Top 5 SEO Mistakes for 2018

I’ve worked with hundreds of clients in SEO since the late 90’s, and I always see mistakes and outdated techniques being used.

I think there are some common mistakes everyone makes, like forgetting to update keyword or title tags, but these SEO mistakes are my top 5 of 2018.

Failing at Social Media

The landscape of SEO has changed and it’s no longer about only search. Expand your focus a bit to include social media and you will reap the rewards of this alternative stream of traffic. This upcoming year, try video content and open an Instagram for product shots. Monitor the results and see if your traffic improves, and by what margin.

Make sure to have profiles on top social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin ad Google+ and place these links on your websites.  This tells search engines that your site is legit and not created only for spam purpose or you are not a small company.

In addition, activity on social media may help your pages get spidered more often and your own social media profiles can work as a way of proactive reputation management to keep out any negative info or reviews that you may get in the future.

Bad Reviews that were Unknown

Customers review all over the web, even on smaller sites. If you don’t monitor the keywords around your brand, and your local area, you might not know who is warning people away from your establishment. One of the first steps I take in an audit is to look closely at your brand, and to review any negative reviews with you to see what you’re aware of.

Using Outdated Link Strategies

It’s 2018, and i still often see link strategies that worked over 10 years ago but not anymore being used. These include link exchange pages, directories, blog commenting and forum links. These types of low quality links do not work and may even get your website penalized. If you have such links you need to clean them up and use the Google Disavow tool to remove them. You may not be doing these tactics today, but if you did in the past, you have to make sure to clean them up.

Failing at Analysis and Reporting

Reporting tells you what you’re good at, and where you’re failing. How can you make a decision about investing in PPC, SEO, Social Media or branding if you don’t know which stream of traffic is performing best for you? Start with Google Analytics. It’s a simple tool that is easy to use, and you can get some great information to start with. My advice is to look at:

  • Top performing pages
  • Bounce rates
  • Time spent on top 10 pages

Failing to Create Compelling Content

Content can be tricky, but creating compelling content comes down to knowing your audience. They say content is king. If your content hasn’t been updated in years, that’s your fault. If you’re not securing sales, it could mean you’re just not working off of the right competitive intelligence.

Also make sure that you do not have any duplicate content. If you are sure you have not copied anyone’s content, you may still have duplicate content if others have copied you, which may actually hurt your own rankings. You can use Copyscape or Google to check. If you do find that others have copied your content, first send them a removal request and if they refuse, file a DMCA request with Google. And if all fails, you would have to rewrite your own content. My recommendation is that if you have a popular site or one that ranks well to change up your content every 6 months, because chances are others have copied you.

Finally, seek professional help in generating content. Experienced writers can offer another perspective and some fresh ideas.