Digital marketing has a learning curve, and most people who start an online business don’t come from a professional background that involves that kind of skill set.
It can take some trial and error to figure out what you’re doing, and sometimes, you’ll find that different resources and authorities might even recommend totally conflicting things.
One source might say a given strategy worked for them, while another might say to avoid it at all costs.
While you’ll never know for sure until you try things out yourself, there are a few things that pretty much everyone would agree that you should avoid.
But they’re still pretty common among beginning solopreneurs.
Among all of the different subsets of digital marketing, SEO is probably the most likely to confuse you and throw you off.
It changes fast, there’s a lot of bad advice out there, and overall, it’s a really tricky field to navigate.
In a recent Entrepreneur article, the author lists some of the most common SEO mistakes that could do some serious damage to your website.
Too much keyword anchor text
As I mentioned in the previous section, your homepage is not the place to target all of your important key phrases. Use it instead for building the brand and creating trust with the search engines.
So, when you are building links to your home page, the majority of the anchors should come from your brand or some form of your URL.
Most SEO strategies want to build links that have their important phrases as the anchor, but according to the research done by SEOJet, only 3 percent of your links should have an exact match as an anchor text.
This principle of building branded links also applies to subpages, if you want your link profile to look really natural, you need to have some anchor texts that have no key phrase at all, some links with the URL as the anchor, and some with your brand as the anchor.
This is how other website owners would link to you naturally. It is unreasonable to think that anyone who ever linked to you because they loved your site would use your main key phrase as the anchor. So, you can’t do it either.
Bad blogger outreach practices
One of the best ways to get links from high-authority websites is to write a guest blog post for them. There are a ton of blogs that will accept your guest post, but the reality is most guest posts never get approved.
This happens for two reasons.
Your pitch email is a template that could apply to any blog in the world or your writing isn’t good enough. When you pitch a potential blog, don’t think of it as a one-time thing but as if you are building a relationship with a colleague. Reach out to your new business colleague and talk to them about their site and their needs.
Then pitch your guest article that helps solve those needs. After that, make sure you write an amazing article. If writing isn’t your greatest talent, then find someone who is a stellar writer and get them to help you.
If you are looking for a good outreach email to copy, check out this one in SEMRush.
No link building plan
This is the most common mistake almost all marketers make. They think that if they create amazing content, either people will naturally link to you (good luck with that to anyone who doesn’t already have a following) or you just need to go build links to that page and it will rank.
That is a vague SEO strategy. You might as well say, “Just go do stuff and you will rank.”
For some reason, people don’t treat links as they should — like money. Links are money. Links help you get on page one of Google search results. Page one equals money.
With your own personal money, you create a budget (read: plan) and then tell your money what to do. So, if you treat links like money, then you will have a plan in place and can tell your links what to do.
You will plan out which anchor texts you need to get and how many so that you can keep a natural link profile. Using this SEO tactic, you will be able to get better SEO results with fewer links.
You can learn more about what not to do over at Entrepreneur.