The Top 10 SEO Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Oh, SEO. It’s a fickle technology. One moment you think you’re right on top of everything and then BOOM…Google goes and releases another update just to ruin your morning.

Even with our years of experience in the business we make the odd mistake, but we’re not too proud to admit it. The key to good SEO is realising your mistakes, correcting them and keeping ahead of the game by keeping informed. Let’s take a look at some of the more common SEO mistakes that even seasoned SEO professionals can make.

Targeting the Wrong Keywords
This is one mistake that many people get wrong especially when first starting out in SEO. People tend to choose the keywords they would use rather than researching the keywords that are actually being used. Search methods vary from person to person so using a keyword analysis tool will help you to review current search trends and techniques so that you can target your keywords accordingly. Remember, choosing your keywords can make or break your campaign so select with care.


Ignoring the Title Tag
The poor old title tag often sits alone and empty at the top of the page, but did you know this is one of the most important places you can plant a keyword? Not only will it add some great optimisation to your page, but the text in your title tag is displayed in you search results.


Flash Isn’t Always So Flash
Oh wow! That dancing monkey on your home page is awesome and that backflip he does at the end is great! But wait… when I view that on my iPad I don’t see the monkey and I am sad. I get a rude message saying Flash isn’t supported. And the rudeness doesn’t stop there. Flash doesn’t like search engines either, or rather it’s the other way around. Search engine spiders can’t read Flash and if they can’t read Flash they can’t index your website. If you really love Flash then just make sure that you provide an HTML version too that can be used by the search engines.


Using JavaScript Menus
JavaScript is another language that search engines can’t read. If you really must have menus in this language, why not think about supplying a site map so that search engine spiders can crawl that easily and index your pages?


Don’t Let Your Site Stagnate
One of the biggest mistakes a web admin can make is to simply think that once a website is built the work is done. Wrong – you need to constantly update your website with fresh content to keep it bobbing up in the higher search engine results


Meta Tags Are Good But They Are Not Everything
A lot of people think that SEO is all about meta tags. Whilst these are important to a degree they are kind of becoming a thing of the past. Focus on the bigger picture – site design, keywords, high quality content, meta data, links and keeping it all fresh.


Using Images for Headings
It’s true that images can make a page look visually stunning, but search engines don’t care for looks. Use text for your headings and menus where you can and use the pretty stuff to decorate your page or to emphasise your products. Headings, menus and tags are important items for search engines and you’ll want to make them as easy to read as you can.


Ignoring the Formation of a URL
It’s amazing how many websites are using URLs made up of random numbers and letters. 9085544oireere.html isn’t going to tell your visitors or the search engines what your page is all about, but use aboutus.html instead and everybody knows exactly what that means. Try to use keywords in your URLs wherever you can. Every little helps.


Backlink Spamming
More backlinks is not always good. When creating backlinks think quality over quantity, but if you can get lots of high quality backlinks even better!


Not Optimising Content
Okay, so you have lots of lovely keywords in your meta data, titles and headings, but what about your content overall. Once you have analysed and researched your keywords make sure you pepper your content with them. Go easy though. Google has recently released updates that will weed out overuse of keywords and your site could be penalised if you use them too heavily.

So there we have it. This list is by no means exhaustive and there are many other mistakes that people make. If you need help understanding any elements of SEO or you would like to find out more about our SEO services we would love to hear from you.


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