SEO is one of those strategies that you can implement in a few weeks, but it takes time to master it, so you can compete for high-traffic words and phrases. You’re still learning, and with a few adjustments, you can probably get that first-page ranking. It is also a fact that SEO is a fast-changing industry and what worked a few months ago may not work today, so you need to stay educated and informed about the latest SEO developments. The same basic SEO errors are repeated over and over. Most of these are easy to find and fix, the kinds of things that any decent SEO consultant should be aware of.
If you have a site and don’t have an SEO consultant, these are a few of the things you can quickly go and check yourself. If you do have an SEO consultant, they should have brought these issues to your attention. There are some common SEO mistakes that are tough to avoid. Testing optimization approaches are also difficult because you can’t verify your methods in real-time since search engines’ rules are becoming hard to predict.
To keep you and your site on track, here are some of the most common SEO mistakes we’re seeing in 2018:
Content With The Wrong Keyword
Many people publish useful content on a regular basis to boost their brand exposure and credibility. It also demonstrates search engine spiders that they are active. But, many SEO professionals mistakenly put the wrong keywords, which further affect their website ranking. So, before writing any content, make sure that you have done detailed research as to what keywords should be included. Then, make sure to include the right keywords or related keywords throughout the content and especially into the headings.
Optimizing content around one keyword.
For a long time, keywords were the focal point of SEO. If your blog post or content had a lot of keywords, it would be on Page 1. If I decided to write the word “SEO” 100 times in all of my blog posts about SEO, those articles would have been #1 on Google. But Today, that practice not only provides a poor user experience for your audience, but it’s simply ineffective since search engines are becoming increasingly better at determining search intent.
Do not optimize any pages for just one keyword. Instead, think bigger about the need your content can fill and hone in on keyword topics that include a variety of relevant and related search terms.
Not having unique content.
This next typical mistake is related to the quality of your content. While duplicating texts was a common practice back in the day, today search engines penalize this approach. Copying and plagiarizing content is seen as a spammy practice and is highly discouraged.
Duplicate and thin content simply don’t work. Instead of ripping off a copy from other places or using software that ‘spins’ the content into a new shape, it’s worth investing in creating original and meaningful texts. This is the only way to make sure your website doesn’t get downgraded and pushed in the back of search results.
Not Having Unique Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
This is probably the biggest SEO mistake and despite the emphasis given by both Google and Bing, still, some websites do not provide unique titles for each page.
The most common mistakes are:
1.Having all pages under the same title
2. Including the website name in the page title (it’s ok to do that for the homepage but it’s not needed for the rest of the pages)
3. Making the page titles more than 65 characters in length
4. Descriptions should be unique (between 150-160 characters), non-keyword stuffed and attractive to the user.
A good description can increase your click-through rate (CTR) and if your content delivers what promised in the description, it is more likely to have high conversions as well.
Slow Loading Web Site
Nowadays, technology allows folks to acquire what they desire at the drop of a hat. When someone visits your website, they suppose to see everything in a blink of an eye. In fact, Google has also stated that 53 percent of mobile website visitors leave the site if the site takes more than 3 seconds to load. If your videos, images, pages, call-to-actions, or other elements load bit by bit, you may risk losing their attention and can lose your business as well. Make sure your site has the fastest loading time.
Not Using Anchor Text for Internal Links
Have you ever seen links in the body of a web page for “click here,” this post,” and other generic text?
From an SEO perspective, it’s a waste. Sure, using a call to action as your link may increase clicks, but it also costs you the opportunity of tailoring your anchor text, one of the most important components of SEO.
For example, if you write a blog post, and you want to link to your e-commerce services page, make the anchor text “e-commerce website design services” or something similar. Also, if you absolutely must have a call to action, try to at least include some relevant keywords in the link. For example, “click here to learn more about our eCommerce services.”
Not focusing on getting quality backlinks.
I am not a big fan of the term ‘link building’. In fact, I don’t even like to hear it, I like to use the term promotion instead.
Nevertheless, the reality is the same. Whether you call it link building, off-page SEO or promotion, it is one of the most important processes if you want to achieve high rankings, especially in Google.
When build links don’t make the following SEO mistakes:
- Don’t build too many links too fast. The whole process needs to be natural and it is not natural for a 3-month website to have tons of links pointing to it. Go slow and steady.
- Don’t use keyword anchor text links. In the near past keyword anchor text links were very important for rankings, but now if you have many of those you can get a penalty instead.
- Don’t direct all your links to your home page. Diversification is a better practice.
- Don’t buy or exchange links with other bloggers and don’t participate in any link scheme (either free or paid).
Not optimizing URLs or site structure.
Often when building a new website, your web developer doesn’t integrate best SEO practices into the website structure. This is totally understandable because the web developer is not an SEO specialist. Therefore an overlooked facet of site architecture (in other words, the way the website is laid out and how the pages connect to each other) is fairly common.
I would argue it’s the single most underrated area of SEO.
In general, the home page of your site is going to have the most authority because it’s going to have the most incoming links and the best quality of inbound links. Authority (or link juice) flows throughout a website from high authority pages to low authority pages through links. For every step away a web page is from the home page, the less and less of that total authority is going to be passed to it. All other factors being equal, the further away the page is from the home page, the worse it will rank.
I’ve seen cases of high authority web pages being buried deep in site architecture and losing rankings dramatically. I’ve also seen the reverse where web pages are moved closer to the home page and suddenly jump several spots in Google. Ultimately you want to create your website structure so it is easy and intuitive to navigate for users.
A flat structure often satisfies that requirement and will help you get more of those users to your site through search engines.
Forgetting mobile users.
Whether you’re a B2C or B2B brand, much of your audience is likely using a mobile device to find good content. If your content isn’t mobile friendly, the user experience will be negatively impacted.
Take steps to ensure that your website and its content is mobile friendly and responsive. Also, focus on creating content for users that would typically use a mobile device.
You are not active in social media
Social media is one of the best and most effective ways to promote your website or new content.
It is a huge mistake if you are not active in at least one social media platform.
Most SEO experts agree that social signals are gaining more ground as a ranking factor and besides the hidden SEO benefits, social media is also a good source of traffic.
You don’t have to be active in all networks or to spend a lot of time socializing without a purpose.
You need to find which platform is best suited to your audience and try to build authority and trust by following the leaders in your niche and sharing informative and useful content.
Expecting Instant Result
An SEO strategy is always a long-term strategy; it means that it will take some time to settle into search engines and to give up the outcome. Many SEO professionals make this mistake and expect instant results as soon as they execute something new, but that’s almost never seen in the case of SEO. Once you make any amendment, give some time to your effort to create an impact.
Forgetting About Analytics
Last but not least, the only way to know if your SEO optimization and content efforts work is to track their progress. Many marketers would disregard the numbers, but this is a serious mistake. Setting up and regularly reviewing your analytics is essential for your optimization results.
Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools are just two of the main tools you can use to measure and get an overview of your website’s performance. With their help, you can see how your optimization is working for the different kinds of content and using various strategies you are trying out.
For sure the above list is not 100% correct. There are many more SEO mistakes that even the experienced webmasters miss. Nevertheless, the above mistakes are the most important.
In addition, it is almost certain that when these mistakes are corrected, the benefits to your website will be immediate.