As search engines like Google and Bing keep updating their algorithms to present better, more relevant content to their users, marketers are working hard to be up to date with all the improvements and changes in the industry. Digital marketing is, indeed, a highly dynamic arena, and businesses must know what they are doing when building their SEO strategies or hire the right companies to do it for them.
Looking back to how SEO has evolved over the last decades takes you on a very exciting memory trip. Today’s industry is very busy and more technical than before. Mistakes are easy to make, and not even the best of the best can avoid them entirely.
Here are some of the most common SEO mistakes of all time. Knowing these SEO mistakes to avoid will help you eliminate disastrous situations and improve your tactics for the future.
Using the Wrong Keywords
Keyword research is the backbone of an effective SEO strategy. You can match your content with the search intent by choosing relevant keywords to enrich your website and content. If your visitors get to your landing page and find something different than they expected, they won’t stay there too long.
Another common mistake regarding keywords is choosing ones that are too generic. You might be lucky with a few visitors, but there will be many others who were actually looking for something else. Even if your content and the content they were looking for fall under the same umbrella, it doesn’t mean it will work every time.
Be careful when choosing your keyword phrases and keep on researching the best ones. It’s also smart to use different keywords throughout your website, as stuffing it with the same ones is basically self-sabotage. Using creative keywords each time and varying them will also enable you to implement internal links that add value to your website.
Using Black Hat Tactics to Get Backlinks
One of the most important ranking factors for Google and other search engines is the quality and amount of backlinks you have. While getting more backlinks should certainly be one of your priorities, link building should be done responsibly.
Some of the most memorable examples of SEO faux pas come from big companies that attempted to artificially increase the number of their backlinks with unorthodox tactics.
One such example of just how much you can lose when trying to go around Google’s rules is Overstock, a retailer that was getting backlinks from academic institutions by offering discounts to their members.
What might seem like a simple marketing affiliation program is actually not tolerated by Google, simply because it doesn’t improve the experience of the search engine’s users, but compromises it. As a result, Overstock lost over $1 billion in revenue in 2011.
Ignoring the Importance of Local SEO
Local SEO is crucial for businesses that operate from a physical store, but they are just as important for companies that are active nationally or internationally. Some of your products or services are more relevant to users from certain areas, or you might have campaigns focused on the strongest areas of the market.
A local SEO strategy is very helpful for your success. Make sure to do every step properly, by adding as many details as you can to your Google My Business page. This way, you will be shown in local searches, on Google Maps and other directories. Signing in and creating profiles on local company directories is very useful too, as it gets you plenty of relevant backlinks.
Not Repairing Broken Pages
Having broken pages on your website is bad for SEO, as it wastes Google’s resources when its bots are crawling in search of something that’s not there. It’s a waste of your prospects’ time too as they’ve come searching for something that isn’t there anymore.
Similarly, if you link to broken pages yourself, your website’s ranking in the search results will suffer. Replace all broken links with ones that redirect to active pages with relevant content.
If you have missing pages that other pages link to, you can’t always get the other source to correct the link, but you can add the redirects yourself to pages of equal relevance. Don’t just redirect to a random page, make sure the content matches the anchor text, otherwise, Google will penalise this.
Creating Content Just for the Sake of Content
Content marketers have the very important job of generating relevant, high-quality content. They are not only focusing on the content itself, but also on how to get it high in the search rankings.
Some company owners and even content marketers fall into the trap of creating too much content that eventually becomes thinned out and doesn’t contribute to their website’s value in the eyes of Google. They write blog posts one after another, but they are often overlapping in terms of topics, keywords, etc. This can make Google flag your website for duplicate content.
Before you get into a writing frenzy and start generating endless content, be very thorough with your keyword research, and make content a part of a cohesive marketing strategy. Your content should be built keeping the rankings in mind and be enriched with relevant keywords, meta descriptions, titles and H2 titles, alt text of the pictures, and so on..
Not Optimising for Mobile
You might have fabulous content and a good grip on keyword research and rankings, but if you totally ignore optimising your website for mobile, you will lose many of your visitors. Since over half of internet users come from mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly website is imperative.
If you want to ensure a good mobile user experience, you can always perform practical checks yourself by viewing your page from different mobile devices. But taking it up a notch with a more technical approach would actually be much better. Google allows you to check how mobile-friendly your web page is with a quick, simple test.
Focusing Your Strategies Solely on Search Engines
The last SEO mistake you should avoid has more to do with your general approach and should be an opportunity for some introspection. Focusing on search engines instead of people will eventually turn against you.
Of course, perfecting SEO strategies to satisfy the requirements of search engines is a great asset for a business owner! But if you ignore customer service, or the quality of your products and services and don’t build your strategies with your customers in mind, they will eventually turn to your competition for solutions.
Make sure you are aware of your customers’ needs by always keeping in touch with them on social media and in person.
Need Help With Your SEO Strategy?
If you need a more detailed, technical approach on SEO, or maybe want to be guided by an expert in your introduction to SEO, contact Search Engine Optimisation Experts at Australian Internet Advertising and get a free proposal from an online expert.