While there are a variety of SEO mistakes to avoid, these can be the difference between a nice surge in website traffic and having your website trapped in a virtual "black hole."
1. Keyword stuffing
So, you've done your keyword research and have found three really great keyword phrases to optimize a page of your site for. You've added the phrases to your "meta page title" and plan to add them to your "meta keywords" list too.
While it can be tempting to add 1,001 keywords into this list, it's the wrong thing to do. Generally, we think that "more is better" but it's certainly not in this case.
You see, the search engines are trying to index your web pages for terms relevant to your "on page" content. The better they do this, the more likely it is that the "internet surfer" will continue to use their search engine.
As a result, they will usually index your pages to appear for a handful of keyword phrases but they're not going to index it for hundreds or thousands.
While there's no exact value, the practice of using many "meta keywords" or repeating your keyword phrases many times in your "on page" content is considered "keyword stuffing."
Keyword stuffing is frowned upon by the search engines as it appears you are trying to "game" the system. Instead of getting more traffic, you may actually find that your page gets de-indexed and removed from the search engines altogether.
2. Forgetting to add a "meta page description"
Often times, inexperienced webmasters forget to add appropriate "meta data" to each page. As most of this information is not displayed to human visitors, it's easy to overlook.
It is vital, however, to add a unique "meta page description" to each page of your site and here's why...
Google, and the other search engines, generally display the "meta page description" content (unless you have an Open Directory listing) as part of your search engine listing. It appears beneath the clickable link to your website.
If you forget to add a page description, the search engines will automatically grab a portion of text from your page and use it instead. This may not sound like a big deal, but it is.
Your page description text can help to improve your "on page" optimization, but only if it includes the 1-3 keyword phrases you are optimizing around.
It also acts as a mini advertisement and should do its best to entice a web "surfer" to click the link to visit YOUR site!
As there are generally ten "organic" search engine listings on any search results page, you must compete with the others and do your best to see that your listing stands out from the crowd.
Your page description content should be interesting to read and tell the reader what benefit(s) they'll receive by visiting your site. If you accomplish this, you'll likely get an increase in traffic and start to "steal" clicks from the other listings.
3. Forgetting to build any "anchor text" links
It's important to optimize each page of your site around a handful of keyword phrases but the work doesn't stop there!
While the search engines use many factors to determine where to "rank" each page in their indexes, none are more important than the presence of "anchor text" links pointing to your site.
Anchor text links (also called "text links," "hypertext links," "backlinks" etc.) are simply pieces of text that are linked to a particular page on your website. Each link is seen as a "vote" by the search engines and they use them to determine where to rank your page for the "linked" terms.
If the search engines don't find any links, they make the assumption that no one really cares about the content found on your page. Of course, this assumption really isn't fair as it takes some time for a brand new page to acquire links naturally but that is the assumption they make.
So in order to speed the process up and help the search engines index your pages for the keyword phrases you've chosen during research, you have to build some anchor text links yourself.
This can be accomplished a variety of ways by buying links, or building them through article marketing, video marketing or online press release submission are some of the fastest methods.
No one can guarantee your exact results but by avoiding these three "SEO mistakes," you'll set yourself apart from the masses. Doing so will give you a much better chance of getting your pages ranked on the first page for the terms you're targeting.