5 Hilariously Common SEO Bloopers
…okay,so these days it’s possible to have multiple h1 tags on the page if that is your preference, but there is no excuse for these common SEO blunders that we’re still seeing, even in 2017.
1. Keyword Stuffing
A friend of mine recently asked for advice on his home page content. He’d paid someone on Fiverr the grand total of £3.90 for 500 words of ‘SEO optimised’ content. Sigh. The content read something like this:
‘Company X’ are specialists in personal training. Our personal training services will help your fitness and improve your strength. The personal trainers at, are experienced personal trainers who….etc
Sigh. Looks like the copywriter needs some personal SEO training!
Fix: Do a CTRL + F (or command F if your fancy) and search for what you would say your ‘main’ keyword is on the page. This isn’t a comprehensive test but if you’re seeing numbers in the teens then its time to modernise your content. Oh, and a bonus tip - don’t get copyrighting from Fiverr.
2. A Poor Redirect strategy
You work hard to get a particular product up in the search results. You’ve linked to it in many blog posts and many of your loyal customers have added it to their favourites and shared your amazing deals with their friends. So naturally, you’ve sold out and you’ve deleted the product. Huge mistake. That URL has built very valuable authority, which can either be passed to other pages. Or the user can be directed to alternatives. You’d be surprised at the 1,000s of 404 errors we go through every month as a result of this (or similar situations). So much so that even my brother and his Facebook friends know about it (excuse the poor spelling of the word ‘usability')...
3. No Tracking
Running an SEO campaign with no tracking is like having the judges guess the running time of the athletes competing in the 100 meter olympic final. How do you know if your strategy is winning and if you’ve improved on your previous result? You’d be surprised how often we take over accounts with no previous tracking.
At the end of the day, when all alt tags have been optimised and all site-caching improvements are done, it’s the financial result that really matters. Is your business generating a higher number of qualified sales and leads? Are you beating targets from last year? Are you getting the brand reach you were expecting? Google Analytics goal tracking at the bare minimum is key.
4. Using 'build it yourself' Content management systems
You may have seen many TV adverts for free website builders such as Wix and 1and1. Wix website builder is a build it yourself system that aims to make it simple for non-techy users to build simple websites. Whilst the SEO functionality is better than it once was, there are still many technical floors that are hard to overcome.
Small business owners can often see the appeal - it is a free website after all - but is it really free? You’ll spend time and effort creating the website only to undo all your work when you realise visibility is not quite up to scratch and your target audience just wont find you. Best to invest in quality web design from the start to avoid having to start over.
5. Not protecting your website from hackers
The reality is that open source content management systems like Wordpress are always going to be susceptible to hacking. Whilst Wordpress is an excellent platform, the number of reported Wordpress hacks in the last year alone is surely astronomical.
Hacking can be avoided by keeping your site secure - or paying a company a small fee each month to keep your site secure for you. This means keeping up with updates, taking backups and general monitoring for hacks. If hacks aren’t dealt with quickly, they can have a devastating effect on your rankings, even causing your site to disappear from search results completely.
BONUS Blunder - No favicon - Okay this has nothing to do with SEO. It's just really really really annoying. Seriously.
If you are unsure whether you are committing any of these cardinal SEO sins why not get in touch, we will be happy to offer you a free SEO audit to get your website on the way to recovery.