35 Common SEO Mistakes of Webmasters, Website Owners and Even SEOs

Should SEO be done shortly after the site has been rebuilt? Should keyword ranking be a basis of success? There are so many questions fielded in by curious website owners. And there are equally so many answers and unsolicited advice scattered across the Web. While many of these SEO advices are insightful, some are outdated or simply a product of misunderstanding and should be avoided.

So what are the common SEO mistakes website owners, webmasters and even SEOs like me commit?

happy-dog

Planning and Implementation Stage

  1. Failure to identify the main website objectives before performing SEO tasks such as keyword research and making content recommendations.
  2. Failure to incorporate user experience in web design as to complement an SEO campaign.
  3. Failure to add web analytics tracking tools the moment a site goes live.
  4. Failure to look beyond web content — such as RSS feeds, photos and videos — as basis of increased search engine visibility.
  5. Failure to consider both branded and non-branded search terms as well as long tail keywords in keyword research.
  6. Choosing keywords based on gut feeling rather than scientific research.
  7. Choosing keywords because “the CEO checks this keyword every day in office”.
  8. Creating similar titles that Google sometimes have to come up with its own.
  9. Embedding text on images instead of using HTML text.
  10. Allowing both www and non-www versions of the site to exist, allowing canonicalization issues.
  11. Failure to add a custom 404 Error page and in a 404 Error status headers.
  12. Failure to redirect old URLs to the new versions.
  13. Failure to use keyword-rich URLs.
  14. Diluting link equity to external sites by not using a “nofollow” link directive.
  15. Relying on XML sitemap to mitigate poor internal linking structure.
  16. Frequently using non-targeted anchor links such as “click here” or “read more”.
  17. Failure to use the homepage as gateway to major sections of the website.
  18. Inefficient coding such as placement of unnecessary inline JavaScripts and Cascaded Stylesheets.
  19. Creating Javascript-powered site-wide navigation menu.
  20. Failure to label images (file naming convention and alt text).
  21. Refusal to provide complete and accurate responses to information requests.
  22. Failure to check if SEO implementations are done properly.
  23. sad-cat
    Post-SEO Implementation Stage

  24. Thinking about SEO for a website only after its redesign has finished.
  25. Failure to understand how search engines work and that long-term results do not reflect within first few weeks.
  26. Focusing on offline competitors as basis of performance.
  27. Failure to track under-performing keywords and understanding why they contribute very little to the overall bottomline.
  28. Failure to monitor the latest updates or new features from search engines.
  29. Inability to capitalize on how social media can help achieve website objectives or deal with negative feedback from customers.
  30. Refusal to pay SEOs solely because of the inability to implement sound content and technical recommendations.
  31. Refusal to share to SEOs other online marketing strategies, thereby limiting the generation of ideas.
  32. Allowing web developers and copywriters to update the website without following SEO guidelines.
  33. Failure to remove comments and annotations pertaining to SEO within the source code.
  34. Failure to track online marketing campaigns using URL Builder and identify areas for improvement.
  35. Making counterproductive efforts like sending e-mails to popular bloggers proposing for link exchange.
  36. Believing in anything they read about SEO on the Web!

Photo credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nikonsnapper/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/catherinecaf/