Common SEO Mistakes: An Intro

Niels Bohr said, “An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.”

While I’m not the type to proclaim myself an “Expert” (if anything, I consider myself a “Student”), I made my fair share of mistakes in a narrow field like SEO. I’ve also seen a lot of mistakes by others, either from my competitive research or when I see what I inherited on a new client’s website. So while there are post, after post, after post on SEO mistakes, they are tend to repeat issues. So I’m planning a series of posts from my vantage point that are intended to offer mistakes that I see working with Enterprise SEO clients and ways to avoid them.

Before I share them, I thought it might be fun to share what folks over at Online Geniuses SEO Community claim are common SEO mistakes. Have a look:

Far and away the things we see at the moment that cause us the most headaches are poor/thin content - clients not understanding what makes a useful page and not realising what they need to convey in order to answer visitors' questions; and poor/confused site structures.

On e-commerce sites it's manufacturers descriptions with nothing else on the page and not using parent/child products, thereby causing massive amounts of duplication, which also falls under poor IA because how does a search engine then know if the pink size 10 is the canonical version or the black size 12 or the green size 8, etc.

Understated: Splitting subdomains. IDC what some blogger tries to claim, case study after case study on blackhatworld indicates that you lose a ridiculous amount of authority splitting a blog on a subdomain rather than an inner subdirectory

Not having a strategy

Not promoting your content

Duplicating & duplicating topics over multiple pages, particularly in the blog. i.e. they have a custom homes building service landing page, but then they also have blog posts: why custom homes is right for you, is a custom home affordable, choosing the right custom home builder, how to make a custom home, custom home deals, etc, etc, etc.

So without further ado, here are 5 common - and very tactical - SEO mistakes that I’ve made in the past and learned from or noticed others make routinely. I’ll explain each of them in 5 separate posts, but check out the synopsis first.

  1. Ignoring, misplacing or misusing the canonical tags

  2. Using important SEO element for non-SEO purposes

  3. Thinking Googlebot can’t see content or links because it doesn’t appear in the view source

  4. Splitting the domain authority

  5. Misunderstanding where a SEO specialist fits into the development process.