Published on May 10th, 2016 | by Saurabh Pandey


5 Deadly SEO Mistakes To Avoid

Businesses looking to improve their online visibility should focus on more than just great design, because the primary factor affecting your visibility on the web is your search engine rankings.

In fact, the majority of consumers nowadays research online about products and services before making a final purchase decision. So, it’s clear why you need a brilliant SEO strategy in place, if you wish to rank higher in search results.

Google provides official guidelines to webmasters that explore major aspects of great design and content-creation rules. Even then, most webmasters are guilty of ignoring basic SEO rules, which hurts their rankings, and ultimately their ROI. If you want your website to be a lean, mean, revenue-generating machine, avoid these 5 deadly SEO mistakes.

#1. Failing to choose the right keywords

Too many people focus on generic, super high search volume keywords such as weight loss, health and life coaching, car sales and self love.

Unless your website has a high domain authority, there’s very little chance you will even get found and ranked for these types of keywords. If you do get some traffic, chances are it’s the wrong type of traffic anyway (and this is contributing to your high bounce rate, which Google interprets as a negative signal about your site).

Generic keywords are likely to attract visitors to your website with no interest in what you’re offering and who are looking for free information. You want to attract prospective clients that are willing to pay money to solve a particular problem or are interested in buying something from you.

The problem with generic keywords is that they’re too broad and have lots of competition. You don’t know the motivation of a person typing “weight loss” into Google. However, you have a very clear indication of what the person is searching for when he or she types “how to lose weight without counting calories.”

You’re better off targeting specific keywords, which are often phrases and queries. These types of keywords have less search volume, but you have better chance of scoring on page one of Google because there’s less competition for these keywords.

Make it easier for yourself.

#2. Poor on-page optimization

Believe it or not, there is such as thing as over-optimization and you could be giving Google a big red flag about your website.

You need to be careful because Google can and will penalise you for this.

Over-optimization is when a person is repeating their keyword phrase too many times on the same page.

This is where SEO has evolved. Keywords are still important for SEO but the technology Google uses to determine what your page is about is a lot smarter these days. Search engines have become more intuitive and Google can now understand the meaning and context between different words and phrases a lot better than it used to.

For example, if you have a page about 6 tips on practicing more self care on a daily basis, it would be normal of you to also use words and phrases such as self love, forgiveness, staying away from negative people, healthy changes and meditation (depending on the context of the post you’re describing). If you’re trying to rank for the keyword “self care,” it’s still important to mention it a few times throughout the same page but really no more than 2 or 3 times.

Google doesn’t want you to create content that sounds contrived so the key is to write normally and use your keywords naturally. You wouldn’t mention the words “self care” 50 times in a short one-to-one conversation with anyone, so it wouldn’t be normal of you to write it 50 times on the same page too (or even 10 times on the same page).

When you’re writing online content, use variations of your keyword, not just your exact keyword. For example, if your keyword is “yoga poses for beginners,” then mix it up by saying “beginner yoga poses” or “simple yoga poses.”

Over-optimization can get you black-listed, which means your site can be removed from the search engine result pages, so don’t do it.

#3. Using a PDF as a Web Page

Oftentimes a web developer will incorporate a PDF file as a webpage. This usually happens when a ‘contributor’ to the website designs a web page or set of pages using Word or PowerPoint software. Instead of translating the designs into html, they are simply transformed into PDF files and posted to the website where a user can download and view the information.

Although this technique may be acceptable in some cases, such as downloading an annual report, a good webmaster will always insist that actual information meant for website contribution be translated into html. PDF is a great tool to use for document creation, but they can be bulky and time-consuming for users to download, and they are much less optimized for most search engine crawlers.

#4. Failing to update often

Websites that are updated often are more likely to be found by search engines. Most search engines like to find websites that have current and updated information for their searchers. If you want to help optimize your website, consider posting a blog or other regular content updates. With each update, you have the opportunity to write keyword content using one or two specific keywords that becomes yet another search vehicle for your site.

By building a SEO-friendly website free of these mistakes, along with regularly checking your website, you can enjoy increased traffic for your endeavors.

#5. Lack of internal linking  

This is a big one I teach my one-to-one SEO clients. There are far too many people not linking to their internal pages to boost their search rankings. You want to make a concerted effort to link to your other posts and pages when you’re creating blog content. You’re leaving a lot of potential on the table if you don’t.

One of the biggest benefits of internal linking is that you can encourage your readers to stick around longer on your website. It’s also a great way to introduce new visitors to your older content. Your homepage is important, but it doesn’t have to be the only page you link to. Link to other pages and posts within your site.

There’s a reason why sites like Wikipedia and rank for millions of different search terms

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