SEO 101: Common Newbie Mistakes

SEO 101 Podcast

I forget where Neo (David Brown) was for this episode, I think he was still stuck helping his friend get a boat into drydock. This episode is just Brian Mark and I discussing the common mistakes made by those new to search engine optimization.

Download SEO 101: Common SEO Newbie Mistakes.
Originally aired Webmaster Radio on 10/8/2007

In a nutshell, these are the topics we cover in this episode:

  • Don’t quit while you’re ahead (or think you’re ahead) because even if you ARE ahead… it’ll last about 5 minutes. Things change all the time and if you don’t stay up on the latest trends and shifts in the industry, you’ll fall behind.
  • Don’t rely on arbitrarily selected keyword phrases for your traffic. (Analyze your logs) If you read your logs, you’ll find lots of phrases that you’re naturally ranking for. It’s easier to improve your position for something that you are already ranking for than it is to rank for something you’ve never ranked for at all before.
  • Don’t rely on pure traffic numbers to gauge how well you’re doing. (Analyze your logs)
  • Don’t misread your logs. (Analyze your logs right) Make sure you’re filtering out robot/crawler traffic before you start analyzing trends. You need to know the bots are visiting, but as far as understanding user behavior goes, the bots skew the results. Just remove them from the equation.
  • Don’t waste too much time on your meta tags. Don’t overlook them either, just don’t obsess or put too much weight on their value.
  • Link building is important, but it’s not the end all, be all. Don’t think you can ignore your on page optimization and just build links. Think holistically.
  • Be smart about the anchor text you use for your internal links. (Be a little more creative than linking to the homepage as “home”, you know?)
  • Make sure your SEO tactics are current. Hidden text is SO last century.
  • Don’t screw up your robots.txt file. A blank robots.txt is better than having a bad or broken one.
  • Don’t keyword stuff your content. If you can’t or don’t like to write in a grammatically correct manner (and that’s okay… some people find it sound too formal and rigid) just remember to try to write like people actually speak. Just remember, no one speaks in keyword dense sentences.
  • Don’t focus all of your effort solely on your homepage.
  • Don’t make doorway pages. Doorway == Bad. Landing Page == Good.
  • Don’t put your company name at the front of your title tags.

There, I think that is pretty much everything we touched on in this episode. If you can think of anything else that new SEOers should be aware of, please feel free to comment! 🙂