Why should you care about where you rank on search engines? For starters, 93% of all interactions with the internet begin on a search engine. Particularly Google, who accounts for 92% of those interactions.
It’s the reason why so many companies invest a wealth of time and money to earn prime real estate on the first page of relevant searches. The higher you rank, the more clicks you earn.
The more clicks you earn, the higher your odds of revenue-increasing conversions.
Most SEO gurus know the best SEO practices start with content. Statistics show that websites who post a steady stream of blog content have reported increases in traffic of up to 2,000 percent.
However, quality is essential. If your content is ripe with common SEO mistakes, it can drag your rankings down.
In this blog, you’ll learn what not to do so you can keep your website on a steady upward path in your search engine rankings.
10 Common SEO Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid
While there are numerous dos and don’ts to SEO practices, we’ve put together our top ten list of mistakes even professionals tend to make when producing content for SEO.
Get ready to take notes. If you’re guilty of any of these practices, you’ll need to transform your strategy.
1. Keyword Stuffing Your Content
Basing your content on quality keywords helps put your content in front of eyes that are looking for products and services like yours. However, when it comes to SEO, there is such a thing as “too much of a good thing”.
Keyword stuffing is when you oversaturate your content with the keyword(s) you’re trying to rank in. Google’s algorithm picks up on this strategy, labeling your content as spam rather than something the user will find useful.
Instead, focus on producing quality content about your keyword, while sprinkling the key phrase into the title, a header, and a few times throughout the body copy.
Thanks to Google’s Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI), its algorithm can pick up on the context of your content and distribute it into the right searches based on your keyword.
2. Choosing the Wrong Keywords
Easy SEO comes with content that uses the right keywords. As you search for the keyword you want to use in your content, you want to aim for specific, high traffic phrases that align with your chosen topic.
Long-tail keywords tend to work best. They’re specific, making it more likely that your content provides the solution or answer the user is looking for. Plus, the competition isn’t as thick when you zero in on specific inquiries or subjects.
3. Publishing Duplicate Content
In today’s SEO realm, duplicate content is a killer mistake. Algorithms will either pin it as plagiarism or an attempt to spam your way up the rankings. For this reason, you should avoid posting duplicate content.
Instead of trying to replicate high-ranking content, try creating a spin off the same topic. Create something original while still having a direct connection with your primary keyword.
4. Creating Content Unrelated to Your Keyword
Just because a keyword fits into your content doesn’t mean it’s relevant. Google’s main focus is to deliver the most accurate content possible based on the user’s search inquiry.
If your content starts to rank well for a keyword, but it has a high bounce rate because the users aren’t finding it helpful, your high rankings won’t last. Google’s algorithms will pick up on its lack of usefulness and replace it with links that garner more positive results.
This reinforces the importance of choosing specific keywords that relate to your subject matter. If you use more than one keyword, make sure it’s directly related to your primary keyword.
Trying to cover multiple unrelated subjects in one piece of content will make it less likely to meet the needs of any of those keywords. Instead, create a separate post or piece of content for each subject matter.
It may be more work, but it’s more beneficial to your end goal of ranking high in search results.
5. Not Creating Titles Tags and Meta Descriptions
Title tags and meta descriptions are what you see every time search results populate for a keyword you enter into a search engine. They appear as a brief headline and blurb of each link, which you can click on if the content piques your interest.
Think of them like free advertisement copy for that specific URL. You have your title and approximately 160 characters to sell the user into believing your content is relevant to they’re needs.
Without establishing your title tag and meta, Google automatically generates this content using your page’s title and lead-in, even if it cuts off mid-sentence.
Take the time to ensure you convey the value of your content properly by defining this information and including a call-to-action in your meta description.
6. Using Irrelevant Internal Links
Just because it’s your site doesn’t mean you can put internal links wherever you want. They need to make sense when anchored to text within your page’s content.
While yes, it’s good to feature high ranking pages within your other pages’ content, you need to be strategic. Your anchor text and your link should coincide with the content’s purpose.
Make sure your anchor text isn’t misleading. All internal links should point to relevant sources where the user can expand on information they’re interested in learning.
For example, if your anchor text is “SEO best practices”, then it shouldn’t lead to a page about website development. Likewise, the anchor text shouldn’t be placed within a blog post or page that isn’t talking about SEO.
Similar to keywords, you also don’t want to go overboard with your internal linking. Your internal links should be sprinkled lightly into the content and flow naturally.
7. Linking to Poor Quality External Websites
Be picky about your external links. Don’t just throw in the first webpage that talks about the subject or phrase to which it’s tethered. Instead, choose your external links as you would the sources used in an academic paper.
You want your website and its content to associate its links to sources your audience (and Google) consider credible. Stick with reputable, high-ranking websites whose coattails you wouldn’t mind grasping. This includes well-known news sites, brands, academic institutions, and organizations.
While there may be times when linking to an unknown website or blog is necessary, use your best judgment. In general, it’s best to avoid linking to sites that aren’t credible or that have low traffic.
Think of your links as who your site associates itself with and you will be more mindful of your selection.
8. Not Paying Attention to Valuable Analytics
Your SEO is a constant work in progress. As you create and publish new content, you need to monitor it. Watch how it performs and investigate what makes it succeed or fail.
The most common tools for monitoring your website’s performance are Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. Together, they gather and report detailed statistics about your website visits, bounce rate, keyword rankings, and more.
These tools are especially helpful as you test out your SEO strategies through new or updated content. You can compare performance to previous months or years dating back to when you first set up the analytics accounts.
You should review this information on a regular basis, whether you’re a business owner doing your own SEO or a professional digital marketer providing a service to your clients.
9. Forgetting About Local SEO
Local SEO is incredibly effective when you invest the time to create and optimize it. This includes creating a Google My Business page for your business and other digital directory listings, as well as targeting geocentric keywords relevant to your area.
Consider this: 50% of all searches for your business listing result in an in-store visit within the first 24 hours. Beyond that, half of the local searches done on a mobile device are to find information about local businesses.
These searches are direct in their intentions. It’s not just about finding facts, but solutions specifically related to your business, products, or services. This makes them far more likely to convert into new business and revenue for you.
10. Failing to Design a Mobile-Friendly Presentation
We focus the majority of these tips on content, but how it’s presented is also important. Your content won’t rank if people struggle to read it. That’s why back in 2015, Google made an update to their algorithm that favored mobile-friendly web designs.
More people browse content using a mobile device today than they do from a desktop computer. If users click on your link but they have trouble reading, loading, or navigating your page, they will quickly bounce to a new resource.
If you don’t currently have a mobile-friendly web design then you need to prioritize this update. Adapt your website’s current layout or create an entirely new one that adapts to any mobile device.
Otherwise, all of your SEO efforts will never grow to their full potential.
Do You Know Where Your Site is Ranking?
Avoiding SEO mistakes is only part of the challenge when improving your rankings online. If you don’t know where you stand in your Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), start by checking your rankings.
It will provide you with crucial data, including your site’s keyword rankings, search volume, traffic percentage, and search trends.
Also, be sure to check out our free SEO tips in our Search Engine Rankings blog. With SEO practices constantly evolving, we help businesses and entrepreneurs keep up with the latest practices.