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5 Common Mistakes in SEO [VIDEO] from Google Tech Lead

Discussion in 'Social Media, SEO/SEM & Online Marketing' started by Proudlock, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Proudlock


    Mar 30, 2010
    Hi All,

    Earlier today I came across this video by Maile Ohye, who is a lead tech developer for google, and she talks about the 5 most common mistakes made when first starting in SEO and so I thought this would benefit the community and many start-ups. The video can be seen here.

    The following includes my commentary on the video and some thoughts that hopefully will benefit people.

    Common Mistake #1 - No Value Proposition
    Maile refers to the many sites first starting out as having no value proposition, i.e. the offer that you business gives over others out there such as being the oldest shop in the area or a non-for-profit are just two of the examples she uses. I completely agree with this statement as even before you start SEO a business needs to be considering its value proposition, especially in e-commerce as a way to distinguish your own site/business from all the competition out there - as the video mentions several of these for e-commerce include low prices, free shipping/shipping offers - but also consider coupon offers, customer relationship management schemes and video responses to customer problems are just a few more i've seen executed well recently. As stated these types of value props will provide greater information for users and potential customers as well as making them more likely to return to your site and recommend it to friends - which all in turn will provide a good basis for starting SEO with.

    Common Mistake #2 - Segmented Approach
    The second common mistake refers to companies that do not provide a holistic approach to their SEO i.e. there marketing departments and SEO teams don't communicate well. This in my opinion is pretty much a given in business, that a whole company needs to all be on the same page for best results, for the majority of users on this site its not a massive issue as quite a lot of start-ups are 'one-man band' type set-ups and thus this doesn't really apply. My main point to take from this is to apply the approach to a different area that normally really bugs me in some companies - that area is "Social Media" - make sure that if as a business you are using multiple streams of social media that they are all being updated and content uploaded in a holistic approach so that all the customers/users are getting the same experiences from all aspects of your business rather than conflicting messages. Most people take this as a given but its suprising when you look closely how many companies managed to post conflicting social media content.

    Common Mistake #3 - Time Consuming Workarounds
    This common mistake will be a bit above some users especially if they don't know or have little experience in web page code but basically explains that 'paginated content' can now be updated more easily using the latest techniques such as the 'next' & 'prev' relationship types and that using the plethora of google webmaster tools can also help with getting more URLs searched and fetched by googlebot with better ease. The main thing to take from this part of the video is that as a webmaster (or whoever is running your site for you) get on the webmaster central blog mailing list for constant updates of best practices for SEO and put aside a little bit of time a month to update yourself (or again who ever is doing your SEO) on the latest techniques and processes to get the best possible results from your site's SEO.

    Common Mistake #4 - Don't Get Caught In SEO Trends
    Now this section may seem contradictory to the mistake #3 - where it says to keep up with SEO developments, but the advice is to learn as many best practices for SEO as possible and not just follow along with the trends that keep popping up.
    The main snippet to take from this common mistake is that to remember that although search engines are good for getting yourself noticed and for appearing alongside the top competitors the main person you should be trying to attract are the end users i.e. customers to make purchases from your sites. Focus on creating great content that engages audiences, rather than just looking at good keyword density and chasing search engine algorithms, that will create lasting value for the business or company that will again stand you in good stead with Mistake #1 (value proposition). This sort of content remember will more commonly be distributed via social media, so make it engage users and potential customers as that will lead to them sharing it not only on the net but with friends and groups which all in turn will lead to better SEO with out the time-consuming and boring process of trying to get the perfect keyword density.

    Common Mistake #5 - Slow Iteration
    With this mistake Maile talks about the process that she would use with keeping up SEO iterations and developing a good repeatable cycle for SEO development and I suggest you all watch the section from 6.10secs onwards as she discusses the process.
    In my opinion I completely agree that with the ever changing nature of SEO these days its important to be dynamic or have a dynamic working SEO team to respond to whatever is necessary to put your business/site a high as possible with of course organic growth through an ever developing understanding of SEO. Can you kinda of see a trend here? That a lot of the points put across tend to compile on top of each other and develop each other further, so bear that in mind with your future SEO.

    Finally Maile goes on to talk about 6 of her best practices when it comes to SEO, which are as follows:
    - Do something cool with content or as a value proposition
    - Include relevant keywords in your copy
    - Be smart about your tags and site architecture
    - Sign up for email forwarding for google webmaster tools (as pointed out by myself earlier)
    - Attract as many natural links and buzz as possible i.e. +1s, votes, follows (and thanks - google+ latest tool)
    - Stay fresh and relevant on social media and/or develop some mobile platforms

    I agree with a lot of the good practices put forward by Maile above, don't confuse me saying don't worry about keyword density as stated earlier with 'don't put any keywords in your copy' you obviously need to put some of your keywords into your copy to benefit the search engines. Just don't get hung up on keyword density over real content for the end goal which is user engagement. And the attractors are going to be more important with the ever developing social media sites - so look to be getting quality and natural links from sites such as twitter (i.e. RTs, pinned tweets), pinterest (i.e pins, likes), facebook (likes, run comps, etc), google+ (+1s, thanks, grow circles) and one of the new ones that some people probably haven't heard of Klout (gain klout).

    For those who haven't heard of Klout I will try to post an article about it and its usefulness for businesses due to its effects on social media - its a social tool that will be really beneficial in light of this video.

    Hope this helps people and that some discussion comes forth from the members.
    SaleHoo and Lace like this.
  2. Lace

    Lace Retired Moderator

    Mar 21, 2011
    Thank you for this Sam, a lot of the things discussed by Maile are as applicable to social media. I really enjoyed watching her and agree that most of us have a long to-do lists for our own websites. The advice above help in working smarter and in a more efficient manner.

    Focusing on value which has long term benefits that can transcend into social media and other PR opportunities should be in everyone's personal SEO mantra.
  3. SaleHoo


    Feb 28, 2006
    Nice video! Thanks for sharing Sam :)


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