10 SEO and Link Building Mistakes

by / Saturday, 07 July 2012 / Published in Search Engine Optimization, Tips

Mistake 1 – Neglecting On-page Optimization:

I think more people are beginning to understand the importance of on-page optimization when it comes to ranking their web pages. With so much focus on keywords and link building though, often I see webmasters focusing too heavily on the “off page” stuff, without realizing what they do “on” their website is just as important. Proper internal linking, keyword density, LSI, image text, no follow tags, just to name a few, are also very important to search engines. There are free plugins available to help you with a lot of this stuff, so do your due diligence and implement whatever strategies need be.

Mistake 2 – Freaking Out When Rankings Plummet:

Go onto any internet marketing forum and you will see this every single time. People are literally freaking out when they see their rankings drop. Most often this is due to a thing we call the Google dance. All new websites go through what is called a “honeymoon” period where their websites rank very well at the beginning, but after a couple of weeks they settle in the search results… usually at a much lower ranking, again, this is natural.

If your websites have age and have dropped in rankings, you may need to work harder to get your position back. You may need to update your content more often, you may need to build more backlinks or you may need to re-evaluate your SEO strategy. Google’s algorithm is changing frequently these days so it’s important to find out what they want, and go give it to them. The days of gaming the system through black-hat techniques is coming to an end.

Mistake 3 – Writing for the Search Engines:

This is one of the biggest mistakes I see being made day in and day out. Webmasters are writing terrible content that is keyword stuffed for the bots. While it is important to have a certain keyword structure within your content so that the search engines know what your content is about, it is very important that you write for the human visitor FIRST. Some say for every 100 words, you should have your keyword inserted once. So, if you have a 1000 word post, you will put your target keyword into the article 10 times. I think this is a good rule of thumb to follow.

Make sure that when you read your article out loud, that it sounds natural and not robotic like. Always remember, if inserting your keyword too often into your post takes away from the natural flow of the article itself… then do not do it. Google is clamping down really hard on over optimized websites. Always write with your target human visitor in mind.

Mistake 4 – Building Thousands of Low Quality Links:

I cannot believe this is still going on with all of the changes Google has made. There are still idiots out there blasting thousands of links to their money sites in the hope of climbing the serps. I was offered 10,000 free links the other day to my website and I told the person to take a run and jump. Those kinds of links are going to have an adverse affect on your ranking. It has to be bloody obvious that Google hates these kinds of links and, if your business is solely dependent on this kind of strategy, then you are playing the fools game. One solid PR5 backlink from a relevant site will be far more powerful than a million links from low quality, non-relevant crappy sites.

Mistake 5 – Not Being Aware of Nofollow and Dofollow:

When I first started out in this industry I had no idea about these two terms. I built a lot of links to one of my first websites and it was taking forever to gain traction in the serps. After a bit of investigating I found that almost all of my backlinks were placed on web pages that were nofollow. Needless to say, those links were just not as effective for rankings as the dofollow links I needed. I’m not saying that nofollow links don’t have their place. In fact, it’s important to have diversity in your linking structure, but most of your links must be dofollow to gain maximum benefit.

Mistake 6 – Expecting Quick Results:

I know when I first started online, I expected to make a lot of money fairly quickly. Boy was I brought back down to earth over the next 6 – 12 months. I almost threw in the towel on more than one occasion because it became very frustrating, trying to make this thing work for me. I built website after website, built a hell of a lot of backlinks, wrote hundreds of articles and participated in all the social media sites, but, it just wasn’t happening as quick as I was led to believe it would.

I realized later on that NOBODY makes money online quickly. They all have to put in the hard work. Your progress can be accelerated if you are willing to spend some cash and outsource a lot of the grunt work, but in my experience, expecting to make money very quickly online usually works against you in the long run. The failure rate is so high because people find this out the hard way.

Mistake 7 – Not Being Consistent:

If you are serious about making money online then you must be consistent every single day with your efforts. This can be the biggest stumbling block for many. It almost was for me. You can work very hard to get top search engine rankings for a particular keyword, but even after the fact, you still have to be consistent with your efforts, else your competitors will overtake you fairly quickly. Everything you do in regards to your online business has got to be consistent. You must put the work in everyday if you are to see the results you’re after. Go read Jeff Olsen’s “The Slight Edge” and practice what you learn.

Mistake 8 – Not Diversifying Your Link Building:

To make your link building look natural, it’s important to gain backlinks from many different sources. Backlinks from just article directories and no other places for example, do not look natural and can hurt your rankings. You need to get links from social media sites, article directories, blogs, blog comments, forums etc. Diversifying your link building looks natural and can put you ahead of your competitors in the search results. A naturally good website will get links from many places, not just one or two.

Mistake 9 – Not Getting High Page Rank Links:

Every day you are backlinking, you should be looking to place your links onto high PR websites. Google values links placed on higher PR websites exponentially higher than low PR websites. These links are obviously harder to get, but that is exactly the point. The harder it is to get a link, the more valuable that link is likely to be. This is why all these push button software programs that can get you thousands of links are crap. You will not come across a software program that gets you high quality backlinks with the push of a button. Anyone who tells you differently is either lying or a moron.

Mistake 10 – Not Updating Your Content Often Enough:

Obviously the more high quality backlinks pointing to your content, the higher your search engine rankings will be. You will then get lots of free traffic. While this is the basic approach that everybody uses to climb the serps, there is another way. Google loves websites that update often. I have built a website that has very few backlinks pointing to it that gets me 10,000 visitors a month from the search engines. The reason for this is because I regularly update my content.

I see webmasters spending so much time building backlinks to their websites every day. This is important of course, but if they actually spent an hour each day writing a new post for their website, they would get far more traffic further down the line. I know this works because I have used this approach many times in the past. With all the Panda’s and Penguins about these days, I have found my websites gain higher search rankings, simply because I always have fresh content on my sites. If you do not want to write every day, then write at least 3 times a week – it helps.