What are the 10 Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid?

03 Oct 2017 | By Jish

Topics: 10 Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid

Search Engine Optimisation or SEO has witnessed an enormous change over the past few years than it were 5 years back. Within these few years, Google has updated its algorithm many times. The more recent ones have been Penguin and Panda and Pigeon algorithms.

While the Penguin and Panda were set up to fight back link spam and poor content quality, Pigeon was updated to focus on local results. There was also an update made on machine learning technology like RankBrain to strengthen the main algorithm’s accuracy. There have been mobile updates from Google to reward websites that optimize for smartphone users.

All these updates have been pointing to the fact that there are some common SEO mistakes that every marketer needs to avoid.

1. Not keeping up relevancy in content

One of the common mistakes that most websites consider less is not keeping up relevance in content. Relevancy in the sense, giving your users/visitors a pleasant experience with a well-written information that keeps up with modern styling and provides an easy navigation. Such type of websites fall into authority category of websites and this is the category that every other websites should strive to fall in.

Solution:

  • Provides a unique and in-depth content in the website that delivers what your users are looking for.

2. Going after short-term gains (Black Hat SEO)

Some of the Search Engine Optimisers or companies who wants immediate gains will look out for tactics to cheat on search engines. They’ll use some spam tactics and methodologies to automatically gain backlinks, traffic and more exposure. All these immediate gains can give you temporary gains which can lead to long-term penalties from search engines.

Solutions:

Try not to follow the below given tactics:

  • Usage of low-quality/duplicate content
  • Keyword stuffing on-page
  • Unnecessary redirects and traffic patterns
  • Stealing content from other sites
  • Using Cloaking to hide a site’s real intent

Everyone wants quick gains in a highly competitive world, so many are lured by shorts cuts and immediate gains which leads to mal-practices as these, which can risk the website from getting de-indexed from search engines entirely.

3. Not giving enough attention to Page Speed (Website Loading Time)

 

The web users/visitors are mostly attracted towards photographs, great banners, videos and other graphics used on the website. While these things may look pleasing to your users, it is also essential that you reduce the page loading time of your website. If you have a poorly loaded website, your customers are more likely to leave quickly. Since more users are likely to visit a website from mobile devices, loading time is very important as these devices lack large amounts of memory or strong Internet connections.

This is also a detrimental factor for search engines, as they pay close attention to a visitor’s actions. What they search, how long they remain in a page and what actions they take, all are accountable for search engines to deliver more relevant results to them. If a visitor quickly leaves a page, search engines think that the particular page is not relevant to them. Therefore, a page that loads quickly will have better/higher rankings.

There are a number of factors that affect a website’s page loading time. Sometimes a badly written code or any conflict issues with plugins can be the causing factors.

Solutions:

You can implement the following practices to improve a website’s page loading, and these include:

  • Use of caching programs
  • Limiting the number of front-loading plugins
  • Lightly compressed images

Web tools like GTmetrix and Pingdom can help analyse these types of problems.

4. Making the Site Navigation Complex

Sometimes, if you look at a website, it might seem confusing to many of us. It will have many navigational options which are often unrelated. Page navigation is an important consideration to both search engines and consumers alike.  For a consumer, they will always prefer for an easily understandable navigational options that’ll get necessary information in just one or two clicks. Therefore, the important information should be always be presented at the centre location. Each page should be clearly labelled and properly formatted to make the content easy to digest.

Solutions:

  • Submitting a sitemap with all the important/necessary URLS
  • Offering multiple forms of navigation

5. Not Clearly Understanding the Backlink Process

Often, there are misconceptions among SEO regarding the backlink building process that sometimes go wrong. While links from external websites are a necessity to have credibility in search engines, it is important that the backlinks are acquired naturally. Very often natural links from other outside sources are not possible and this does not mean that SEO companies should not try to acquire backlinks. Bulk purchasing of backlinks are heavily frowned upon by all the search engines, especially Google.

Solutions:

One of the best possible way to acquire natural linking is to create highly engaging or entertaining contents or posts in your website or in the blog.

6. Ignoring Local Searches

With the emergence of smartphones, there have been a steep rise in the number of consumers conducting local searches before they actually visited a real store. Therefore, if you value your local consumers, you need to update your details to avoid any devastating impact on your business.

Solutions:

  • Update the details (Name, Address and phone numbers) in the local directories relevant to your industry.
  • Update your local details with search engines like Google (My Business) and Bing (Places).

Once search engines verify your business, your local customers can easily find you.

7. Not correctly Setting 301 and 302 Redirects

 

If you have moved a page content to a different URL, search engines will consider it as a new page with no ranking history. Whereas, if you have done a 301 redirect or a 302 redirect, the page will be considered as old. When 301’s permanently transfer url authority, 302’s are considered temporary and signal that the content will return to its original location at some point in the future. There is also a 404 status code available for times when content is permanently removed and not available anywhere else online.

Although, 301/302 redirects are simple task, when you move large number of pages/urls to another, this needs to be taken special care. Because, not redirecting properly can lead to a scenario where the search engines penalise for vanishing (404) pages. Since that would also mean forfeiting any established backlinks and authority to the old URLs, it is one of the most costly mistakes in the SEO world.

8. Ignoring the Importance of Fresh Content

 

There is a misconception that once a website is created with solid content that converts at a favourable rate, then it needs no update. This is wrong, because search engines always prefer fresh and updated content. This will help search engines to decide the website/business is active so that these pages are crawled easily for searches.

Solutions:

  • Frequently publish new content
  • Update existing content with the latest information
  • Share the fresh content through social media

 

This will only result in people visiting/revisiting your domain or spend more time on the site to visit additional pages. It will give good signal to search engines for their engagement.

9. Implementing Poor Internal Linking Strategies

 

Many businesses ignore the fact that using keywords as anchor text is preferable for inbound links. They tend to use words like “click here” on contact and lead pages, which semantically does not make any impact on search engines. “Learn More" or "Read More" are similar disaffecting anchor texts. 

Solution:

  • Try alternatives with Keywords. For example: “Click to speak with a Web Design professional!” or "Read more on Search Engine Optimisation".

10. Expecting Immediate Results in 1-2 days

 

It’s essential to realise that search engine optimisation is an ever-evolving process that requires a large time investment and plenty of hard work. Quick results or expecting the site's to rank from 10th page to 1st is almost impossible to achieve naturally without an enormous advertising budget and some serious influencers pushing the campaign.

Key Takeaways

One thing that every company who wants to appear their websites high in searches must keep in mind that search engine optimisation is never truly completed, since algorithms change and new competitors appear every time. The important fact to take into consideration is that customers also keep changing their search habits to find great products and services. So if you want to be a successful online business, you'll have to adapt to these changes and change your business/SEO strategies accordingly.

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