7 SEO Mistakes That Could Harm Your Blog

This is a guest post by Nitin Aggarwal from Offshore Ally.

If you want to succeed as a blogger, it is important to have a firm grasp on the basics of SEO at the bare minimum. This does not mean that you necessarily have to be an SEO expert in your industry, but having a basic SEO understanding will ensure that you avoid these crucial SEO mistakes that could cause your blog to crash and burn.

1. Keyword Stuffing

What many of the best bloggers already understand is that keyword stuffing is an SEO technique of the past that should be avoided. Yes, it is helpful to include subtle keywords within your content or blog title so that they are picked up by the search engines, but to go with the example above, do not under any circumstance hire outsourced providers to write blog content saturated with keywords in the hopes of getting noticed by Google. It will not work.

Instead, create relevant content in your blog niche that includes subtle keywords to help your blog rank accordingly and eliminate penalization from Google.

2. Over-Linking

Another common SEO mistake that many bloggers make is going overboard on tag clouds, related posts, and navigational links for their readers. When used properly, these tools can enhance the reader’s experience, but they can also overwhelm and crowd the page with excessive links that will start to aggravate your reader base.

Instead, use links thoughtfully and purposefully to provide your readers with necessary information or relevant products as needed – which is actually what links were intended to do in the first place. Imagine that.

3. Not Considering User Experience

There are many blogs that focus so heavily on SEO in the hopes of improving their rankings that they neglect their reader experience altogether. To see any type of success in the popularity of your blog, SEO must be merged with attention to your reader base so that your website is actually enjoyable to visit with a well-defined user experience.

This means that navigation should be easy so that people understand how to get around your online store or blog, and then SEO can be integrated to make the blog friendlier to search engines – not the other way around.

4. Not Protecting Your Brand

What does this mean exactly when it comes to your blog? First off, outsourcing is a viable option to gain quality content for your blog, help with blog management, and even market your blog through social media. Using the right outsourcing company will make a difference in the brand management of your blog, yet if you are not careful with the providers that you choose, it can provide the opposite effect .

When you work with a consultant to run your blog, you must choose high-quality providers with care. Money talks for many bloggers, and they will often make the mistake of trying to save some cash by hiring lowest priced virtual assistant or outsourcing providers to write their blog content or market their brand online. This is a HUGE mistake since it will shed a negative light on your company and destroy the foundation you have already created for your brand online.

5. Listing the Same Keyword Multiple Times in Title Tags

Using the same keyword in your title tag heading more than three times will reduce the strength and relevance of those keywords. Instead, it is more important to make the title tag readable to your user with an accurate page description that also includes your keywords if you want precedence on Google. This is yet another perfect example of why SEO should not be substituted for common sense.

If you do get to the point where you are writing for only robots and not your readers, then you need a reality check. Your blog still needs to be marketed toward your demographic and reader base to cultivate more traffic, yet it also should integrate the subtle tools of SEO to make it noticeable to the search engines when appropriate.

6. Bad Image Naming

It looks odd when the image title in your blog shows some irrelevant text. Nothing can be more annoying for a reader. Take some time to name the image and give it a title text and description that correctly defines it. Add a link to the image if it helps in providing some more information to the reader, or it requires appropriate Creative Commons attribution.

7. Leaving Out Meta Description and Tags

Though you may think that it does no good to your page rank but it cannot be a possible reason to leave your meta descriptions. The search engine research pages (SERPs) vary the description of your web page according to the search keywords. So it’s better to define your web page in the best way you think it will drag a reader towards your site.

The tags you put in should be suffice and able to correlate to your page. A good optimized meta description can increase your CTR significantly. Also, a lot of search engines other than Google rely heavily on meta description for ranking your site.

So what have we learned today?

I think that many bloggers out there can attest to the fact that they have seen unfortunate blogs pumped full of SEO tactics in the hopes of increasing their reader base and revenue. Still, when these tactics are used in excess, it will often harm instead of help your blog gain recognition. The points is to use SEO wisely and mindfully without compromising the quality content on your blog that you are offering to your reader base to maintain their loyalty.

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Your Thoughts on Blogging SEO

What are some other common mistakes you have seen on other blogs, or done on your own, that led to disastrous results?





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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Nitin,
    a few others to consider…
    Keywords – focus on 5 max and create a linkbuilding strategy that drives this
    Split Testing – see how your site performs after tweaking code, plugins etc.
    Fewer Plugins – the more, the slower. I try to use 5 max.
    CSS – collapse multiple CSS files into one file, again to speed things up
    Footers – relegate less important stuff here, like T&Cs

    Ivan

  2. says

    @ Ivan

    Thanks for the useful tips.. and that footer tips remind me of using nofollow for all statuary and non-important pages e.g. disclaimer.

  3. says

    It’s nice to hear someone talking some common sense about SEO rather than hyping it up and providing SEO-guru-type recommendations that can end up harming you.

    At the end of the day, if you’re writing good quality content, the links will follow naturally as you’re providing something worthwhile. I couldn’t agree more about cutting down on related posts etc. – I can’t think of a single time that I’ve clicked on a tag cloud…
    Dave just posted Facebook &amp Twitter Buttons Without Plugins

  4. says

    @Dave

    Thanks..

    However, for related posts I feel they are a good thing as they often give you an idea into what other posts are there on this topic. I think it flows naturally, if you came here looking for “search engines data” then showing you all relevant posts for that term helps you further.

    Tag clouds are a different thing though and I think the purpose they serve best is deep indexing..

  5. says

    I would add proofread/spell check/sense-ify to the list of blogging commandments. Like you said, many bloggers focus on SEO to the extent that the core article becomes an afterthought. Personally, I consider these errors as proof that the author is not truly connected to his/her readers. They immediately deflate the authority the author is trying to setup with the content they provide.

    In terms of internet marketing, I recall what Ed Dale preaches about your ultimate goal in being a market leader – being a servant to your marketplace. If you always keep that in the back of your mind when using SEO as a tool for ranking, your priorities will line up nicely.

    Also, I had never considered the impact of repeated words in tags. I see now how that could be penalized by Google. Thanks for the tips.

    • says

      I agree with you David, I have often seem some of the writers emphasizing things like Keyword density and LSI words. Its funny at times because at the end of day the article that will get stable top rankings is the article i.e. useful for the reader. If you are just trying to build links to rank an article then this will be a lifetime effort.

  6. says

    I used to overflow myself with keywords, by adding way to many, I learned to insert a few but good keywords within time though.

    Very good article, I know some people who could learn from this! Thanks again.

  7. says

    I love number 7 and especially, 7 things about SEO that you listed in here. However, if I had a chance, I would really rename User Experience point to Get obsessed with SEO can ruin your business. You know, the ultimate goal of a website is always provide useful content to users and you should see SEO as a tool to make your content available to users, not as a way you will make money.
    Mike just posted An Awesome Graphical Guide To 22 Proven Ways To Make Money Online

    • says

      Mike I think the issue is that your good content gets good response when it gets more eye balls – I have seen average pieces of articles get more response just because they were able to get people to read them. On other hand internet is filled with high quality information on edu and gov sites that people will never read because search engines don’t show them. So SEO cannot be classified as just a tool – however, just like you mentioned – the problem is getting obsessed with it.

  8. says

    These are all good standard up front SEO tips for optimizing and making sure not to negatively impact your site, the big one people don’t leverage enough is alt or title tags for images, image pic000001.jpg doesn’t do anything for SEO value, need to have images with proper keywords tagged.
    Justin Germino just posted Making Money with BlogsVertise

  9. says

    Just a few days ago I’ve stumbled across a whole network of blogs that used huge title’s for imgs. By huge I mean thousands of words – actually whole articles. Most of those sites had Alexa Rank <1m and indexed quite well in Google. Don't get me wrong – I'm strongly against this technique, but it doesn't seem like Google is actually taking any active actions against this.
    Slava just posted The Bastei Bridge – Connecting to Nature in Germany

    • says

      I think Google has too much on its plate these days to bother around these, web spam is a common issue. However all these things destroy credibility with your readers. Imagine the plight of a user opening such page on a low speed connection where images load last.

  10. says

    SEO for me means Google and Bing, Google has always been my favorite for obvious reasons but I am finding Bing to be equally effective if not more. For some queries Bing gives you better results, searching on Google these days is like searching on Google wide web – You really don’t get past youtube, blogspot, wikipedia, ezinearticles, amazon and some other sites that Google has decided upon as authority sites.

  11. says

    Another big error I see on many client blogs is that they are not optimized for search engines and do not block specific directories from indexing, causing the search engine to find a lot of duplicate content on the site.
    For example, if links to category, date, archive, tags contain the same blog posts, only one directory should be communicated to search engines.

    • says

      @Andreas, yeah that is something that wordpress actually used to have a huge issue with but with there recent versions they’ve optimized it so that it takes away alot of the duplicate content affect that comes with using wordpress. I am not sure however on other content management systems. Perhaps someone else could fill us in.

      Till then,

      Jean
      used tires just posted how to dispose of tires

  12. says

    I think that you touched on it a little, but that you actions spoke loudly to making it a personal experience. I truly believe that people are still looking for a personal connection, especially on blogs. With seoperks, we work hard to emphasis the personal connection side of seo, because I think that as much as people are using the internet to conduct their daily business, they are still very much so looking for personal connection with real people that they feel they can trust. Great post, very insightful!

    • says

      @Brian I know exactly what you are talking about, I’ve used Google Webmasters Tool in order to identify this and was able to fix it on one of my websites. Actually if anything I think forums would be the most susceptible to that keyword confusion.

      Till then,

      Jean

  13. says

    Although it is said that meta tags are not so important now a days, but optimizing meta tags is still very important, I see the instant boost of keyword ranking after optimizing meta tags. A keywords optimized meta title is very important for each landing page.

  14. says

    As mentioned by Ivan in 1st post, it is very important in seo to have as less as possible loading speed.
    Start off with optimizing images, then try to use less no. Of plugins. For simple tasks, you can do them by manual coding. Google prefers sites having lesser loading time so it cant be overseen in SEO

  15. says

    I agree that when you outsource your blog that you should not go for the cheapest option around. I see so many internet marketers who brag about getting articles for $1 but then I read those articles and they are fraught with grammar and spelling errors that only hurt their blog in the long run.

    It’s okay to have you eye on the bottom line but understand that when it comes to outsourcing content, you really do get what you pay for.
    Arwen Taylor just posted Competing on Authority – An Internet Marketing Strategy that Works

  16. says

    When I have first started blogging 6 months ago, I done some of this mistake (Keyword Stuffing …..) but after reading more article like this I have tried to avoid doing others. This are some grate information’s for beginners.

  17. says

    Although I’m not entirely make all those mistakes in full, I do partially hit on hte guilty part there. I guess, yes it could be the most common mistakes bloggers make. I tend to always use a single keyword alone, and then again within a phrase as a keyword. However, it’s always good to know these possible mistakes Nithin that could actually cause people not to trust you.

  18. says

    I’m glad to see that you included #4 in your post. I see so many people damage their reputations by outsourcing their blogging and other social activities; most of the time, these posts and their comments are robotic and rarely convey the mindset or opinions of the person they are filling in for. Good list!

  19. says

    I would be quite shocked if people were still trying to stuff keywords into their posts or pages. Targeting a keyword and then writing around it with quality related content is certainly the way to go.

    I agree wholeheartedly with #3. There are two many blogs and websites that focus on SEO over actual human usage. I really feel disappointed when I am searching for some information and come across one of the first Google results and the site is crammed with ads. Not helpful at all.

    ~Agent A
    World Financial Group just posted Is There A World Financial Group Scam



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