One of the reasons Webmasters focus so much on SEO is because it’s so easy to make mistakes. It can be hard to keep up with changing best practices, so you have to be on top of the news in order to avoid some of the most common slipups. Unfortunately, this isn’t always as easy as it sounds, and Webmasters continue to make the same mistakes over and over.
Of course, the sooner you can understand which mistakes are the most popular, the sooner you can put a strategy in place to avoid them. However, it’s also important to analyze some of these mistakes so that if you are making them or you have made them in the past, you can recover quickly and stay ahead of the SEO game.
Top 8 SEO Mistakes Webmasters Are Still Making
Below explains a few classic mistakes that Webmasters make year in and year out that never go through much change. The last five are mistakes that are a little bit lesser known by Webmasters and have come about recently in the last year, but they’re still being made frequently (and unknowingly).
Head of Google Webspam Matt Cutts created a video last year that explained some of the most common mistakes that he sees. Below are a few of his ideas along with some commentary of our own:
- Your website is not crawlable by Google. This is important so that Google can index your pages, or in other words, put your pages into the search engine to come up as a potential result for searchers. You can check the your website is crawlable by clicking around to check on your navigation and by making sure the crawlable button is clicked on in your WordPress dashboard.
- You don’t have the right keywords on your pages. Think about what the people you want on your website are going to search for in Google. While keywords are great, you have to use your common sense and add in some obvious words. For example, if you own a restaurant, make sure “menu” is somewhere on your website.
- Your content is boring and irrelevant. Your content should be relevant to your audience. Simply writing about the same boring topics that other websites write about is unfortunately all too common. You want to be unique and creative while still keeping your audience in mind, and we’re still seeing the same bland content over and over.
- You forgot the title and description on your pages. While a description might seem tedious for every single page, this is crucial for your high traffic pages. Pay attention to your homepage and always remember to add in a relevant title with keywords.
- You’re not using Webmaster resources. This is one that comes straight from Cutts. He reminds Webmasters that there are tons of resources out there to watch your traffic and understand your audience. This includes seminars, forums and blogs, analytics, and videos that can help.
A Few Other Surprises
Below are a few mistakes that SEO experts and agencies are still seeing from new websites:
- You are over-optimizing your website. Oftentimes this turns into too much internal linking or too many keywords on a page. You have to remember that natural is the key to SEO success, so while it helps to understand SEO, it’s more important to focus on quality than optimization.
- You hired a poor SEO agency. Any agency that guarantees results (particularly rankings) is probably doing you more harm than good. Unfortunately, many Webmasters are still falling into this trap.
- You’re not redirecting pages correctly. If you go through a site redesign, it’s incredibly important to redirect your pages correctly with 301 and canonical tags. Webmasters are still ignoring this fact, which often leads to penalties. Learn more about redirects and SEO here.
If you have seen any common mistakes that are annoying you and you want to see fixed or have any personal stories, let us know in the comment section below.