If you have a website there’s an excellent chance you have been contacted by a company that claims they can get you on the first page of Google. Be very wary of claims like these. SEO can be a complicated issue to understand and some companies take advantage of this to make promises they can’t really keep. You don’t need to spend money to improve your search engine ranking. Sometimes not doing certain practices helps your site. What follows are some SEO mistakes to avoid.

Hiring an SEO company that makes big promises

Clients often tell me that they have been contacted by a company that claims to be able to get them rank on the first page of search engines in a matter of months. Never going to happen. It doesn’t work that way. Truth is, most of what they offer you could probably do on your own. In the worst case scenario, their methods could hurt your ranking.

The reality is it takes months for search engines to just find a new site. That’s why I suggest “coming soon” pages for their sites. That way, search engines have a chance to crawl the new sites and index them. Less time is lost before the full launch. If a company tells you that it’s a process that can take 6 to 12 months, they probably know what they’re talking about.

Search engine submission

Getting those important sounding emails that warm you that time is running out to submit your website to search engines? For a small fee they will submit your site to all the search engines for you. Tempted? Don’t be. It’s been a long time since not only has search engine submission not been required, but has become virtually useless.

Keyword stuffing

As I have written before, choosing the right keywords is an important part of optimizing your site. However, loading a web page with keywords in the meta tags or in the content in an attempt to manipulate ranking will not help your site at all. In fact, it can have very negative consequences. Your site can be penalized in search ranking on major search engines either temporarily or permanently.

Instead, use the right keywords in your page titles, headings and URLs.

Buying backlinks

You can purchase hundreds of backlinks for your site. The major problem is that most of these have already been blacklisted as being of poor quality and as spam. They won’t help your ranking at all. Even major companies have engaged in this bad practice.

Links to other relevant sites is important. The keyword here being relevant. Those links should relate to your industry. If you are a tennis coach, links to sites that sell tennis equipment are relevant backlinks for example.

Now you know what SEO mistakes to avoid

Some SEO mistakes can not only cost you money but hurt your ranking as well. Even though SEO is complex, having a basic understanding isn’t that difficult. With some patience and research, you can learn what to do and not to do. By knowing which SEO mistakes to avoid not only do you save money, you don’t waste time on things that don’t help your ranking.