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5 SEO Pitfalls to Avoid

Posted on Sep 8th, 2009
Written by TopRank Marketing
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    TopRank Marketing drives results with content, influencer, SEO & social media marketing.

    Are you engaged in a Search Engine Optimization program and wondering how to get SEO Pitfallsmore out of it?

    Look no further, I’m going to share with you 5 Pitfalls to Avoid as part of an SEO program.

    Having worked with many, many clients I’ve seen just about everything.

    However, there are 5 pitfalls that consistently pop up and limit the return of the program for the client or at the very least create more hurdles than were necessary.

    So, here are 5 SEO Pitfalls to Avoid:

    1. Designing Sites in a Vacuum
    Many a client will search far and wide for the perfect web design vendor without as much as consulting their existing SEO partner. This is a mistake because, while I love web designers, they are not all trained in the world of SEO.

    Designing a new website needs to be a joint venture among all parties to ensure the SEO successes to date are not lost and the new site will be search engine friendly.

    2. Write It & Forget It
    Website content is not a ‘set and forget’ project. Rather, web content should be treated as a living organism which needs ongoing care and nourishment (read new content).

    A ‘set and forget’ mentality when it comes to web content will only keep you successful for so long. Eventually, competitors catch onto to the benefits of SEO as well and if they are creating new content they are likely to trump you for target keyword phrases.

    3. Marry 1 Analytics Package
    Whenever possible, run more than one analytics package on your website.
    Each analytics package (free or not) has its own unique capabilities and granularity of reporting. If you run two packages, understand the delta between the two methods of reporting and use the best data from each to help inform decisions.

    In addition, in the event of an analytics loss you have backup data. Imagine having a loss of analytics the month or two prior to an important meeting and not having a backup. No one wants to see a downward trend, even if it is due to a reporting glitch.

    4. Focus on Ego Phrases
    Some clients make the mistake of hanging success of the entire program on what we call ‘ego phrases’. i.e. wanting to rank for a particular phrase because they think it is important, not because data predicts it will drive traffic

    As much as your SEO firm will tell you it’s not the strategic thing to do, they will still want to make you happy. So instead of focusing time and energy on rankings that will drive traffic, they are forced to spend time achieving a ranking that may not.

    At the end of the day, your SEO firm should be held responsible to driving traffic to your website that is likely to convert. Pinning the program to one or two keywords will only limit your return.

    5. Limit Success
    All of the above mentioned pitfalls are likely to limit success of your SEO program. But they are not the only ones to look out for.

    Often success is limited by creating silos between different online initiatives. Be sure your SEO, PPC, PR and any other marketing groups are talking. There are many ways each initiative can benefit and/or learn from the other but without a forum for information exchange it’s unlikely to happen.

    For example, if you have an SEO partner and a PPC partner make sure they are exchanging information regarding high-volume or high converting keyword phrases. The information can benefit both programs.

    We have one client that does this well by bringing all partners on the phone together twice a month. It may seem time consuming, but we’re all on the same page driving toward the same objectives and leveraging the others’ knowledge.

    Overall, a good SEO partner will do everything they can to be sure you don’t stand in your own way to achieving success. But if you are guilty of one of the above, try to see the other side and in the end everyone will win.

    Do you, as a client or someone working for an agency, have other pitfalls to SEO you can share? If so, leave them in the comments.