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June 30, 2013

Most Common SEO Mistakes Marketers Make

James Giese UWEBC Communications Director

halvorsonThere are a variety of myths about SEO that many marketers still believe in, for example, using keyword meta tags. Don’t believe them; SEO is about getting the details right, and according to Stephan Spencer, this can put you above the competition.

Stephan Spencer, a search engine optimization consultant and author of “The Art of SEO" and “Google Power Search,” held an online workshop on the most common SEO mistakes marketers make during the UWEBC's Web and Multichannel Marketing Web Clinic on June 5, 2013.

He suggested that internet marketers study and use the words and phrases that consumers employ when seeking product and purchase information on Google and other search engines. That means retailers should avoid jargon favored by their industry and instead use terms favored by consumers—for instance, “blenders” or “food processor” instead of “kitchen electronics,” or “hoodie” instead of “hooded sweatshirt.”

Spencer’s list of the ten most common SEO mistakes:

  1. Making assumptions about customer vocabularyDon’t use industry speak instead of easily understood customer terms. Use Google Trends to determine top ranking terms.
  2. No or ineffective keyword brainstorming and planningplanning which keywords to use and brainstorming keyword brainstorming is the critical function in the keyword research process.
  3. Not using the keyword tools properlyusing the tools while not logged in or not logging out when searching  to turn off personalization; or not running the right Google queries
  4. Cannibalizing organic search with paid search.
  5. Ignoring your competitors—failing to be aware of the universe of competitors and the keywords they use, not just your traditional competitors.
  6. Executing a social media strategy that isn’t driven by SEO needs—Use “link bait” and seed it in social media.
  7. Duplicate content—multiple URLs should not lead to the same piece of content. This redundancy leads to being filtered out of search results.
  8. Wasting time on no value activities—Example is using meta keywords, these have never been supported by Google.
  9. Buying into SEO myths—It is easy to confuse correlation with causation. Examples are meta keywords, SEO is free, Googlebot doesn’t read CSS.
  10. Unintentionally spamming—Examples are repeating keywords on page or copy just intended for SEO.

 Spencer advised UWEBC members to include information that consumers are seeking on their sites, which can encourage more traffic, and linking, to their e-commerce sites. Inbound links help persuade search engines that a site has credibility, potentially boosting its search rankings.

Member companies can access Stephan Spencer's Mediasite recording and other meeting materials>>


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