Beginner SEO Mistakes To Avoid

Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, has become the backbone for many digital entrepreneurs. Across industries and cultures, this internet practice has made it possible for no-name companies to become trending topics overnight. You may be familiar with the acronym as a buzzword that every company from here to Timbuktu is using. Unfortunately, awareness does not equate to knowledge. Though knowledge in this case could equate to profit. However, this is only possible with a thorough and effective application of the concept. Should you pair these two items, there could be financial windfall in your future.

But before that can happen, you must know what you’re doing. Let’s start with the basics – what is SEO? For any company to secure popularity online, they must appear frequently and highly in search results of all kinds. Without being in a position along such lines, the closing of doors, digitally or physically, becomes much more likely. Basically, SEO is the intentional effort to design your website and social media in such a way that it is more likely to appear in search results. Though truthfully, there is nothing basic about making this a reality in your online presence.

Peter Thaleikis, the CEO of Bring Your Own Ideas highlighted this, “I tend to describe SEO as a creative number game: You need basic skills such as writing, technical analysis, building relationships, and logical thinking. But once you’ve ticked these boxes off, it becomes a numbers game. It’s about productivity: getting stuff done. From there on, you will find the challenges being more your individual limits and priorities.”

As with any effort, there is a textbook way to go about things. There is also a way littered with possible mistakes that could pose unwanted issues. To help you avoid the latter, we have put together a list of beginner SEO mistakes to avoid.

Forgetting who you’re writing to

As you’ll soon see, there are more more SEO mistakes than you likely think. However, the biggest of these may come from the way SEO writers put together their work. Like it or not, SEO writing is about the consumer, not the products hopefully being sold. Failure to recognize but as well as incorporate this into each and every work of SEO writing will only bring about meager results.

“You should start to view SEO as an answer to a question rather than a straightforward advertisement,” said Max Ade, CEO of Pickleheads. “The question you’re answering should be the searches people are entering into their preferred engine. “

It’s easy to fall into the mindset that your SEO content should be the best demonstration of your product you can manage. It’s a fairly common mistake after all. That being said, this is something not only to be aware of but to guard against as well.

“Without the customer, there is no SEO in the first place,” said John Berry, CEO and Managing Partner of Berry Law. “This means you should be designing your articles around people and their vocabulary, not your products.”

Overcomplicating your introduction

Nothing you can say or do will change how online marketing works. The same can be said about connecting with customers digitally. You have to find your online niche. Furthermore you must make this niche readily available and understandable. Otherwise, the people who are most likely to be your customers literally will not be able to find you.

“What is it about a Google search result that makes you click on it over another?” said Brittany Dolin, Co-Founder of Pocketbook Agency. “Likely, the chosen link was brief and direct in what it displayed on the results page. “

To cut to the chase, first impressions are everything. If you can’t put together a succinct website title and extremely short bio then things just won’t go your way. Honestly, this is hard to create but easy to test. When it comes to the latter all you must do is find your SEO content via a search engine and review if it fits an appeal format. The former, is another matter.

“In the world of SEO, words will make or break anything you can dream up,” said Jae Pak, Founder of Jae Pak MD Medical. “Take the time to craft every sentence you upload, especially the ones that kick off the relationship.”

Hyper-focusing on one area

Managing a successful SEO campaign is somewhat like a juggling act - there are many things hanging in the balance simultaneously, all with equal weight. The problem is that each of these items are a trying task in and off themselves. For example, the kind of insight needed to make sense into the average consumer is not easy to come by. On top of that, creating click-worthy content is difficult in and of itself. Coordinating this duo alongside each other will stretch many people, and companies, thin.

“The accessibility of the internet has pushed SEO marketing to a point where only the best of the best show up in searches,” said Asker A Ahmed, Director of iProcess Global Research. “To ensure this happens for your company, maintain balance across every aspect of your efforts.”

Essentially, you are trying to be, or employ, an SEO superstar. You and your company need someone who is able to blend together the vastly different parts of SEO creation. Ideally, zero elements slip through the proverbial cracks. Though, truth be told, a lone employee capable of managing all this is more akin to an imaginary friend than anything else. Which is why companies have started securing entire teams to accomplish their desired SEO creation.

“SEO has grown so much that entire companies actually provide this service for companies in need of it,” said Rachel Roff, Founder and CEO of Urban Skin Rx. “Which goes to show you not only how impactful the practice can be, but how vital it is for your company to have people who know what they’re doing with SEO.”

Links, links, links

Now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of SEO. It should be apparent by now that SEO does not stop, ever. It is an unstoppable force. But you should realize what powers that force - web links. The most well crafted SEO content will be rendered useless if it is not full stocked with links to a variety of web pages. This is also true if your piece is not linked elsewhere. The idea here is simple - the more involved you are, the higher your odds are of receiving the digital attention you desire.

“In a passing conversation about SEO, you might talk about how many clicks a specific piece generates,” said Breanne Millette, CEO of Bisoulovely. “But the real number you should be concerned about is the number of backlinks.”

To cut to the chase, backlinking happens when another outlet links your SEO work within their work. Hopefully, this is a symbiotic relationship as that’s where companies and their SEO efforts thrive. But this does not take place without some heavy lifting on your end.

“If you want your SEO content to take off, you have to build relationships with other companies,” said Lionel Mora, CEO of Neoplants. “You could be missing huge opportunities without sharing and linking relevant information as a product of this relationship.”

Breaking the rules of SEO

Years ago, the internet was far more similar to the Wild West than it is today. Governing bodies which had the ability to enforce fair and honest business practices were just a pipe dream. Website hosting was difficult to say the least and advertising may as well have been non-existent. From top to bottom, it was a different world - one free of rules. And that may be the most noteworthy thing to remember going forward.

“Breaking the regulations could be the first domino to go in the failure of your company because you could get blacklisted, which could be incredibly harmful for your brand reputation.” said Ubaldo Perez, CEO of Hush Anesthetics.

There is no shortage of companies that have tried to pay their way to the top of the SEO food chain only to close their doors a few months down the road. They likely got caught trying to bribe publications to include their links within some soon-to-be published SEO piece. With how cutthroat the SEO landscape is, it might be incredibly tempting to follow suit in the hopes of a different outcome. But, is that kind of gamble really worth it?

“Make sure the links you are getting are quality and natural ‘‘ said Shaunak Amin, CEO and Co-Founder of SwagMagic. “There are plenty of ways to acquire backlinks in a way that is healthy for the growth of your website.”

As seen above, there are many potential pitfalls when it comes to SEO. But, In the right hands, it can be an amazing asset. In fact, it is a critical asset. Author and multi-business founder, Neil Patel supported this ideal, “No website can stand without a strong backbone. And that backbone is technical SEO.”

McClatchy newsroom and editorial staff were not involved in the creation of this content.