SEO is not just to be positioned on keywords.
A good strategy involves different steps combined in order to increase the performance of your site, its optimization on search engines and last but not least, the interest of your visitors …
Remember, the three main Google algorithms: Google Panda, Google Penguin and Google Hummingbird (Hummingbird).
Respectively aim to penalize poor quality sites, that on-optimized SEO (including with the use of netlinking and therefore unnatural backlinking) or the relevance of search results and the accessibility of mobile websites.
This is a partial list of common SEO mistake to avoid if you want to improve the performance of your website and provide a more enjoyable user experience when browsing your site.
Common SEO Mistakes To Avoid
1. Using Poor Internal Linking Strategies
No doubt, Internal Linking is an essential aspect of on-page optimization that is important for SEO.
Internal linking is one of the links building strategies, while the other one is outbound link. Links are good and very important, but only the properly written ones are useful for SEO.
If you make the SEO mistake, Google may not consider any of these links nor rank any of them. There are some common SEO mistakes that are peculiar to hyperlinks, they are;
Bad Anchor Texts
Most of the time, generic anchor texts like ‘read more’, ‘click here’, etc. are used as anchor texts, in place of anchor texts that are exact-match or partial-match to the page being linked to.
Anchor text- the clickable text of a hyperlink displayed by the browser and visible to the user. A good anchor text must be concise and relevant to the page being linked to.
For instance, in this context, “off-page optimization is majorly about backlinks building, which is very essential…..”. ‘Backlinks building’ is the anchor text there linking to a page titled “how to get quality backlinks”.
2. Expecting Dramatic Results Overnight
Ranking takes time and it is not magic. Just like every other things that are worthwhile, SEO takes TIME too.
Expecting immediate result is a common SEO mistake that has ruined the hard work of those who started working on their SEO but gave up midway.
According to Neil Patel, it takes Google weeks and even up to 6 months sometimes before crawling some pages.
Although, submitting the site’s URL or the sitemap to Google console can get it crawled almost immediately and as frequently as possible.
3. Focus On-Site SEO Only
Statistically, 75% of search engine optimization is actually off-site, while only 25% of the work is on-site.
Again, a lot of people make this SEO mistake and keep giving attention to on-site optimization at the expense of off-site optimization.
Now, don’t get it wrong, off-site optimization is as important as on-site optimization, and none can replace the other when it comes to SEO.
Only that, a lot of importance is attached to off-site optimization because of the difficulties encountered during the process.
Usually, on-site optimization is very easy, because everything to be done is present on the blog/website. Off-site optimization is done to;
Broadcast the site link as far as possible for increased traffic.
Earn quality outbound links from websites with high Domain Authority (DA)
Off-site optimization is very important because it is mostly all about building backlinks that will drive more traffic to the site.
Furthermore, Google respects link so much, the higher the number of links, the better.
Backlinks from sites with high domain authority will be weightier than those having low authority. Buying links is strongly not recommended because of the accompanying penalty.
Some off-site SEO that should be given attention are:
Social media engagement.
Social bookmarking sites.
Blog directory submission.
4. Not Adding Fresh, High Quality Content
Bill Gate rightly said that, ‘Content is KING’.
The influence of content in any marketing campaign cannot be watered down because it is commonly used to interact with and engage the audience.
Content is offered to drive traffic to the blog/Website, and without content, there will be nothing for search engines to crawl, let alone index.
Again, without content, what do you expect Google to put in the SERP (Search Engine Result Pages)?
Although, there is no specific number of times to create a new post for a blog. It depends on what the blog is all about (that is, your niche).
It is not the number of blog posts but the quality of each post that matters (QUALITY over QUANTITY). The best practice is to publish at least a blog post once in a month and be consistent about it.
Importantly, all content must be of high quality and must be valuable to the readers, this is the only way to engage with readers and make them become frequent visitors, a very good signal to search engines.
Note: When linking to another page on the same site from within content, select good anchor text (keywords) to use in the actual link and do this often. For example: “We offer a wide range of web design services,” rather than “Click here for our services.”
5. Forgetting About Analytics
Analytics are the web tools that can track and measure stats about a site.
Stats like; new visitors, the average time spent on the site, the pages visited, location of the visitors, the rate at which people leave the site immediately they got in (bounce rate), the point of entry of the visitors, the point of exit of the visitors, etc.
Summarily, web analytics gives deep insight on the people that visited a site and their experiences.
Knowing these stats about a site can help in planning and implementing the right strategy.
Not paying attention to web analytics is another mistake that should be stopped. Web analytics help SEO in the following ways;
1. The domains that directed traffic to the site: This tool can show the sources of traffic. This is really cool because it indicates how well off-site SEO is faring. With this, one can know where to put more effort (major sources of traffic) and the aspect to ignore.
2. Click route/path: Some web analytics tools can provide details of where users clicked the most. It detects how visitors move from one page to the other on the site and the page where they finally exited the site.
This knowledge can detect whatever is wrong with some pages and how they can be improved to decrease the bounce rates.
3. Keywords: The keywords that referred visitors to the site can be gotten; these are the visitors who came in through search engines.
The keyword that was searched for before clicking on the site can give ideas on how to further optimize the keywords present on the page.
Google web analytics is a perfect tool that can help to avoid this common SEO mistake. It is entirely FREE and easy to use.
6. Lack Of Research
The world of SEO experiences constant changes every time and it will continue to be so because the changes are aimed at better satisfaction of the users.
Once any change occurs, what used to work or used to be true may now become false.
For instance, Google updates its algorithm regularly and each update has a particular goal to be achieved. Some of Google algorithm updates are:
FEB 24, 2011
To de-rank sites with low quality content.
APRIL 24, 2012
To de-rank sites with unnatural links profile.
To penalize sites reported for copyright infringement.
AUGUST 22, 2013
Showing theme-related result, instead of just keywords. Checking the query’s intent.
JULY 24, 2014
Providing relevant local search results.
Apart from the updates listed above, a lot of changes are constantly being made to Google’s algorithm and are released as updates.
One of the latest update released is the mobile-first index, which means that Google will begin to crawl sites as a mobile device and if the site is not mobile-friendly the rank will drop.
To avoid this SEO mistake, one must be aware of new SEO trends and changes that are being noticed in SERP (Search Engine Result Pages).
MozCast - The Google Algorithm Weather Report can be used to track changes noticed in SERP.
Also, Keyword research is quite possibly the most important part of SEO.
Your SEO keywords are the key words and phrases in your web content that make a way for readers to find your site.
Optimizing your website for a good search engine ranking should be one of your main priority tasks.
“If you build it, they will come” almost certainly doesn’t apply unless you do some basic SEO.
Studies have shown that 95% of people will click a link that’s on the first page of Google search results, and 70% of those clicks go to the top three results on the page.
Related Topics: 20 Best Keyword Research Tools (Free and Premium)
7. Wrong Keyword Use/Keyword Stuffing
In a bid to boost SEO, some bloggers may advise that site pages should be stuffed with the keywords intended to rank for. This is not only futile, but very risky as a matter of fact.
Two bad things will happen;
- There will be no results, and
- Google will penalize the site.
This SEO mistake must be avoided as much as possible.
When the Humming bird algorithm was launched, keyword became almost useless because this algorithm looks at the context in which the keyword is used before ranking it.
For instance, the keyword ‘apple’ can mean different things. It can refer to a fruit or to a tech gadget.
How will Google then know what the content contains? LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords are used, and they are the keywords that are semantically related to the main keyword.
In the instance above, if the content is about tech gadget, keywords like iPhone, earpiece, iTunes, iPad, iPod, etc will be found- these are the LSI keywords.
But if the content is about fruits, keywords like healthy, fruits, delicious, etc. will be found- these are also the LSI keywords.
With this reality now, stuffing blogs with keywords will only harm the SEO and will do the site absolutely NO good. LSI Graph is a free tool that can be used to generate LSI keywords while writing content.
Content and SEO go hand-in-hand. Without one, your efforts on the other are seriously diminished. For example, your keyword research won’t do much good unless you then use those keywords in your content. And, creating content without knowing what your audience is looking for will leave you without any significant traffic. Beyond that, high quality content is what earns you backlinks, and it’s also what search engines crawl when they arrive at your site.
—Moz: Content and SEO
8. Slow Loading Pages
Statistics have shown that 53% of visitors will abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load? A lot of factors can be responsible for a slow site, some are:
Poor server performance.
Poorly written code.
Too many plugins
If visitors leave a page even before it loads, the bounce rate will increase.
Page speed is one of the metrics used by Google for ranking- that is why this common SEO mistake must be avoided.
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9. Don't Pay Attention To Headline
The first thing the audience will see before your actual content is the headline.
It doesn’t matter if your content is exceptional or not, if nobody reads it there is no way it can add value to anyone.
“A noise is only a noise if it is heard”, in like manner, a good content is confirmed to be good if it is read.
The kinds of headline that get many clicks are:
1. Catchy: Trigger words are best used to catch attention and many readers become curious when they come across one. Words like “Free”, “Top 5”, “How to” are the common phrases used to grab attention.
2. Concise: Headlines don’t have to be too long before the massage is passed across. Rather, it should be short and straight to the point to get attention.
3. Keywords: It is not just the readers that need a good headline; search engines need it as well.
Incorporating keywords into the headline will help with SEO because it is going to be crawled as well.
"On average, 5x as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you’ve written your headline, you’ve spent eighty cents out of your dollar."
– DAVID OGILVY
10. Poor Site Structure
Have you ever gotten to a site and got lost almost immediately?
When you can’t find your way, nor locate some things you are looking for?
Bad news, it does not just affect users’ experience, but it also affects SEO as well.
The bounce rate will increase and Google will think that the page contains shitty or irrelevant content.
Apart from this, there is a way crawlers view a site, if it’s not up to standard, then the site is considered to have poor user interface.
Good internal linking and a site map can help crawlers navigate the site better but a good user interface is necessary to improve the user’s experience.
A good site structure will:
Make the crawling of the site easier for search engine robots.
Visitors will be able to navigate the site easily.
It will help with the link building strategy.
11. Not Investing Mobile Friendly Experience
The mobile-first index now being used by Google is adversely going to affect sites that are not mobile-friendly.
It basically means that, Google will begin to crawl all websites as a mobile device and only those that are mobile-friendly will rank well.
This came into being because the numbers of people who browse the internet with their mobile phones are now higher than desktop users.
It’s only normal for Google to go with the trend in a bid to satisfy the majority of the users.
As a result, this SEO mistake should be addressed immediately in order to averse any penalty
Bonus : 25+ Common SEO Mistakes That Are Killing Your Website
These are the top SEO mistakes that came in my mind. There are a lot more mistakes. Some mistakes are not really “Mistakes”.. they are just the “strategies” that will get you in trouble…
You should remember that search engine optimization is never truly completed as long as algorithms change and new competitors appear all of the time.
More importantly, customers also change how they use the search engines to find great information, products and services, so a successful business/blog has to change strategies accordingly.
Coschedule: Write Headlines That Drive Traffic, Shares, And Search Results