Common SEO Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Common SEO Mistakes And How To Avoid Them
Key 'Takeaways' From This Post
  • 53% of marketers are now placing more importance on creating content
  • Content is not a substitute for on-page SEO
  • Influencer outreach has been shown to generate 11x more ROI

When it comes to carrying out SEO, the internet is full of advice, how-to’s and best practices. It also has more than its fair share of what not to do. The problem is, a lot of this advice is conflicting which is less than helpful when your organic search positions simply won’t start their upward trajectory.

If your SEO campaign is failing to get new clients and customers, you could be making one of those common SEO mistakes. We delved deep for advice from experts to give you solutions you can trust. Read on for that ‘aha’ moment and start doing SEO right — right now.

You’re Mixing Up Content Marketing and SEO

Let’s just get this out there right now – content marketing is crucial to SEO. You can’t have a killer SEO campaign if you don’t have a foundation of killer content. Content is the fuel for link building, nurtures social media engagement and gives Google an idea of what your page should actually be ranking for.

Referencing the B2B Content Marketing 2017: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report, Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi notes that 53% of marketers are now placing more importance on creating content, with 84% of the most effective content marketers delivering content consistently over the year.

The benefits of content marketing are well documented and align nicely with key SEO goals – generate links, raise awareness, attract qualified traffic. But – and this is an important point – content marketing is not SEO. If you’re putting all of your SEO eggs into a content basket, you’re very likely to end up frustrated with your SEO results.

Forbes contributor and entrepreneur, John Rampton explains, “Content marketing is great and works beautifully alongside SEO. However, some business owners think that creating excellent content is a substitution for SEO. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There will always be examples of amazing content that ranks without any intentional optimization. However, that’s the exception and not the rule. On-page SEO is still imperative for getting your content to rank and it also tends to improve user experience, which makes it an all-around smart thing to do.”

The Takeaway

  • Great content is crucial for SEO and you should make content marketing a key part of your strategy
  • Content is not a substitute for on-page SEO and will not power ranking improvements on its own
  • Don’t neglect on-page audits – optimize your content as you create it to tie your great blog posts and articles back to your SEO goals

Common SEO Mistakes

You Aren’t Evolving Your Approach

Many of us are guilty of following a cookie-cutter approach to SEO. We know that we need to use keywords in page titles, optimize H1 tags, create content and link build. As we’ve already seen, SEO is constantly evolving and failing to set aside time to keep up with that pace of development is a major SEO mistake and one that could ultimately, see your campaign sink.

SEO Chat has a list of 10 SEO gurus to learn from. If you aren’t checking in with at least one or two regularly, you risk getting left behind and relying on older methods, rather than cutting-edge new approaches.

With a combination of manual and automatic listing management capabilities, tons of tools and research options, and new integrations, we've found Bright Local to be able to fill any gaps we have from using other platforms. Definitely recommend!
Marie Werhan
Columbus, OH

You’re Not Using Influencer Outreach Correctly

 Every year, one or two buzzwords take hold and digital marketers are encouraged to incorporate them into their SEO mix as soon as humanly possible. Influencer outreach is one such strategy.

There are several reasons why influencer outreach is a hot topic. It’s shown to generate 11x more ROI than traditional online advertising and it lives on online forever. Influencer marketing does have a host of SEO benefits to recommend it too – it’s a good way to generate links, it’s an excellent way to generate traffic and it’s useful for creating new content.

However, this alone isn’t enough.

Influencer outreach takes a lot of time, effort and resources. Hundreds of man hours go into finding influencers, researching blogs and narrowing down potential candidates, collaborating on campaigns, creating content and getting it live. With statistics like the 11x better ROI flying around, it’s easy to justify the time spent on locating influencers and guest bloggers, perhaps to the detriment of other steady, tried-and-tested SEO strategies and forget that to make outreach pull its weight, more work is required after the influencer is on board.

Search Engine Journal contributor and President at inSegment, Inc, Alexander Kesler cites not using the power of social media influencers as one of his top 10 SEO mistakes. He says, “Optimization has a social dimension as well. When you are sharing your content on social media, one of your main goals is to get the attention of users who have a significant online influence. This means their content gets noticed by both your target audience and by search engines.”

Sending out pitch letters to influencers and getting them to post a blog or product review on their site isn’t enough. The time taken to find the right influencers can only be justified when every SEO benefit is extracted from the campaign and that means maximizing every opportunity to amplify the message, via paid social, influencer social postings, content promotion and cross-channel promotion such as email, paid ads and your own social media.

The Takeaway

  • Influencer marketing is only effective for SEO if you choose the right influencers and tie activity back to your optimization goals
  • The time invested in identifying collaborators and creating content isn’t enough on its own to drive SEO improvements
  • SEO benefits will only be seen if the same effort is put into the campaign after your influencer marketing is set up. This means looking for cross-promotion opportunities and amplifying your messages across social media and other owned and paid media channels

 You’re Ignoring Internal Links

When we think about link building, 99% of our brains are usually thinking about how we can obtain more links, of a better quality, and in a higher volume. We all know links power SEO so this makes sense, up to a point but, some of that brain power also needs to be used for internal link strategies.

John Rampton says, “Internal links are important both from a ranking and user-experience perspective. Linking to your other pages and posts helps to evenly distribute link equality throughout your site, and also increases metrics like time-on-site and page views.”

If you need a refresher on best practice for internal linking, Moz has a handy resource here.

Let us know what you think

 What other common SEO mistakes are you guilty of or do you see your clients committing on a regular basis? What other common SEO crimes would you add to this list? We’d love to hear from you so please share your experiences with us in the comments.

Sherry Bonelli
About the author
Sherry is the former Local Search Evangelist at BrightLocal. She led BrightLocal's Research and Content programs and championed the needs of their SEO Agency and SMB customers. Having worked in digital marketing since 1998, Sherry has a Master’s Degree in Internet Marketing along with numerous digital marketing certifications.