The 12 Biggest SEO Mistakes Everyone Is Still Making

Mahendra Singh

One of the most difficult tasks in the world is admitting to your own mistakes.

For those of us that develop websites, we often get overconfident that our website is perfect. However, problems arise when it doesn’t end up appearing in search engine results. The reason behind it is simple: despite your best efforts, you’ve unintentionally committed some glaring SEO errors.

frustrated at work

Don’t worry! Many of these mistakes are super common and it’s never a good idea to undervalue the importance of diligent and thorough SEO work. To get optimum results from your efforts and fix any of the problems that might be holding your site back, let’s take a look at some of the most common SEO mistakes that even some of the best of us still make.

Your backlinks are from irrelevant resources and paid links

Backlinks are still considered to be one of the most effective ranking factors for Google. Getting backlinks from relevant and authentic websites is always good, but getting them from poor quality and irrelevant websites is equally bad.

A couple years ago, Google launched Penguin to penalize websites that were unethically involved in providing irrelevant paid links. To stop yourself from getting lumped into this unsavoury category, go through your backlinks and make sure they’re coming from good sources.

You’re not focusing on the right keyword

Another common beginner SEO mistake is focusing on high search volume keywords. It’s easy to get excited by the long tail of search results and forget to account for the difficulty of actually getting good rankings and ROI on these popular keywords.

Don’t get carried away – figure out how difficult it will be to get your site to rank for your target keywords ahead of time and set achievable goals for yourself. Wikipedia wasn’t made in a day.

You’re ignoring trending keywords

Sometimes, webmasters and SEO pros alike forget to pick up on relevant keywords that hold a high potential for trending. For example, ‘Christmas deal or Christmas gift’ may be a good trending keyword in the upcoming holiday months for ecommerce businesses. Without proper foresight, you can miss a huge SEO opportunity to max out your ROI.

Your website lacks quality content

Let’s face it: no matter who you are, you probably expect everyone to love your content. I mean, how could they not? It’s genius!

Unfortunately, the hard truth is that not all content is created equal. You need to make your content meaningful and filled with relevant information geared to your target audience – and this doesn’t mean desperately trying to answer every possible search query on your website. Additionally, you’ll also want to take the appropriate measures to ensure that your site avoids thin or duplicate content.

content writing

You haven’t optimized your site for mobile

Many people don’t make their website mobile friendly and miss out on a big opportunity to grab potential customers who are reaching their site via smartphones. Google recently made a big change in its algorithm to prioritize the ranking of websites which are responsive and optimized for mobile devices such as tablets, phablets and smartphones.

You aren’t creating unique title tags and meta-descriptions

Many people don’t care about the title and meta-description of their inner pages. However, this is a very important strategic step – this is one of your best shots at introducing yourself to your target audience and bringing them on your website. Therefore, title tag and meta description of every single one of your internal pages must include a unique page title and description. This will both boost your ranking and improve your CTR.

You aren’t interlinking within your website

Interlinking is one of the most effective SEO tactics out there. It helps reduce your bounce rate, keep users on your website, and educate potential customers about all of your products and services. Whenever a product or service is mentioned, be sure to link to the relevant page to give your visitors a helping hand.

You aren’t using relevant alt tags and your file names are bad

The ‘alt text’ on your site’s images stands for ‘alternative information’. If you aren’t including the alt tags in your image files then you’re making a huge mistake! Search engine robots can’t infer any information about images that are posted without text on your website, unless you’ve included an alt tag to help them out. Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the search engine robots?

More importantly, using alt tags and optimizing the names of your image files is a great opportunity for you to better position yourself to hit a target keyword. Your image descriptions should briefly describe what the image is actually of – in approximately 10 words or less.

You aren’t fixing crawler errors

Google’s search engine robots may crawl your website at any time, however the search

engine giant does update its reports on a weekly basis. You might be discovering a ton of different types of errors when checking the crawler report. Some of the errors may include things like: ‘page not found, robot denied, content behind a login and crawler error for a site I don’t manage’. These errors may adversely affect your website page ranking.

Therefore, it’s imperative that you ensure that all these issues are fixed and let the search engines crawl the content that matters the most.

correcting seo errors

You aren’t using the proper tags for international versions of your website

If you’re building an international website, you need to properly implement your Hreflang tags. This will help search engines better understand which version of your website is meant for which country. With this tactic, you can ensure that the correct language version of your website is available and visible to the right audience in the right country, thus creating a better user experience.

You haven’t been implementing canonical tags

In February 2009, leading search giants (including Google, Bing and Yahoo!) introduced the rel=canonical link element for the first time. The basic idea behind this canonical tag was to solve the duplicate content problem. It is one of the most crucial elements if you have several different versions of the same content on your website. If this situation applies to you, you must pick one ‘canonical’ version and point the search engines at that, so you don’t get penalized for duplicate content.

You’re forgetting to optimize

Optimization is a must for every small business and big brand. It’s imperative because it strengthens your brand image, enhances your business’ visibility, increases traffic, optimizes ROI, boosts credibility and provides insight into customer behavior.

Whenever someone searches for your products and services, you obviously want to appear first in the search engine ranking. Not only does it make it easier for your customers to find you, but it also means that you’re gaining more and more mindshare with each potential customer.

Still have questions about how you can improve your website’s SEO? Talk to us!

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