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10 Common Mistakes to Avoid in SEO

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SEO

SEO standards and practices change so often that trends relied upon becoming outdated in no time. These end up affecting your SERP rankings growth and web authority if you end up with a ban from search engines. In this fast-changing game, some players publish misleading information resulting in colossal losses.

The key to avoiding these unnecessary mistakes in SEO is always to stay updated on the latest search engine standards and avoid falling out of step with standards and practices. Let’s explore some common SEO errors and learn how to avoid them. 

10 Mistakes to Avoid in SEO 

1. Focusing on irrelevant content

The relevance of your content determines your SERPs rankings as search engines aim to provide the most relevant result on the first page for any given search term.

Old practices that might entice you to generate generic content stuffed with irrelevant keywords to manipulate your reigns will automatically result in negative SEO.

Over-optimized content is hard to read and negatively affects user experience. Over-the-top SEO optimization is noticeable in pages with low conversion rates and a low volume of impressions.

You should A/B test whether your content is delivered to the right audience. Most readers find irrelevant content annoying, and they'd bounce away from the website too soon.

Customer surveys and feedback from user comments can help you identify whether your content resonates with your target audience.

2. Failing to utilize analytics

Analytics tracking tools such as Google Analytics and site monitoring tools like Google Search Console are a must-have when implementing and tracking your SEO strategy.

Google Analytics and other premium analytics tracking tools make it easy for you to keep track of your content and see what converts.

Website Analytics and SERP tracking can help you identify high-value keywords that get first-page rankings.

You can then generate unique content around such keywords and optimize for SERPs by writing straight-to-the-point blog posts.

Analytics data can identify how visitors complete goals and if any obstacles in the process might lead to low conversion rates.

Failing to utilize these insights will often lead to SEO underperformance and wastage of resources that you could have otherwise used to target a specific segment of your niche by analyzing demographic data.

Web Analytics will also help you identify site searches conducted by visitors and learn what they are looking for when they reach your pages.

Failing to keep track of your bounce rate is a sure way to lose potential customers; this is primarily due to underperforming pages that contain outdated content.

3. Failing to optimize for local search

There's a chance that your business focuses primarily on customers within a specific region. Search engines often rank local keywords differently from global keywords.

Suppose your business has a majority of its customers in the same city. In that case, you should optimize for local search by enlisting on review networks and location-based sites such as Yelp, Google My Business, and FourSquare.

Your website should have an about us and contact page which you can link to your Google My Business local listing. Ensure that the address and contacts provided match other platforms such as social media pages and online listings.

If your website sells any products or services, it's helpful to include a product price list on your website. Keep in mind that most customers searching for local businesses are primarily interested in finding out products, prices, addresses, and phone numbers.

4. Failing to optimize the load times

Slow-loading websites are often characterized by high bounce rates and low interaction with your content. Failing to identify the issues causing slow loading will decimate your conversion rates and website authority as no one wants to stay on a slow-loading website.

Google PageSpeed Insights can provide the essential metrics needed to identify how individual components of your webpages load on visitors’ browsers.

PSI, aka Page Speed Index metrics, can measure the average time it takes for the entire page elements to load and should be kept as low as possible to improve user experience.

You can conduct A/B tests to identify which content is affecting your load times. Changing the JavaScript-powered ads on your website can also reveal if they are the cause of website loading delays. Failing to limit unnecessary redirects leads to slow load times.

This can also result from relying on shared hosting and a sign that your website needs to move to a VPS or dedicated server.

Failing to address your hosting needs on time will have long-term impacts on the growth of your website and the rest of the business while also exposing you to downtime.

5. Making navigation difficult

Failing to implement the best practices in website navigation design results in a poor user experience. This occurs when users experience difficulties finding specific content on your pages, leading to a higher bounce rate.

A website that is hard to navigate may also experience search engine crawling errors due to an incomprehensive internal link architecture. Failing to optimize your content hierarchies often results in cluttered content that's hard to dig through.

For starters, your content should be divided into broad categories followed by subcategories that narrow classifications into hierarchical content levels that are easy for both users and crawling bots to navigate easily.

Failing to implement cross-linking between your content hierarchies will isolate page clusters that may not have backlinks.

This means that on top of vertical links, which link your content from external sources, you also require internal horizontal links that interlink your content silos to each other.

Remember to interlink your content marketing pages to your products page to make it easier for your visitors to discover shareable content to improve SEO performance.

6. Not optimizing Video, Audio, and images.

Adding video, audio, and images to your content will help you stay ahead of your competitors.

However, you will need to optimize both visual and audio content to allow crawlers and users to understand the content.

Failing to add captions makes it hard for differently-based users to scan through your content and understand what is covered in the entire page.

You should include alt text describing media content to provide a brief description, and it should consist of primary keywords that you want to rank for.

Remember to optimize file names for all media content; instead of using random words and numbers, you should focus on the subject of the specific media files. Failing to get the file sizes right can heavily punish your loading times and overall website usability.

Avoid this at all costs, and make sure that you use a plugin to resize and optimize your images automatically. Ensure that they still scale up properly without much impact on the quality.

You should host larger files such as videos externally on dedicated video-sharing platforms such as Vimeo or youtube. You can then embed the links to your content, this will significantly improve your website performance, and you don't have to worry about skyrocketing costs in hosting the large files.

7. Failing to optimize for mobile

The ranking algorithms are increasingly switching to mobile-first indexing with every subsequent search engine update. Websites that fail to optimize for mobile viewing get ranked much lower, lowering click-through rates.

Failing to optimize for mobile use will also see you miss out on a growing segment since more than 70% of internet time is spent on mobile devices.

You should design your website to be mobile-friendly to provide information on the go from the get-go.

The design should also be responsive to automatically adapt to the visitor’s device for the best mobile user experience.

Failing to optimize for mobile will see you miss out on the chance to increase your conversions through strategically placed and easy-to-find calls to actions (CTAs).

Pop-ups are considered more annoying on mobile so keep them minimum and only when necessary to avoid interfering with the user’s attention.

8. Failing to optimize the right keywords

Failing to conduct detailed keyword research will often lead to cases where you end up with high-ranking keywords that are not ideal for your content and products.

A common mistake during keyword research is identifying global keywords, yet your products and services target local customers.

Failing to optimize the right keywords can also lead to generic keywords on your content that attracts visitors who are not interested in your niche.

Avoid using such board keywords to land first-page ranking instead of target customers who might be interested in your products or services.

9. Focusing on link quantity over quality

When establishing backlinks, most website owners focus on attaining a bulk amount of backlinks instead of emphasizing its quality.

Failing to focus on authoritative backlinks will see your website to lose its web authority, and you can even get in trouble with search engines if the directory links are from compromised sites.

When looking for links, you should focus on getting links relevant to your niche and avoiding linking to adult and gambling sites unless that's your niche.

Also, keep the ratio of your outgoing links on the lower end and build up your relations with authoritative websites instead.

10. Failing to adapt to frequent search engine updates

Search engines often roll out updates to their ranking algorithms that can impact your existing rankings if you fail to keep up with the change.

Failing to adapt to changes in how search engines index and rank web content will likely result in your website using outdated techniques that are, in turn, ranked lower by the updated algorithms.

Keeping up with the search engine updates will allow you to track relevant metrics on your web pages to identify which areas require refreshing or new quality content.

Final thoughts

The success or failure of your SEO strategy often boils down to whether you are keeping up with best practices and how quick you are at identifying mistakes in your strategy and dealing with them.

Keep in mind that search engine optimization is a continuous process that will require you to stay ahead of your competitors by publishing quality content and implementing regular changes as needed.

At Webpoint, we provide holistic digital marketing and strategy services alongside our creative offerings. Connect with us today and brief us your digital goals.

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