More than often, we come across webmasters who have been employing wrong SEO techniques…unknowingly. It is also common to find webmasters who are ignoring some important SEO elements for the lack of knowledge. With so much going on in the SEO industry, it is crucial that we have a list that can be used as a reference by webmasters. This is an attempt to list some of the most common SEO mistakes people are making. We shall update the post regularly and make sure that the we cover all the new SEO mistakes we see are being committed by webmasters – our clients as well as prospects. So without further ado, here is the list of some common SEO mistakes –
1. Not Using Meta Description Tag
This is one of the most common SEO mistakes I come across – the webmasters fail to use a meta description tag for their webpages.
What is a meta description tag?
A meta description tag is a HTML attribute that provides short description of the page content. This attribute is used by search engines to display information regarding the pages they have produced in search engine results page. The search engines displays about 150 to 160 characters of description with each of the page. Here is a screenshot depicting the meta description tag in a search engine result -
Why is meta description tag important?
Think of meta description as your sales pitch. The better the meta description is crafted; the better clicks it would attract. These 150-160 characters of text can largely affect a searcher's decision of whether he wants to visit your page or not. Make the description convincing enough so it attracts the searcher's interest.
Here is an example of a good meta description tag which can be used to attract clicks to a 'wooden furniture' store in Oklahoma City -
Looking for wooden furniture in Oklahoma City? Visit XYZ Company and avail discounts of up to 25%. Offer valid till stocks last. Hurry!
2. Not Using Direct Response Marketing Techniques
The Meta tags – the Meta description tag as well as the Title tags needs to be crafted in accordance of direct responsive marketing techniques. Just filling the keywords in your meta tags is not going to help you secure better ROI. The keywords would help you get rankings but nothing more. Like any other marketing campaign, you need to ensure that your message gets to your prospects directly and you pitch and offer they can never refuse.
What are direct response marketing techniques?
The direct response marketing technique is a type of marketing that is designed to get an immediate response from the clients and prospects by using -
- creating sense of urgency
- pitching a good offer
- highlighting your USP (unique selling proposition)
Here is a banner advertisement of Mc. Donald's where you can see their 'call-to-action' and direct response marketing technique -
How to use direct response marketing techniques in SEO?
Using direct response marketing techniques in SEO is not that hard. Your Meta title and Meta description tags are your sales pitch for search engine users. Trying to create a sense of urgency through these tags or using these tags to promote an offer will help secure more CTR (click through ratio) and better ROI.
Here is how you can craft Meta tags which are in accordance of direct response marketing techniques. Let's say for example that we have a web business called ForlistNY.com delivering flowers in New York. Here is how we can craft a meta tag which uses direct response marketing techniques -
- Meta Title – FloristNY.com – Same Day Flower Delivery In New York (52 characters)
- Meta Description - New York's best florist delivering flowers all across NY. SMS delivery confirmation. Order today and avail discounts of up to 20%. Hurry! (137 characters)
Evaluating the Meta description tag -
The meta description tag crafted above uses direct response marketing techniques by implying -
- Mentioning the unique selling point (USP) - SMS delivery confirmation
- Promoting an offer - avail discounts of up to 20%
- Creating a sense of urgency - Order today and avail discounts of up to 20%. Hurry!
3. Buying Links For SEO
There is a difference in hiring a SEO consultant and buying links. A SEO works to help increase the search engine visibility of the website through organic methods and those that are approved by search engines. Buying links from other webmasters in your niche is directly violating the Google's Webmasters Guidelines and your website runs a risk of penalization.
What is the worst that could happen?
In 2011, JC Penny was penalized for buying links. Ever since then, the search engines have evolved to better identify the link schemes and are now more than intelligent to identify a linking pattern, a link farm or any other such effort to manipulate SERPs. A lot of the private blog networks were devalued and a lot of domains were de-indexed during 2011-2013. This is just the start and is a glimpse of what the future holds for SEO industry – spam-free relevant search results. As the search engines evolve, more and more such link farms would be devalued and penalized. Though some of the link farms are not devalued as of now but they sure will be in future. Using such link farms for short gains while putting the website on risk for long-term is definitely not a good idea.
What is Google's stand on buying links?
Google has been more than clear that they will not tolerate any attempt to manipulate a website's rankings. Their Webmaster Guidelines clearly highlights that a webmaster should avoid all form of blackhat links and focus on quality of the website. Here is how Google warns against using under-handed techniques of link manipulation -
You can read more about Google's stand on Link Schemes here on their Webmaster's section.
So what do you think? Do you know a common SEO mistakes that webmasters seem to make so often? Let us know in the comments section below. If you would like to reach out to us for any help; feel free to contact us.