Search Engine Optimization is one of the best ways to help boost your website’s visibility and draw in more customers…for free! After all, SEO is all about the best practices we can do to ensure our website is ranking higher in organic search — on Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.
But what about worst practices? It’s easier than you think to make major SEO mistakes.
Read on to learn 10 of the most common mistakes that business owners and marketers make when it comes to optimizing their websites for search engines. Avoid these blunders and you’ll be well on your way to higher rankings!
The Top 10 Most Common SEO Mistakes
TECHNICAL & USABILITY MISTAKES
MISTAKE #1: Ignoring Mobile Optimization
With internet usage shifting increasingly towards mobile devices, it’s critical for businesses of all shapes and sizes to ensure their websites are optimized for mobile devices as well as desktop computers.
In fact, mobile optimization (or responsive website development) is essential if you want your website to rank well in search engines. Google may actually penalize you with lower rankings if your site isn’t mobile-friendly.
To create a mobile-friendly website, consider using responsive design or dynamic serving techniques so your website looks great no matter what device it’s viewed on.
MISTAKE #2: Neglecting User Experience
User experience is another factor that is increasingly becoming more important when it comes to ranking well in SERPs. To the best of your ability, ensure users have a positive experience when visiting and interacting with your website.
From fast load times to a website architecture (or navigation) that makes sense, you want your users to have a seamless, simple experience where they don’t have to overthink or figure out anything on your site.
Unfortunately, if you’re leaving visitors to go searching for something, you’ve already lost them.
MISTAKE #3: Not Optimizing Images
Another mistake entrepreneurs and marketers often make with SEO is neglecting to optimize images for search engines. This isn’t only vital for usability and accessibility, it’s also key for better rankings.
Optimizing your images means ensuring every image has an appropriate filename, alt tag, and title tag so that it can be indexed accurately and show up in image searches, along with regular web searches. Optimizing images helps boost the visibility of the entire site by increasing its chances of being found through image searches (which, depending on your industry, can generate lots of traffic).
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MISTAKE #4: Not Doing Keyword Research
Keywords are the heart of a successful SEO strategy — matching the keywords and phrases with the same ones your audience is searching for is ultimately how you’ll get the right visitors. But if you don’t do thorough keyword research, you won’t be able to optimize your content for the right terms and phrases…you won’t know what they are!
Take the time to research relevant keywords and include them naturally in your content. (And don’t forget to blog to get an even bigger bang for your buck!)
MISTAKE #5: Poor Keyword Selection
Even after doing keyword research, it’s still possible to select the wrong keywords. Unfortunately, this is another common mistake many entrepreneurs and marketers make when attempting to optimize their websites for search engines.
Not only do you want to choose keywords that are relevant to your product or service, but that also have high search volume and low competition. You also want to ensure you’re using keywords that accurately the problems your audience is facing, providing your product or service as the solution.
MISTAKE #6: Overstuffing Keywords
While keywords are important, it’s crucial not to overstuff them into your content, as this can actually hurt rather than help your rankings. Focus on creating quality content that utilizes keywords naturally, rather than trying to stuff too many keywords into each page or post.
Keep in mind that using closely related keyword variations will help the page rank overall, so you don’t need to repeat the same keywords over and over.
MISTAKE #7: Ignoring Page Titles
Page titles are one of the most important elements of a successful SEO strategy.
Every page on your website should have a unique title tag that accurately describes what that page is about. This will help search engines index your pages correctly and get visitors to the right page even faster.
MISTAKE #8: Not Utilizing Internal Links
Internal linking is a crucial part of SEO, yet many entrepreneurs fail to take advantage of this powerful tool. Internal links help users navigate around your site more easily, as well as help search engine spiders understand which pages are important on your website.
Be sure to link related content with links so that users can easily find what they’re looking for on your site. This includes your main navigation, along with both content links and buttons throughout the website.
Additionally, make sure internal links contain relevant anchor text. Consider what next page or next step would be most helpful for visitors as they read through the content on your pages and make things simple for them!
MISTAKE #9: Writing Poor Quality Content
That’s right; quality matters when it comes to SEO. Writing poor-quality content with typos and grammatical errors will only hurt your rankings, since search engines prefer high-quality content written by experts in their field over low-quality content.
Always prioritize high-quality content, rather than content created more often. In addition, while AI programs can be helpful, it’s vital to use them as starting points and never as final content.
MISTAKE #10: Failing to Monitor Analytics
If you’re not tracking Google Analytics and Google Search Console, then how will you know what’s working (and what’s not) when it comes to your SEO efforts?
Keep a close eye on your organic search traffic, impressions, clicks, and of course, rankings. In addition, you’ll be able to track conversions as they relate to organic search traffic so you can truly see where your efforts are paying off. That way, you can adjust as necessary and learn from your data over time.
Want to ensure you’re not making one of these ten mistakes?
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As you’ve seen, there are many pitfalls when it comes to doing SEO properly. By avoiding these 10 common mistakes, however, business owners and digital marketers alike can ensure they get the best possible results from their efforts.
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