Are these common SEO Mistakes holding you back?
Are you using Search Engine Optimization aka SEO to increase your website traffic – but minimal success?
You’re not alone.
Whether you have an eCommerce site, personal blog, or even an SaaS product, you’ve undoubtedly seen the following terms:
- SEO Marketing
- Search Ranking
- SEO Optimization
And the list goes on…
SEO is the process of optimizing your website to increase organic traffic.
By organic traffic I mean traffic that makes its way to your website via search engines.
Mastering SEO takes years of commitment.
This is due to ever-changing trends in how people use the internet and the rules by which search engines rank content.
So, how does it work?
All major search engines use algorithms to determine which content to display for specific search terms.
Most people who search for something on the web rarely go deeper than the first search engine results page.
While the websites or businesses indexed on the second page and beyond may be just as, if not, better than those on the first, they’re going to receive significantly less traffic.
Ideally, you want your site to be at the top of the first results page, or at least near it.
There are hundreds, probably thousands of search engines out there; but not all of them rank content the same way.
Only a few get serious traffic, enough traffic to have an impact on your website.
Here’s a handful of the search engines I’d make it a point to rank for:
- Google (still the king of web traffic)
- YouTube (worlds second largest search engine)
15 Common SEO Mistakes You Must Avoid!
SEO is ever changing and mastery takes years…
You’ll encounter many speed bumps requiring trial and error to overcome along the way.
You can, however, mitigate the first hurdles by avoiding the following 15 Common SEO mistakes:
1. No1 SEO Mistake – Creating Content For Bots
When it comes to internet marketing, content is king.
Search engines are frequently updated to recognize website content; how it’s used, and how it relates to the page as a whole.
You won’t be fooling modern search engines with poorly made, machine-targeted content.
This is why it’s important to create content your visitors find useful.
If your content is trash, your website visitors will leave quickly.
The amount of time a user spends on your website is an impactful and closely monitored metric by Search engines.
Focus on producing engaging and useful content to keep people on your site.
You’ll not only rank higher on Google but will gain customers and loyal followers while you’re at it.
If you need help creating engaging, unique content, utilize a service like TextBroker.
Or study a high level copywriting system from a trusted source like TeachCopywriting.
2. Using The Wrong Keywords
One way to optimize your content is to utilize the same keywords people use to search for things online.
While you and your company may refer to your products and ideas using certain words, customers tend to refer to them differently.
This is why it’s important to research and use the keywords people commonly utilize to refer to your products, services, etc.
Search engines tend to prefer short-tail keywords (1-3 words) over long-tailed (4 or more).
The problem with using short-tailed keywords is the biggest companies prefer them as well. This means you may have to compete with large, well-funded entities for your audience’s attention.
It is definitely doable, you’ll just need to find the right balance and triggers.
The following websites are great examples of this balance:
There are also plenty of tools out there to help you.
- UberSuggest (from mine and Barry’s friend Neil Patel)
- Google Trends
- Google Keyword Planner
- Moz Keyword Explorer
And many others to help you identify the best keywords for your products or services.
Another cool feature about several of the aforementioned tools, is the ability to spy on your competition.
You can see what your competitors rank for, traffic they’re getting for specific keywords, even how much and where they spend on ads.
Use these tools, because I guarantee your most successful competition does.
3. Keyword Stuffing Your Content
While on the topic of keywords, let’s talk about keyword stuffing.
Keyword stuffing means cramming keywords into every sentence; to the point your sentences lose sense.
People do this in an attempt to boost SEO rankings.
While this strategy worked a decade ago, search engines today will deem your content spammy and decrease your SEO ratings.
You’ll get penalized and likely sandboxed – meaning you can’t rank for anything moving forward.
Not only that, but the same visitors you’re trying to bamboozle will leave your site anyway.
Instead of trying to fool search engines, focus more on content that helps the reader; while flowing naturally from one sentence to the next.
4. Copying Or Spinning Content
Again, this may have worked a decade ago, but not anymore.
There used to be a time when websites would simply copy and paste content from other websites.
Some sites took popular, ranked content then spun it around to avoid getting caught plagiarizing.
This was done to attract users who were already searching for particular topics and essentially stealing the traffic.
It’s a different story now.
These days, search engine algorithms have become advanced enough to detect plagiarized and spun content.
Google knows which website published the content first and penalizes those plagiarizing or spinning.
Don’t upset Google.
I repeat, DO NOT upset Google.
You can stay on top of any penalties within Google Search Console.
5. Creating Off-Topic Content
When producing content to rank for a specific keyword or key-phrase, focus your content on just that.
I’ve seen more than a few websites associate disparate topics for the sake of including extra keywords.
Keep in mind that search engines want to connect users to content that’s most relevant to their search terms.
They spend millions of dollars each year, ensuring this.
Any content irrelevant to those search terms will lower your SEO ranking.
6. Not Having Unique Title Tags
Each page on your website should have a unique title, and not just for SEO purposes.
Your page titles are shared in social media posts and used as the identifier text when someone bookmarks your website.
This is why descriptive, unique titles are critically important.
I’ll use a health website as an example.
Let us say it’s a natural health website that has scientific based medicine as the homepage keywords.
So their homepage title would be something to the effect of “NaturalHealthWebsite – Scientific Based Medicine.”
Then, the other pages on their site could focus on more specific services that are popular queries, such as:
- Natural Cures – NaturalHealthWebsite
- Mental Floss – NaturalHealthWebsite
- Superhuman Powers – NaturalHealthWebsite
You can carry your company name throughout your pages and simultaneously focus on specific keywords for each page.
Just put your company name at the end so the keywords you want to rank for are seen first.
7. Not Having Unique Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are also important for posts, pages and product listings.
They are basically 160 character sales pitches for your page or post that appear on search results.
Make each one as unique and persuasive as possible.
Your homepage and each page of your website should include a custom meta description.
Ensure the description makes people want to click on your listing in the search results, as well as includes relevant keywords.
- Homepage description: NaturalHealthWebs
ite offers scientific based medicine, including natural cures, mental floss, superhuman powers and more.
- Natural Cures page: NaturalHealthWebsite offers peer reviewed, scientifically backed cures to common ailments. Including insomnia, mucus buildup, diabetes & more.
A tool like Yoast SEO will let you know if your titles and meta descriptions are search engine worthy.
8. Ignoring Or Misusing Internal Links
External links lead from your website to another.
Internal links lead to another post or page on your own website.
When discussing SEO, many marketers focus on external links; but did you know that internal links are just as, if not more important?
Internal linking displays authority.
It shows you have a diverse range of content.
Internal links allow readers to delve deeper into your own website’s content.
As they go deeper, they’re spending more time on your site, and increasing the chances of becoming customers.
Remember, the more time users spend on your site, the more authority you display to Google and other search engines.
Don’t ignore your own website’s content; link your latest content to recent relevant posts and pages.
Don’t overdo it.
Ensure you only link to RELEVANT pages and posts.
Don’t link to additional content just for the sake of linking to additional content.
Trust me, Google knows.
9. Not Utilizing Anchor Text For Internal Links
I’m sure you’ve seen links in the body of a blog post that say, “click here,” or “this post,” etc.
From an SEO perspective this is a bad practice.
Using a generic call to action as your link may increase clicks, but it also costs you a critical component of on page SEO.
For example, if you write a blog post, and want to link to your products page, make the anchor text “Natural Health Products Page” or “Health Shop” or something similar.
Also, if you absolutely must have a generic call to action, try to include some relevant keywords in the link.
For example, “click here to learn more about our natural health services.”
10. Neglecting Image Optimization When Doing SEO
Another often-ignored SEO factor is the image that accompanies your content.
Including images in your content helps readers visualize ideas and understand concepts.
They can also be a good way to deliver the punchline to humorous content.
The problem is that many websites simply add images without optimizing them for search engines.
According to SparkToro, 22.6% of search traffic is driven by Google Images .
Keyword-rich alt tags and image titles with descriptive text all add to visibility on image searches.
Image optimization also means your images need to load quickly, and should not be too large.
The following tools will help automatically optimize the delivery of your websites images:
These result in quicker page loading speeds, and ultimately a boost in SEO rankings.
11. SEO Mistakes – Ignoring Mobile Optimization
There are more mobile phone users each year.
These numbers will only increase in the coming years.
Needless to say, you want to optimize your website for mobile phone users.
Search engines like Google can detect whether your website is mobile-optimized or not.
The following tools and services will tell you exactly where your website is lacking & how to fix it:
Again, if you’re serious about your SEO Optimization and your website success in general, use these tools.
12. SEO Mistakes – Not Optimizing For Local Search Results
If you’re running a business that focuses on customers within a certain region, it’s important to focus on Local Search.
Start by including region-specific keywords in your page titles and meta descriptions.
You will also want to include an address and local phone number on your pages, perhaps in the header or footer.
Finally, you’ll want to consider listing yourself on the following sites:
Certain areas have their own local based sites and review networks. Find them and list yourself on those as well.
These will be major factors determining whether or not you show up in the local search results.
13. Not Creating Linkable and Sharable Content
The harsh reality of link building is sometimes the most well-written content still doesn’t get backlinks.
If you want people to link to your stuff, you need to make it exceptionally valuable.
Regularly publish top lists, video or text tutorials, podcast recordings and infographics.
For example, my natural health company has published blog posts like:
- 7 Ways To Be Healthier In 7 Days
- 107 Ways To Bullet-Proof Your Health
- 17 Reasons You’re Unhealthy & What Do About It
Intriguing, high quality content will encourage people to share your stuff on social media and link to you from their own websites.
When somebody links to you from another website, this is referred to as a backlink, and it’s another critical SEO factor.
The better your content, the more backlinks you’ll earn, and the better your position will be in the search results.
Here’s a list of 112 Blog Post Headlines That Got Us 50 Million Readers, that I put together for IncomeDiary.
14. Not Regularly Posting New Content
One of the best ways to ensure you don’t get search engine traffic is to not regularly publish new content.
People want, scratch that, people expect legitimate websites to regularly publish new, informative and engaging content.
The easiest way to do this is by either repurposing your existing content, or write new stuff.
Trust me, I know how tedious it can be to create new content.
And I am not ashamed to admit I have taken advantage of TextBroker more than once.
That said, I have never purchased an article and immediately published it.
I scrutinize them.
Add, edit and delete stuff whenever you get content from a ghost writer.
You always want to make it your own, and ensure it resembles your own unique identity.
15. Letting Existing Content Go Stale
When it comes to SEO mistakes, this is one of the most common.
Every six months my articles get an update.
Changes happen and you want to keep current.
I update aged blog posts as I want to keep my freshness score as high as possible.
Even if I only change a few words, that counts as an update in the eyes of Google.
They want to know that the information shared in your content is still relevant.
If you fail to update even your most popular content, you will eventually see your organic traffic disappear.
Additionally, if you’re just starting out with content marketing, you still want to update your posts every six months or so.
Even if you haven’t begun to rank high for anything yet, you should still update your posts.
This will increase the likelihood of you ranking in the future.
That’ll do it for this SEO Optimization article.
As always, I hope you’ve obtained valuable insights today.
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