On the outside, SEO may strike you like a simple thing, but that is not completely honest. A lot goes into executing the different SEO factors, including quality backlinks, keywords, anchor texts, quality content, to mention a few. Still, you could make several SEO mistakes.
Let’s check out those SEO mistakes in detail.
SEO Mistakes to Avoid in 2024
1. Writing poor quality content
In this age and time, the internet will not forgive low-quality content. So many people have incredible things to say and share, that people will happily overlook your low-quality content, even with a renowned brand title. With content, it is about keeping it fresh, grammatical error-free, relevant, current, trendy, entertaining, informative, and timely for your audiences. You can use Grammarly to create error-free and engaging content for your website.
2. Slow speed
Slow speed is a killer. In this time of advanced technology, people’s minds have been tuned to expect everything instantly. Ideally, a site takes more than 3 seconds to open, making your users wait too long.
Pro tip: you do not have to bring down your entire. Consider changing up the way you do things; resize the media you upload, incorporate browser caching, cut down on plugins, widgets, and sidebars, among others.
Read Also: 15 Ways to speed up a WordPress website
3. Not optimizing images
Visual content goes a long way in attracting attention and engaging the audience with social media platforms on the craze; people keep demanding more and more visual content. However, without properly optimizing them, you are losing out on Google’s proper indexing and ranking of all your content.
Since images are such a big deal, it would count for you to rank for them, therefore, ensure that you have information on your captions, image descriptions, and even Alt texts. The goal is to provide people with more details about your visual content.
4. Not doing keyword research
Keyword research is such a paramount part of successful SEO. Since most people consider blogging and the entire practice of SEO a simple thing, they more often than not overlook the significance of keyword research.
For a while, it may seem useless to employ keyword research because you sort of has content to share. Unfortunately, even with fresh ideas, you could still end up with the wrong audience or the wrong material for your audience, when the content you have does not match the needs of your target audience.
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5. Keyword stuffing
Failing to do keyword research is one thing, but some webmasters have not yet figured out the ideal way to incorporate keywords in the text. No matter how much time you spend researching for excellent keywords for your content, there is no excuse for carelessly adding them to your platform.
Nowadays, it is not so much about bringing up search results of content with exact keyword matches, but about bringing the results of content that best matches the search terms.
6. Optimizing multiple pages for the same keywords
Using one target keyword to optimize two or more of your pages will hurt your ranking. First, there is a lot of competition for the first page of Google, and whether or not the words you are targeting have low competition, there is always competition to look out for.
However, the main concern is with selling yourself short. There are so many related keywords you could target to reach an even larger audience base than with one set of keywords.
7. Optimizing for short-tail keywords
Again with the keywords, you will not be doing yourself justice if you always target short-tail keywords. Targeting a phrase like ‘SEO techniques’ will give you a low ranking. For one, so much content has been written on that topic, and so much more is coming up.
The problem is that short-tail terms have very high competition, not to mention, a general target group. People could be looking for different things in the scope of your short-tail keywords enough to render your content irrelevant for their searches.
8. Disregarding your competition
Your competitors may not be your friends, but that should not make them your enemies. In the field of SEO, there is always something to learn. Whether or not your competitors are doing better than you, the fact that they are putting up a noticeable competition means they must be doing something right. Invest some time in competitor research and pick a thing or two you can leverage for better SERP of Google.
9. Ignoring internal linking
Much as you rely on backlinks for your link structure, you cannot do without internal linking and be a success in SEO. There are tons of articles that lie in the archives of people’s sites that are unseen because of failing to employ internal linking.
As people go through your article and Google crawls your site, make sure there is a lot more for them to consume than the written words. Let the internal links lead them to more of your work.
10. Poor quality backlinks
The existence of backlinks has a lot to do with your overall success in SEO strategy. The quantity of those backlinks implies that you have taken quite the time to enrich your content with more value from outside sources. This adds to your reputation as a brand. However, when buying links, people fail to recognize that it is not the quantity that matters so much, but rather, the quality.
Some of the sites from which you buy the links are spammy and rather irrelevant to your course as a brand. While most of your target audiences may not notice them, Google will. Worse, you will attract a penalty for it, instead of boosting your rank position.
11. Silence on social
Social networking has a large part of the entire internet population. If you are on social and your presence is not being felt, you are causing your rankings to suffer. As a fact, other than the hidden benefits it has on SEO, social signals are gaining more ground as a ranking factor.
The people you want to target with your content are mostly hanging on social media platforms. The more you interact with them, the better they familiarize themselves with your brand, and desire to consume more content from you.
12. Not promoting your content
What good is it to have quality content that no one can read? Existing online is about making your brand known by widely sharing your content. Promoting content needs aggression and commitment. Be active on social media as one way to promote your content.
Additionally, set a budget for your content, so you can pay to play, because sometimes, it makes all the difference in SEO.
13. Unpredictable publishing
The internet users merry for the content there is to consume, and nothing more. People can bank on the internet for news, trends, entertainment, shopping, to mention a few. Therefore, the value you need to provide them as regards content cannot be unpredictable.
As a fact, brands that have built a momentum of publishing with their audiences are those that have a consistent posting habit. This way, you breed a cultured audience base that can count on you for information on certain days of the week or months, without fail. It also does a lot for your ranking on Google.
14. Neglecting broken links
Broken links are more or less a part of any growing website. As you transition from one web page to more, the opportunities for broken links keep increasing. Any slight changes on your platform can result in broken links. For example, if a website you linked out to is brought down, you get a broken link. Further, if you have had some site maintenance at one point, a lot of your links will end up being broken.
Pro tip: You cannot control what happens to other sites, but you can control what happens to yours. Therefore, determine to intentionally keep check of your platform, checking for broken links and fixing them right before they become a big problem on your ranking factors. Remember that your user experience is always at stake with broken links.
15. Missing metadata
At no point in the practice of SEO, you should ignore metadata. They provide additional information for search engines to crawl, and for audiences to better understand what your site concerns. Further, it is not just about having metadata, but about being calculated in how you use them.
For one, ensure they capture your targeted keywords. Brief as they are, they must be unique and original because they present your brand to the world. Let them capture your brand’s essence, along with your targeted keywords that will reflect the topic in question.
Pro tip: the page titles should never be more than 65 characters in length.
16. Overlooking local SEO
Did you know that local SEO is your leverage to overpower your competition? The local market gives you more advantages because you understand them better than your competitors do.
Therefore, when you are not optimizing for your local audience but are busy competing for the larger market space will give you such a low ranking on Google. Assume that your local audience has not been targeted by any brand, then capitalize on them to reach out to the other population.
17. Forgetting to update your content
Updating your content is yet again a ‘house-maintenance’ concern. In proper SEO practice, it goes beyond creating quality content and sharing it widely with your target audience. At all times, Google has been known to prioritize blogs with high-quality content.
Although you may be one to publish quality content every other time, you need to go back into the records and keep everything fresh.
The material you have in your platform from a couple of months and years back deserves a fresh look. With evergreen content being so popular in the blogging world, updating your content is one great way to get this done.
The swiftest way around this is doing periodical maintenance. This way, you can manually go through some of your previous work and refresh them. Alternatively, consider a tool like Google Search Console to help with automatic maintenance.
18. Duplicate content
For a fact, reposting another person’s work is plagiarism that might land you in some copyright and legal issues. Overall, there is so much information to consume online, that people do not have room for redundant information. If you are having one of those days that your creativity is on the low, is it really worth risking Google penalizing your site just from duplicating content?
Google, by far and large, prefers websites with unique and original content. If you want to reconsider a piece of information, update it and re-share it, or, repurpose it. Great ways to repurpose information are through infographics, instructional videos, and eBooks, among others.
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19. Article spinning
Other than duplicate content, article spinning is a major mistake that will only get you penalized by Google. When you take a piece of article and spin it to come up with other content pieces from it, you not only compromise its quality but also cheapen your brand. The words may be written and arranged differently, but the quality will not improve in any way.
20. Poorly written URLs
Image: URL issues
URLs may not strike you as an ideal spot for SEO, but they are. Including underscores, symbols, uppercase letters and irrelevant numbers can hurt your SEO. Ideally, the memorability of your site is in question if people cannot even tell what your site is about just from the URLs. An example of a poorly written URL is www.example.com/Gsd_%12_f231&%
21. Forgetting mobile
With the rise of mobile, you cannot forget mobile and hope to survive; the mobile audience is by far more significant than the desktop audience. Therefore, Google will always prioritize results for mobile users before desktop users.
Run a mobile-friendly test with Google’s test, and find out whether your platform complies. Remember that the content, design, font, quantity, and quality needs to be served equally for both the mobile and desktop audiences.
22. Incompatibility with browsers
Ever opened a site and found that it is incompatible with your browser. This can get very annoying. Although you may be specific with optimizing for Google as the top search engine, with browsers, it is different. People prefer different browsers, and if you limit them to a specific one, you are losing out on a big audience.
Most people may seem to have a preference for Google Chrome, but the fact that it has not become as dominant a browser as Google is a search engine changes everything. Firefox and Opera come pretty close, and there is, therefore, no need to lock those users out when optimizing for your target audience.
23. Ignoring long-form content
For the most part, short-form content of below 500 words is the least engaging, in comparison to long-form content. For ranking, the amount of time that people spend on your platform matters. It is a sign that people enjoy being on your platform, and that Google deserves a high ranking.
Long-form content provides you with ample time and space to cover your keywords without keyword stuffing. You also have room too since up your content with tables, charts, lists, figures, H1 tags, among others. To play safe, target 1000 – 2000 words for your articles. The trick is to sustain consistency in interest and quality so that your audience can read to the end.
24. Inconsistent online profiles
A brand’s survival relies a lot on its ability to maintain a consistent, reputable image. For the digital space, any communication you send out speaks volumes about your brand. If you are caught with inconsistent information online, you are not only losing credibility but also losing ground with Google as regards first place in SERP. Google crawls millions of platforms to source for information to crawl. When it does, you had better have a consistent brand to showcase to the world.
25. Too many pop-up ads
First of all, pop-up ads are not as effective as they used to be. Further, they can be very annoying, especially those that cover the entire screen. Given that you are considering mobile-first optimization, the pop-up ads can be very irritating for mobile site users who have a small screen space to work with.
26. Assuming the video is not important
Most SEOs focus too much on image and text that they have no regard or perspective for video content. The problem is that social media and technology have gone too far as to popularize video that it can no longer be ignored.
That said, if you are still assuming video content is not important, you are compromising on a great ranking opportunity. Platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, and others should be working to your advantage, giving you access to another audience capacity you didn’t have before.
27. Ignoring audience feedback
Feedback is a marker of a marketing effort gone right in SEO; you cannot afford to overlook the feedback of your audience. Whether the feedback is a complaint, a question, or a simple comment, it means a lot if you get back to them.
For one, it keeps them engaged, which is a big part of SEO. Second, you do not leave any room for speculation, especially where the feedback was negative. Remember that the way you make them feel is going to project on your rank position because Google values customer satisfaction.
28. Keeping a poorly designed site
Web design is an element of technical SEO that most website owners do not consider. It holds things in perspective on the area of user experience. If people cannot swiftly navigate through your site, find things, and read through content comfortably, then they have no reason to be on your site. Fix this, and you fix your ranking position.
29. Oversharing promotional messages
Much as the content is essential, if you are too glued on promotional messages, you will hurt your rankings, people do not want to feel like they are being cheated or pressured when subscribing to your services and consuming your content. Therefore, your content must not only be one-dimensional in pushing your brand and your products and services.
30. Unclear call-to-action
What is it that you want your audience to do? Tell them. People are a lot more trustful and respectful of brands that know what they want from their customers. If you want them to subscribe, buy, call, visit, order, or whatever else, let them know. Sometimes, they do not do anything because they do not feel like there is anything to be done.
SEO has a lot going on, which is why you must be keen on the strategies you choose to employ. Over and above, it helps to keep yourself up-to-date with the current trends and Google updates. This is how you can safely practice SEO without landing into such mistakes as these that could kill your ranking.