There are simple SEO mistakes we all commit from time to time, and most of them don’t really make a change on our rankings or traffic.
One example could be forgetting to add an alt tag to an image or forgetting to add meta keywords on a post.
That’s fine. But…
There are some things that have been changing on the last 2 years with Google’s updates (panda and penguin) that should be considered by every SEO specialist, and most of them are related to off-page SEO (for in page SEO check this 23 tips).
Off-page SEO is important because it helps you get the Authority from other sources and that’s how Google measures your rankings too, especially if there’s competition on that niche. And still, many people keep doing these 7 SEO mistakes without knowing that they’re hurting their website more than they’re helping it and at the end they all fall in the Sandbox.
Here are 7 SEO mistakes you can’t commit in 2013 to avoid negative repercussions on your blog, that even some SEO experts forget.
1. Create a website or an Article based on Broad Match Keyword Research Results
While this might not affect your rankings negatively, using Broad match type when doing Keyword research in tools like Google Adwords or Market Samurai will make you hit a wall and fall into desperation in a few weeks or months.
Always use Exact or Phrase Match (maximum) when doing keyword research, and understand the difference between these modes so you can clearly foresee the traffic that your article or blog will receive in the near future.
2. Build many links too fast
The days where building links from different pages and automated process are over.
If you really want to build a reputation and increase your page Rank, you need to build quality links, not quantity. Nowadays, it’s better to have 10 backlinks pointing to a page from different domains related to your niche, all of them with good Page Rank, than having a thousand of low quality links pointing to your page.
Automated processes are over. Deal with it.
If Google notices you’re building many backlinks in a few days, they’ll dig into your page to see what’s going on. If you have a great page with a post that just went viral, that’s OK. But if the page has low traffic and suddenly it gets a thousand backlinks from different low quality sites, be prepared to feel the wrath of Google Algorithms.
3. Overuse of tags and meta tags
Those days where you could cheat google with meta keywords and keyword stuffing are over. There might exist some pages that still rank high when they shouldn’t, but with every update Google releases they are getting better quality content on the first page.
I don’t say you should forget about meta keywords and some other SEO optimization techniques, but don’t forget content is King. If your content is great and you have all your on-page SEO adjustments that’s fine, but don’t create crappy content and expect it to rank well just because you did some basic SEO Optimization.
In fact, the best SEO plugin for WordPress (WordPress SEO by Yoast) doesn’t include meta keywords anymore (although you can enable them if you want). Add 3-5 keywords maximum and apply the same rule for the tags, and instead, focus on content more.
4. Not Building rich anchor text links
And pointing all of them to the homepage instead of pointing them to the content.
This is one of the worst things you can do. If you build all the links with the same keyword, Google will notice something is wrong because they won’t look natural.
Ever wondered how those great sites with high PR still rank on the first page of Google even when most of their backlinks use keywords like: “read here”, “read more”, etc.?
There’s an interesting case study on SEOMOZ where a guy ranked number 2-4 for a keyword with only 13 backlinks (Guest Posts), and all of them use different keywords and point to different articles in a small blog. You don’t need to be an expert to notice how Google is putting more value on natural/high quality links nowadays.
5. Ignoring Social Media Value
Most Social media networks will create “no follow” backlinks to your website.
But you know what? That’s fine.
Google and Bing already accepted they’re giving some weight to Social media interactions and backlinks. So if your post has 10 backlinks but no shares on any social network, you might lose against another post with 5 backlinks but 200 shares. It’s just something you can’t ignore in 2013 because Social Media is what drives a great chunk of the traffic today.
Hate Google+? Bad news for you.
Facebook might be the big boy in the neighbourhood but Google is adding a lot of SEO value to Google Plus. First, because you need a G+ account to claim your authorship, and second, because you can rank a post on the first page of Google just by sharing your content on Google+ (instead of waiting hours or even days) thanks to personal results.
6. Ignore Mobile Responsive Trends
You shouldn’t ignore the fact that mobile devices with internet access are growing in a massive way. 2013 might be the first year people buy more tablets and smartphones than laptops and desktops. A small portion of my readers (10-15%) already come from mobile devices, and I won’t ignore them.
Either you have a mobile page or a mobile responsive design (the second being better), don’t forget many people could be trying to read your blog from a 3-5 inch smartphones and your current design won’t help. Google will notice it, because they want to serve the best content for their readers, and someday (not now, yet) they’ll catch you.
2013 is a great year to go mobile responsive.
7. Write for search Engines
This is a big mistake people have been doing for the last years (ever since SEO appeared). Stop writing content for search engines, and create content for your readers.
A little SEO is OK, and it helps you get authority and traffic, but if the content is crap, search engines will punish you in the Sandbox.
- Great Content + no SEO = Good
- Great content + SEO = Great!
- Bad content + SEO = Sandbox
- Bad content + no SEO = ??? being ignored by everyone.
Keep a healthy balance between your content and SEO, and give content more weight. After all, your readers are the ones consuming your blog, your products and your commissions, not search engines. Search engines are just the intermediaries.
Happy Blogging and SEO!
Now that you know those terrible mistakes even experts forget, create great content and don’t ignore all my recommendations.
I’ll keep this post updated in case something changes (Another Google animal -algorithm change – is coming soon). But until then, take care!