Marketing

5 Fatal SEO Mistakes You Must Avoid

Most bloggers, publications, and businesses dream of being on the front page of Google’s search results. It’s the Holy Grail for all SEO warriors. Sadly, many of us make one too many of the following mistakes that will cause Google to turn its glorious light away, leaving us to languish in page 20 hell.

1. Committing keyword suicide

Keywords are crucial for telling search engines like Google what your content is about. But as with everything else in life, use in moderation.

“I know you love pizzas in Brooklyn. Brooklyn pizzas are to die for. Here’s where you can get the best pizzas in Brooklyn.”

If you try to pull that BS, Google will most likely exile you all the way to page 10 in the search results. Be smart about how you incorporate your keywords. Make sure your content sounds natural because search engines can recognize unnatural content and they especially hate it when there are more keywords than actual, useful content.

2. Metadata laziness

In SEO, even the smallest details matter. Just because you can’t see it most of the time, doesn’t mean Google doesn’t care. I’m talking about metadata: the title and text underneath that describe what your content is about, visible only in the search results. Who cares that your blog post is a masterpiece if no one clicks to read it? The metadata is the first thing searchers see and is an extremely powerful tool to get people to click on your website if you do it right. Keep your title short and sweet (under 60 characters) and make the best-sounding pitch possible in under 160 characters for your descriptions. It also won’t hurt to put a keyword, or two, in there as well.

3. Ugly URLs

Consider these URLs:

www.12548.com/a/12/394?38-443?#

vs

www.foodisawesome.com/reasons-for-snacking

Which would you rather click on?

Most people are naturally leery of ugly, strange-looking URLs. And if no one clicks on it, Google will think it’s irrelevant and will cast the spell of invisibility on it. So if you have a wonderful article about snacking (purely for example), make sure you present it properly in a clean and professional way in your URL.

4. Mobile failure

About 50 percent of web browsing is done on a mobile device, so imagine the kind of readership you’re throwing down the drain if you still don’t have a mobile-optimized website. Google has also started favoring websites that are mobile-optimizing and turning its nose up at websites that haven’t quite managed to keep up. So make sure your website looks and works great on both a computer and a mobile device to earn Google’s favor and to keep your viewers happy.

5. Cheap, lazy content

If you don’t care about the quality of your content, what makes you think Google and your visitors will? Chances are, the more useful, interesting, and fresh your content is, the more people will gravitate towards it and catch Google’s attention. Never plagiarize, and definitely never publish the same exact post over and over all over the web if you don’t want to get blacklisted by Google.

Also, presentation matters. Proofread, proofread, proofread! You can never proofread enough. There’s nothing more off-putting than stumbling over typos and random empty spaces in a post. Your carelessness shows. If people don’t think you take pride in your work, they won’t bother either. And if your visitors can’t be bothered, Google definitely won’t.

Kaitlyn L.

Kaitlyn L.

Kaitlyn is a blogger and professional writer. While specializing in health and relationship topics, she also writes articles on a variety of topics, including culture, food, technology, and politics. Her written work can be found on pilcrowmagazine.com and newbiechef.wordpress.com.
  • Maggie Ting

    Great tips Kaitlyn!

  • Steven Oldham

    Never really understood the ‘meta’ side of SEO – end up using pretty much the same as the blog post title

    • Yeah I think that’s fine. The more important bit to get right is the description for the article since it’s the only other thing people see in the search results when deciding whether to click or not.

  • Chandler Waller

    Interesting about the URLs, never realised I did that myself without noticing.. good write up!

    • Thank you! Yeah, not many would think about the URLs, but I often find myself thinking twice about clicking on a link that doesn’t clearly tell me what it’s about.

  • Zayyan Zee Abrahams

    nice post! thanks for the info…very valuable to a newbiew like myself