Sometimes in our quest for a higher ranking, we get carried away and implement so many SEO tips on our website that they do more harm than good.
What we forget, that Google loves websites that are user-friendly and thus, if you wonder why even after producing quality content, you still don’t get enough traffic to your site? Or why the ranking of your site is poor? Then the reason for it might be the below-mentioned common SEO mistakes.
These innocent mistakes affect not only your business but also harm your brand’s credibility. Hence, to avoid this here’s a list of 25+ common SEO mistakes to avoid along with helpful advice on how you can fix them.
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Mistake #1. Sluggish PageSpeed and Response Time
Since Google takes a site’s speed into account when ranking a website, a sluggish page speed or a slow download time can affect not only your ranking, but it can also hamper the productivity of your website. Thus, to avoid this, it is important that you fix this problem immediately.
How can you fix this?
Use Google PageSpeed Insights to test your website’s page loading speed. This tool can test both mobile and desktop versions of your site and provide you with helpful tips to improve your site’s page speed.
Also, inadequate hosting can be a reason for your site’s slow speed. However, you can rectify this by making use of a good web host.
Check out this BlueHost hosting review to know more about Bluehost India’s plans & features.
Mistake #2. Poorly Designed Landing Page
By far one of the most common SEO mistakes and a major reason for high bounce rate, a cluttered landing page that doesn’t clearly indicate what action a user needs to take can severely affect your business.
For instance, as you can see in the below-mentioned example there is no clear indication as to what this website is all about.
Therefore, a well-designed and a goal-oriented landing page is a must, if you want a lead to get converted into paying customer. Read more about landing pages here
Mistake #3. Not Having a Sitemap
Sitemap makes your website more accessible to users as well as search engines. By not creating a sitemap for your website you make search engines’ task of indexing web pages hard. Therefore, having an SEO-friendly site structure, one that makes navigation of a website easier for both users and search engines, is important.
How to create a Sitemap?
Here is a step-by-step guide that offers a simple explanation on how to build a sitemap
Mistake #4. Unclear Call-to-Action
Be it signing up for a service, downloading a free product or purchasing a product, if the Call-to-action is unclear when a user lands on a page, he will leave your site immediately.
Since the main purpose of a call-to-action is to guide visitors to take immediate action, having an unclear call-to-action or having too many different CTAs on a landing page is likely to drive potential customers away. Thus, while crafting a Call-to-action ensures that is it clear and concise.
Mistake #5. Zero Social Media Presence
In this era of digital marketing, having no social media presence for your business is a sure shot way of killing your blog or website.
Social media aids in increasing brand’s visibility on search engines and hence, it is essential that you create a profile for your business on popular social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
What’s more, here is a list of some of the most helpful guides that can assist you to set up a social brand page for your business.
- How to Set Up a Facebook Page for Business
- How to Start a Twitter Account for Your Business
- How to Set Up a Google+ Page for Your Business
Mistake #6. Unoptimized Social Sharing Images
Not optimizing your images before posting them on social media is yet another common SEO mistake.
Since, different social media platforms have different ways of displaying visual content, following their guidelines and creating customized images is important. You can read this guide to know how to optimize your social sharing images by using the WordPress Yoast SEO plugin.
Mistake #7. Not Creating Engaging Content
Another major SEO mistake that can kill even the most successful website, not producing engaging content can affect your site’s optimization process.
What does Engaging Content mean?
Engaging content is informative and creative, one that makes your audience want to linger and read the entire post. It’s a content that grabs your audience’s attention instantly and makes them want to share it with their friends.
Thus, by producing different types of engaging content you’re able to connect with your audience, which will help to drive more traffic to your site, leading to a higher conversion rate.
Mistake #8. Writing Content That Is Not Benefit-Focused
In SEO, content strategy matters. Thus, while writing engaging content is important, what you also need to focus on is producing content that benefits your audience.
For instance, as you can see in the below example, by creating a content that offers solution to all WordPress designers, developers, and users, this article was able to procure 15000+ downloads for its post
What’s more, by writing benefit-focused content you are able to make your audience life easy, which will in turn help to boost your site’s traffic and help you to achieve higher ranking on SERPs
Mistake #9. Uninteresting Headlines
A catchy headline makes all the difference between your post being clicked on or being completely ignored. Also, since headlines are the text copy that is mostly used on social media as well as for email subject lines, a dull and uninteresting headline can result in your post getting piled up along with other junk.
So what can you do?
If you want to stand out from your competitors than it is important that you craft headlines in such a way, that it is interesting enough to make people want to click on it. By making an effort to optimize your content’s headline, you’ll be able to increase the click-through-rate, thereby getting a better return on your investment.
Mistake #10. Not Updating Older Content
Google loves fresh content! Hence, it is important that you update your older content from time-to-time. Add new links, keywords, re-work old titles, update meta description, ALT text etc.
Also, by updating older content you’ll be able to improve your site’s visibility, thus increasing readership, leading to more organic traffic and reduced bounce rate.
Mistake #11. Using Boring & Irrelevant Images
Images make an article more appealing to a reader and thus, if you want to improve user engagement then using beautiful and relevant images in your blog post is a must.
Moreover, since content with images gets more views than text-only content, using high-quality, content relevant images, will help you to reduce bounce rate. Best part, with sites like Freepik , Pixabay and other useful chrome extensions, you can now download high-quality stock photos for your blog as well as social media for free.
Mistake #12. Not Using ALT Tags For Images
As a text alternative for an image, alt tags are an effective way of telling Google spiders what a particular image is about. It helps to make your site more accessible to Google spiders, thereby facilitating faster indexing, which leads to more traffic to your site from image-based search engines such as Google Images.
Additionally, since Image optimization is a part of on-page SEO, adding alt tags to images can help you to optimize your web pages for relevant keywords, thereby improving your targeted keywords performance on SERPs
What’s more, to make it easier for you here’s a tool known as the Image Alt Test, that will help you analyze your site’s web pages & tell you which images require an Alt tag.
Mistake #13. Ineffective Keyword Research
As one of the essential elements of SEO, conducting a smart keyword research is important if you want to garner qualified leads for your website.
For instance, a person looking for general information might type in “digital agency”, whereas a person who is ready to take a decisive action might type in something like “digital agency in Mumbai”
Thus, while a generic keyword can help you get traffic to your site, sometimes it is better to use specific and descriptive keywords to get more qualified traffic.
How to conduct Keyword Research for SEO?
Here is the ultimate keyword research guide by Brain Dean, that explains in detail the process of finding the right keywords that will benefit your business.
Mistake #14. Keyword Stuffing
Over-optimization of keywords in content leads to poor user experience, which affects your site’s ranking. Thus it is important to avoid stuffing web pages with keywords, as it could lead to higher bounce rate.
Moreover, since adding the same keyword terms over and over again in meta tags, alt tags, content etc, could get you penalized by Google. Using keywords that are relevant and that naturally fit into a content is important if you want your SEO strategy to be successful.
How can you avoid keyword stuffing?
One of the easiest ways to avoid keyword stuffing is to make use of LSI keywords. Check this guide that explains how to find and use LSI keywords.
Mistake #15. Not Optimized for Mobile
Since Google counts mobile-friendliness of a website as a ranking factor, not optimizing your site for mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, can affect your ranking.
Also, by not optimizing your site for mobile users, you are turning potential customers away and are losing precious clicks to your competitors. Hence, if you want to double your search traffic and boost your conversion rate, then it is important to make your site responsive.
Best part, to check if your website is responsive or not, you can use free tools like the Google Mobile-Friendly Test or the Testmysite tool.
Mistake #16. Not Testing Different Browsers Compatibility
To improve user experience and to make your site’s navigation as easy as possible, it is important that you test your site’s browser compatibility. Also, since different people use different browsers when surfing the net, checking if your website is working flawlessly on each of these platforms is essential
How do you check your site’s Browsers Compatibility?
You can use BrowerStack, which is a powerful tool when it comes to testing website in different browsers and OS platforms. It offers manual, automated and real-time browser testing and provides the most accurate results.
Mistake #17. Too Much Clutter Above the Fold
What is Above the fold?
Any image or text that a user sees when he lands on a page, after clicking on a link is known as above the fold.
Therefore, if there is too much clutter in terms of ads above the fold, rather than the desired information a user is seeking, then there is a high chance that the user will leave the page immediately, which will affect your ranking.
So how to rectify this SEO mistake?
Make sure that the Above the Fold portion of the web page has relevant content rather than unnecessary ads. Further, by placing relevant content above the fold, you will be able to reduce on-page bounce rate and enhance user experience.
Not developing a strong interlinking structure on your website is one of the other common SEO mistakes that we make.
As a process that connects a web page to another web page on the same site through a hyperlink, interlinking helps to make navigation on a website easy for users as well as Google spiders that crawls and index your site.
It also improves website’s usability by providing users more relevant content to read and thus, having an effective interlinking structure is essential for the success of an SEO strategy.
Mistake #19. Not Linking Out To Quality Sites
In SEO, quality precedes quantity. Hence, if you want to improve your website’s domain authority then it’s important that you link out to high-authority websites.
Moreover, by having quality & relevant outbound links on your site, you are able to give search engines a definite signal about your website’s niche and you are able to increase user’s trust in your website, resulting in a positive effect on your SEO campaign.
Mistake #20. Not Optimizing for Local Search
If you own a local business, then your focus needs to be more on Local SEO and not the average SEO campaign. By not optimizing your site for local search, you are losing out on traffic within a certain city or region and hence, if your aim is to rank your website locally, then you need to optimize your site so that it shows up for local search.
Also, since local search is handled differently by search engines, focussing on
Will help you to not only garner targeted traffic but it will also help to improve your site’s local ranking.
Mistake #21. Not Replacing Broken Links
Broken links can have a negative impact on your website’s ranking. By not replacing them you are restricting the flow of link equity throughout your site, which affects your SEO as it limits search engine robots from indexing your website.
Moreover, broken links lead to poor user experience, as clicking on a link and landing on a 404 error page can be frustrating. Thus, finding and fixing broken links are important, if you want to reduce bounce rate on your website.
Mistake #22. Ineffective Use of 301 redirects
301 redirects signal to search engines and users, that a specific content has been moved from an old URL to a new URL. Effective implementation of 301 redirects on your site, assists you to not only preserve your site’s ranking, but it also ensures that you don’t lose your traffic.
How do you implement 301 redirects on your site?
It is easy to implement and manage your 301 redirections with the help of a good plugin. For WordPress, you can install Redirection Plugin, that tracks page errors and allows you to easily map these to 301 redirects.
Mistake #23. Failing To Track Results
Without understanding the cause behind the growth of your business, your SEO success would be short lived.
By tracking results through Google Analytics, Facebook Page Insights or Twitter Analytics, you’ll be able to see the progress of your business in the form of measurable data. Plus it will help you to understand how different strategies affect your business, thereby assisting you in improvising your SEO for the future.
Mistake #24. Not Promoting Your Content Effectively
Promoting your content is as important as creating content. Hence, if you don’t want your SEO efforts to go to waste, then it is important that you have a strong content promotion strategy.
Further, while social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ are important channels for promoting content, making use of the other channels, such as email newsletters, guest posting, forum posting etc, can also assist to promote your content effectively
Mistake #25. Inconsistent Content Publishing
The frequency of content publishing helps to build traction and gets you more traffic. When you don’t publish content consistently, it gets noticed by your visitors as well as search engines, which affects your site’s credibility and search ranking. Hence, to avoid hurting your brand and to improve customer engagement, it is essential that you put together a schedule and publish quality content on a regular basis.
Mistake #26. Ineffective Outreach Strategy
Since link building is one of the important SEO ranking factors, having an effective outreach strategy can help you to not only garner high authority links, but it will also help you to improve your site’s position on SERPs. Moreover, Outreach also helps you to build relationships with influential bloggers in your niche, which can be mutually beneficial for both over the long term.
SEO tips are easy to implement but it does involve a lot of work. By finding and fixing the above-mentioned common SEO mistakes, you’ll be able to better optimize your site, resulting in higher ranking and improved return on your investment.
Have you made any of these common SEO mistakes? What additional errors have you noticed on other websites? Let me know as a comment below!