The SEO “no-no” test: Common mistakes you should avoid

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Image courtesy of Scott Schiller at Flickr.com

Those who are just learning how to develop strategies and using SEO tools will tell that attracting more traffic or optimizing online searches is not precisely a piece of cake. The desperate struggle for the scarce attention of Internet users is a constant push and, as in all kind of endeavors, it takes hard work, constant learning and lots of observation. However, not falling into the common mistakes (which even evolve, in the same way as the strategies and tools) is not less important.

How many of the following frequent mistakes do you commit?

Bad boy! Google gives too much importance to contents, and having a good original content is the first thing you should do in terms of SEO, since it has to be useful and helpful to users. You’re not working for Google, Mr., you need visitors, users, buyers. The only thing you gain from producing low-quality content is having more volume of text to enter more keywords, however, your rebound percentage will increase and Google penalizes that. If your users don’t get what they are looking for and don’t want to return, well: that’s a no-no.

The same applies in case you create pages only for producing and publishing content. Bad. If you want to position a keyword, you rather create the most useful, original and fantastic content you can and place the keywords in strategic locations of the text afterward. Content alone is not good enough for attracting more traffic, but without a good content, you won’t have much visitors either.

We’re not talking about copying and pasting content from others (now, if you do it, for God’s sake, stop that,) but duplicate your own content. “How is that?” you ask. In fact, easier than you think. If you have a WordPress Blog, for instance, and you are the sole author, you generate duplicate content if there’s the same content on the Author page and the main page of your Blog. Google checks your blog and realizes that users can access the same content through two different URLs and they will penalize that. So, always add the “NOINDEX” tag to the Author page and you will get rid of this little big mistake for once and for all.

Related: The basic SEO principles you should always remember, by ReputationDefender

If you answer yes, there is no dessert after dinner. Understand very well the following idea: Most internet traffic comes from mobile phones and tablets nowadays (not laptops or desktop computers,) thus, if the interface of your website is not compatible or too slow to load, what will automatically happen is that you’ll lose visits and your good ranking. What’s more, Google will take care of giving priority to mobile-friendly websites.

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Image courtesy of OTA Photos at Flickr.com

Then you’re shooting yourself in the foot. It does not matter if you implement the best content strategy, if it goes well with web positioning in general (let’s say, you try to fit your topics as best as possible with the searches that people perform on search engines.) Yet, if you don’t watch and study those searches, you won’t know how is your progression going, nor you won’t know how to take actions to improve or to stop making mistakes. You will not be able to develop new strategies when the market, the new trends or other factors demand it. Wrong again. You can do this for free with Google Webmaster Tools, for example. It’s not difficult and it only takes a little time each day!

Please, go and sit in the corner and reflect on this: Keywords are one of the fundamental pillars of SEO. The first step in any web optimization process is the search and choice of keywords. Badly chosen keywords will condition all the actions you do next. On the other hand, if you do use keywords but you overdo it (to the point of writing incomprehensible texts), users will not be interested in your low-quality content and Google will like it much less. Moreover, if abusing keywords is a serious mistake, publishing content without investigating the keywords previously is just as wrong. In order to get organic traffic, you first have to analyze your niche market and find out what Internet users are looking for, as well as how they ask these questions on Google.

That’s cool. Google will not send you to jail if you implement black hat techniques learned in tutorials for newbie hackers. They will only penalize your pages. Other search engines too. So, if you overdo Link Building, if you steal identities, you include too many ads, you are an active cloaking fan or you enjoy shopping links (among others,) your chances will be quite shallow, pal. Respect the rules of Google and other engines, and you will do better in the long run (although you have to work hard for that.)

Too many affirmative answers?

Recommended: SEMrush Study: 11 Most Common On-Site SEO Issues

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