1. Assuming that their website development company can execute SEO
In my opinion, the most common SEO mistake is assuming that your website development firm understands SEO best practices and implementation. Both SEO and web development are rapidly changing fields and it’s difficult to stay on top of both. In addition, web development and SEO take a very different skill set and business model to deliver successfully. SEO contracts often lead to ongoing revenue, so the temptation is high for website development companies to offer SEO services to pad their cash flow and increase the contract value for website development projects. However, if you are looking to get the most out of your website, we strongly suggest hiring separate companies to develop and SEO optimize your website.
2. Being too aggressive with SEO link building
In recent years the rules of SEO have changed. SEO link-building strategies that used to benefit a site’s ranking now cause penalties. This can cause a serious headache for sites that used SEO link-building services in the past and are now seeing their top positions disappearing. Because of the ever-changing rules and penalties in off-site SEO, we suggest going with a very conservative link-building strategy that relies on organic PR link building, coupled with a strong on-site SEO content strategy.
3. Redesigning a site and eliminating old content to simplify the site
One of the main factors in SEO ranking is the age of the content on your website. Sites with lots of old content often rank well for competitive keywords and thousands of long tail keywords. These sites often lose many of their SEO rankings when they redesign into a new content management system and fail to move all the old content and redirect old URLs to the matching content on the new site.
4. Using global META title tags or title tags that start with the company name
Providing unique META data, including page titles and page descriptions on each page of a website, can be an intimidating undertaking. We suggest taking the time get the SEO benefit from creating unique title tags and page descriptions. Another common issue is having page titles that lead with the same thing on every page. Most commonly this looks like the following:
[Company Name] – [Page Title]
SEO rankings will benefit from the following small change to the template:
[Optimized Page Title] | [Boilerplate with Keywords] – [Company Name]
5. Ignoring Local Search SEO, assuming that standard SEO will cover both local and organic rankings
For companies with retail locations, especially businesses with multiple locations, the practice of local search optimization is almost more important than standard organic-ranking SEO. Most business owners don’t realize that these are different algorithms and require different SEO strategies. Separate SEO strategies offer compounding benefits and coordinated strategy with content for organic SEO and profile optimization, NAP consistency, and citation listings that can offer maximum overall SEO rankings and traffic generation.