Having a website that ranks well in the search engines takes a lot of work and a lot of know how. However, all too often this isn’t helped by the added issue of SEO mistakes that many webmasters make. With this in mind Matt Cutts, Google’s Head of Search Team gives us an insight into the 5  most common mistakes. It’s worth pointing out that these aren’t the most devastating mistakes people can make, purely the most common.

Having a complex site that the spiders can’t crawl


Matt tells us that this is by far the biggest mistake that he sees on a regular basis. If you hide pages or have internal links that don’t function then the Google ‘bots’ cannot crawl the site properly. So it’s always worth going through your site and make sure you can navigate through easily.

Getting your wording wrong for on-page content

By placing yourself in the mind of the reader and thinking about what people would type in when they do a search Matt tells us that you stand a far better chance of getting targeted traffic if you replicate this on your page. The idea is that when people type in a specific question such as ‘How high is Mount Everest?’ they should find the relevant information pretty quickly on that page. Common SEO mistakes are ambiguous or vague keywords that are more than likely to see you receiving no traffic, or traffic that isn’t your target audience.

Focusing mainly on link building when developing your site

Again Matt tells us that if we build a website with link building at the forefront then chances are we’re cutting off a lot of avenues. Firstly he says to think about how we can add the best value to our sites with compelling and engaging content and then look at links later. Also he tells us to think about promoting outside of the search engines, as these should never be your only method of marketing.

Not making your important pages count

For the majority of sites the most important page will be the home page. A common SEO mistake that webmasters make is to not optimise it fully. Make sure that your home page isn’t left untitled and add descriptions on important pages where necessary.

Not taking advantage of  Google’s webmaster resources

Google give us a multitude of resources to help webmasters learn how to improve their SEO knowledge. Those who take the time to explore the tons of tools and resources available, will find that they are better equipped to succeed.

For a more in depth view of what he has to say about the most common SEO mistakes, then feel free to check out the video here.