Ten of the Most Common SEO Mistakes You Might Be Making

  • SEO is complex, and the landscape is constantly changing as search engine algorithms evolve. 
  • Using generic high-traffic keywords might seem like a good idea for SEO from a distance, but if you’re not lending any value to readers it could lead to a higher bounce rate. 
  • Another common mistake is ignoring the mobile-friendliness of your site. After Google’s 2018 mobile-first indexing announcement, mobile performance actually takes priority over desktop. 
  • “Content is king” doesn’t just refer to written content. Your website should include a mix of blogs, videos, social posts, and other types of rich media. 

Not sure why your SEO game is not helping your website rank #1 on Google? You might be making one or more of the common mistakes most website owners usually make.

It is true that keeping up with constant upgrades while avoiding technical site troubles is a daily battle in the current landscape of evolving search engine algorithms. Even if you’re already aware of the various issues with your website, keeping it healthy in the dynamic world of SEO can be tough.

It is time to grasp the most prevalent yet often ignored mistakes that can help minimize technical troubles and shoot website performance to a maximum. That’s why we have prepared a comprehensive list of the most common SEO mistakes that you should make sure to avoid right away. 

Not using Google Analytics data

Google Analytics is well-known for its ability to track site traffic and user interactions. Marketers can utilize Analytics to identify where their traffic comes from, analyze conversions, observe how people engage with their site, and figure out which pages are the most popular. 

SEO specialists can use analytics to see which pages are underperforming and which are starting to perform well. You can make the error of re-optimizing pages that don’t require SEO if you don’t use Google analytics.

Using unoptimized or the wrong keywords

The best use of keywords is when they are relevant to the page you’re optimizing. Using generic high-traffic keywords might seem like a good idea for SEO from a distance, but the fact is that if your keywords and page content do not match, you are not lending any value to the user, leading to a higher bounce rate.

Long-tail, precise, and intent-focused keywords are the best options when it comes to optimum search engine optimization. A strong SEO plan should begin with thorough keyword research, based on relevance and value, and not popularity. 

Content not aligned to responsive design 

According to a declaration made by Google in 2018, Mobile-First Indexing is used by default, meaning it will be difficult for non-mobile-friendly web material to achieve a higher ranking in search engines.

With more people using their phones to access the internet every day, Google is increasingly likely to favor websites that load quickly and are mobile friendly over those that aren’t. As a result, it is critical that websites be optimized and made mobile friendly. Not only for smartphones, but if you don’t focus on website speed optimization, Google will rank your competitor’s content higher than yours.

Plagiarizing content

When it comes to content performance for SEO and website rankings, brands often confuse quantity with quality, which often leads them to cram their website with duplicate content from elsewhere. While this was forgivable back in the day, search engines levy strict penalties for this approach today. 

Copying and plagiarizing content, as well as utilizing software that “spins” it into a new shape, is considered spam and is strongly discouraged.

Keyword stuffing 

Manipulating website results by targeting just one or a small group of high traffic keywords throughout the site, even if they aren’t the most relevant, this is known as keyword stuffing. While this strategy used to work, Google’s algorithm has changed, making it much more difficult to be regarded as pertinent for high-traffic terms.

Rather than maximizing high-traffic keyword stuffing into your content, you can try to develop unique, naturally written content that is valuable to your target audience. Relevant keywords should still be targeted, but never overused if they are unnecessary. 

Shady link building

If you pay for services to link back to your site from other client sites, if you create content for other sites and ask for backlinks in exchange, if you pay for links, if you set up your own separate blogs and/or websites to link back to your main site, or if you overcrowd content with too many links on a single page, you’re engaging in SEO malpractices.

While unnatural link building could work for SEO until a few years ago, today it is counted among the most common SEO mistakes, leading even up to a manual action penalty. Google considers any link-building “scheme” illegal and discourages it. Instead, sites should focus on creating user-friendly, factual, and high-quality content to naturally attract links.

Ignoring broken links

Fixing broken links and 404s might not seem like a priority, especially for low-value pages that have nothing much to offer for your website or your user. However, ignoring such broken links can ultimately lead you to lose search engine rankings if you simply let them sit around. 

Too many 404s on your website can also decrease a website’s crawl budget because Google has to waste a lot of time looking up these sites. Your website ultimately loses ranking authority even for the original pages but also lets Google assume your site is of low quality, affecting your rankings in a major way. 

Non-secure HTTP sites

Although this is a less common SEO blunder among websites these days, many of them have still not switched over from HTTP to HTTPS security. These days, Google treats site security as a critical ranking signal for both desktop and mobile sites, meaning it has a direct impact on SEO results and webpage rankings.

This is especially crucial for eCommerce and other sites where users are asked to input their personal information or make payments. Always make sure to check to see if any components of your site are still using HTTP protocols and mend them if they are.

Redirecting to the wrong pages

When sites migrate or webmasters move/remove a big number of URLs, one of the most typical SEO blunders occurs. They do bulk redirection, redirecting dozens or hundreds of pages to the homepage or non-matching locations.

Individual URLs are given “link authority” by Google based on their current value, search rankings, and content. Redirecting these pages to generic destinations or non-matching pages (such as the home page), their authority will be lost, and the site’s overall SEO performance will suffer.

Lack of various types of media content

The analogy ‘Content is King’ is mainstream for good reason. The rules for Google’s search quality evaluator provide clear suggestions of what constitutes best content standards. Content should not only be of excellent quality, but it should also focus on meeting the “needs” of those who frequent the pages. 

“Page-quality” refers not just to content, but also to the page’s goal and how well it is achieved, such as providing topic-related information, personal or social information, images, videos, or other kinds of media, expressing ideas, entertaining, marketing items or services, and so on.

Bonus mistake: Not working with us! 

With SEO now being such an important element of any content marketing plan, organizations can no longer afford to make typical mistakes like the ones listed above. It is preferable to stay informed about the many mistakes made by others and avoid them when developing and managing a website in order to achieve the greatest results. Fortunately, we already know about these mistakes (and then some!) and will proactively ensure that your site is adhering to best practices. Contact us today!

Author avatar
Victor Lopez
Victor is an SEO specialist for Redefine Marketing Group. Victor's primary focus within his role at Redefine is technical SEO. He's also a Cal Poly Pomona alum with a Business Administration degree in E-commerce and minor Marketing.
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