Internet, SEO

SEO For 2013: Avoid These Common Mistakes

seo-mistakesSEO is always changing. These are the most common mistakes webmasters are making these days.

The Internet changes quickly, but search engine optimization remains as important as ever. However, effective SEO now requires a broader set of skills than SEO in the past. You may have mastered SEO techniques from a few years ago, but new problems are always cropping up. Avoid these mistakes that are creeping into the search engine optimization mainstream.

Half-Hearted Attempts at Social Media

When most experts talk about social media, they talk about the importance of tapping into Facebook and Twitter because of their large user bases. However, search engine algorithms also use social media activity as signals about how various websites should rank. You may have social media profiles and occasionally link back to your blog. These half-hearted attempts at using social media won't help you.

You should be actively engaging social media with content that relates to your niche that can bring in new readers or visitors. Interact with other social media profiles that share similar interest and think of this time as important relationship building that will pay off in search engine rank and web site visitors.

Cutting Corners on Content

In the early days, the challenge was simply to offer unique content, not scraped from other websites, and filling it with the right keywords. Today, the focus is more than just providing unique content that appeals to search engines.

Today the focus has to be on engaging the reader, with optimizing content for SEO a much smaller emphasis. The competition has grown and you need your content to stand on its own while standing out. Your focus should be on making sure your writing staff knows how to engage readers first. Your technical staff can tweak content for SEO when posting to the web.

Aggressive Link Building

While links are essential for SEO, search engine algorithms now look at the time frame in which links appear. They also look at where these links are coming from, how much they rely on keyword-rich anchors and whether they seem natural or forced.

Slow and steady wins the race in backlink building these days. Slow down, pay attention to the details and choose your host websites carefully when guest posting. It's a long-term strategy, not a race to the finish.

Poor Site Architectures

Despite search engine algorithm improvements, site architecture still matters. If you have had good success with your site, you may not have paid attention to this aspect of SEO. Today it's a necessity, not simply a courtesy for visitors. Look at your layout, that ease of navigation and make sure there is a logical progression from main pages to subpages that relate in subject.

Hiring an Unproven SEO Professional

You may have been able to handle the complexities of SEO yourself a few years ago, but the more things change, the more likely you are to need help. Busy webmasters may be tempted to hire out to the lowest bidder or take a referral from a friend just to get things going quickly. Failing to research the SEO services you choose can have dire consequences. If the company doesn't understand the harm aggressive SEO can cause your site, you are likely to suffer.

Get examples from a prospective SEO professional of successful web campaigns with hard numbers to back up their success. Look at the websites they have worked with and be sure they fit you're your particular niche. Web marketing has many nuances according to niche that make it smart to hire one with experience in your website's are of interest. See what strategies they have in mind for your site before signing on to make sure the strategy is sound and right for your website in the long term.

The SEO choices you make today affect the future success of your website. Avoid these trending SEO mistakes to help you outpace the competition.

Jessica Bosari writes about SEO and web marketing for SEO firm, White Chalk Road.

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