15 Most Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid & How To Fix Them

SEO Mistakes
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SEO mistakes are quite common and mainly happens due to bulk website page edits or due to lack of knowledge.

Regardless, it is important to find these SEO errors and get them fixed immediately before it causes the whole website to be ruined.

Here are 15 of the most common SEO mistakes that you should definitely avoid, along with tips on how to fix them:

1. Keyword stuffing

One of the biggest and most common search engine optimization mistake that people make is keyword stuffing or spamming.

If you have ever seen a website where the same words appear so many times that it seems ridiculous then you are looking at a site that has been keyword stuffed or spam optimized.

This is of course a big no-no in the world of search engine optimization.
Keyword stuffing is a lazy way to try to attract visitors through search engines and will actually do the opposite and cause your website to be penalized or even banned from search engine results.

This is because search engines can easily detect when a page is keyword stuffed and will not count such pages in their ranking results.

The best way to avoid this SEO mistake is to make sure that your website contains a natural mix of relevant content that has been written without using the same words over and over again.

If you are writing about beauty tips, for example, it would be wrong to fill your web pages with the words beauty, tips and other similar words so many times that it seems unnatural.

Even including these words in your content a few times is overdoing it as the search engines can still pick up on it and it will actually have a negative effect.

It is far better to just write naturally and include relevant keywords not more than 3 times on each page.

2. Having too many broken links

Broken links are considered by search engines to be a ranking weakness and can also cause visitors to leave your website prematurely.

It is best practice to check for broken links on your website at least once every two weeks as otherwise these weak points will start to add up and damage your online reputation.

One quick way to check for broken links on your website is to use the “ctrl+shift+alt+S” keys on your keyboard.

This will cause a small window to appear in the top left corner of your screen displaying any broken links that it finds.

The broken links can then be fixed immediately and the process should be repeated regularly.

3. Lack of Target Audience Research

SEO is all about targeting your audience, so you need to know who they are before you can write for them.

If you don’t have any idea what type of content will be most effective on which site or blog, then it’s time to start writing something new!

Here are some things that may help:

  • What kind of readers do you target? Are you looking at blogs, forums, social media sites, or other types of websites?

  • Do you want to reach a specific group of people (e.g. male/female), or do you just want to get more exposure for your work?

  • Is there a particular niche that interests you? For example, if I’m writing about WordPress plugins, I’d like to target those who use them.

  • Does your audience share similar interests as yours? This way you’ll be able to tailor your content to their needs.

4. Not Having an SEO Plan & Roadmap

If you’re not sure where to begin, then it’s time to start building one up!

You should also consider hiring someone else to do this for you since it really does take a lot of effort and planning.

Here are some things that may help:

  • Have a list of keywords that would best describe your topic? Create a list of them and organize them based on priority.

  • Are there any other websites that are in your industry or related to it? Consider reviewing them to see what they’re doing right.

  • What are your long-term and short-term plans? This should also be included in your roadmap.

5. Creating the Wrong Type of Content

SEO is all about creating content that people are actually going to want to read! If your pages don’t contain anything of value, then you’re going to get ignored. Here are some things that may help:

  • How long should your content be? Typically, the longer the better since people are more likely to link to and share it.

  • What types of posts do well? Tutorials and lists do very well on social media sites. Videos can also be shared easily.

  • How often should you create new posts? If you do it too much, you may get flagged as a spammer. If you do it too little, you’re not going to get any new readers. It’s a fine line to walk, so take your time and plan ahead.

6. Not Using Your Keywords Effectively

Search Engines look for certain keywords within the content of a web page to determine what that page is about.

The words that are most important to your page are called “primary keywords” and should be included in the page as much as possible.

Secondary keywords are less important and should be used a couple times at most. It is not necessary to include every keyword that relates to your content within the document, but you should have a balance.

Here are some tips to help you out:

  • What are the primary keywords that you would like to focus on? Create a list of them and see where else you can include them in your content.

  • What are some secondary keywords related to your primary ones? Use these as well, but don’t go overboard.

  • Do some research to see if there are any other related keywords that you can include naturally within your writing.

  • Remember to include keywords in your image file names, ALT text, and page titles. This will help get your page higher in the image and news-based searches.

7. Forgetting to Link to Other Relevant Content

The best way to gain authority and trust with your readers is to provide them with plenty of relevant content that is related to the subject at hand. There are two ways to achieve this.

First, you should take the list of primary and secondary keywords that you created earlier, and see what other posts you have that are relevant and can link to them.

Second, you should create new content (such as images, videos, or pages) that is related or relevant to the subject at hand. Here are some tips to help you out:

  • Go through your list of keywords and find any appropriate posts that you’ve already written. Look to see if any of them are highly readable and provide plenty of unique, relevant content.

  • Create new content that is related to the keywords. This could be in the form of a photo, video, or standalone page.

  • Go through your list of secondary keywords and see if any of those posts or pages could be linked to your primary keywords.

  • Create new posts that add value to the reader and provide more overall content for them to enjoy.

8. Not Paying Attention to Grammar

One of the first things that readers will notice is whether or not you take the time to check your work for grammatical mistakes.

They may forgive one mistake, but if you have several in a row then they are likely to think less of you and not read any further.

This is why it’s important to do your best to avoid making these mistakes or at least minimize the amount that they appear.

Here are some tips to help you out:

  • Always read over your work before publishing it. This will both eliminate most of the mistakes and also let you change wording if something sounds awkward.

  • Use software like Grammarly to catch any mistakes that you may have missed. This and a second pair of eyes are the best ways to go.

9. Not Having a Clear Call-to-Action

There are two types of calls-to-action that you can use within your content: direct and implied.

The direct call-to-action is the one that directly asks your reader to take the desired action, such as buying a product or submitting some sort of information.

The implied call-to-action is one that is less direct and promotes the idea that the desired action should occur, but doesn’t ask directly for it. Here are some tips to help you out:

  • For your direct calls-to-action, always make sure that the reader knows exactly what they’re clicking on. Also, be sure that it is very apparent what will happen after they click (such as viewing a product they are interested in or signing up for a free trial).

  • Use the implied call-to-action to promote follow-up reading. For example, if you are writing a post about how to block WiFi users by MAC address, at the end of the post provide a list of related articles that readers can click on.

  • Use the implied call-to-action to promote a FAQ, Forums, or other areas of your site where people can engage with your brand.

  • Use the implied call-to-action to direct readers to subscribe to your content distribution network. This should only be used if you’re using one, as Google will penalize you for doing this if you’re not.

10. Not Diversifying Your Keyword Approach

It’s very important to make sure that you are targeting a widespread of keywords. Focusing on too many that are similar is a recipe for failure.

Also, targeting too few and not covering enough ground means that you won’t gain the readership you’re looking for. Here are some tips to help you out:

  • First, make a list of all of the main keywords that relate to your website or blog.

  • Then, think of long-tail keywords that can be used to expand your reach. Another keyword + ’cause’, ‘problem’, or ‘solution’ for example.

  • Find other places on your site where you can interject those keywords. For example, it’s a good idea to use them in the title of images and in the alt text. The same goes for videos.

  • When you publish a piece of content, don’t just target the keywords within that post. Target them in the title and throughout the body of the post as well. This will increase your chances of getting traffic from Google.

  • Always be sure to never over-do-it with the keywords or it will backfire on you.

11. Forgetting About Your Mobile Users

With well over 50% of all web traffic coming from mobile devices these days, it would be a shame to forget about this huge part of your potential audience.

Here are some tips to help you out:

  • Make sure that your website is responsive and will work well on all types of devices.

  • Think about how your content can be presented in a way that will look good on a mobile device.

  • Take advantage of the GPS capabilities built into many phones by creating location specific offers or coupons to entice repeat customers.

  • If you have an app, make sure it’s convenient and easy-to-use. Not all of your customers will go out of their way to use it if it’s inconvenient to do so.

  • If you haven’t done so already, start developing a mobile version of your website or blog.

12. Link Building the Old Fashioned Way

While some people might still be getting away with it, building links the old fashioned way just doesn’t work anymore.

If you get caught, you can say goodbye to your online reputation, rankings, and most importantly your website.

Here are some tips to help you out:

  • Make sure that all of your backlinks are coming from reputable and trustworthy sites. This is a good indication of a natural link.

  • Never purchase links. Not only is it unethical, but it’s also a good way to get banned by all of the search engines.

  • Link only to sites that are relevant to your niche. A website full of irrelevant links is a good way to get penalized by the search engines.

  • Use the no follow tag to prevent certain links from being counted by the search engine spiders.

  • Make sure that you aren’t building low quality mass link directories. Even if you manage to get some low quality links in these directories, the search engines can and will penalize you for it.

  • Finally, make sure your SEO professional has a good reputation and isn’t going to do anything stupid to get you ranked. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

13. Ignoring Your Competitors

Don’t ignore your competitors.

It’s important to keep an eye on what they’re doing and what they’re up to. If you find that they’re getting a lot of traffic, try to figure out why that’s the case.

Is it something that you could be taking advantage of as well?

Don’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to improving your own website or blog. If you see something that works for a competitor, see if it would work for you as well.

14. Not Maintaining Your Customer Relationships

Your relationships with your customers are just as important as your relationship with Google in order to keep your business running and thriving.

Here are some tips to help you maintain those relationships:

  • Always be sure to answer your customer’s questions promptly and always be sure to give them the courtesy that they deserve.

  • Make sure that you’re always on your customers side and willing to help them out. Nothing turns someone away faster than being ignored or treated badly after they have given you their business.

  • Stay in contact with your customers. Email is a great way to do this without being annoying. Send out emails that are relevant to the customer and don’t forget about your international customers as well.

  • Give back to your community. This is a great way to establish your company as a leader in your industry and will help you build good will.

  • Be sure to listen to what your customers want. If they’re asking for it, maybe you should offer it. This is a great way to foster more business opportunities.

  • Get involved in your community. Sponsor a local charity event or get together with your followers to celebrate other holidays such as Christmas or Easter.

  • Be sure to thank your customers for their business. They are the ones who keep you in business after all.

15. Missing or Incorrect Title Tags and Meta Description

When your content is displayed in a search engine results page (SERP), the title of that page (which is usually the name of the page) will be displayed above that result.

In addition, a short description of that page will also appear under the result. This is known as the meta description.

The description is an excerpt from the page that relates to the keyword that was searched. It can be useful for searchers to know what the page is mostly about.

The Title and Meta Description can directly affect click-throughs and traffic.

If a searcher clicks on a result and the title and description don’t seem to match up, then they may not click through.

If you do not enter a Meta Description for your page, search engines would automatically pick one for you, and this may or may not benefit you so instead of leaving things to chances, write a healthy meta description for your pages which includes your targeted keyword and do the same for you Meta Title.


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Posted on November 7, 2020 in Search Engine Optimization

Author: Jobin John

Jobin is the founder & CEO of Egochi, a United States digital marketing agency specializing in SEO and content marketing that helps businesses grow online. He is well known & respected for his expertise in the search engine optimization industry and has helped a huge number of local businesses grow their business.

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