7 Basic SEO Mistakes That Even Experts Make  

Whether you’re new to online marketing or a seasoned SEO expert, it’s important to realize that everyone is vulnerable to some simple, preventable mistakes — sometimes through no fault of your own. Left unchecked, these mistakes can end up wasting countless hours you’ve spent honing your SEO strategy. Here we’ll review eight basic SEO mistakes that even experts are known to make.

3 Sure-Fire Mobile SEO Hacks for MarketersSearch engine optimization is an unforgiving effort if you don’t cover the basics. Whether you’re new to online marketing or a seasoned SEO expert, it’s important to realize that everyone is vulnerable to some simple, preventable mistakes — sometimes through no fault of your own. Left unchecked, these mistakes can end up wasting countless hours you’ve spent honing your SEO strategy.

Here we’ll review eight basic SEO mistakes that even experts are known to make. This list doesn’t touch on everything you should be doing to boost your SEO, but checking for these errors can save you time and money.

1. Loading Your Content With too Many Keywords

“Keyword stuffing” — packing your site with relevant keyword terms — is a long-obsolete practice of gaining better search rankings. Years ago, keyword stuffing was actually quite effective, but nowadays it’s a one-way ticket to bad SEO.

That said, too many marketers and SEO writers still (wrongly) believe that more is better. As a result, many websites are loaded with awkwardly placed keywords that do more harm than good. It’s essential to identify your most relevant keywords and make sure they’re represented on the appropriate webpages, but don’t make any extra efforts to include more keywords than necessary. Google’s algorithm is designed to reward natural, high-quality content.

2. Preventing Your Site From Being Indexed

Did someone else code your website? If so, you’ll want to double-check your HTML code and make sure your site can be indexed by search engines. Specifically, check your homepage HTML code for this line of code: <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”>

If you find that code, then Google, Bing and all other search engines won’t index your site. And websites that aren’t indexed are virtually invisible unless you type the url into the search bar. Literally none of your SEO efforts will matter with a flawed .htaccess file.

3. Using Poorly Written Content

Most online marketers are aware of the guiding principle that content is king. However, not all marketers truly believe it. They’ll settle for second-rate content on their carefully tuned websites and then wonder why their SERP rankings aren’t as high as expected.

Now more than ever, Google’s search algorithm is programmed to deliver the most relevant, unique content for Web users’ needs. If your content isn’t unique and well-written, then Google will likely see your competitors’ sites as more valuable. There are many ways to add content to your site; you can start a blog, make infographics, add videos and much more. Whichever form your content takes, just make sure it’s high quality.

4. Stopping Search Engines From Crawling CMS-Based Sites

WordPress, Joomla and other content management systems are popular among marketers who don’t want to code websites from scratch. Unfortunately, these platforms have plug-ins and settings that might prevent websites from getting indexed. If your website is based on a CMS, make sure your “Discourage” setting is unchecked.

This is actually quite common during a website redesign. When redesigning a website you may create a brand new development website that you don’t want Google or any other search engines to crawl. So you’ll check the box to hide your development website from search engines. However, you must remember to uncheck this box after you migrate the development website to your live website! If not, you’ll be preventing your website from showing up in the search results.

7 Quick and Easy SEO Tips for Small Businesses

Start off simple. If you’re new to SEO, that’s the best advice I can offer. Search engine optimization is an ongoing effort with many moving parts, and the payoffs are never immediate. But you don’t need to be an SEO guru to start moving the needle on your search engine rankings. Start with some simple tips to boost your SEO — and work at them consistently — and good things will happen.

Easy SEO TipsStart off simple.

If you’re new to SEO, that’s the best advice I can offer. Search engine optimization is an ongoing effort with many moving parts, and the payoffs are never immediate. But you don’t need to be an SEO guru to start moving the needle on your search engine rankings. Start with some simple tips to boost your SEO — and work at them consistently — and good things will happen.

Here are seven easy SEO tips that any small business owner can do. You don’t need to be a Web designer or have years of experience in marketing. Of course, you’ll want to learn more about SEO and expand your efforts as time goes on. Until then, these tips are more than enough to get you on your way.

1. Start a Blog

Content is king. That’s an old SEO adage that you’ll hear repeatedly if you hadn’t heard it already. Google’s algorithm is programmed to favor websites with unique, relevant content that’s highly useful to visitors.

Starting a blog is a great way to get useful content on your site. And there’s so much you can do with a blog. You can write about new products and industry trends, or you can engage your customers by offering helpful advice. Blog posts can help to establish your business as a local authority, and they can also be shared on social media to provide backlinks and positive social media signals — both of which are helpful for your website’s SEO.

Google’s search algorithms also favor websites with regularly updated content. Maintaining a blog serves this purpose. And if shoppers like what you have to say, they’ll be more likely to bookmark your site and return for future purchases.

2. Create a Google My Business Account

Creating a Google My Business profile allows your business to be shown in the local “maps” results of Google.com. If your business has walk-in customers, then that’s a big deal. Think about how many people use their smartphones to find nearby places to eat, shop and run errands. You can get an influx of new customers from the few minutes needed to start a Google My Business profile.

3. Start Building Backlinks

Building a network of backlinks (hyperlinks to your website from other sites) can establish your business as an authority in your field, resulting in a higher search ranking. To start building backlinks, create profiles for your business on sites such as Yelp, Bing Local and Foursquare. Build a company page on LinkedIn, and create a YouTube channel if you can offer informative or instructional videos — the possibilities are endless.

As you start profiles on different sites, remember to list your business information exactly as it’s listed in Google My Business. Doing so will boost your SEO efforts.

4. Get Your Titles, Headers and Meta Description Tags in Order

Titles and headers help Google determine which search terms are relevant for pages throughout your website. For example, if you owned a formalwear shop, then the wedding dress page should have the term “wedding dresses” in the page Title and a variation of that phrase in the <h1> header. The page Title is not visible on the page so you’ll need to view the source code to review your page Titles. The <h1> header is usually the main headline above the page content, and there should only be one, unique <h1> per page.

Like the page Titles, the meta description is also not visible on the page, but it does appear with your website in the search results. You can think of your Title and Meta Description like an advertisement in Google’s search results.

5. Ask Your Customers to Write Reviews

Reviews are helpful for small business SEO especially when they’re positive. Always ask your customers if they’ll post reviews to your Google My Business page or any other online review sites you’ve joined.

And really, you should create profiles on as many of these sites as possible. Angie’s List, Yelp and TripAdvisor are three of the most popular. Remember to make sure your name, address, and phone number (aka your NAP) on these sites match exactly with your Google My Business profile. As noted above, these citations can make a sizeable impact on your local SEO. Positive reviews can be even more impactful because they can lead to more prospects turning into customers.

6. Mention Your City and State

Boost your local SEO by frequently listing your company’s city and state throughout your website. Don’t overdo it, but putting this information in your meta tags, your home page <h1> header and throughout your content is helpful.

If you have a blog — which was one of the tips listed above — then articles pertaining to how your business is relevant to your city and region are also helpful. Mentions of your city and state can influence Google to favor your website in local search results.

7. Make Sure Your Site Works on Mobile

More people search Google nowadays using smartphones and tablets than desktops and laptops. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices, then your mobile search engine ranking is likely to take a hit. Remember that Google’s algorithm is tuned to connect people with sites that offer good user experiences. A site that’s not optimized for mobile won’t display correctly and may not even function as intended.

WordPress and other online publishing tools offer free website templates that are ready for mobile users. So you’re probably in good shape if you use this kind of platform. However, you may need to enlist a Web developer to convert your site for mobile. While this could be expensive, it’s well worth the cost. Otherwise, you risk losing more than half of your potential online customers.

Conclusion

Getting started in SEO doesn’t have to be a big deal, and this guide proves it. Anything you can do to improve your SEO – even the small things – will pay off over time. Just be patient and don’t get overwhelmed. Keep your process simple, and learn new things when you can. Eventually, your quick-hitting efforts will snowball and your website will climb in the rankings.

Want more SEO tips?  Click here to get a copy of our Ultimate Local SEO Checklist.