Whether you’re a new business owner, an experienced entrepreneur, or a lifelong marketer, you’ve likely heard of search engine optimization (SEO). It’s an essential component of any business’s marketing strategy and should be given ample care and attention. However, even the savviest marketers can fall prey to common SEO pitfalls. Avoiding these will help your site rank higher and attract more visitors to your page, leading to greater success.
When you’re creating links, make sure that you’re using your link text wisely. Anchor text is the text in a link that points to a web page. It’s usually the same color as the page it leads to and it’s underlined.
When people use anchor text to link back to pages on your site, it can help people find you when they search for information about what you’re selling or offering. However, not all anchor text is created equally—and some types of anchor text are better than others.
This is why it’s important to use an SEO agency that specializes in your field. For example, if you are a SaaS business, you’ll want to use a SaaS SEO agency that can work to create both internal and external links for you that are both relevant and contextual to your business.
Over-optimizing your content, or trying to make your content look like a search engine, is a common mistake that can lead to penalties.
It’s important to know that over-optimization isn’t just about stuffing your title tag with keywords and hoping for the best. Over-optimization also includes:
- Use keywords as often as possible (even if they don’t fit with the rest of your content)
- Repeating keywords in different ways throughout the same piece of content—for example, using both “SEO experts” and “search engine optimization experts” in one sentence
The first pitfall is targeting the wrong keywords. If you are trying to rank for a keyword that doesn’t relate to your business, it can lead to a drop in organic traffic. The best keywords to target are ones that are relevant to your business. They should be high search volume (meaning they get many searches) and low competition (meaning there aren’t many other websites competing for them).
It’s important to remember that Google and other search engines are just tools. Just as you wouldn’t build a house based on only one tool, don’t run your SEO strategy solely through the lens of how search engines work. Instead, use them as one way to help users find what they’re looking for—and then focus on user experience and sales/conversions.
While it’s tempting to try and game the system, you should resist that urge. If a tactic doesn’t directly help your customers find what they need, don’t do it—it could hurt your rankings in the long run.
Don’t try to cheat the system by creating multiple accounts or linking to irrelevant websites just because you think it will help you rank higher. It won’t—and besides, Google knows when these techniques are being used and penalizes sites accordingly.
SEO is a long-term strategy. It’s not something you can do once, and then sit back and reap the benefits forever. You need to constantly monitor your site, make changes as necessary, and optimize for new keywords as your business grows.
SEO is not a quick fix. SEO isn’t something you can do in one day or even a week that will make your website show up on the first page of Google searches immediately (and more importantly—stay there). If it were that easy, there would be no need for SEO specialists like us.
SEO is not a magic bullet. SEO won’t fix all of your problems overnight—in fact, some may take months or years before they start paying off—but when used correctly it’s one of the most powerful tools available to businesses today.
Hopefully, this overview has helped you understand some of the most common SEO pitfalls. There are plenty of ways to accidentally sabotage your SEO efforts through carelessness or misunderstanding of the principles behind good SEO practices. If you can avoid these mistakes, then your site will be well on its way to reaching its full SEO potential—and it’s not that difficult; after all, much like with any other skill set, what it takes is a little bit of knowledge and experience.