Search engine optimization (SEO) mistakes can sabotage your entire efforts, so avoiding certain pitfalls is just as important as implementing technical SEO and other best practices.
SEO is still the most cost-effective form of digital marketing. Appearing on the first page of Google search results can help you drive a significant amount of organic traffic to your site. But, to achieve this, you need to have a comprehensive digital marketing SEO strategy. More importantly, you need to avoid mistakes that may derail your entire SEO campaign.
In this article, we’ll share 11 organic marketing mistakes and what to do to avoid them.
The Top 11 SEO Mistakes to Avoid
Before going over the mistakes you need to avoid, it’s important to understand how search engines like Google work.
Google and similar platforms use search engine bots to read your site. These bots are basically simple pieces of code that read through your site and analyze its contents line by line. For this reason, you need to pay close attention to technical elements, like site speed, as well as user experience variables, like broken links.
Here are 11 common SEO pitfalls you should avoid at all costs.
1. Neglecting to Write Awesome Content
Having poorly written content is a common SEO problem that occurs for a few different reasons. Nonetheless, creating content that meets both technical demands and delivers value is essential if you want to get high rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Creating duplicate content is no longer a sustainable strategy. But, developing high-quality content definitely represents an investment. However, you can partner with an SEO agency and have experienced writers create content for your site.
In many cases, this is more cost-effective than assigning the task to an internal team member as this may take longer and have no impact on your search visibility.
2. Not Working on PageSpeed Metrics
Google PageSpeed is a tool used to measure metrics related to your pages’ loading speeds. This is an important website performance metric because pages that have slow loading times usually have a higher bounce rate.
Improving your website speed may sound simple, but it can become a tricky task. From image size to the servers that house your site, there are many variables that affect your page speed.
Your best bet is to perform a site audit using an SEO optimization tool to figure out how to improve this part of your site.
3. Trying to Rank for the Wrong Keywords
Conducting keyword research is an essential part of SEO. Not only this, but the number of top-ranking websites using keyword stuffing and generic keywords has decreased dramatically.
But, choosing the wrong target keyword remains among the most common SEO errors.
The biggest mistake that companies make when choosing SEO keywords is going solely for volume. High-traffic keywords add a lot of value. But, it’s important to have a mix of high-volume relevant keywords that drive traffic and long-tail keywords that bring in a lower number of bottom-funnel prospects.
4. Not Using Analytics to See What Converts
Search engines use search bots to analyze your website, using statistics to evaluate certain parts of your site.
Not doing the same is one of the most common SEO problems that you should solve right away.
There are many free, safe, and accurate tools you can use to track your site’s metrics. For example, Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
You should implement both of these in your SEO strategies and create an optimization calendar to improve your web page load speed, target keywords, content, and other parts that influence site visitors.
5. Not Optimizing for Local Search
Small businesses are all about their local audience. The problem is that not optimizing for local search is now one of the common SEO pitfalls found throughout countless campaigns.
Site owners that run a local business need to implement local SEO best practices. For example, adapting content for the target audience and localizing a portion of their marketing efforts.
Not only this, but you should also choose a location-based term and build a page for every particular keyword you choose to promote services in an area.
6. Duplicate Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Many believe that metadata is simply a technical factor, but it has a profound effect on SEO. Using the same description and titles as competitors is among the most common SEO mistakes, so make sure to write unique descriptions for each page you publish.
7. Not Optimizing Metadata
The meta titles and descriptions on your pages help search engines understand what your site is about. Not optimizing these with your keywords and location data is one of the biggest SEO mistakes you should fix right away.
Your meta description and title are found either in the HTML code or the backend of your site. As mentioned earlier, your pages should have unique title tags that feature each target phrase. Note that each meta description and title should also follow length best practices to be displayed properly on SERPs.
8. Same Anchor Text for Every Link (Anchor Text Over-Optimization)
Placing internal links throughout your content is just as important as acquiring external links. Both of these contribute to a better link-building profile. But, using the same anchor text for your internal redirects can actually have a negative effect.
This means that you need to analyze anchor texts, optimize existing links, and ensure that new redirects follow the same best practices. To make this process easier, you can do it at the same time as you find broken links.
9. Link Quantity Over Link Quality
Google and other search engines now have ways to gauge link quality. So, getting as many links as possible is no longer a recipe for good SEO. Instead, you need to focus on getting links from quality sites.
In the context of simple mistakes, acquiring low-quality backlinks is very common. The reason for this is that most companies lack the tools to gauge the authority metrics of the pages they get backlinks from. This makes it impossible to create a profile built mostly on quality links.
10. Not Taking Advantage of Design and UX SEO Tips
User experience (UX) is important for a high SEO ranking. But, many webmasters overlook basic SEO design tips, like using a white background and having obvious CTA buttons. This is a common SEO mistake, but fixing also requires an in-depth understanding of the design variables that influence the UX on your site.
11. Not Optimizing for Mobile Devices
The volume of mobile users surfing the web may never surpass that of desktop visitors in the US. Yet, having a mobile site can help you target a huge portion of your audience and engage them while they’re on the go.
Having a mobile-friendly site is key, but traditional mobile websites are difficult to manage. Opting for a responsive design that adapts to the user’s screen size may be a better alternative.
Every SEO mistake can have a costly outcome. To help avoid this, your best bet is to partner with an agency with a proven SEO success track record.
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