6 SEO Mistakes That Can Kill Your Website

Posted by on August 15, 2012 in SEO [ 21 Comments ]

SEO mistakesThe road to SEO success is fraught with pitfalls, dead ends and potentially lethal mistakes that can kill your website in the process. Since SEO is so long term, any mistakes you make now might take months to reverse and get your SEO back on the right track.

And while it’s not impossible, it’s very hard to recover quickly from a search engine penalty. Here are 6 SEO mistakes you want to avoid making as you execute your SEO campaign.

Top 6 SEO Mistakes

1. Targeting keywords based on search volume.

When choosing which keywords to incorporate into your content and online marketing, it’s important to remember that search volume alone isn’t the most important thing. You want to target keywords that:

  • Accurately reflect the content on each page
  • Takes the intent of your visitors into account. When someone searches for “apple” are they looking for information about the fruit or do they want to buy an iPod? If you own an apple orchard “apple” makes sense, and has an immense search volume, but “apple picking” would probably be a better choice and send more targeted traffic to your site.

2. Choosing quantity over quality in link building.

With the Google Penguin update that went live in April, the need for a clean and natural link profile has become more important than ever. Yes, links are the bread and butter of SEO but having more links doesn’t mean anything if they aren’t good quality.

  • Stay away from unrelated sites, link exchanges, bad neighborhoods and other low-quality link sources (no matter how tempting or easy it is to get a link there) and focus on building quality links from relevant sources. 20 great links is much more valuable in the long run than 100 spammy links that could get your site in trouble.

3. Only creating promotional content.

The majority of your content marketing efforts should be focused on creating educational content that is designed to teach and inform your target audience. You want to become a valuable resource for your customers, and educational content is what helps build your reputation as an industry expert.

  • While promotional content is fine every once and a while, I always recommend you keep promotional content to about 10% of your overall content marketing efforts.

4. Trying to “beat” the algorithm.

There is no secret formula to SEO success. There is no set number of links, keywords or webpages that is going to magically improve your website’s SERP ranking overnight—so stop looking for a way to beat the algorithm! Sites that try to beat the system are usually the ones that end up getting whacked with a penalty.

  • In my experience, as long as you focus on creating the best possible user experience, building your brand long-term and stick to your white hat SEO campaign, you’ll be much more successful in the long run than any site that’s trying to stay one step ahead of the algorithm. You’ll sleep at lot better at night too, knowing that any algorithm updates are likely to help your site and not penalize it.

5. Copying everything your online competition is doing.

While a competitive link audit is a great way to see how your site is stacking up the competition, you don’t want to become an SEO copycat. Use your competitive link audit to find new link sources, but don’t think that your link profile has to become a carbon copy of your competitor’s in order for you to succeed. You want to make your website stands out from the pack, which means you have to build links that your competition doesn’t have.

6. Failing to leverage social media networks to their fullest.

The search engines are taking social signals into account when determining where your website falls in the SERPs. This means that every time a piece of your content is shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and so forth, it becomes more important in the eyes of the search engines. Creating content is only the first step, you have to promote it!

  • Social networks thrive on fresh content, so make sure you are keeping your profiles up to date with new content on a consistent basis. Social media marketing is a great way to connect with your audience, build links and drive traffic to your website.

These are only a few of the SEO mistakes I see site owners make time and time again. Remember, the search engines can’t determine what you intended to do, they can only measure what you’ve done! Make sure you aren’t making any of these mistakes with your SEO.

Photo credit: dotsauce.com

Nick Stamoulis is the President of Brick Marketing, an SEO company in Boston, Massachusetts. With nearly 13 years of SEO experience, Nick Stamoulis share his knowledge by writing in the Brick Marketing Blog, hosting SEO training classes and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 150,000 opt-in subscribers.

Contact Nick Stamoulis at 781-999-1222 or nick@brickmarketing.com


21 thoughts on “6 SEO Mistakes That Can Kill Your Website


  1. avatarJonathon

    Great post Nick. I especially appreciate point number 3. Creating content that is useful is key. Too many companies want to take the opportunity to plug their businesses in every blog post, every guest post, every blog comment or whatever. Offering useful content will pay back in full over the long term.


  2. avatarDaniel Chege

    Nick, you never cease to amaze me with your straight-to-the-point SEO Articles that has both value and relevance in most business niche. I can testify that I was guilty of choosing quantity over quality in link building when I first started my website but as SEO keeps on changing, so do we. Thanks for sharing about SEO mistakes that people make.


  3. avatarJessica Sanders

    Thanks for checking out the post – we are so happy to have such an expert writing for us! Come back again!


  4. avatarJessica Sanders

    Thanks for stopping by, Jonathon! I agree with you, Nick did an excellent job of pointing out some very important points – content definitely being one of them. Thanks, again!



  5. avatarComputer Tips @Tipsonpoint

    This one is so on point. The major thing i have come to realize when it comes to SEO is that, what worked for my website last month would probably not work for it this month. So why not work on the website content and let Google come after the website, not the other way round. Thanks for sharing.



  6. avatarMetin

    That is some quite useful info here. If I may speak from the personal I can say especially #6 will get more and more important day by day. I have been getting dense amount of referral traffic from facebook groups of my blogs. Thanks again for the guidance Nick.


  7. avatarEarl

    Great post! I love the fourth point. Many startups think that if they buy a set of software, they’ll rule the SEO world. Just take Fraser Cain and his Universe Today site for instance. He simply dishes out great content and he’s doing fine. Others pack so many keywords in their posts to get noticed. Everybody does it differently, so you can’t follow just one process religiously.



  8. avatarsuraj

    Copying everything your online competition is doing……..
    i agree this can be a tempting thing for new bloggers who thinks its a short route…but good that you have pointed it out….



  9. avatarSEO Guru

    Appreciate the informative info. I and my partner associate with a search engine optimization company in Miami , FL and will definitely be advising this with friends.

    Thanks Again! :)

    Brittney Chony


  10. avatarSEO Guru

    Thanks for the good information. I take part with a SEO company in Miami FL and will be sharing this with family.

    Thanks Again! 😉

    Abe Valez



  11. avatarJessica Sanders

    Keith – yes, but the basics are definitely needed. It’s surprising the amount of small businesses that still aren’t sure how or what to do with their social media – so we want to make sure everyone is on the same page! Thanks for checking it out!


  12. avatarRekha

    That true that it is worthless of having so much links from irrelevant or bad sites because link quantity does not matter but quality links are do matter specially after Penguin update.



  13. avatarAnika Davis

    Yeah, it takes time for your site to recover from search engines’ penalization. With the constant updates in search engines’ algos, there’s no time to do the old practice of optimization. Search world is very dynamic in nature. Maybe some of your tactics that worked a month ago would not be as effective as it was today. Thanks for some reminders here.


  14. avatarSEO Training

    Great post! I love the five point. I especially appreciate point number 2. Hire Our Quality Link Building Service To Boost Your Website Traffic. Quality Link Building Brings Quality Traffic To Your Website. link quantity does not matter but quality links are do matter specially after Penguin update.


  15. avatarJessica Sanders

    It’s so true – everyone is having to evolve as the internet and Google does. Thanks for stopping by!


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