The biggest SEO mistake I ever made

Creating and implementing an SEO strategy can be difficult, to say the least. I started my first SEO project back in 2013. It failed. Miserably.

The great thing about my initial (and subsequent) failures, is that I learned a hell of a lot more about SEO than I would have if I somehow managed to do everything correctly. As you learn more about SEO, be sure to watch out for these big mistakes – all of which I have made (more than once):

Mistake 1: Publishing Content On A Schedule
To everybody who says “You need to be publishing new content weekly” I respond with the question: how do you have the time and the topics to write about? — SEO is not about writing a LOT of content, it’s about writing the best content.

Here’s what happened when I tried to write content weekly: It was bad content. It was short content. It gained no traction. It was a complete waste of time. I ended up deleting all of it.

Here’s what happened when I started focusing on quality, instead of quantity of content: I started posting 4,000-word+ blog posts that dive deep into a topic. They each took about 4 months to gain traction, and I was posting 1-2 per quarter. In the past year or two, it’s hard to find a blog post that we’ve written that doesn’t rank #1, #2, or #3 for the target term that has been live for more than 4 months.

Mistake 2: Using The Same Keyword On Multiple Posts
Before I learned about something called “keyword cannibalization” (yes, it means what it sounds like – your rankings eat each other – kind of), I would try to rank for the same keyword on multiple pages. For example, I’d target a keyword like “Austin SEO agency” on our home page, on our page dedicated to Austin SEO services, and on multiple blog posts.

Here’s what happened: None of the posts, nor the main service page, ranked above page 4 for the term, “Austin SEO Agency.”

Here’s the solution: I learned that I should be creating one page per primary keyword. I should then build a content strategy that focuses on relevant content but does not target the same exact keyword. As the content begins to perform, as long as I am using internal linking properly (internally linking to the main target page with the term “Austin SEO agency,” the content passes authority onto the main services page effectively. – After removing competing pages, we reached position #3 for “Austin SEO Agency” in less than 2 months.

Mistake 3: Being Too Afraid to Ask For Links
In fact, my fear of rejection is the main reason it took me so many years to be comfortable building links. It’s scary. You have to ask a random person on the internet to allow you to guest post on their website. It took me going through a great course on link building to remove the shame I associated with cold outreach for link building.

Once I started to get links to my posts and pages, so many new doors opened. I can’t even begin to explain how effective just one or two solid links can be. Just one link can be the difference between page 8 and position #2 in search. Links are that powerful.

I wish I had given link-building a chance two or three years earlier than I did. Literally, all you do is ask for the opportunity to write a guest post. Worst case scenario, you’ll get a “no,” or more likely, no response at all.

But, for the 10% of outreach emails that turn into guest post opportunities, it will be well worth your time.

If you want to succeed with SEO, just make sure to avoid some of these rookie mistakes. Fortunately, I learned them the hard way so you don’t need to.

Search Engine Optimization

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