5 Of The Most Common SEO Mistakes And How To Avoid Them
When it comes to SEO, the aim is not to learn from mistakes, but rather to try and avoid making them in the first place!
With SEO, you really do want to try and get it right first time if possible.
The reality is that many people do make mistakes and they only realise that their efforts have been in vain when they don’t see any improvement in their search engine rankings. This is hugely frustrating, especially when the competition is on the ball and making headway into the top slots on the SERPs.
Common SEO Mistakes And How To Avoid Them
This article looks at 5 of the most common SEO mistakes and provides some practical tips on how you can avoid – or at least resolve – them.
The first SEO mistake – not having an SEO strategy.
It’s far better to take your time putting an SEO plan together rather than rushing headlong into action.
Slow and steady wins the race and with SEO, it is really critical to have a well-constructed, well-thought-out roadmap. You need clear goals, you need to understand your customers and the competitive landscape, you need to do your research thoroughly and you need a system whereby you measure your efforts.
SEO is more about conversions than traffic and it is crucial to set the framework for your endeavours otherwise you could simply be wasting your time.
The second SEO mistake – not choosing keywords correctly
Poor keyword choice is a very common SEO mistake, you want to use keywords that are niche and highly relevant to your business, Google want to rank the best quality result for each search term so make sure your website is a great result.
The aim of SEO is to attract high quality leads to your website. You want people’s search intent to correspond with action on your website and you want them to order a product, sign up for a newsletter, browse through your site for relevant information etc. If your keywords are incorrect, you won’t attract the right leads and Google won’t want to rank your website.
It’s crucial that your keywords are specific to your particular business and that you choose the most appropriate and unique ones for each page of your website. If you run a local operation, make sure you target the appropriate geographical area in your keywords otherwise you’ll be competing with every other similar business around the world!
Long-tail keyword phrases are also better.
You also need to avoid generic keywords. Be specific so that you attract highly motivated users who are looking for exactly what you are offering.
The trick is to do extensive keyword research – and to keep researching on an ongoing basis – so that you can narrow down your selection to relevant keywords that your target market actually uses and also search for in high enough volumes to make it worth the SEO effort.
The third SEO mistake – poor quality content
With SEO, content is king.
Many people fall into the trap of prioritising quantity over quality when it comes to content. It’s not about how much you publish on your website. It’s about having original, well-written, relevant, useful, engaging content that is written for actual readers (not bots and crawlers!) and which matches the user’s search intent.
Great content has to be on every single key page of your website and it doesn’t have to be limited to text. Infographics, videos, images, podcasts etc are all classified as ‘content’ and they attract and engage site visitors in different ways.
So if you aren’t getting the SEO results you had anticipated, have a look at your content. If it’s old, irrelevant, hard to read, error-ridden or even duplicated, it’s time for a fresh start.
The fourth SEO mistake – Not having complete meta data
Optimising your meta data is key to successful SEO.
Meta data is the information that comes up in the search engine results in response to certain search queries and it includes the page title and the meta description. It’s basically a sales pitch for that page. Your focus keyword for each of your pages should be included in both the title and the meta description if possible.
There are several reasons why it’s so important to have unique title tags and meta descriptions.
The title (tag) is a major Google ranking factor and needs to be informative and compelling. It’s not an easy thing to get right as it has to be the right length so as to appear in full in the SERPs, and it has to encourage users to click on it. Click-through-rates are crucial for SEO so your aim is to boost those by having unique, compelling titles for EVERY web page.
The same applies to the meta description, which has a 160-character limit. It should give the searcher a clear explanation of what they can expect from the web page (ie. it should answer their search query) and should include a persuasive call to action.
Many people make the common error of having the same title for every page of their website. Unique titles are crucial for every page – and it’s not just for SEO purposes either. The title is often used as the text if a person bookmarks your website or if they share it – so the more descriptive and original the better.
You might also enjoy “A Beginner’s Guide To The Search Engine Results Page“. It explains all the different features of the various results pages.
The fifth SEO mistake – not focusing on the user experience
A good website designer will always put the user experience front and centre. Visual impact is important and the website needs to instil confidence in the user, but it also needs to be easy to navigate and intuitive.
Google’s new core web vitals also need to be considered, with specific factors like page loading speeds, mobile friendliness, site security, safe browsing and interactivity all part of the search engine giant’s requirements for its page experience score. All of these directly influence a website’s Google ranking.
Why not avoid making common SEO mistakes and set yourself up for online success with an easy-to-understand modular SEO course? The SEO School is a perfect solution for business owners or website managers wanting to learn the ins and outs of search engine optimisation and improve their online visibility. Find out more or book your course at The SEO School.
If you found this post useful you might also enjoy “Why Keyword Research Is So Important“.
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