5 Biggest SEO myths & Mistakes
Hello again bloggers, and welcome to week four of SEO Boot Camp for Bloggers! By now your blogs should be looking strong, with a solid foundation, a great content strategy built around good keyword research and well-optimized images and videos to help the search engines understand every aspect of your website. Now, before we run up a mountain and deem ourselves hardened blog warriors we need to understand some of the ways we can quickly turn our blogs into major search engine problems.
This week we are going to go over some of the biggest myths and mistakes I have seen floating around the SEO and blogging community for a while now. While some of these may have you saying “Well, duh,” hopefully there are some tidbits here that will help keep your blog from raising red flags with Google and other search engines.
Let’s dive right in.
1. Thinking Your Blog Platform is Optimized for SEO. Let’s face it; the reason you chose WordPress, Blogger or one of the other blogging platforms out there is because they are easy to use and that most of the blogs you see out there use them, and if they are ranking well then the platform they use may have something to do with it. Right…and wrong. While most of the larger platforms out there are designed to help bloggers easily optimize their web pages it is not an automatic thing. If you want to perform good SEO on your website you need to put in the leg work. Do yourself a favor and add an SEO plugin like SEO Ultimate to help make sure you are performing search engine optimization properly.
2. Neglecting the SEO Basics. This is one of those “Well, duh” moments I was talking about earlier, but you would be amazed how many bloggers get into the content development mindset and completely forget about basic search engine optimization. When creating new pages and posts for your blog never forget to optimize your meta titles and descriptions, interlink to important pages and use proper header tags to help ensure the search engines know what is important on your web page.
3. Over-optimizing Any Part of Your Blog (or keyword density doesn’t matter). When writing a blog and thinking about SEO it is very easy to over-optimize one or more parts of your website. One of the biggest areas bloggers over-optimize is with their keyword inclusion in their meta tags, header tags and content. Remember: Keyword density does not matter. Actually, let’s say that one more time so we don’t forget it. KEYWORD DENSITY DOES NOT MATTER. It is utterly amazing after all the research and talk about this that people still care about how many times a keyword is included in their content.
4. Caring too much about PageRank (or any other single metric). When we are trying to find out how are blogs are doing it is easy to get caught up in a single metric or a single group of metrics. I use PageRank as the example here, but this could be keyword density, number of blog comments or social shares on Facebook or Twitter. The health of your blog, much like the health of a human being, can only be judged by the sum of its parts (during the next SEO for Bloggers segment we will go over some of the most important metrics to watch).
5. Believing Great Content will Automatically Mean Great Rankings. It’s true. The most important thing you can do for your blog is to write great content that people will love. Unfortunately, many bloggers (with great blogs, by the way) get so caught up in their pursuit of great content that they forget that there is more to that when trying to get traffic. Once you have the great content on your blog you have to get it noticed. This can only be accomplished through good SEO and sharing. Get out there and interact. Share your posts on social networks. Read and comment to others. Get social. It sounds cliché, but it works.
6. BONUS!!! Caring too Much About Search Rankings. Wait…what? Did he just say that? Aren’t search rankings the essence of search engine optimization? Okay, sit back and take a breath. Surprisingly, no, search rankings are not the end all, be all to search engine optimization. While getting your blog ranked for important keywords is definitely important, the most important thing you can do for your blog is get qualified traffic. And for blogs, qualified traffic is readers who are interested and will engage with and share your blog with others.
What if Google didn’t exist tomorrow? What if they make another algorithm change like Panda and your search rankings drop through the floor? It happens. And these are questions you should be asking yourself at every point of your blog journey. When optimizing your blog you should think about all traffic sources, including the natural traffic SEO will get you.
And that’s it for this week bloggers! If you have any more questions about SEO myths I didn’t cover or even the ones I did be sure to leave a comment below, and make sure to come back next week for the final installment of SEO Boot Camp for Bloggers where I will be covering the basics of analytics and what important metrics you should be monitoring to make sure your blog is optimized as well as it can be.
Jeff Loquist is a search engine marketer with more than seven years’ experience creating search-friendly content and optimizing websites for the search engines. He runs Zen Search Marketing, a Baton Rouge SEO Consulting, PPC management and content development company. Outside of search, Jeff enjoys making soap (yeah, you heard right…soap) and writing poetry and short fiction. Mostly, Jeff enjoys a good Scotch, a fine cigar and great conversation; pretty much in that order.