6 SEO Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid

If you’re a SEO beginner, you may not know how to fully optimize your website without unintentionally violating Google’s quality guidelines. You may be worried that you’re going to make a mistake that will result in your site’s rankings slipping dramatically, or that you’ll do something so bad that you incur a penalty. How can you avoid taking a wrong turn in this confusing, complicated process?

Here are six common SEO mistakes that you can easily avoid when you are optimizing your website for the first time, or doing ongoing SEO work on your ecommerce store.

Not Including Your Keywords – You can’t rank for your keywords or long-tail phrases if you don’t put them on your page! Your written content, title tags, and image alt tags should contain the phrases that are relevant to your content… and those you want to rank for. Make sure that you are using the right keywords on your pages. Remember that search engines can’t “read” images!

Keyword Stuffing – Of course, putting too many keywords on the page is a problem, too. If you stuff keywords into every nook and cranny of your content, to the point that it doesn’t look natural, you are probably going to suffer. Not only will you drive away users who can’t make sense of what you’re writing, but you’ll also clue in search engines that hey, your bounce rate is probably pretty high for a reason. Write for humans, and only use keywords when and if they make sense. Being natural is far more important than upsetting someone (or Google!).

Getting Links from Spammy Sources – Link building is important, sure, but that doesn’t mean your site should get links from every other website under the sun. If you receive links from questionable sources, or those that Google has already identified as spammy, you are at risk of being penalized. Seek out high quality websites from which you want your content linked. If a site is poorly written or contains hundreds of links, it’s probably not a good link choice for you.

Not Getting Any Links At All – Not getting any links at all isn’t great, either. Unless other sites link to you, search engines won’t have any indication that you are worth visiting. After all, the opinions of others are why you may trust a new restaurant, or leave your children with a babysitter, right? This is why link building is so important.

Ignoring Important SEO Updates – Google frequently has algorithm updates that impact the way they rank sites. For example, Google’s Penguin updates typically penalize websites that have poor link profiles or a high amount of spammy links, while Panda updates lower the rankings of sites with poor, thin, or even scraped (stolen) content. It’s important that you keep up with these updates and know how they might impact your website. If you don’t, you may find your presence in search results slipping away.

Not Asking for Help – It’s tough to maintain a website by yourself. You may make the mistake of thinking that you can handle everything, from writing the copy to performing link building… but it’s okay to admit that you can’t. The fact is, if you aren’t dedicating enough time and effort to your site, you may not be able to make a dent in the rankings for your intended keywords. That’s why we suggest contacting one of the professionals on our top SEO companies list. A SEO company can help you do everything from create content to build those high quality links you need. So don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Have you ever made a silly SEO mistake? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments!

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