Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be tricky at times, which leads businesses to make SEO-related mistakes. Sometimes, these mistakes can be very costly and lead to Google penalties or other problems. Some of the most commonly seen SEO errors that should be fixed immediately include:

Never changing content or keywords

SEO shouldn’t be left alone. It should be discussed regularly, as it’s an ever-evolving marketing technique. If you’re never changing your content or updating your keywords or key phrases, you’re missing opportunities.

Stuffing your content with keywords

This is a no-no, and Google can take you out of the page rankings with a penalty if you stuff your content. Keywords need to flow effortlessly in your writing, not stand out. In addition to keyword stuffing, it’s a big problem if you have hidden keywords or use “black hat” SEO tactics.

Not sure if your site was originally programmed on the up-and-up? Get it checked out because a Google penalty is serious business.

Forgetting about off-page SEO

SEO isn’t just about what happens in the content of your website. It also has a place off-page, such as on your social media sites and in your website’s backend code. If you’re not sure how to maximize your off-page SEO, it’s time to make a call to an SEO specialist.

Having a clumsy, cluttered website

Search engines aren’t humans. When they come to a website that’s hard to crawl, they move on to the next one. Your SEO will only work if bots aren’t turned off by what they come across when they review your site. This includes the time it takes for your site to load, as well as antiquated coding. Web design affects SEO, so consider SEO when updating your site’s design.

Having an unresponsive site

Does your site look good on any device, including desktop and mobile? This is known as responsive design. Without it, you’re losing search engine rank.

Not using long-tail keywords

Are you trying to optimize your website for single keywords? Individual keywords, such as “car,” “house,” or “loans” are nearly impossible to optimize. Instead, you need to incorporate long-tail keywords.

Just change your short keywords to longer ones by adding other commonly searched terms, like changing “car” to “buy cheap used cars Lexington KY”. The latter keyword phrase will be much easier to optimize and should get you moving in the ranks.

Not researching your competitors’ keywords

Have you been checking the keyword optimization of your competitors? It’s not hard. Go to any of your competitors’ webpages and hit the CTRL and “U” keys simultaneously. This should bring up the code for the webpage. There, you’ll find a wealth of info, including a list of their preferred keywords, if they’ve included it. See what they’re choosing and determine if it would be wise for you to do likewise.

Not using meta tags and descriptions

Speaking of the code, are you using your meta tags and meta descriptions to their fullest? Web crawlers use the metas to help them find out what a webpage is going to be about.

Not having a consistently updated blog

Has it been a while since you added a new blog post to your website? You really need to schedule regular articles. Updating your blog not only allows you to further keyword-optimize your website, but it also encourages the search engines to crawl your site more often.

Not getting professional advice

SEO is always evolving, so it’s wise to get professional advice about the SEO you’re currently doing, as well as future goals. Although you’ll pay for an expert opinion, you’ll also be able to avoid actions that could be harmful to your site.

Bonus Reading: Check out 10 of the most common SEO challenges here!

*Last updated: 1/21/22

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