SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) has become an enormously important element to the digital life of just about any business. Since technology is so dominant in the marketplace and its influence over companies and company practice so noticeable, almost all businesses worth their salt have an online presence, normally in the form of a website. The article covers 10 most common SEO mistakes marketers need to avoid in 2020. Fixing these SEO mistakes help to improve search ranking.
Websites are excellent for driving audiences towards your company and encouraging sales on a potentially massive scale. A well-made, well-orchestrated website can turn a tiny business into a giant one, by using a series of smart tools and techniques for boosting numbers and funneling high value prospects through your site and through your marketing.
One of these tools is SEO. Search engine optimization is the way that you maximize the number of people who are able to find your website. The way it works is that your website is hosted by a search engine (such as Google, Yahoo or Bing) which gives you a whole new marketing avenue: the organic search. Let’s say you run an online supermarket.
10 Most Common SEO Mistakes To Avoid
When someone who is looking to order produce online goes on Google and searches ‘Online food shopping’, you definitely want to be amongst the top results appearing, so that you can capitalize on their intent and make a sale.
The process of getting amongst those top results is SEO. It’s a complicated and obscure art form that really takes some mastering. Furthermore, there’s a lot that can go wrong. So, here are the SEO mistakes you need to avoid.
1. Keyword Abuse
Once upon a time search engines were in such a rudimentary state that their ability to discern which site should appear first in a search for ‘online supermarket’ was heavily reliant on which sites mentioned the phrase ‘online supermarket’ the most.
This led to a very strange phenomenon whereby websites would create unnatural sounding copy, stuffed with keywords to try and attract a good ranking. However, we’re well beyond that. Search engines are finely tuned instruments, with an incredible ability to tell when someone is trying to take advantage.
Unnatural copy, filled to the brim with repeated key phrases will actually get you punished in your SEO performance. Write good copy with intelligent, naturalistic keyword usage and you’ll ward off the chance of being frowned upon by search engines.
2. Reposting Online Content
One thing that sites interested in SEO like to do is to start a blog, something which is actually a very good idea, and will discuss it later. However, the problem with a blog is that it’s an enormous drain on time and energy because you constantly need new content.
If you run a lamp store, that means potentially releasing 3000 words a week of content about lamps, or lamp related topics. Tough. However, what you must avoid ever doing is going to other people’s blogs or websites, asking permission to use their content and then uploading it on your page.
It would seem that this is a good plan that gives you lots of content for no extra work. Well, that’s true but from an SEO perspective, it’s a waste of time. If the content you are posting on your website has already existed on an indexed page elsewhere on the internet, your search engine will completely look past it or, in some cases, will penalize you for reposting.
3. Buying Backlinks
There are lots of people out there now flogging their own skills in the SEO game, targeting people who are just getting to grips with this relatively new and somewhat obscure skill. The problem is, as with any rapidly emerging, important field, it’s hard to know who to trust.
Buying backlinks is most common SEO mistakes that should be avoided. Backlinks are one of the most notorious elements of good SEO: Google will be impressed by your website if lots of other websites have links to it on their page. However, there is now a situation where you can purchase backlinks in bulk from backlink peddlers, who say that for a fee they will backlink your website across the internet.
Search engines look for quality backlinks, not just any old backlink, so make sure that your backlinks are genuine not crowbarred in.
4. Not Staying Fresh
Remember earlier when we mentioned the blogging? It’s interesting how many blogs have sprung up from online businesses in recent years. Why would a clothing shop need a blog? A newsletter, maybe, but a blog…? Well, it’s for SEO naturally, but specifically, it’s for keeping content fresh and updated.
One thing that will absolutely kill your website is allowing it to go stale. This is one of the unfortunate realities about online business. You can spend hours and hours, weeks even, crafting the perfect website and fit it all into place and still have to face the truth that the baby you’ve created needs to be fed, cleaned and clothed, day in day out for the length of its existence.
Blogs are good because they give you the opportunity for fresh content whenever you want. Similarly, social media is a big player in the ‘staying updated’ category, with multiple platforms to distribute updates on with links to and from your website.
5. Ignoring My Business Listing of Google
“My Business” is a free tool that is offered by Google to assist small businesses to create and properly manage their Google listings that appear automatically when potential customers search on Google with the relevant keywords.
With over 75% of shoppers now shopping online, the My Business listing helps to attract new customers and shares information with users regarding the aspects that make them worth visiting.
Customers searching online can find important information regarding the business hours, the street address, special offers, as well as product and outlet photos. It is important for business owners to claim the business listing by verifying it and getting the rights of access to be able to manage the listed information.
A verified business listing is treated as more credible by users; thus, is able to and attract more traffic.
6. Being Obsessed with Only On-Site SEO
Many business owners actually believe that SEO is done only on-site; however, as important as improving your own website’s performance is, it is also very important not to ignore off-site SEO tactics.
The focus of off-site SEO is to increase the domain authority by getting links from external websites that are proven to be of good quality and have an established reputation. The best way of earning valuable backlinks is by creating content that is relevant and valuable to your target audience. Sharing the web content on social media also helps to distribute the content and earn links.
Other proven methods of earning backlinks are using outreach emails to reputed influencers in your industry and writing blog posts for sites that are considered authoritative in the sector in which you operate.
It is, however, very important to appreciate that the quality of the links is a far more important factor than the number of links to your website.
7. Ignoring Page Title and Meta Descriptions
Even though fixing page titles and meta-descriptions is very easy, often they are left unattended simply due to sheer oversight.
The page titles are used by Google to understand what the page deals with and when webmasters do not use the proper HTML tag Google just can’t perform this task. For people wondering what page titles are, they are nothing but the clickable results that a search conducted on any search engine generates.
Page titles are not only important for SEO but also vital for users to understand what information a link may lead. When a page title contains an accurate and concise reflection of the page content, it boosts the number of clicks by users.
On the other hand, Meta descriptions are summaries of the page content inserted below the page title for the benefit of users and search engines. According to Neil Patel it is very important to be as persuasive as possible with the restrictions of the allowed 160 characters to convince visitors of the quality of the link.
8. Not Conducting Website Audits
The only way of getting to know of the performance of the website from both the viewpoints of the user as well as the search engine is to conduct audits of the website. If the audits are not conducted regularly, the website could be very well going off track without you realizing it.
The audits have to cover each and every aspect of the website right from the quality of content to the navigation and payment processing. If you would rather not spend time conducting site audits, you can engage an SEO agency to track the site’s performance regularly and get their suggestions to improve the ranking.
9. Leaving Legacy URL Structures Untouched
Very often, due to the increasing load and the need to cater to the information requirements of the user base better, a total revamp of the site becomes necessary. While the demands of business may make a site redesign imperative, not redirecting the traffic properly from the old URLs can lead to a massive loss of traffic and earnings.
If the old URLs are not properly redirected according to a planned 301 mapping exercise, it is quite likely that visitors using the old links will get a deactivated page and there will be loss of sales revenue for you. Even Google will not be able to index the pages properly leading to a loss of organic SEO traffic.
10. Not Focusing on Content
The primary reason why users visit your website is to get information that is relevant to their information needs. Therefore, the content on the website necessarily needs not only to be of very high quality but also current so that users will find it more relevant to the requirements.
Small business owners often get so busy with the operations of their business that they forget to update the contents of the website regularly. It is very important to not only keep on updating the content already present with fresh figures and facts but also to add new content that will project you as an authority.
Writing blog posts is a very good way of demonstrating your thought leadership and it can be very easily distributed with the help of social media and email. Remember to structure the content in a way that is easily digested by the audience and has the keywords that the search engines will easily pick up.
Most Common SEO Mistakes To Avoid: Conclusion
Search engine optimization is not very complicated once you understand the underlying reasons what you are trying to do and why you are doing it. It is just a matter of staying ahead in the competitive environment by doing things better in a way your audiences will appreciate and making it easier for search engines to understand your intent and match it with that of the users.
Thank you for reading ten most common SEO mistakes Maketers need to avoid. It will help considerably in boosting your site’s visibility and driving traffic to it.