These are STILL Common SEO Mistakes

This is gonna be a quick post of some of the most common site errors I still see to date.  Crazy thing to think about IMO is that it’s the middle of the year in 2011, and we are STILL seeing some of these.  Now I know SEO died many years ago, but its just crazy to think these basic onsite SEO issues are not being handled like they should be with business owners.  Heh, maybe we still ARE needed.  What gets me is that even some of the most basic changes can bring about huge differences in traffic and rankings – and of course, sales and making money … which is why you are doing this right?  To make money?

As I ran quickly through a few sites last week (for potential new clients) these were the common problems found:

  1. 301 issues … on /index.htm/html/php as well as not having www or non www’s assigned
  2. No site maps … of any kind, nor had any of them even heard of Google Webmaster Central
  3. No Custom Meta Data – in some cases all descriptions were same with no unique titles for every page
  4. No Blog, or if they did have a blog it was on blogspot or somewhere off domain – (don’t do that if you are wanting SEO benefits onsite) sure there is debate on this one, but I am sticking to my belief that it is best to have your content on your own domain … period)
  5. Internal Linking Structure – too many “click here” links – great post by Matt McGee where one of his talking points is on text links
  6. No content, or not enough content on home page – I would love comment on this one – what do you guys and gals think is a good number of words for content on home pages?  other pages?  Just curious to see what you all think.  Thanks for playing along.
  7. No images, or hardly any images used and if there was an image used the naming structure was bad like “image1.gif” vs “product keyword”
  8. No use of H1 tags …. anywhere


Now I am sure there were more issues on these pages, (remember this was a quick site “look over”) but these were the common ones, and that is the point of this post because these are so basic.  You guys … these are basic issues that should be done before the websites even launched.  I just felt like posting this because it seems more and more lately I am getting these kind of issues knocking on my door.

Please add your most common seen mistakes in the comments with links to posts where people can find answers.  Thanks in advance!


30 thoughts on “These are STILL Common SEO Mistakes

  1. Mel Lifshitz says:

    SEO must be so dead that the owners of those websites you mentioned are not really that interested anymore to check if their websites are well optmized. (pun intended)

  2. Courtney says:

    I just posted on Twitter that I’ve seen multiple websites without any social share buttons or links to their social media profiles (and they did have them- I looked!). I don’t imagine how one can forget to include/connect their social media with their website- but it must be a common mistake!

  3. Edward Culligan says:

    SEO is by far the holy grail of the internet. The funny thing about all of what you mentioned above is that we all forgot the basics when we first started. I can remember not creating a site map and didn’t even know what it was. I didn’t know what Meta Tags were either. The best thing about it, is its trial and error and we are all learning from each other. Its blog posts like this that help people learn much quicker. Great post

  4. Carl Amens says:

    Great summary of some of the biggest SEO issues today, unfortunately most common on small business websites. Naturally content is key and the lack their off usually breaks a page SEO wise if their hasn’t been done some serious off-page SEO. I think the hardest part for many to adapt is internal link building, it takes a mindset every time you write something to reference your older articles but its so worth it. Keep it up Mat!

  5. sanjay says:

    You must check those companies that sells SEO services, and evaluate their website and you can see that it’s not even properly done (SEO wise of course). Yet they get clients that pays them. Maybe you should create a post about that too!

  6. Gary says:

    I think I have made most of the mistakes identified, when building my site.

    There’s plenty of ‘free’ info out there to ensure that most common mistakes are rectified, by the amateur website / blog builder.

    I suspect the real problem is lack of desire and or effort.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hi Mat,

    Thank you for this article. More people need to know this, even though a tiny part of me doesn’t want bad SEOs to learn anything so they can go out of business and I can get more clients. I am sure you were all thinking it, I am just honest enough to mention it.

    In all seriousness though, knowledge is power, should be shared freely so we can build a stronger and brighter community. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Virag says:

    Social share buttons are good to have on sites and I believe that somewhat regular (once a week at least) postings with approx. 500 words is just about enough.

  9. Dan says:

    It’s amazing how many people forget on-page SEO when working on their website. It’s the basic thing that you have to do, otherwise you’ll be fighting an uphill battle the whole time.

  10. Mark Johnson says:

    Thanks for the information as I am very new to SEO. I have a question for you about my domain “get paid by surveys” as it is missing the “www”. How important is this to SEO and how would I go about changing this to have it include the www? Thanks! – Mark

  11. Dave @ MIMA says:

    As far as length of webpage content, I prefer concise content that is clearly progressive and to the point.

    If web pages are too long, I tend to move on. Therefore, I write web pages around 200 to 250 words. That’s my preference!

  12. Sarah Cowan says:

    Goodness! I agree. I can’t believe that people aren’t aware of these simple SEO errors.They’re pretty commonplace these days. You mentioned that you would like some feedback on point 6 with regard to content. I sometimes come to blows over this issue with my colleagues in work. I’m a believer of sharing knowledge and content, and depending on the service or product being offered I believe that many people are “researching” with the intent of gaining knowledge from content before decding on a service or product. For me, it’s more of a case of how you display the content. You need to break it up into readable bite size chunks, which all sounds a little traditional and cliche but I think it works for a reason! Some of my other colleagues believe, it’s not about content, but forcing the sale! I guess they have proved this to be true in some cases, but when it comes to what is more successful, I guess it’s a tough coin toss! I’ll always argue my side and they will argue theirs. It’s a thinker though.

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