramids, private blog networks… They were all at one point the latest “get ranked quick scheme” and true enough they worked for a period of time, but as always Google eventually figured it out, updated their algorithm and slapped all the sites that were using these tactics to oblivion. Do your site a favor and don’t jump on the latest blackhat SEO fad. The odds are that you will pay for it in the long run with a steep drop in rankings. This will turn you from an SEO hero to zero in no time fast!
4. Not cleaning up broken links
This one is very sneaky and very common. Most websites eventually accumulate broken links. It’s almost impossible to avoid it if you’re a blogger and have been publishing content for awhile.
But take note of this: As common as broken links are, they signal one thing to Google…that your content isn’t up to date. So set aside a little time and clean up those broken links. Sounds like a time consuming and tedious task, right? Well, you can make it a lot less time consuming and a lot more convenient if you install the WordPress plugin “Broken Link Checker“. This plugin will alert you to any broken links on your site so you can easily fix or replace them in a few clicks, and all from one simple dashboard.
5. Publishing thin content
Last but not the least on this list of SEO mistakes you should never make is publishing thin content. And when I say thin I mean content that doesn’t extensively explore the topic it was meant to explore. Plain and simple, Google wants to deliver relevant answers to its searchers. It also wants to deliver the most thorough answers possible. So, if your content is thin it likely won’t rank high. Generally speaking, any article under 500 words has little chance of ranking on the first page of the search results so create amazing content. Words alone no longer capture people’s attention. You need great designed content to have visitors actually read it.
If your pages already have thin content, here are some ways to fix it:
- Remove pages or no-index thin content pages
- Add at least a few sentences of original text
- Rewrite the page entirely
When it comes to using SEO tactics to rank your site in the search engines, avoiding these 5 common SEO mistakes is definitely a step in the right direction. Now let’s sum up SEO mistakes beginners often make: Don’t buy links, avoid keyword stuffing, don’t jump on the latest black hat SEO fad, clean up your broken links, and publish detailed content that answers searchers questions. If you do all these things and have a little patience, your site should be ranking in no time even if you are a beginner to SEO!