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3 Common SEO Mistakes To Avoid

Most serious content marketers by now have caught on to what SEO is and what you generally can and can't do with it. Not all website owners, however, can be considered serious content marketers.

In fact, many of them can be considered serious jokes who are most likely to make multiple SEO mistakes throughout their sites. There are other publishers who stumble upon misinformation about it, then there are schemers who think they can trick Google. The best category to fall into is the group that understands Google guidelines and the goal to craft quality content for users. The following are examples of common SEO mistakes and how to avoid them. And I would immediately like to remind you of backlink management.

It’s easy to get sidetracked from your top priority of crafting useful content when you research SEO techniques. Many articles, even by experts, tend to gloss over the importance of crafting content for users instead of search engines. Yet they’ll tell you all about how to craft content specifically for Google, which can actually punish websites that go overboard with SEO. All of Google’s algorithmic updates such as Penguin and Panda have been designed to move in a clear direction toward rewarding authentic content sites while penalizing fluffy content sites.

As an online publisher your number one focus should be on your users, not your brilliant schemes to try to get high search rankings. Google wants to send its users as quickly as possible to what they are actually searching for, which is quality content that doesn’t waste their time. If your main focus is designing meaningless pages full of SEO gimmicks, then you are inevitably wasting not just the user’s time, but also your own time creating fluff that Google ideally wants to avoid. SEO is important only to help shape useful content but it should never overshadow the actual content.

2. Thin Content

Thin content is easy for Google to measure and penalize. If you write a blog or article that’s only 50 words, then it’s pretty hard for it to be considered anything but thin content. While there is no real rule on how many words make up solid content, a word count of 500 to 2,000 is generally adequate. On the other hand, it’s possible to write a 2,000 word piece that is pure fluff with no real useful information. If your article is simply rambling on and on about obvious things found in many places all over the web, then it might be considered thin content regardless of the word count. Avoid stretching content just to reach a certain word count and try to make every word matter.

3. Duplicate Content

One of the worst SEO mistakes you can do to your website is saturate it with duplicate content, especially if it’s verbatim from other websites. Not only is copying content from other websites potentially copyright infringement, it can be severely penalized by search engines. If you think you can get away with plagiarizing other people’s work verbatim, you may have never heard of Copyscape software, which can scan the internet in a matter of seconds to determine if a particular piece of content has been duplicated from another website. Spinning content is the practice of taking someone else’s content and changing the words a little so that it appears to be original. While this strategy is less likely to be considered copyright infringement, it can still be a red flag to search engines, which might view it as duplicate content.

It’s always better to just create your own content and make it as original as possible. There are many ways to create original content, starting with your own commentary or interviews with experts. Avoiding SEO mistakes is not that difficult to achieve if you keep in mind that your website should be focused on promoting a specific unique niche that cannot be found on competing websites.

Inspired by Nick Eubanks

CEO / From The Future

Nick is Founder of From The Future and Partner at Traffic Think Tank and NK Tech.

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