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The Biggest Beginner SEO Mistakes

Many sites are filled with mistakes and I’m not talking about spelling errors.  Or at least, not only talking about spelling errors.  There are some real rookie SEO mistakes.

  1. Not using your keywords.  Time and time again, I see web sites that fail to address what they do.  Sites are great about delineating what sets them apart from their competition, but rarely do I find a site that I feel adequately describes what they do and what their purpose is – especially in the B2B market.  For example, if you repair auto glass, you better use the word “windshield” in your content, along with “auto glass.”  The average user doesn’t necessarily know that in the industry it is called auto glass, but they know their windshield is broken and they need it fixed.  By framing your content around the idea that you provide “Windshield repair” as opposed to emphasizing that you provide a “wide range of high quality services to the local area for the last 20 years,” you give the search engines AND your users a more tangible way to understand what you do.
  2. Talking about features instead of value.  My company provides SEO.  If all I did was talk about meta tags, content development and link building, I’m not being a very convincing sales person.  Your website is a sales pitch – it has to be informative AND convincing.  However, if I talk about how we can bring more traffic to your web site, how we can elevate the quality of traffic coming to your web site, and how we can stimulate real social media engagement through our different packages, that’s more compelling and more likely to convince you.  Take the time to think about your customer and figure out how you can help them – figure out what values are important to them.  By following the guidelines for #1 and #2, you provide real benefits to your website by explaining to your customer what you do and how it can help them, instead of just talking about how great you are. Take your site from selling to convincing.
  3. Putting in 1000 keywords in the meta tag.  This tag isn’t crawled anymore – it hasn’t been since 2009, so spending time filling this with content is a monumental waste of your time.  Also, choosing an SEO company that talks about meta keywords as a primary focus point would be a bad idea since clearly they haven’t updated their knowledge base since 2009.
  4. Failing to link between pages.  A good internal link structure helps everyone – it helps clients who are looking for more information or relevant content and it helps search engines who care about your anchor text, along with a host of other opportunities. If you haven’t given your internal linking system any thought, run through your pages and think about how to link other pages.  Could you add a section for related topics on your blog posts? Could you provide additional information on your products page featuring product specifics?  Could you provide links to related or relevant material on individual content pages? Are you linking to yourself from your social media platforms? While not an internal link, you do have control over your social media pages and are directing users from your social page to your site.  Spend time on your internal link structure and your sitemap – it helps your users and it helps the search engines.
  5. Images or video without any written content.  If you have images or videos and haven’t properly tagged or explained them, you are wasting an opportunity for SEO success. Remember, the search engines can’t watch your video or crawl it effectively without you tagging and explaining it properly.  A good rule of thumb? For videos, include a summary or additional information at the end.  For images, always make sure the title and alt attributes are filled out effectively.

Go through your website now with these things in mind.  Are you guilty of any of these rookie mistakes? If so, it might not be a bad idea to consider a website audit for yourself.  An outside observer will be able to examine all the ins-and-outs of your site and make actionable recommendations for how to improve the quality of your website.  Contact us if you want our team to provide a detailed analysis on your site.  Mention this blog post for 10% off our site audits.