Common SEO Mistakes: How to avoid them

Last updated:
August 23, 2021

The Most Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid

SEO is a complex process that requires patience, persistence, and an understanding of the nuances involved in search engine optimization. It’s also one of those things where you can get it wrong without even realizing it until after the fact. Here are some common mistakes people make when they try to optimize their websites:

man in white dress shirt wearing black framed eyeglasses

Not Optimizing For Mobile Devices

Mobile devices have become more popular than desktop computers over the past few years. In fact, according to Google, mobile searches now account for about 20% of all web traffic. This means your website needs to be optimized so that users on smartphones or tablets will find what they need easily. If you don’t take this into consideration, then you could lose out on potential customers who use these types of devices.


Using Too Many Keywords

Keyword stuffing isn’t just bad from a user experience standpoint – it’s also considered poor practice by many search engines like Google. They penalize sites with too much keyword usage because it makes them look spammy. So if you want to rank well in organic results, avoid using keywords everywhere except within content. You should still include relevant keywords throughout your site though; otherwise, you won’t benefit from any link building efforts.


Failing To Include A Call-To-Action Button On Your Homepage

If someone lands on your homepage but doesn’t know exactly what they’re supposed to do there, chances are good that they’ll leave right away. That’s why having a clear call-to-action button at the top of every page is important. Make sure it points visitors toward something specific instead of leaving them wondering what to click next.


Creating Poorly Written Content

It may seem obvious, but poorly written content hurts your rankings. The reason? Search engines aren’t able to understand how words relate to each other, which leads to lower relevance scores. Also, readers tend to skim through text rather than read it thoroughly. When writing copy for your blog posts, articles, etc., keep in mind that most people scan pages quickly online before moving onto another site.


Forgetting About Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing has exploded recently, especially as far as small businesses go. But while social networks offer great opportunities for connecting with current and prospective clients, they also come with risks. One risk is forgetting to promote yourself properly via social channels. Another is not knowing enough about how to effectively market your business on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and others.


Including Unnecessary Links

Links are incredibly valuable tools for driving traffic back to your own website. However, including links that lead nowhere can hurt your ranking. Instead, focus on creating quality internal linking strategies that help drive traffic back to your main landing pages.


Lacking An Email List

Email lists are essential for growing your email subscriber base. Without subscribers, you won't successfully build brand awareness, generate sales, or grow your list organically. And since email marketing is such a powerful tool, it pays to invest time and money into developing a solid strategy.


Having Trouble With Backlinks

Backlinks are extremely beneficial for improving your overall SEO score. Unfortunately, getting high-quality ones takes work. There are plenty of ways to create backlink profiles, but only a handful actually produce real value. Some methods involve buying cheap guest posting services, while others require extensive research and outreach. Either way, it’s going to cost you money.


Making Website Design Mistakes

Website design plays a huge role in determining whether or not your site ranks highly in search engines. If you want to improve your site's visibility, make sure you're following some basic guidelines when designing your webpages:


Using Too Many Images

Images are an effective means of communicating information visually. They should be used sparingly though, because too many images will slow down load times and decrease user engagement.


Not Optimizing For Mobile Devices

Mobile devices have become increasingly popular over recent years. As more consumers use smartphones and tablets to browse websites, mobile optimization becomes even more crucial. This includes optimizing your site so it loads fast and looks beautiful across all screen sizes.


Skipping Out On Technical Issues

Technical issues can cause major problems if left unaddressed. These include things like broken links, missing alt tags, duplicate titles, and outdated meta descriptions. It's easy to overlook these types of errors, but fixing them could mean big improvements in your SERP results.


Not Having an SEO Plan & Roadmap

An effective SEO plan should include goals, objectives, KPIs, tactics, metrics, and reporting.

This will help you measure progress against set benchmarks and keep track of all aspects of your campaign.

In addition, having a clear roadmap helps you identify where you need improvement or change.

If you don't have one, start by creating a simple spreadsheet. This could contain columns such as date, goal, objective, tactic, metric, and report.


Not Publishing Original Content

Google doesn’t care how much time or money you spent creating original content; they only care whether what you publish was created by someone else first.

In other words, when you copy another person’s content without giving them credit, you could get penalized.

You may think this isn’t such a bad thing because you were simply providing information to others who might find it useful.

Not Optimizing for Local Search

If you want people searching locally for your business, make sure you include local information like address, phone number, hours of operation, etc., in your meta description tag. This helps Google understand where your business is located and gives searchers something useful to click through to.


Ignoring Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing has exploded over the past couple years, and now almost every company uses social networks to promote their products and services.


Using Poorly Written Content

If you've been reading blogs lately, you know how much content marketers hate writing. But, when it comes to optimizing websites, good content is king. If you aren't creating great content, then you need to start now!

The best way to create great content is to first understand who your audience is. What topics interest them? How often do they read articles online? Where do they spend their time? Once you answer these questions, you can begin crafting killer posts.


Neglecting Image ALT Tags

Image alt text describes an image when there isn’t any text associated with it. This helps users who cannot see images understand how the picture relates to the rest of the website. The best way to ensure this happens is by using descriptive alt texts. Here are some examples of good alt texts:

A photo of a dog eating ice cream

An illustration of a cat playing piano

A screenshot of a video game character

A map showing where a restaurant is located


Slow Site Speed

The first thing that Google looks at when it comes to site speed is whether the pages load quickly enough. If they don’t then this could mean that users will leave before even reading what you have written.

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