34 Expert Bloggers Reveal the Biggest SEO Mistakes to Avoid in 2015

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SEO has become one of the most profitable businesses which a beginner can succeed with little to no experience if they are willing to work hard. However, when you are a newbie you may not know exactly what works, so you may try to do too many things at once.

Often, this enthusiasm leads to poor strategy. Upon entering such a crowded new field, you can easily get lost. The best thing you can do is to learn from other people’s mistakes. That’s why I’ve teamed up with Codrut Turcanu and asked him to connect with and interview some of the biggest thought leaders in the industry to see what advice they have for those new to SEO.

Whether you’re a beginner, or if you’ve got years of experience in SEO, you can still benefit and learn valuable advice from today’s expert roundup.

Enjoy!

duane forresterDuane Forrester TheOnlineMarketingGuy.com Twitter

The number one mistake businesses, bloggers and sites of all sizes currently make is not understanding their users. Watching traffic patterns through your website does not clearly define who the visitor is. That’s where understanding personas and constructing them plays such a vital role.

Being able to truly state “my customer is X, is worth Y, buys N items each time and is likely to also enjoy A, B & C” is a make or break exercise as businesses seek to move forward. Same applied to plain old blogging, whether for fun or profit. being able to get inside the head of your reader and know what excites them, what will get them to engage or what might offend them (sometimes this is a good thing, too), is paramount to long term growth and survival.

And yet, people still don’t put time into this…

If I had to list a second big failure, it not addressing the move to mobile that’s happening. The move to mobile isn’t “news” by any stretch, yet every single day we still encounter new, freshly designed websites that have a “hover” feature in their navigation, which is great when using a mouse. But tablet and phone users aren’t using peripherals, and that fancy hover action doesn’t work, meaning they can’t navigate on your site.

The big failure here is a simple one to avoid: test the site across multiple devices. Disappointing to still see fresh designs still failing on such a simple and obvious point.

So if you’re a blogger, or maintain a blog, don’t assume that great theme you paid for, or that well rated freebie is a killer across the board. test, test, test…or fail.

Megan ClaireMeg Jerrard MappingMegan.com Twitter

One of the biggest SEO mistakes bloggers and niche site owners make is forgetting to correctly title, caption or optimize their photographs. All too often bloggers upload photographs leaving the title as 453DCM.jpeg, which is horrible SEO practice.

Simply changing the title of your photographs before uploading them will do wonders for your SEO, and mean that your photos are showing up in Google image searches under relevant keywords and search terms.

Remember that photos in Google searches are clickable and direct traffic through to your website – by not optimizing your photos and thinking of SEO when you upload them, you are missing out on this traffic. Make sure you also add alternative text and a description when uploading to WordPress.

Jacob CurtisJacob Curtis JacobCurtis.comTwitter

I think the #1 SEO mistake that bloggers and niche site owners should avoid is having a non-mobile-friendly website. Google has already began tagging its mobile search results with a “mobile-friendly” label to inform users of the experience they should expect when clicking through and may even begin penalizing sites that are not responsive.

Jacob-Curtis

This may prompt users to choose one website over another since nobody likes looking at a page where the text is way to small or the navigation format is not optimized. If you’re not sure if your site is mobile-friendly, you can use this test provided by Google Webmaster tools to check.

Tommy LandryTommy Landry ReturnonNow.com Twitter

The biggest mistake bloggers and site owners can make is to rely on old school SEO tactics alone. There are several areas that may work against them.

1. The old way of doing keyword research is no longer relevant. Google said last year that >30% of all searches they are seeing have never been made before.

If site owners rely on dated exact match targeting and hyperfocus on rankings for the top 10-20 keywords, they are missing the vast majority of the picture. Whereas we used to see 70-80% of traffic coming from that very top tier of keywords, it’s down to less than a third for most of our SEO clients.

Semantic keywords, topic-based content, and long tail will drive the bulk of your traffic. Be sure to understand how that all works.

2. The old days, you could publish content and it would find its way into the indices quite easily. With so much noise and an abundance of content creation out there these days, you simply cannot overlook the seeding and promoting process for new blog and other content items.

Forget “build it and they will come,” because that’s simply not how it works any more.

3. More content no longer means a better website, but rather, superior content does. Stop writing short pithy posts frequently and hoping they get ranked. Spend time to write real, in-depth materials that add concrete value. It not only ranks better inherently, but it’s much more effective at earning social shares and links.

It’s better to do one killer blog post a week and promote the heck out of it than to do five shallow posts stuffed with keywords. Focus well and aim for maximum impact, and you’ll do better in the end.

jeff sauerJeff Sauer Knowledge.land Twitter

The #1 SEO mistake that I think bloggers will make this year is to invest their time in writing content, but not spend enough time promoting the content. It is harder than ever to differentiate a blog nowadays.

There is so much content out there that discovery is getting more and more difficult. Without promoting your posts, it will be difficult to be discovered. Without being discovered, gaining authority will be an uphill battle. 

This will affect both referral traffic as well as traffic from search engines. I am seeing this first hand when I publish articles on a new domain vs. one that has a strong link profile in place. The strong link profile site will gain shares and organic search results by association with a strong site. The brand new site is still trying to earn trust with Google. Big content + promotion is how to push this site to the next level.

John lee dumasJohn Lee Dumas EntrepreneurOnFire.com Twitter

The #1 SEO mistake to avoid this year is being afraid. Afraid of providing MASSIVE value 100% for free. Last year, it became very popular to create valuable content, dangle it as a teaser, and ‘upsell’ people into a paid course or program. It’s very effective, and I used this strategy myself with great results.

But what happens when something works really well? The floodgates open and everyone rushes in to ‘mimic’ the latest and greatest tactic. The consumer wizens up, and the gig is up.

This year, I knew I had to keep pushing the ball forward to stay ahead of the curve, and decided to create 2 courses I would have sold last year for $497 each, and give them away 100% for free.

The result? Free Podcast Course (FreePodcastCourse.com) currently has over 3200 people going through the 15-day course to learn how to create, grow, and monetize their Podcast, and 1,600 people are going through The Webinar Course (TheWebinarCourse.com) to learn how to create and present webinars that convert in 10-days.

From an SEO perspective, I am getting linked to from all over the web and that is bringing incredible authority and search engine love my way. Also, I am building an incredible email database of people who know like and trust the value I shared with them for free with these courses, which bodes well for future offerings down the line.

Will everyone end up joining Podcasters’s Paradise and Webinar On Fire, my paid communities? Absolutely not, and you know what, from an SEO perspective that is AOK!

Marcus SheridanMarcus Sheridan TheSalesLion.comTwitter

One of the biggest mistakes I see businesses and individuals making when it comes to SEO is that they get too caught up in the “social” element of blogging (likes, comments, shares, etc.) and allow that to dictate the subjects that they really *should* be talking about.

The reality is that for many businesses, great keyword targeting within articles and content means you’re not going to be discussing very “sexy” or “social” subject matter. But, when it comes down to it, Google doesn’t care how sexy a subject is, they just want to give the best and most specific answer possible to their customer– the searcher.

I personally have written many articles over the years that have led to hundreds of thousands in sales for my business and from the outside looking in, they were a failure “socially” speaking. Almost no likes, tweets, and shares. But from an SEO standpoint, they were a massive homerun, and are still generating major income for my businesses today.

Dustin WoodardDustin Woodard DustinWoodard.comTwitter

One subtle, but dangerous, mistake I expect to see many bloggers and niche site owner make this year is to abandon their efforts in creating content on their own website, and instead spend that energy on creating content on social sites like Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn. This results in their sites quickly becoming stale and what used to be long-term investments in content is traded in for quick hits in a stream that might disappear in just a few minutes.

Spending time on those sites certainly has value – I’ve had great success using them. It makes complete sense to market to people where they are hanging out, but it is easy to lose sight of the value of having on-site content for search engines to index and people to link to.

Part of the reason social is so attractive is because it is really easy to create short-form content. Additionally, the social sites give us immediate feedback. If someone likes or retweets your short-form content, you will receive notification right away.

Imagine if you were to install a notification system every time someone visited a page on your site via a search engine? First, it might surprise you how many times the bell goes off, but what might surprise you even more, is how many days or years that bell would keep ringing.

I challenge you to run a full past year report (January 1st – December 31st) and look at your referral channels. You might be surprised how much traffic comes from search vs social and how old some of the site content is that still drives traffic.

We all know that search and social work together, but we often lose sight of how much time we spend creating content that will never show up on our own site and how it damages our sites to neglect them in favor of social only.

Doc SheldonDoc Sheldon DocSheldon.comTwitter

With the direction the search engines are going in, I think the biggest mistake would be to simply focus on flooding the site with content, for the sake of activity. Too many site owners, particularly bloggers, fall into the trap of pumping out content to buy visibility. It just doesn’t work that way anymore.

There’s a reason that Google is always harping on “quality content” and “value”. They’re absolutely right, in my opinion. The amount of content on the Internet is growing at an exponential rate, and only a small portion of that content is really new information.

The sites that can’t offer their users some additional value… something that makes their site a better resource than the others in the SERPs… will gradually fade to page 12 or beyond.

Many also tend to write about the current hot topic, and a lot of self-proclaimed gurus actually recommend trending topics for ideas of what to write about. A better approach would be to find a topic that is interesting and/or valuable that nobody is writing about… then dig deeply into it. Make it next to impossible for anyone to copy your ideas and find additional value, by covering all the bases.

Google and their search competitors are focusing more on authority than ever and authority is built by becoming a recognized and trusted source. Read that phrase carefully – it can tell you a lot.

“… recognized and trusted source”

Recognized is a function of links and citations… how many entities are linking to you, talking about you, quoting you?

Trusted is a function of many different things… how much does the search engine trust you? Is your site clean of malware or security risks? Do your pages provide clear means of finding and contacting you? Does your site provide a good user experience?

How about the other sites that mention yours? Are they relevant to you? Are they in a “bad neighborhood”? Are they guilty of shady practices?

Finally, source refers to the veracity and the unique quality of your information. Are you simply parroting what a hundred other sites have said? Worse, are you blatantly copying their content? Or are you adding value, by including extra information that other sites failed to address? Maybe you’re simply viewing the information from a different perspective? To be a true “source”, your page should be the best page to display for a search query. That may be because it’s the original, the most complete, the focused… a number of different qualifiers can come into play. But if it’s just another version of many others, you can’t hope for much.

Darren DeMatasDarren DeMatasIntertwineMarketing.comTwitter

Without a doubt, the top mistake is publishing unpromotable content. Each piece of content you create must solve a specific problem.  But that is not enough.

Before you even publish, you need a content promotion strategy. Who will share your post? Who will reference it?

If you can get influencers interested in  your content before you even publish it. You are about to strike gold.

The biggest challenge for anyone doing SEO is promoting flat content. You have to create the best content in your niche.  Something worth promoting and sharing for months after you publish it.

Every post, can’t be an epic post. But you shouldn’t publish anything unless you know there is an audience that will share and link to it.

Too many site owners focus on cranking out content, with each page targeting super long-tail keywords. The result will be diluted page rank, keyword cannibalism and content that will fall flat. With 2-3 million posts being published each day, you have to create content worth promoting then develop a content distribution strategy around that.

If your content is not worthy of a content promotion plan, you probably shouldn’t publish it.

Kulwant NagiKulwant Nagi BloggingCage.com – Twitter

I think the biggest mistake is to use shared hosting. I have seen that many people still use shared hosting to host their sites, and have very big vision with the site’s traffic.
In shared hosting many people share the same IP address and you never know what type of sites are getting hosted on that IP address. One wrong website on the same server and you are gone.
So ALWAYS try to buy any good VPS server where you have your own dedicated IP and you know what type of content you are hosting on that address.

Adam ConnellAdam ConnellBloggingWizard.comTwitter

One of the key mistakes I often see is allowing Google to index thin content. The most common offenders are landing pages with little to no content.

Most people don’t realize the impact that it can have – and it does have a noticeable impact.

If Google is allowed to index these pages, they will weigh your website down and stop it from ranking as well as it deserves.

Aside from managing this on an on-going basis, it’s worth doing a full audit every 6 months (or more frequently) to keep on top of this and other on-site issues.

Harsh AgrawalHarsh Agrawal Shoutmeloud.comTwitter

One of the biggest mistake which most of niche bloggers make is focus more on building links rather than building quality articles.

What I recommend is, focus on creating high-quality linkable content and instead of getting thousands of low or medium quality link, focus on getting few high-quality links.

Greg NarayanGreg Narayan DearBlogger.orgTwitter

I would estimate the #1 SEO mistake for niche bloggers this year to be acquiring fake links. I say this partly because I’ve just started using SEMrush and they reveal some interesting data on who’s got legit rankings and who doesn’t.

Your average reader / customer probably won’t see this but Google will and they may permanently sideline your site or worse your Google+ linked accounts.

If you need to do something crazy or blackhat to get noticed I would instead create some new sort of content like a promo video that will disrupt the normal flows and flaws in your niche. This will get you the audience attention you want.

Walter Blake KnoblockWalter Blake KnoblockWalterBlakenoblock.comTwitter

#1 mistake is going to be writing for SEO and not for readers. SEO is a fluid standard that is constantly changing as readers do. Write for what people want to read, not for what you think will get good rankings.

Chris-GarrettChris GarrettChrisg.comTwitter

I think the number one mistake I am seeing people make with SEO is thinking they can use quick and easy tricks, even if they used to work in the past.

The focus now HAS to be on what is in it for the reader or audience, and not trying to game the system or take short cuts.

We are at a place where Google is punishing anything that looks like spam, so if your friendly neighborhood spammer is doing it, even if the rest of your strategy is 100% legitimate, then stay away. That includes blog networks, link swaps, shady directories … anything where anyone can fill out a form and get a link is likely to be toxic to your efforts this year and beyond.

Caleb StorkeyCaleb Storkey CalebStorkey.com Twitter

The Customer Journey is key, and I expect to see many CMO’s referring to themselves as the Customer Journey Officer this year. You’d think that niche sites, or bloggers are more nimble and able to adjust more quickly. Although many instinctively understand the journey that their customers or readers go on, sadly lots still operate in their own silos, albeit ones they’ve constructed for themselves. 

The biggest mistake for #SEO in the coming months will be the same issue we’ve found in many of our new clients last year: not understanding where SEO fits into the overall customer journey and therefore not converting the traffic into business.

Get the personas, the hooks and content which educates, entertains or empowers, the lead magnets, the technology, the customer nurturing, the sales, the emphasis on real-time, the delivery, the up-sell and the referral right… and then the spend on SEO to get people into the sales funnel, brings a far greater ROI and remains an incredibly valuable strategic piece of work. Don’t have it, and we get people to the front door only to guarantee they’ll bounce back out again. 

Robert RyanRobert Ryan RobertRyan.ieTwitter

The no.1 mistake that bloggers and niche site owners tend to make is lack of application and persistence. SEO is not sprint but more a marathon and so the key thing for bloggers and niche owners this year is to be aware of the time it’ll take to allow your sites SEO to kick in and become a targeted traffic generator.

If you want your SEO to have a long term effect then there is no quick fix. Bear that in mind during this year and if you continue to do all the other SEO things correctly (on site SEO, social footprint expansion, back link earning etc) then you’ll reap the fruits of your SEO labor towards the end of the year and beyond.

Robert MeningRobert Mening WebsiteSetup.org Twitter

This should be actually avoided since 2012, but I’ll go over them once again to keep people on track.

1) Don’t EVER use someone elses “Private Blog Network”, don’t buy link-packages, don’t invest in Fiverr SEO. Cheap SEO is usually bad.

2) There are no shortcuts in Google algo, I bet you can get some GREAT short-term results with these blackhat methods, but at the end of the day you should invest your time and money in authority links. This will help you to get long-term rankings on Google.

3) Furthermore, a lot of SEOs avoid page loading time and hosting. The faster your site is, the better it will be for the visitors. And when it’s fast, Google can also give you a little boost in the SERP for that. So if you are using shared, go for a dedicated hosting instead. Yes, it’s a bit more expensive, but at least your blog will be lightning fast.

Phillip BrooksPhillip BrooksSemRush.comTwitter

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen in my time in SEO are account managers working within a vacuum. All the internal analytics in the world are useless without context. If you aren’t comparing your results to those of your competitors, are you really getting the most mileage from your data?

Creating strategies for digital marketing without finding out what tactics have worked, or (just as importantly) have not worked for your competitors can cost you valuable time and money. Why re-invent the wheel?

Learn from your competitor’s mistakes and tweak their successes to best fit your own models.

Mandy McEwenMandy McEwenModGirlMarketing.comTwitter

Mistake – Focusing on KEYWORDS more than QUALITY CONTENT.

The way SEO is shifting to more focus on quality and engagement means that us SEOs need to really focus on quality content this year. Sure, keywords are important and will always be a factor in SEO, but they are pointless if the article is sub par and no one is sharing it, commenting on it, etc. Social signals, of course, are another huge factor in the SEO world this year. Google wants to see that your readers love your content enough to share it socially, comment on it, tweet about it, and tell their friends about it. In order for this to happen we really need to focus on quality content that readers want. This is where research comes in handy.

On the research note, this is also where you can perform keyword research so you are coming up with quality topics as well as keywords that receive decent search volume. Remember though that quality trumps keywords so use them wisely, but still use them!

In our recent Mod Girl blog post we discuss the 3 pillars of SEO in 2015 and the importance of social media.

Tom-Nguyen-Profile-PicTom Nguyen MrTechnique.com Twitter

I would say submitting to a directory that will let you be listed in any category and will let you have a description stocked with keywords.

About two years ago, I did SEO for a dentist’s website that had several (more than 10) of these types of links.  They mentioned to me that their search engine leads had dropped years ago and this was why.  Submitting to directories like this is definitely a black hat SEO tactic and will get you penalized on Google as well as the other search engines.

Although directories aren’t quite as powerful as they once were, there are still some good ones out there like DMOZ, Best of the Web, and JoeAnt to name a few.  These directories don’t allow you to post biased titles and descriptions. I know Google and other search engines still give some weight to directories because I’ve seen DMOZ descriptions used on Google’s SERPs.

Jey PandianJey PandianJeyPandian.com Twitter

A couple of things, I see a lot of bloggers and niche owners spending money on monthly recurring SEO packages that deal with # social media links, # high PR links, etc., without paying any heed to their marketing strategy.

I’ve been offering free advice to these bloggers from various online verticals and the first question that I get from them is a) how much do your services cost and b) what does it encompass? Instead, the question should be a) what do you offer in order to get X% more revenue or Y% more leads or Z% more sales.

Online marketing without focus or strategy is a definite setup for negative ROI. Focus on building your business/online marketing strategy (Hint: It’s not as hard as it looks), then go about your blogging activities. It doesn’t do anyone good to say that I need X amount of blog posts or press releases or social media updates per month unless you can tie those numbers back to a metric: i.e. X amount of posts on this topic will generate Y amount of leads, etc.

To recap, lack of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and goal setting should be the number one item that all bloggers and niche site owners should avoid – at all costs.

Randy DargenioRandy Dargenio Groupm.com Twitter

The #1 mistake bloggers and niche site owners should avoid this year and beyond is using previously existing content that is found elsewhere or is pulled into their website’s through APIs to create content on their website(s).

The focus should be on creating original content, even if it’s already been written 1000 times already! And I mean original-to-your-website content, not the invention of a topic to write about. 

I think that there are an increasing amount of bloggers that believe that a topic that has been written about is no longer an opportunity for traffic or growth and is a waste of their time. It’s simply not true.

Think about magazines! If you look at popular magazines such as Home & Garden magazine, any teen magazine or magazine that targets women, the content is heavily recycled year over year.

I know this because about 10 years ago, I was in a hospital reception area waiting for a relative to be discharged and needed to free my mind from the harsh realities of hospitals. This was a time when Smartphones weren’t available and I couldn’t spend my time reading what I wanted to read. Instead I was left with 2 magazine choices. An October 2005 issue of Cosmo and a October 2006 issue of Cosmo.

Surely there was something that I could read that wouldn’t bore me so I picked up the first issue and scanned the topics. I didn’t find anything interesting to me so I picked up the other issue and scanned the topics again. I was confused for a moment because I thought I grabbed the same issue. The magazine had largely the same topics and the articles were very similar! And if you look at these types of websites today, you’ll see the same thing, which is slightly revised content based on identical topics published year after year! And they make millions of dollars a month doing this!

So again, I would avoid the easily acquired content and create something new to your website and not worry so much about whom already wrote about it!

Lee-BeirneLee BeirneLeeBeirne.co.ukTwitter

In 2014 I did a lot of forensic SEO work for companies that had partial and manual penalties and the common denominator among them all is that 75% of their link profiles were either too heavy on their “money” keyword anchor texts or they had links that were absolutely pointless and not related to their blog or product in the slightest. In fact, one client is a UK car dealer and in their back link profile there were links from food blogs in the Korean language. Go figure.

Thematic link building isn’t something new, it’s something that makes perfect sense. The best part about obtaining a link from a relevant source is that there is a possibility of a twofold effect. Not only will you get the relevant link, you “may” also get actual clicks from interested customers that may be interested in your product, or someone that may be interested in what you blog about.

Sure, getting links are harder these days, as many people are scared to give them, or fear they may be penalized for some reason. But trustworthy, relevant links will do wonders for your site’s ranking.

For a blogger, it’s equally important to stay within your niche, as you can build your audience easier when you’re tuned in to what people want to read. And perhaps you’ll be invited by a blog/magazine/newspaper to contribute on their site which will help build your brand, profile and audience.

When I build links, I try to make sure that I have a split, for example, I may build 2 or 3 branded links to 1 “money” keyword anchor link.

Relevance is key!

jenny munnJenny MunnJennyMunn.comTwitter

There are several mistakes bloggers and website owners should be aware of and avoid when it comes to SEO. But if I had to list just the #1 mistake, I’d have to say this:

Avoid shiny objects and focus on foundational SEO first.

Too often I see websites that chase after the latest SEO and linkbuilding tactic when they don’t have a solid grasp on SEO fundamentals and haven’t done proper optimization techniques on their site first. All of this means:

  • Anything quick, scalable and easy is out

  • SEO success is not going to come from any one activity, but rather lots of purposeful, solid best practices that come together. (And then get up-leveled from there)

  • Know your strategy – why are you even trying to drive traffic to the website? What do you want your visitors to do once they get there? Ranking is half the battle. Once you drive SEO traffic to your site, your website marketing plan has to take over, and it better be solid

  • Identify your unique voice, tone, and messaging – copy and content can make or break your site and separate you from the pack of generics

  • Don’t live in a bubble – find your community of peeps as quickly as possible

ScottMoranScott MoranPBNLab.comTwitter

The number one mistake that you should avoid this year is forgetting to make your site mobile-friendly.

In the last year we’ve seen a rapid increase in traffic from visitors using mobile browsers, with a whopping 80% boost in numbers on some sites.

The reason behind this increase is largely due to the ever strong sales of smart phones and tablets but also more accommodating mobile plans, with users now getting more data to use each month…we’re all using these devices everywhere and anywhere we can.

The most interesting and important fact is that Google are now identifying mobile-friendly websites, and are displaying this status right on the results page for mobile device users…a move which is driving more traffic to the mobile-friendly sites and leaving the rest for dead.

How do you make your site mobile-friendly? The best option by far, for new sites especially, is to ensure you use a “responsive theme”, which will adapt layout depending on the web browser’s window size (or screen resolution). At worst you can find plugins that will detect mobile devices and switch themes on-the-fly to a mobile friendly version.

Be sure you get this right from the start to ensure your new site is favored by Google, and more likely to attract the increasing number of mobile users.

This is the Year of Win. Make it happen!

Bryan AdamsBryan Adams Ph-Creative.com Twitter

Voice search is definitely going to grow this year, it’s already reaching way over 40% with some demographics such as teenagers especially with it now being available on desktop too.

It doesn’t seem clear yet how this will impact on the current algorithm for search rankings but certainly creating rich media content with video will relate strongly to this from an engagement standpoint.

One thing voice search will impact is the type of keyword people use, more natural use of language than typing something will change the search criteria for sure. Bloggers should then consider what keywords users could ‘voice search’ against current users typing and factor that into their plans.

So, I guess, the biggest mistake a niche blogger can make this year is think the success of past year can simply be repeated by producing 100% text blogs for the same audience in the same way using the same language.

My advice would be to start introducing more video, audio and rich media elements and monitor search trends as much as possible to keep up with how your niche is evolving. If it starts to move as fast as some stats suggest you need to be ready, in fact the smart play is to start accommodating future search habits today so you can dominate more tomorrow.

The landscape is evolving faster than it has ever done so before and so keeping up with change after the fact might not be good enough anymore.

KarimKarim Amrani Traction.vc Twitter

Google thinks your site’s speed is important. It still is a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm for both desktop and mobile sites. In 2014, we’ve seen a trend where more sites have been including background videos, parallel scrolling effects, extremely long onepagers full of hi-res photos and videos. Some sites have even gone back to the days of having a loading animation, while the visitor is waiting 5-10 seconds for the site to load.

Speed is a key element to improve your SEO. Try to avoid the wave of making your website slower and instead focus on making it lightweight. Besides SEO, 51% of online shoppers in the US, claimed if a site is too slow they will not complete their purchase, 75% of people are willing to visit a competitor’s website instead of dealing with a slow loading page.

In short: avoid making your site slow. Speed improves your SEO and for those who do visit your site eventually, it also increases their engagement once they’re in.

Kathryn AragonKathryn Aragon KathrynAragon.comTwitter

The biggest SEO mistake I see bloggers and niche site owners make is focusing too much on one aspect of SEO, such as keywords or backlinks. Because of that, when creating content, they’re too focused on their own profit or engagement goals rather than what readers want.

The truth is, every aspect of your business needs to be customer-oriented—even the technical side of things. For more effective SEO, think “intent,” not “keyword.”

When Google serves up search results, they’re looking for the best fit for the searcher’s query. That means you need to know your prospects to the point of reading their minds. What are the exact questions they’re asking? How are they phrasing them when searching for information online?

You can use Google Trends or tools like Soovle to figure out what people are searching for. But I hope you’re also talking with them and listening to their concerns. Then you need to create high-quality content that answers their questions.

Here’s what I recommend:

  1. Write one blog post or other quality content for each question.

  2. Put the question (or a close variation) in the title.

  3. Put the keyword(s) in the URL as well.

  4. Provide as specific and in-depth an answer as you can in the body. Give them your best information, plus any research or data to back up your claims. 

  5. Then fill out the metadata so search engines know how to rank your content. (I like Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin because it grades the effectiveness of your metadata.) Assuming you’ve already put your keyword in the title and URL, you also need to use it in your metadescription.

I don’t worry too much about keywords in the body of the page. If the page is specific and is relevant to the title, they’re probably already in there. Then make sure you share in social channels so people can find your content.

There are more advanced tactics, of course, but keeping your focus on your customers, creating high-quality content, and then using light on-page SEO get great results without a ton of work.

Evan ProkopEvan Prokop TopRankBlog.com Twitter

I think the biggest SEO mistake that all sites make is confining their search keyword strategy to just the pages on their website.

Most bloggers and website owners are aware of the power of a solid SEO keyword strategy when applied to their posts and website pages, but unfortunately many seem to forget this when drafting social messages or profile info, giving interviews to third parties, drafting paid search and social ad copy, or optimizing externally hosted brand assets like images and videos.

Granted, there are variations between channels in how people discover great brand content and the formats they prefer, but there is most certainly consistency in their core questions and pain points whether they are on Twitter or using a search engine. Tweaking the format and optimization elements to fit the channel makes perfect sense; altering the key message does not.

What makes search marketing so powerful is that it seeks to both understand the questions being asked by your target audience (through keyword and concept research) and to provide the best answer in a manner that is easy to index and find (thanks to search optimization of content).

Applying these insights and best practices to tactics outside of just search marketing or SEO is a huge opportunity to increase the chances of your content reaching your target audience wherever they may spend time online.

Jakk OgdenJakk OgdenContentHero.co.uk Twitter

The #1 SEO mistake that bloggers should avoid this year is overlooking the interactive elements of their content.

There is a direct link between external links to social media profiles and website reputation – but what I’m talking about are embeddable digital media assets that get users to engage with the content that’s presented to them.

Examples of this include “click-to-tweet” or “click-to-share”, of which Blog Tyrant has a great guide. Essentially, Google and the other major search engines like Bing and Yahoo are looking for more interactivity than ever before within content. As a content marketer, I have seen articles have greater success socially – and in turn organically – if they are interactive and get people to engage further than simply reading the headline to the last sentence.

I will be looking into ways to make my own blog posts more interactive in the upcoming months. I recommend you do too.

Gabriella SanninoGabriella Sannino Level343.com Twitter

I would say..

1. Over-optimize

2. No Keyword research

3. Not the right market

4. Poor content

5. No plan for scaling your content

Those would be my top 5 maybe not in that order. But let me be clear, there isn’t one thing a company can do, it’s a lot of small things. But the one thing I have found repeated in most of my clients, is no patience. You have to have patience in order for your organic to grow. It doesn’t happen overnight.

Nathan RossowNathan RossowYakSeo.com Twitter

Paralysis by analysis is the one mistake SEO’s should avoid. I think all too many people get caught up in overthinking their work. Imperfect action is better than no action. So start today! with whatever it maybe from linkbuilding to building up a large social presence to help with sending social signals.

So there you have it:

The big SEO mistakes to avoid in 2015 and beyond, shared by some of the top bloggers in their field. Now, take a pen and paper and jot down 3 main ideas to improve on your site or apply to your search engine optimization strategy within the next 48 hours. It is that important.

Did you enjoy reading these search engine tips?

Did you learn anything new or had any ‘aha’ moments? Please help spread the word and why not, leave a comment below if you have any questions or extra input.

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13 thoughts on “34 Expert Bloggers Reveal the Biggest SEO Mistakes to Avoid in 2015

  1. A great collection of opinions regarding SEO strategies, it’s very interesting to see what some pros see as priority over others. In my opinion there is no one correct way to do SEO, so many people in the industry I know all have different methods and still get the results they want. Certainly something to learn here for everyone though great post:)

  2. The insight that some of these guys have provided is pretty useful and I can understand the challenges they’ve faced as we’ve also had our fair share of ups and downs. Great article, keep up the great work.

    David

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