Some people think that if you throw a few keywords into your content, you'll automatically start ranking high in Google.
Unfortunately, SEO is a tricky business. If you don't do it correctly, you can miss a lot of traffic and leads. But if you do it wrong, you can end up hurting your website's ranking and visibility.
No matter what industry you're in, there are certain SEO mistakes that you should avoid at all costs. Here are some of the most common SEO mistakes businesses make, and how you can avoid them.
1. Using Outdated SEO Tactics
The SEO landscape is constantly changing. What worked yesterday might not work today, and what works today might not work tomorrow.
If you’re still using tactics like link farms, overused anchor text, and article spinning, then you’re going to get penalised by Google. If you don’t have the time to keep up with the latest trends, then it might be time to seek out professional help.
A reputable SEO agency can help you assess your current situation, and develop a strategy that is compliant with Google’s guidelines.
2. Not Optimising For The Right Keywords
Just because you want to rank for a certain keyword, doesn’t mean you will. The first step is to make sure you’re even in the running by checking your site’s competitiveness for that phrase.
If you aren’t on the first page of the SERPs for a keyword that you want to rank for, then it might be time to adjust your sights. But simply targeting different keywords isn’t always the right solution either. You need to focus on targeting the right keywords—the ones that will actually bring in traffic and convert.
How do you do that? By understanding your site power and the keyword difficulty of the phrases you want to target. If your site is new and doesn’t have a lot of authority, then you might want to focus on easier-to-rank-for keywords.
On the other hand, if your site already has a good bit of authority, then you can go after tougher phrases knowing that you have a better chance of ranking.
3. Ignoring UX and Site Speed
User experience (UX) and site speed are two important ranking factors that are often overlooked. If your site is difficult to navigate or slow to load, then you’re going to lose visitors—and potential customers.
To improve UX, start by making sure your site is easy to navigate. Organise your content in a way that makes sense, and use clear and concise headlines. You should also make sure your site is responsive, so it looks good on all devices.
As for site speed, there are several things you can do to improve it. First, optimise your images by compressing them before you upload them to your site. You can also minify your code, and use a content delivery network (CDN) to improve load times.
4. Not Focusing on Local SEO
If you have a physical location or serve a specific geographical area, then you need to make sure you’re doing local SEO. This is different from traditional SEO in that it’s focused on ranking in the local search results.
To do local SEO, start by claiming your Google My Business listing. Then, fill out your profile completely, and add photos and reviews. You should also make sure your NAP (name, address, and phone number) is consistent across all of your online listings.
In addition, you should also focus on building citations. These are mentions of your business name, address, and phone number on other websites. Get your site listed on high-quality directories such as Yelp, Foursquare, and the Chamber of Commerce.
5. Lack of Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are still an important ranking factor, despite what some people might say. However, it’s not just the quantity of backlinks that matters—it’s the quality.
A quality backlink is one that comes from a high-authority website and is relevant to your site. For example, if you have a pet store, then a backlink from the ASPCA would be more valuable than one from a small blog.
To get quality backlinks, start by creating high-quality content that is worthy of being linked to. Content such as statistics, infographics, and original research tend to perform well. You can also reach out to bloggers and influencers in your industry, and ask them to link to your site.
And also never ignore the power of internal links. This is a link from one page on your site to another. By interlinking your pages, you’re helping search engines crawl your site and understand your content better.
6. Ignoring Google Search Console data
Google Search Console is a free tool that provides data and insights about your website’s performance in search engines. Search Console can tell you a lot about how your site is performing, including which keywords you’re ranking for, what position you’re in, and how many impressions and clicks you’re getting.
You can leverage this data to improve your SEO. For example, if you’re not ranking for a particular keyword, you can use Search Console to figure out why. Maybe your site isn’t optimised for that keyword, or maybe you need to build more backlinks.
Search Console can also help you identify technical issues with your site. If Google is having trouble crawling and indexing your site, you’ll be able to see that in Search Console. Then, you can take steps to fix the issue and improve your SEO.
The Bottom Line
SEO is not a one-time job, it's an ongoing process that needs to be tweaked and improved as search engine algorithms change.
The best way to avoid making common SEO mistakes is to stay up to date with the latest changes and trends and to always be willing to learn and experiment.