It’s easy for webmasters to become obsessed with search engine optimization (SEO). This is especially true if they are selling something on their site. More visitors mean more income for the webmaster. And if a site is ranked highly in the search engines, those visitors arrive in droves. If you can crack the SEO code, higher rankings are almost assured. But if you make these all-too-common search optimization mistakes, you could sink your rankings and your website’s future along with them. So let’s get right to the list of SEO mistakes you should avoid at all costs.
SEO Mistake #1: Too Much Focus on Link Building
Webmasters highly prize links from other websites. In the eyes of the search engines, if other sites are linking to you that must mean you have something worth seeing. The problem comes when you spend all your time building links and don’t put the effort into creating a high-quality destination. When your site doesn’t deliver on the promise of the links, visitors will literally “bounce” away from your site. They arrive, fail to see anything of value, and move on within seconds. This type of visitor behavior will have a negative effect on your rankings. In fact, it can completely negate all the effort you have put into building links. Instead of link building, concentrate on the content and trust the links to come on their own.
SEO Mistake #2: Poorly Constructed Titles and Descriptions
Imagine for a moment you are searching the web. You scan through a list of search engine results. “Aha,” you exclaim. “There’s the page I want right on top. It’s call ‘untitled.” This is not too likely to happen. Your page titles should clearly communicate what your page is about. In fact, if they are creative and memorable, you’ll have an even better chance of attracting that visitor. Descriptions are the words that appear under the page title in the search results. You can actually fill that description with an enticing snippet that you write yourself. It’s a two line opportunity to sell your website to a potential visitor who is window shopping the web. Don’t squander the opportunity. If you have an HTML site, use the title and description meta tags. Using WordPress instead? Install a good SEO plugin.
SEO Mistake #3: Keyword Stuffing
It’s natural to assume that anything worth doing is worth over-doing, right? This is so untrue for using keywords in your content. Keywords or key phrases are those search terms used by visitors you hope to attract. But if you overuse them in your site or in your site’s keyword meta tags, you’re going to have a bad experience. Keyword stuffing used to work-ten years ago, maybe. The search engines have taken quantum leaps of progress since then and they are wise to this ham-handed approach to SEO.
The stakes are high in the traffic game. Out of millions of search results, you are aiming for the top three. It’s understandable you might try to game the system or go overboard with your efforts. But these mistakes will have a devastating effect on your rankings. Concentrate on building a site that human visitors will love, and they will come.