In an ideal world, SEO would be something every self-respecting site owner adheres to—or at least makes a valiant effort to do so. Yet, far too often we find ourselves falling victim to the same old mistakes we swore we would never make, regardless of how experienced we are in this sphere. Let’s take a look at some of the greatest offenders:
#1: Inadequate (Sloppy) Internal Linking
Internal linking is one of the most important SEO aspects, and one that is often underestimated. Internal links serve multiple valuable functions, such as directing users to conversion pages, distributing authority across pages, increasing time on-site by offering additional materials for reading or interacting with, and communicating your important pages to search engine crawlers.
Sloppy work concerning internal linking is something we all think we’re immune to, yet accidents can and do happen. As your website increases in traffic volume and content, you might encounter pesky 404 page errors, mass duplicate content, and the like. If you ask me, that’s probably the worst SEO mistake you can make. Not only can this quickly turn away an otherwise engaged reader, but it can also lower your search engine rankings over time. Read on for more ways to make your URL structure SEO-friendly.
#2: Prioritizing Quantity Over Quality
So you’ve reached the visibility you strived for, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with the demand and always publish original and unique content. This is a common predicament. Some people take the easier road and start spewing random, meaningless content just to have something on their website. What you need to keep in mind is that sometimes, less is more, and you should always be providing real value to your website visitors. High-value content is the one that provides answers your users seek in a way that is useful to them.
#3: Improper Keyword Strategy
Keywords are one of the most important things your website can use to draw traffic. Abusing keywords is another thing a lot of us can be accused of. Overloading your website with keyphrases is hardly a good strategy because it makes it look like you’re trying too hard—and Google will penalize you for that. Instead, you should focus on your target audience and write for them, incorporating keyphrases as they are relevant.
People also often fall into the trap of using too little unique keyword targeting. There is such a thing as wrong keywords, after all. Each page on your website should have certain keyword targets in mind. These keyword targets should appear effortlessly in the website address and the content itself (title, heading, body paragraphs, etc.).
#4: Not Recognizing the Value of Analytics
While massive amounts of traffic to your website is certainly a good thing, make sure that you are keeping the end goal of conversions in mind. Incredible as it may sound, some people still fail to recognize the value of analytics when it comes to content that converts. Don’t be too proud, vain, or sloppy to keep you from analyzing your phrases and comparing them against one another to see what works best. Using website analytics can help you get the most out of your website.
#5: Lack of Mobile Device (and Voice Search) Optimization
We are witnesses that the world has become increasingly mobile-oriented; since 2017, more than half of global internet traffic comes from mobile devices, with the rise in voice search absolutely contributing to this. This is why being mobile-friendly and voice-search compatible are important aspects to consider and should not be easily overlooked. The internet is gearing toward mobile devices and you don’t want to miss that train as it will most certainly cost you visitors and, ultimately, money.
#6: Not Going the Local Route
Local search is important, particularly if you are dealing with a specific area. This is because the majority of search engines (including the biggest one) treat local keywords differently than global ones. And it makes sense: People looking for a dry cleaning service are interested in the ones that are close to them, not those located halfway across the world. Not to mention, data shows that 40% of mobile searches have local intent, which is all the more reason to improve your voice search readiness and optimize for mobile screens.
Bonus: Insufficient Leveraging of Social Media’s Power Users
Getting people to visit your website is tough work, especially without the right strategy in place. Social media can help, but just posting the link is hardly enough as it will only bring you an occasional click or two. Your goal should be attracting the attention of users with strong online influence who can then direct people toward your site.
SEO Is a Recurring Trend
Mistakes happen all the time, but that doesn’t mean they should happen all the time. SEO isn’t going anywhere, so avoiding common blunders is key to driving traffic to your website, and ultimately converting. With new trends and strategies coming and going, it’s in your best interest to recognize them and continually improve upon your SEO strategy. It’s the only way to avoid committing the same mistakes everyone else is making.