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Search Engine Optimization is often a constant game of just trying to figure out what really works and that’s why I am going to be showing you some of the biggest misconceptions beginners tend to have ..

SEO

1. Thinking Paid Search is Search Engine Optimization

While there might be many similarities from a marketing perspective, paid search is drastically different in how you optimize your campaigns. Both can be quite lucrative for your business but both require a very different approach to campaign optimization. Often paid search is also misunderstood from a cost perspective as some marketers believe SEO is not as expensive as paid search. Paid Search tends to bring in more immediate traffic while organic optimization is a long-term  marketing ploy.

2. Expecting Quick Results from SEO

When I mean long-term I mean about a year. While it’s true SEO’s tend to try to get early wins for their clients the fruition of those wins really do not come into maturity till about a year after services have started. It’s possible to get sales conversions before that but ROI should not be expected for at least the first 6 to 8 months.

3. Cheap SEO is Good SEO

“You get what you pay for”. I understand most businesses are trying to bootstrap their companies but you really can’t bootstrap your SEO. If you have cut corners with your SEO (i.e. India link building) you’ll probably want to consider buying a new domain very soon as your site will probably be penalized by Google.

4. Considering SEO Only at the End of Building a New Website

In any new website project, SEO should be your first consideration.  It’s a mistake to first design a website and afterwards consider SEO strategies for better search improvement. One of the biggest elements of importance is understanding how your site hierarchy is going to affect both your SEO and how people move through your website for conversion.

5. Not Budgeting for SEO activity

Engaging in SEO for free is possible in theory, however for a beginner it is recommended to set a budget for hiring a professional SEO agency.Depending upon your industry,  your budget should fall between five to ten percent of your entire company revenue for online marketing.

6. Skipping Keyword Brainstorming

Keywords are a critical factor in SEO. Skipping the phase of keyword brainstorming is a potential mistake a beginner can make in an effort to rush service page rankings. Bad keyword research affects your ability to implement content with proper latent semantic indexing “LSI”. Google likes to rank pages based upon the relevance of the category of keywords a page is going for. Use Google Suggest and the free AdWords Keyword Tool for a better understanding of the context of keywords you need to include in your service pages and blog articles.

7. Forgetting to Address Duplicate Content

Duplicate content dramatically hurts your search engine rankings. You need to take care of avoiding duplicate content especially in sections such as about us or privacy.

8. Incorporating too Many PDFs on Your Website

It is recommended to always choose HTML pages on your website rather than PDFs. It is more difficult to optimize a PDF than an HTML page. Studies also show that users are more likely to share an HTML page rather than a PDF.

9. Excessive Use of Flash Content

Flash might look pretty to you but it’s invisible to search engines. Don’t use flash on your website. Flashy websites are proven to take away from conversion anyway. Spend extra effort on a quality value proposition with fantastic content that helps your target demographic (persona) move quickly to conversion.

10. Ignoring Social Media Elements

Today, social media marketing is an important factor that can increase your ranking as it improves trust signals to your website. Link often to your social media pages that link back to your money site. This is a fantastic way to rank organically in your local area without having to build a single back-link to your website.

11. Having Thin Content

After the latest Panda update, content has become more important than ever. Make sure your website provides high quality, original and useful content. As a rule, never write an article that’s less then 350 words. Also, write more consistently by writing about the latest news events in your specific industry. It’s a great way to keep your readers engaged.

12. Not Using Proper Redirects

A 301 redirect indicates to both search engines and browsers that the page has permanently moved. Improper redirects make your page impossible to reach by browsers and search engines.

13. Not Focusing on the Bigger Picture

SEO strategies are based on a combination of several factors. A common mistake made by SEO beginners is to focus on details instead of focusing on the bigger picture. You need to optimize your website as a whole rather than focusing too much on specific details.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these common mistakes. If you have any questions about your own SEO, please feel free to contact us for help.