5 Simple SEO Mistakes You Are Making and How To Avoid Them

by Amy Moczynski on Feb 28, 2012
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Build it and they will come just does not fly on the web. You have to work to get people there and then make them very comfortable so they will stay.

Using SEO tactics to drive visitors (getting them there) to a well-designed website (make them comfortable) presents a great one/two punch for a digital marketing strategy.

With the number of people turning to search engines to find information, businesses need to ensure that people are not only able to find their websites, but they also know what to do when they arrive at these sites.

This is going to be a two post series identifying some of the common errors both in SEO and design many of us fall into.

First up, SEO. Let’s take a look some of the biggest mistakes businesses make when setting themselves up for organic search engine traffic.

These 10 issues are some of the biggest mistakes business make regarding their web design and SEO strategies.

5 SEO Mistakes

Setting up a website and picking keywords aren’t nearly enough to get your business the most traffic possible.

The following represent some common misconceptions people have about SEO best practices and the biggest mistakes businesses make regarding their digital marketing strategy.

1. Using your Keywords Improperly

There’s a fine balance you need to achieve when integrating keywords into your content. Use them too infrequently, and search engines won’t pick up on them.

Use them too frequently, and you could be penalized for keyword stuffing. Generally, the right balance is between 3 and 8 percent keyword density, so don’t go too crazy when putting your keywords on your website.

Also (and this is a huge pet peeve of mine), drawing attention to your keywords in your body content doesn’t do anything from a search engine standpoint.

Capitalizing your Keyword Phrases doesn’t make them any more obvious to search engines. Also, nothing screams, “novice” like capitalizing your keywords on your website. Just don’t do it.

2. Not Using Internal Linking

Your website shouldn’t just have links pointing toward it from other sites. Instead, make sure all of your internal pages link to each other.

A strong internal linking structure makes search engines happy, and it provides you with an opportunity to use anchor text when linking to various pages on your website.

 352 Media's Service pages

The services page on 352 Media Group’s website features internal links to all the pages describing our individual services.

3. Overusing Industry Jargon

Yes, it’s important to use your keywords in your body text, but don’t forget that there are real people, not search engines, who are using your website.

Make sure your content is simple enough for anyone to understand and you aren’t using only buzzwords or keywords in your text for the sake of using them.

Also, having text that is difficult for visitors to understand will lead to high bounce and exit rates, and most likely a lower rate of people completing whatever your online conversion might be.

 Too much industry jargon

Hmm I wonder if they do SEO? 

4. Not Varying The Types Of Links To Your Site

Directories might be one of the easier ways to get links to your site (easier in that they are mostly time consuming but pretty simple to obtain), but using only one kind of link in your SEO strategy is selling your site short.

Blog posts, press releases, forum comments, using anchor texts in backlinks, directories, and links from various social media platforms should all be a part of a well-rounded SEO strategy.

Test different options and see what works best for your site, both in terms of your rankings and traffic to your website.

5. Letting Your Website Go Stale

This probably happens more than anyone cares to admit: You spend time researching keywords; integrating them into your content; placing them in the title tags, meta descriptions, and meta keywords; and then there is no other link building that takes place.

None. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

Yes, you followed all the rules, integrated the keywords everywhere you’re supposed to, and picked the right terms to get your website the right traffic.

But, if you don’t do any link building for your site, no matter how great the foundation you laid for your website, you’re not going to reach your potential as far as SEO is concerned.

Anyone who works in SEO will tell you it’s a long-term process. Implementing a great keyword strategy is a good start to an SEO campaign, but it’s the long-term link building that is going to get great rankings.

I’ve heard a lot of people in our industry say link building is all about the hustle, and I agree. When it comes to SEO, you should always be thinking of new ways to get links for your site.

 Really outdated blog posts

Hosting a blog on your domain is an easy way to add fresh content, but you shouldn’t let that go stale either. Make sure you’re updating your blog on a consistent basis.


Image source: Shutterstock.com Baseball park

Post Author

Amy Moczynski is a marketing strategist for digital agency 352. She enjoys running; her dog, Lola; Gator sports; and is a self-proclaimed Tim Tebow super fan. Follow her on Twitter @amymoczynski...

  • Good piece. Really glad that you highlighted the need to avoid industry jargon (a.k.a. speak in plain English!). SEO all too often underestimates the importance of making a site an enjoyable experience for a human user. I’d ultimately prefer to have worse SEO and a more human usable website than the other way round.

    And it’s important in that case to also acknowledge what human-usable means. Just think about the term “SEO”. When I have friends ask me for advice about their small business websites etc, they almost never use the term “search engine optimization”, let alone the acronym. It’s always “so…there’s some stuff I can do with my website to make it show up better on Google…right?”. It’s very easy to forget that what we consider a completely common term like SEO is actually not something that many people will use or understand (so it’s kinda ironic when so many SEO firms try to maximize their Google visibility for that acronym in preference to more plain English phrases in the first place!).

  • Great post Amy, well written and in a language we can all understand. Link building is truly a science of hustle and in my opinion, one of the strongest SEO tactics out there. It’s a journey not a sprint so don’t think you can secure 500 links in a week and then never work on it again for a year. It just won’t happen.

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  • Great points to consider while doing SEO.I have one confusion should i use my keywords in bold letters  or not,i have seen many using keywords in bold letters.Can you plz help me in?

  • Charlotte Ciufo

    Great post, and very glad you included something about keeping things current. Nothing makes me more frustrated than when I check out a sites blog and find that it hasn’t been updated in years.

  • “…kinda ironic when so many SEO firms try to maximize their Google visibility for that acronym in preference to more plain English phrases in the first place!”

  • Thanks for the tips Amy Darling, 
    I’m always amazed with the unidentifiable jargon that websites use… do they speak that way at home?  Posts like these are always a good reminder for those in your field or for those who just like to know… and I know that it’s time to fix my lipstick…  xoxo

  • Amandah

    I work on my websites every day which may seem a bit much to people. I’m always thinking about how I can improve the look and feel of them. More importantly, I’m always researching how I can increase my SEO and link building efforts.

    Link BuildingWhat are you thoughts on purchasing links? Many small business owners are inclined to purchase links, but I don’t advise it.

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  • Nice list. I really like the part with “SEO company” – great example of how to write a lot of text and say nothing at all.