Now more than ever, it’s essential that companies have a strong internet and social media presence if they want to see their brand grow. However, there are certain online marketing mistakes that companies continue to make. If you want your brand to grow this year, then consider these 10 common SEO mistakes to avoid.

1. Spamming Social Media

It’s time for this, once and for all, to stop being a common habit of online marketers. Social media platforms are for producing content of value that organically attracts an audience. Spamming people with your ads is a fast way to destroy your credibility.

2. Not Focusing on Localized SEO

If you own a moving company in Atlanta, GA, then it doesn’t matter if you’re the first search result for a man in Texas who searches “cheap local movers”. If you’re a local business, you need localized SEO, period.

3. Using Garbage Links

Sure, outgoing links are essential for raising your search engine rankings. But to really create top-tier optimization, you should focus on relevant and quality links, not just dozens upon dozens of mostly useless links.

4. Terrible Content

There’s nothing more disappointing than when an otherwise great business has a poor excuse of a blog. If you’re just posting gibberish that’s chock full of keywords, you’re doing nothing for your search rankings. Remember, search engines are hip to these “black hat” methods nowadays. If you can’t craft great articles, then hire a writer.

5. Using Flash, Graphics and Excess Code

Sure, it looks pretty. However, most search engines read Javascript and other codes as a blank page, which does nothing to raise your rankings. If you must use flash and multimedia, do it in a strategic way where there is also plain, keyword-dense text present.

6. Failing to Research Your Keywords

Keyword optimization isn’t just about relevancy, it’s about tapping into keywords that have high rates of searches and relatively low competition. Your company might brew the world’s best craft beer, but you’re never going to overtake Miller or Bud when people search for “pilsner.” You might have a shot at “organic local pilsner,” however.

7. Plagiarizing or Using Spun Content

In a quest to raise rankings fast, many companies either plagiarize content or they use spun content, which is technically original but is downright incoherent. To harken back to our point about terrible content, never forget that at the end of the day, content is king in the SEO game. If your content stinks, this needs to be a top priority.

8. Not Diversifying Social Media

What works on Twitter doesn’t always work on Facebook. What works on Facebook doesn’t always work on Instagram. You can’t blast the same content across all social media platforms. You need to diversify your strategies for these different platforms.

9. Talking At Your Audience

The rise of social media has changed how SEO operates. People don’t want to be spoken to, they want to be spoken with and brands need to be aware of this. Your Facebook posts should spark conversations. Your blog posts should invite people to comment.

10. Buying or Selling Links

This worked during the dawn of SEO, where to phrase it hyperbolically, you could essentially get away with murder and still make a buck. In the social media era, where consumers are more savvy, this doesn’t work anymore. It’s time to put an end to this practice.

If you can avoid these common errors, your SEO will be effective and help your company to grow in an ever-evolving digital marketplace.