You’ve decided that you’re going to concentrate on SEO for your primary traffic strategy, optimizing everything so that Google sends you thousands of visitors per day, free of charge. So, you rush off to do your keyword research, and you find a few phrases that are bringing in massive amounts of traffic. You optimize your website and get lots of links, expecting to see your website start climbing the search results
But results aren’t showing and you’re wondering what is going on.
Don’t worry, in this article we’re going to discuss 6 of the most common search engine optimization mistakes in order to help you avoid them and rank higher.
Are you ready to get started? Let’s go then!
What is SEO?
First let’s talk about the definition of Search Engine Optimization.
SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’. It’s the practice of optimizing your web pages to make them reach a high position in the search results of Google and other search engines. This means that people will be more likely to encounter your website when searching online. SEO focuses on improving the rankings in the organic – aka non-paid – search results. If you have a website and you want to get more traffic, there’s no doubt about it: SEO should be part of your marketing efforts.
SEO is not a one-off activity but rather an ongoing process. Keeping up with new developments in search engine algorithms, changes to user behavior and new trends is crucial to achieving good results.
1. Trying to rank for the wrong keywords
Keywords are one of the most important elements of SEO. They tell search engines what a page is about.
But it’s not just about keyword density anymore.
There are many other factors that determine whether or not your site will rank well in search results.
One of the biggest mistakes we frequently encounter is that site owners optimize their pages for generic keywords.
If you are a relatively small business that wants to rank for ‘rental car’, you’re aiming too high. Try to come up with something more specific.
Otherwise, you’re competing with all the car rental companies all over the world, which is impossible to do! You could, for example, add the area in which your company is located to the keyword so it can filter the results and help you rank higher.
2. Forgetting that faster is better
The second most common SEO mistake according to Yoast, is site speed. The faster your site, the more Google will favor it. Especially now, with the page experience ranking factor slowly rolling out. It’s important to work on your site speed to keep your pages in the search results. There’s a very useful tool from Google itself to check your site speed: Google PageSpeed Insights. This tool gives you an overview of what aspects you can improve on to boost the speed of a particular page.
A quick win and a recommendation we frequently give is to optimize your images. A lot of websites have images that are relatively large, which take a lot of time to load. This makes your website slower than it needs to be. Resizing your images can speed up the loading time. If you have a WordPress site, you can do this easily by installing a plugin that does that for you.
In case of a WordPress install, we also recommend taking a good look at the plugins that are activated. Are you using all of them? Perhaps some of them can be replaced by another plugin that combines those functions? The best advice we can give you on this topic is that less is more. The fewer plugins that are activated, the faster your WordPress installment can be loaded.
3. Failing to look at mobile traffic
With the rise of mobile phones, many businesses have taken the approach that they should invest their time and money in optimizing their websites for mobile users. However, many small businesses don’t realize that this is actually a very important part of their SEO strategy.
If your website is not mobile-friendly or mobile search is not part of your SEO strategy, you might be leaving money on the table.
Today, more than 50% of all traffic comes from mobile devices. And that’s why Google tends to favor mobile-friendly websites.
To prepare your website for organic traffic from mobile devices, you’ll want to ensure that your website is responsive and that it loads in under 3 seconds. Mobile-friendliness and page speed are important ranking factors.
4. Buying backlinks
According to supermetrics, Backlinks are among the most important ranking factors. But If you’re buying links to boost your website rankings, you might end up with a penalty from Google. This means you’re not only wasting your money but also potentially ruining your website’s chance to rank on search engines.
According to Google, most sites that sell links don’t actually boost your rankings. That’s because in reality, most link-builders and link-sellers all have the same list of sites from which they sell links. The good news is that Google also has the same site lists, which means they’re able to devalue these sites.
If you’re still not convinced, hear me out. Even if you haven’t gotten a Google penalty for shady links or techniques yet, it doesn’t mean that you’re safe. Your website may still get a penalty today for links that you built years ago.
5. Outdated Content On Your Website
It is important to keep your site’s content updated. The old content on your website can drag down your site’s authority. There are a lot of search results found on the SERP for a particular query, but not everything is relevant to the readers. If the search engine finds that your content is outdated or irrelevant, your site will get filtered out. You will, in a way, be wasting your site’s crawl allowance on crawling and indexing pages that are no longer relevant. It can even cost you the traffic leading to your site as the bounce rate for such pages could drastically increase.
Look at the below example of how a search engine may evaluate the relevance of a page based on its age:
If you have an old web page with only 300 words that talks about “how to make money online,” it will rank well if someone searches for this keyword now. However, it was written in 2009 and has not been updated since then. When someone searches for this keyword now and finds this page ranking high up with its 300 words, they might think that it still has value (it does not). They might even click through and read this page only to find out that there is nothing new on it and that it’s just an old article from 2009 talking
6. Broken Links
When users access your site through a search engine and encounter a 404 error, it leaves a bad impression. The broken links on your website will even cost your crawl budget, or how many times Google bots will crawl your page in a given timeframe. When search bots encounter multiple broken links, they will move to other websites, leaving some of your important pages neither indexed or crawled. It also has a negative impact on your page’s domain authority.
How can you prevent this from happening?
The answer is simple: use 301 redirects.
A 301 redirect is an HTTP response code that tells search engines that the location of the page has permanently changed from its original URL to another one. That way, it doesn’t matter if someone finds an old link to your site — all they’ll see is the new address anyway!
In this article, we talked about the 6 most common search engine optimization mistakes. By identifying the mistakes, you can be sure that you can increase your ranking in Search engines like Google
Before you go, I want to offer you something.
It is a 3 month coaching/done-for-you service hybrid program is designed to help you create multiple streams of traffic, significantly reduce your content creation time, and increase your passive revenue possibilities without the overwhelm and confusion
With SEO Content Machine you’ll be able to:
- Get a consistent flow of pre-sold dream clients who are attracted to you time and again.
- Spend less time creating and more time working with dream clients
- Be seen as THE expert in your industry and build your brand authority
- Multiply your content creation efforts to create more streams of organic traffic
- Make more income and impact
So don’t wait any longer. Start learning the secrets of SEO content creation now!
I am curious though. Did you know these common SEO mistakes? If so, how did you avoid them?
Let me know in the comments below and as always feel free to contact me!