We are so focussed on advanced SEO, that we end up making some small and common SEO mistakes that can snowball and lead to insurmountable errors. We miss out on our chances to rank for the dream keywords if we avoid or think that these are all tiny issues & don’t provide that much importance.
With a lot of content being created and promoted online each second, the competition to capture your audience’s attention and also rank on search engines has become more cut-throat.
Hence we apply all the advanced SEO techniques hoping that we can outperform our competitors.
With over 2 trillion searches on Google every 12 months these days, search engine optimization is about finding a balance between audience-centric content and convincing search engines that your content is worthy enough to rank.
It isn’t that easy to stay on top, with many people falling into the trap of making common SEO mistakes and seeing negative results.
Therefore, we need to understand which are the SEO mistakes to avoid in order to get the desired results.
1. Using incorrect keywords:
One of the most usual mistakes while selecting keywords is neglecting what search engines and customers want, and focusing on your preference instead.
Sometimes your understanding might be such that you will focus on a keyword that does not fully consider the subject of the content.
Instead, your understanding might possibly be completely opposite to the user’s search intent.
Hence, it’s important to do keyword research before you begin optimization.
Always remember to choose keywords with maximum search volume and least competition.
2. Keyword Stuffing:
You might think that overusing the keywords in your content would boost your ranking. That is in fact, a common misconception, and an incorrect strategy.
Going overboard with targeted keywords is considered as ‘keyword ‘stuffing,’ or ‘overusing your supposed keywords’. Such an approach would make your content useless to its targeted audience.
Google currently employs a special type of search called Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI). This will recognize the topic of your content without having to fill in your content with repeated target keywords.
3. Not checking for plagiarism:
We all know that duplicate content is penalized, so you focus on creating original content.
But do we check for plagiarism every time?
You may say that it’s original content. Why should we check for plagiarism? But what we fail to realize is that sometimes our content may match unintentionally leading to a penalty.
So it is always recommended to always check for plagiarism after creating new content.
There are various tools for plagiarism why not start checking right now.
4. Forgetting about website speed and mobile-friendly experience:
The quality of your website, particularly its performance on mobile devices, is very important for users today as most people browse the internet on smartphones.
When the website is not smartphone friendly, Google and other search engines will downgrade your website.
The same goes for the website speed, which is often given preference when ranking on SERPs.
You can check your speed using tools like Pagespeed Insights.
The most valuable strategies for increasing site performance involve leveraging browser caching and optimizing images.
You can optimize images with the help of a plugin known as Smush.
5. Not using Anchor Text for internal links:
We know that Internal links are very important for SEO as it helps in the indexation of our website.
What we forget is adding Anchor Text to link to our pages.
What is anchor text? Anchor text is basically a clickable word or a group of words that are connected to another page on our website and usually, they appear in blue color.
But that’s not all we should know. Whatever Anchor text we provide should link to an article/page with that relevant subject mentioned.
The next thing we should ensure is the anchor text should not consist of words like “click here”, because it does not relate to its destination article. Use your subject keywords to internally link your web-pages, make it user friendly…
6. Not including relevant external links:
To make the most of SEO, it is important to take into account external links as well.
Always remember to link to reputable/leading websites.
It is advisable to link back to websites that have given you backlinks, as that would attract traffic in the future.
7. Not focussing on good quality backlinks:
We all know that a backlink is important for off-page SEO but we forget the importance of good quality backlinks and start participating in link schemes.
Link schemes can include buying or selling links, link exchanges, or creating multiple websites and giving backlinks from each other. This is considered as spam by Google and it downgrades your website.
In fact, focus on creating natural backlinks by guest posting on top blogging sites.
You can also reach out to influencers and share your blogs with them. If your blog or content is relevant they are likely to give you backlinks.
8. Not creating Title Tags and Meta-description that increases CTR
We all know about Title Tags and Meta-description and we optimize them according to the keywords.
But what we do not ask ourselves is if our Title and Meta-Description is enticing enough to get a click.
We might be ranking higher than our competitors but does that mean we are getting more clicks?
For example, you are an SEO course provider and you have mentioned in your Title and Meta-description “Award-winning SEO course provider. Book a demo session now.”
You are likely to get higher CTR in the previous example rather than just vaguely mentioning that you provide an SEO course
9. Avoiding Content Marketing:
Content Marketing is all about creating the right content in the form of blogs, videos, or articles which helps to build a strong relationship with your audience.
The most common SEO mistake we do is creating thin content by using article spinning software or not adding any value to the audience.
It is not only about the quantity of your content but the quality is what matters the most. So invest your time, money, and effort into creating unique and engaging content.
10. Improper site structure:
When you create a website you have multiple sub-domains. But you have to ensure that all the subdomains which are aligned follow a proper structure.
Let us take an example-
As you can see, the Home page comes first, followed by About us, Services, etc.
Instead, if you keep your “Services” after “Home page” it makes no sense as we have to know a business first then find out about the services.
11. Not doing regular Website Audit:
Another thing that we overlook is not doing a timely website audit.
Ideally, you should conduct website audits every month since it is important to check for broken links or any other issues.
Ideally, you should also keep checking for any website issues/anomalies with the help of Google Search Console
12. Not checking bad links:
We know that getting good backlinks can help us in ranking in SERP. But what can we do about backlinks from websites which are spammy or low quality?
How can we stop the link juice from them? Use the disavow tool from Google webmaster tool.
In this way, we are telling Google that “don’t attribute the link being provided by those spammy websites”.
Hence it is advisable to regularly find out which links are devaluing your ranking and use the Disavow tool.
13. Not having Bing Business Listing/Not optimizing for other Search Engines:
We all optimize our websites for Google, but there are other search engines as well. Even though they are not that popular as Google, they also should be optimized. We can get customers from those as well as it is low competition there.
Bing is a search engine by Microsoft and they have a market share of around 2.44% worldwide. That means if we optimize for Bing as well we can get those customers as well.
We should also not forget Bing business Listing. It is similar to Google my business and it helps in local SEO.
Since we are talking about local SEO we should also understand that if our target market is outside India we have to optimize for their country-specific popular search engines.
For example, Baidu for China and Yandex for Russia.
14. Not using Bing Webmaster tool:
In reality, Bing Webmaster Software is more sophisticated — and it offers more resources for SEO practitioners than the Google Search Console, it’s equivalent.
If Bing had not first launched its Disavow links tool, should we have had the one from Google as well? So when we are already thinking of optimizing our website for Bing, we should not forget the Bing webmaster tool.
Now that you have learned all the common SEO mistakes, aim to stop them intentionally by 2020. You can end up struggling if you do not build your website for mobiles, have specific targets, concentrate on multiple types of content. Seek to utilize new SEO updates and keep up to date with the latest to remain ahead of the competition.
Another thing to do is to learn about the entire online ecosystem. That means getting well versed with other categories of digital marketing as everything is interdependent.