Sometimes in SEO we need a little course correction. While our hearts are usually in the right place and we normally are willing to put the time and effort into our work, that’s not going to count for much if you’re using the wrong strategies in your SEO. In fact when you’re working hard at SEO but going in the wrong direction, it’s often the case that it’s actually worse than doing no work on it at all – you can end up actually damaging your ranking and your reputation, not to mention your own enthusiasm.

Here then we will look at some of the big mistakes that you might be making, to help you get back on the right track and so that you know you’re good effort won’t be for naught.

Mistake Number 1: Not Varying Your Links Profile

Like many things in life, when it comes to links the byword should very much be ‘quality’ rather than quantity. And by quality I don’t just mean getting your links from a high-profile blog, rather I mean getting links that are varied and that look natural.

You need to think about this the way that Google does. Their aim is to make their search engine as useful as possible for the user, and to that end they want to make their search results natural and make it difficult for people to ‘game’ them. As such then, if they see any obvious patterns in link building – even if those patterns are technically positive – they are going to penalise the site and see it as link manipulation. A hundred links entirely on PR6 blogs might be great on paper, but it’s a little suspicious don’t you think?

And as an added bonus, a varied linked profile gives you the most resilience against future updates to Google’s algorithm. So it’s time to mix it up!

Mistake Number 2: Ignoring Social Media

For a while the SEO world largely thought of social media as the fluffy younger sibling of SEO – almost the way psychology students view sociology students (and biology students view psychology students in turn). In fact though, social media is more and more becoming a critical part of your web marketing strategy and one of the very best indicators of success these days is a thriving Google+ profile and lots of time spend in forums and on Reddit. Spend some time just adding people to your social networks – 50% of the time they’ll add you back and that will greatly increase your reach very easily.

Mistake Number 3: Looking Out for Yourself

Looking out for yourself is of course to be expected to a degree when you’re doing SEO, but the trick is to avoid letting this become obvious. What’s much better than posting your links plenty of times on social networks is to provide helpful comments, engage in discussions and only when it’s appropriate then to post your own materials. This way people will actually pay attention to what you’re writing about, and they’ll be more likely to click your links – and crucially to share them.

Mistake Number 4: Not Delivering Value

SEO is a science, but it’s also an art. Ultimately, being a success will mean creating a site that people want to come and visit and it will mean building a large selection of followers. If you can write gripping content and publish it on an attractive and well-designed site, then you should find the numbers start to swell all by themselves.

Mistake Number 5: Not Getting Help

If you’re trying to do all your SEO yourself then you’re wasting time that could be better spent building your site and promoting it in other ways. You should learn a bit of SEO certainly, but the easily automated aspects are better off being passed on to professionals – they should pay for themselves.

And the Mistake So Obvious it Almost Doesn’t Bear Mentioning

You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned any of the old SEO methods that some people still cling to – posting hundreds of articles to content farms, writing keyword-stuffed content and building lots of useless backlinks. I haven’t mentioned this for one simple reason: by now it should be obvious. The above tips are things that some people might understandably miss when coming up with their SEO strategy, but if you’re still stuck in the past then you need a serious wakeup call.