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Sumy Designs Blog

SEO mistakes you’re probably making

Are you trying to do SEO by yourself? I hear this from people all the time, and I cringe. SEO is complex and complicated and attempting to parse all the online data about it can be hard. If you really want to have SEO done right, you should talk to a pro. Our SEO services can help get you on the right track.

If you are still set on DIY SEO, I’d like to make a list of things you’re probably doing wrong, so you can stop doing them.

Not doing keyword research

I have folks come to me all the time with frustration because they aren’t ranking for this keyword or that keyword. I asked them what research they did on that keyword and get a blank stare. Keyword research is important – without it, you don’t know if the keyword you want to rank for is even worthwhile.

Example: A client came to me very upset that anyone searching for one particular keyword wouldn’t find his site. When I did some research on this keyword, I found out that there was zero search volume for that search. Literally, no one was using that keyword phrase. What’s the point of ranking for a keyword term that nobody is using?

If you don’t research your keywords, you won’t know if it’s worthwhile to even try to rank for. On the flip side, you also won’t know if it’s unattainable. If the keyword is really difficult with stiff competition, you can try and try and never rank for it.

Another issue is when you try to rank for a term that Google doesn’t think is relevant. Have you performed a Google search for the phrase in question? You can optimize your site to the ground, but it won’t make a difference at all if Google doesn’t think those keywords are relevant. Google’s goal is to give searchers what they want, and that might mean disregarding your optimizations if they don’t think your site is a relevant result.

Stuffing keywords into tags and categories

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I once logged into a site and found that every product had 10-20 tags and lots of categories and all of them were random keywords they wanted to be found for including the names of nearby cities. This is not what categories and tags are for, and this is not a successful strategy for being found for those keywords.

Learn more about how to use categories and tags correctly in this blog post.

Optimizing multiple pages and posts for the same keyword

I get it, you want to be found for that keyword. But if you optimize several pages and posts for the same keyword, you are diluting your chances. Instead of having one really focused page for that keyword, you are clogging up the search engines with multiple options for results. Which one should they pick? You have literally created your own competition.

Not writing enough content

Consider this: Google is deaf and blind. It can’t see what’s in your pretty pictures. If you don’t have content on your pages, then you are likely not going to make any progress in your search engine optimization. One or two sentences is not going to cut it.

Creating micro-sites for backlinks

Backlinks are a valuable way to create authority in Google, but only if they are from other sites that have domain authority. If you create a micro-site or blog as a way to create backlinks to your site, that website will likely have little authority or credibility with Google, and those efforts will have been in vain. Use some of these better methods for generating backlinks that will be more valuable for SEO.

Not specifying meta titles and descriptions

While Google “claims” that meta titles and descriptions aren’t used for ranking, they do play a huge role on whether someone clicks through on your website or not and the CTA (click through rate) absolutely plays a role in your rank. If lots of people are clicking on your search engine result, then Google will assume that your website must be the “right” answer for that query and your rank will start to rise.


My advice to DIY SEO’ers is this: hire a pro. It’s expensive and often times invisible – but a professional knows how to research keywords, what Google is looking for, and how to position your site for better results. Contact us for a quote for SEO services for your website.

Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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