5 super-common SEO mistakes content marketers make
Obstacles are bound to arise in any SEO effort, but columnist Stephan Spencer reminds us that many of these are avoidable if you choose the correct approach.
Without a sufficient amount of link authority, Google isn’t going to give your site the time of day. If it seems that despite all your content marketing efforts, the needle just isn’t moving in the Google SERPs, then you’re probably making one of these five avoidable SEO mistakes:
1. Hustling for likes instead of links
Your social strategy is completely misaligned if you aren’t incorporating SEO goals into it. SEO must underpin your social media strategy. It’s not the likes, retweets, shares and plus-ones that are going to prop you up in Google; it’s the links. As such, getting influential bloggers to link to your site should be a primary raison d’être for your social campaigns.
Consider, for example, Old Spice’s gag website TheFlatteringMan.com. The site got plenty of press, but did they put even a single link back to OldSpice.com to leverage their link authority? Nope.
2. Misplacing the content
Remarkable content needs a home where it will attract the most links to your main site, where the links lead directly to your site and not through an intermediary site with lots of links to other folks’ sites, and where the links to your site won’t be nofollowed.
Thus, a social site like YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook is a less-than-ideal home for your content because external links are nofollowed. Even a third-party site like Huffington Post or BuzzFeed can be less than ideal, since you are at the mercy of their editorial guidelines and the number of competing links on the page.
If you wrote a great listicle, you’d think it would be a huge win to get it published on BuzzFeed. It’s not, at least not from an SEO perspective. That’s because BuzzFeed doesn’t allow you to drop links to your site, even if you are a paying advertiser such as Victoria’s Secret.
Victoria’s Secret may have received quite a few views on their “12 Things Women Do Every Day That Are Fearless” piece in BuzzFeed, but take a look, and you will see that there isn’t a single link back to the Victoria’s Secret website. It’s only after you click the author link that you see a link to the main site.
For those of us trying to build up our link authority, the best spot for hosting our linkworthy content will almost always be on our own site.