12 SEO Mistakes That You Must Absolutely Avoid

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If you own a website, Search Engine Optimization is not an option: you must do SEO if you want to rank in the search engines and thus, have visitors. But you must also be aware of the most common SEO mistakes that beginners may do. Here is a list of the most common SEO mistakes to absolutely avoid:

  • Duplicate Content: Don’t EVER copy/paste content from other websites! That technique used to work some years ago but now Google and other search engines are penalizing this tactic. It could lead to have your site simply banned from their indexes.
  • Keyword Stuffing: Do not repeat your main keywords too often, or you will end up with a text that will be unpleasant to read and the user might just leave your page. Your page will also look very unprofessional.
  • Bad Keywords: When searching for keywords, always think of what people are looking for and do not use keywords that simply sound good to your ears.
  • Bad Internal Anchor Texts: Webmasters often use generic words like ‘Click here’ or ‘Read more’. The problem with these words is that the robot that will crawl the page won’t know what the link refers to.
  • Over Optimization: Don’t focus too much on SEO, rather focus on your readers. Don’t put your keywords everywhere: title, h1, h2, h3 tags, url…
  • No Redirecting: If you have multiple urls for your website (i.e. http://mysite.com and http://www.mysite.com), don’t forget to put a 301 redirecting in your .htaccess file, so the search engines will know what url they have to index.
  • Too Much Flash or Javascript: Flash animations can be beautiful, but they are not very webcrawlers-friendly. The same issue occurs with Javascript.
  • Dead Links: Are you annoyed when you click a link and end up with a 404 error? So your readers will be…
  • Links From Bad Quality Sites: It’s easy to have a link from a little directory, but is that so important? Focus on gaining links from authoritative sites, it will boost your rankings.
  • Meta Keywords: Nowadays, meta keywords are completely useless.
  • Broad Match Search: When you’re searching for keywords and want to check your competition, perform an exact search (put commas), otherwise you will have results not only with your exact term but also with phrases incorporating your term. It will lead to have inflated numbers and completely useless data.
  • No Domain Name: Maybe you are tight on budget, so your blog is a free hosted one (WordPress.com, Blogger…). That’s alright, though you won’t be able to implement useful SEO tools like Yoast SEO for WordPress for example. The main problem with this is that search engines don’t like hosted blogs too much. At Namecheap, you can have your domain name for less than $5 a year. Think of it…

Do you think of other SEO mistakes not to do? Don’t agree with this list! Feel free to leave a kind comment and let’s talk about it!

 

12 Responses

  1. valkorum

    November 27, 2015 11:41 am

    Some very handy tips there David. I really like the tip of fixing your .htaccess file. I honestly would never have thought to do this. I am going to make that change to all of my sites now.

    Thanks for the great information and I will add your site to my future readings

    Reply
  2. Lynne

    November 27, 2015 11:54 am

    Thanks for a great post. There is just one point that has confused me a bit and I don’t really understand! please can you explain more about the meta-tags?
    Then about the links needing to be more descriptive… how would this work because as I understand it calls to action such as “click here”, “buy now”, “read more” and very good for conversions? Now you say that because the link is not descriptive it can lead to negative SEO? Not disagreeing, just checking how I understand it 🙂

    Reply
    • David

      November 27, 2015 12:23 pm

      Thanks Lynne for your comment!

      – Meta-tags: the keywords that you can find in the head section of your page (meta-name=”keywords”).

      The search engines don’t take them into consideration any more because a lot of webmasters used to cheat by adding keywords that were not relevant with the topic of the page. Meta-description and meta-title tags are the ones that matter now.

      – Links: Yes, call-to-action links are good for conversions, but not much for SEO… If you make a link pointing to WA for example, and your anchor text is ‘Click here’, the search engine crawler won’t know that your link leads to WA. There is nothing in common between the ‘Click here’ term and the topic of WA. It’s better to use a sentence like ‘Learn how to make money online’, which calls also to action.

      Hope you understand better now! Have a good day!

      David

      Reply
  3. Riaz Shah

    November 27, 2015 12:13 pm

    Hey David,
    This is gold, I’ve been looking for this everywhere! A lot of websites tell ways on how to improve so I totally forgot to check if I have made any mistakes or not to hinder my blog growth.

    I do a lot of keyword stuffing, no wonder my blog growth is really slow! Thanks for clearing that up, this is an awesome list. Merci pour ce partage, je vous souhaite bonne chance pour votre entreprise en ligne 😀

    Reply
    • David

      November 27, 2015 12:28 pm

      Merci Riaz! I used to overoptimize my pages, but it’s definitely not the way to go! Don’t forget that your website must be user-friendly!

      Reply
  4. Brandon

    December 1, 2015 4:50 am

    You offered a lot of tips that I needed that may help me in the future. I am guilty of using links that say click here. Thought it was ok up to this point, did not know that the robot wouldn’t know what it refers too. I thought somehow it just gets the actual link. I definitely agree about getting your own url name. I even notice that I don’t really like going on sites that are the free hosted ones. It may help viewers actually staying on the site rather than clicking off the page right away.

    Reply
    • David

      December 1, 2015 6:12 am

      Thanks Brandon! I think those points must be absolutely checked before the site goes live. Those 12 bad habits must be avoided at all costs!

      Reply
  5. Tim

    December 1, 2015 9:52 am

    Really helpful overview thanks for sharing. I think I’m pretty much up to scratch with your suggestions on my website.

    I’m always learning more and more about SEO and what to do. My thoughts are that creating quality content that really adds value to the reader is the main thing to focus on. Google will always be updating its algorithms, but it’s main aim is to add value to its users. If we do this then we will do well.

    Reply
    • David

      December 1, 2015 11:04 am

      Yes Tim, as bloggers we are here to help people, not just trying to make money at all costs! And the SEO techniques focus on bringing relevant content to our readers.

      Reply
  6. Dominic

    December 28, 2015 7:03 am

    Thank you for your tips on 12 SEO mistakes that we must avoid. I have to admit that sometimes I repeat the same keywords many time in an article post and now I know I have to be natural with the flow of my post instead of intentionally wanting to stuff keywords forcefully 🙂

    Reply

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