SEO Mistakes You’re Making Right Now

It doesn’t matter how great your website is, if you’re not getting any traffic, it’s not doing you any good whatsoever. And while paid traffic (i.e., those who click PPC ads) and direct traffic (people that navigate to your site by typing the URL into the address bar) are always valuable, to get significant visitor numbers, you need organic traffic.  And that starts with SEO.

You’re probably already somewhat familiar with SEO, a.k.a., search engine optimization, but you’re probably not an expert. And that’s okay. There are a lot of resources you can use to improve your SEO skills and help your site rank higher. Like this one, for example. 

To help you improve where your website shows up in search engine results, this is going to cover some of the most common mistakes SEO novices make – an just as importantly, show you how to fix them.

7 of the Most Common SEO Mistakes

1. Not Having an SEO Strategy

No part of SEO should be based upon gut feeling or instinct. Everything you do should have a specific purpose in serving an end goal. But it’s a common mistake for small businesses to forgo an SEO plan and decide to just wing it. 

The Fix: Look at how your site currently ranks in search engine results. Figure out what your competition is doing to outperform you and look for opportunities for improvement on your own pages. Then create a roadmap, complete with tasks, benchmarks and assigned roles to help your site climb higher. 

2. Targeting the Wrong Audience with the Wrong Keywords

The core principle of SEO is knowing what your audience is searching for and then delivering content that answers it. Going after the wrong audience by using the wrong keywords is going to mean a lot of the people you really want to target aren’t going to see your pages. And of the visitors you do get, most of them will be searching for someone else. 

The Fix: Take a close look at your target audience and determine what it is they’re really looking for. Then perform keyword research to identify the words and phrases they’re using in search queries. You may find it useful to create a keyword map.

3. Ignoring Technical Problems

If your site is slow-loading or has a lot of broken links, you’re not just creating a poor user experience, you’re hurting your search ranking.  

The Fix: Routinely audit your site to identify technical problems. If you have broken links, unoptimized images or redirect chains, fix them. If your site is loading slowly, figure out why. It could be a problem with your server or unminified scripts. Whatever it is, solve the issue and make sure your site loads smoothly and operates as intended. 

4. Using Duplicate Content

If you have one page that’s performing extremely well, you should copy it for other pages, right? Absolutely not. Duplicate content can have long-lasting negative impacts on your rankings via keyword cannibalization, ranking penalties and reduced site authority. 

The Fix: Don’t repeat descriptions or paragraphs unless necessary. If you have a reason to have duplicate content, make sure you’re using a canonical tag to direct all the ranking “juice” to one page. 

5. Keyword Stuffing

In the Wild West days of early SEO, it was common to jam keywords onto pages wherever they would fit, both in copy and by even-at-the-time shady methods like masking words in letters the same color as the background. Those days are long gone

The Fix: Keep your keyword density to recommended levels (usually around 2%). Make sure these words and phrases are used naturally and fit into the context of the piece. 

6. Not Letting Crawlers Crawl

Google (and every other search engine) creates an index by sending out web crawlers (also known as spiders or bots) to explore the internet, following one link to the next. If they can’t find a page, from a search point of view, it doesn’t exist. 

The Fix: First make sure your robots.txt file is not inadvertently restricting some of your pages from being crawled and indexed. Likewise, ensure your meta tags are not set to noindex, nofollow.

Make sure each page meets a minimum word count and there are no hrefland conflicts.  Create a logical internal linking structure that makes it easy for spiders to crawl your site and make sure to create and submit a sitemap. 

There are a number of things that could be behind indexing problems, so you should use an auditing tool to identify them. Then, once you have corrected these issues, use the URL tool in Google Search Console to request your site be recrawled. 

Please note: There are good reasons to restrict some pages from web crawlers, including protecting your crawl budget, limiting access to suspicious bots, and choosing not to index product pages, confidential pages and other non-search vital pages. 

7. Not Being Mobile-Friendly 

We live in a mobile world, with more than half of all internet searches being performed via smartphone or tablet. To account for this, Google switched to mobile-first indexing in 2020. If your website doesn’t provide a clean mobile experience, your search ranking is getting dinged. 

The Fix: Make sure your site has a responsive design that makes mobile browsing easy. Then create content specifically aimed at mobile users. 

The Easiest Way to Find SEO Performance Issues

You could spend hours combing through your website, inspecting code and checking tags to find the root cause(s) of your site’s less-than-ideal search engine ranking. 

Or you could automate the entire process and ensure you’re always optimized for success. 

Evisio is the platform built to take the headache out of SEO, with automated scans that regularly check your website to identify problems. It then gives you easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions for fixing them.

It SEO made easy. See it for yourself. Contact us for a free trial.

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