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The SEO Mistakes Most Webmasters Make

I came across an interesting post on Search Engine Land that referenced two videos from Google’s Matt Cutts.  One of them was of particular interest because it gave specific examples of several areas in which webmasters failed when it came to on-page SEO and SEM.  I want to help you with 3 of those today.

1. Include the Right Words on the Page

In order to include the right words on the page (words people would actually use when looking for a site such as yours) you must first know what those words and phrases are.  This is where your keyword research comes in.

Keyword research is not nearly as complicated as most people make it sound.  Once you’ve got a good understanding about what it actually is and what the important elements are, it’s just a matter of spending the time to go through the process of:
researching possible terms
analyzing their viability
selecting phrases for each page you’ll be writing

I have a free report you can download called “Demystifying Keyword Research.“  It simplifies the process and takes you step-by-step through what you need to do.

Once you’ve found the right words, you’ll need to include them in your text.  Google has made some major changes over the last few years with the Panda and Penguin updates.  The best practices for using keywords in copy/content have changed radically from just a few years ago.

The good news is, as Google’s algorithm has gotten more sophisticated, the process of keyword optimization has gotten simpler.

These days, putting keywords in every place you can possibly think of (old-school method) will likely get your page demoted, not advanced in the rankings.

Yes, you have to use the keywords on the page (just as Matt said in the video above), but do so gently.  In addition, include synonyms to complete the optimization process.

If you are writing copy for a USB drive, for instance, also include a mention of “thumb drive” or “flash stick.”  You don’t have to go crazy with it… a single mention on the page will probably be enough in most cases.

My “” video series will walk you through every step of the new keyword copywriting process and give you cheat sheets and planning guides to make implementation easier.

2. Create Compelling Content

Whether it’s a blog post or your website copy, you want to create content that appeals to and engages your visitors.  Content that gets shared by others is more likely to rank high with the engines.  No, a lot of shares and back links does not guarantee your page/post will hit the top 10, but it does circulate word about your business.  And if others are talking about you, that – in and of itself – is bound to generate more traffic.

How do your write compelling content?

First and foremost, get to know your target visitor. It’s impossible to write something engaging to someone you’ve never met.  The more time you invest in knowing your target audience, the more successful your copy will be.

Whether you…
join Facebook or Linked In groups that your target customers might be members of
frequent blogs or forums of interest
conduct a poll of your site visitors with questions you’d like the answers to

…or any number of other ways, the idea is to develop the same relationship with your target audience as you might have with coworkers or acquaintances.

Then write to them about what they want, what they struggle with, things that will make their personal or professional lives better, etc.  As you troll the groups and forums and blogs, make an ongoing list of ideas to use when writing blog posts and/or website copy.

If you want more help with writing optimized copy for your B2B or B2C website, my “” will guide you with:
discovering your target audience
developing your unique competitive advantage
crafting compelling headlines, copy and calls-to-action
optimizing the copy for the engines
and more

3. Pay Attention to Home Page Title & Meta Description Tags

Matt also specifically spoke about creating an enticing title and meta description tag for important pages, particularly the home page.

Learning how to write these tags so that they appease Google and engage searchers is vital.  Title and meta description tags that don’t pass muster with the big G will be changed at Google’s discretion.  That might sound OK, but usually the substitute tag is not up to par, in my opinion.  Oftentimes, the title tag is changed to something silly like your company name and the description is pulled from snippets of copy from your page that don’t make complete sentences.

To retain as much control as possible, you want to create a flow.

That means your title tag, description tag, the headline on your web page and the copy should all flow together. You do not want your title to be about one topic, your description to be about something else and the web page to be on yet a third topic.

Keeping the message consistent and compelling is what will win you clicks from Google’s search engine results page (SERP) to your site.

For a complete outline of how to master this process, check out my Kindle book “.”  (Don’t have a Kindle?  Don’t worry… there are free Kindle readers for just about every device including iPads, iPhones, PCs, Macs and more.)

About Karon Thackston

For over 25 years, web & SEO copywriter Karon Thackston has created optimized copy and content that has increased conversions & search rankings. Find out more about Karon on Google+.

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