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10 Common SEO Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

If you are looking to improve your site’s SEO, you should be aware of the common mistakes that can negatively affect your Organic Search performance and stop you from maximising your site’s potential.

Ineffective Keyword Research

Keyword research can be complex. Your keyword research must consider the following factors:

– Keyword difficulty. Keywords with large search volumes can be attractive but you must be realistic. You could be chasing keywords that are too competitive for your website’s current position and domain rating. An approach of targeting less competitive keywords while working towards highly competitive keywords will get results in the short to medium term.

– Relevancy of the keywords. Keywords with large search volume and low keyword difficulty might seem appealing, but they will be ineffective if they don’t attract the right audience.

– Where you are currently ranking. Your website might already rank between 20th to 40th position for some good keywords. With some on-page optimisation, you could see an increase in traffic and leads/sales. These keywords should be high on your priority list.

– Short-tail and long-tail keywords. You can be drawn to short-tail keywords due to their high search volume. Whereas, long-tail keywords have lower search volumes but are typically less competitive and they can attract a more educated audience who are further in the buying cycle. Targeting a combination of both will increase your visibility and generate conversions.

Keyword Stuffing

So, you’ve made your keyword list that consists of the right blend of keywords. Now you’re optimising your website to hit all your carefully selected keywords as often as possible so your website will generate loads of traffic and conversions. Not so fast. Overusing keywords (known as keyword stuffing) will turn not only visitors off, as it will affect the quality of your content, but it will also harm performance as search engines will consider the content SPAM.

Writing naturally will avoid this issue.

Mapping out where on your website each keyword should rank will also help you avoid this issue.

Duplicate Content

Copying content can seem appealing. You already covered that topic elsewhere on your site so why not simply use that content? Because search engines value unique credible content.

Duplicating your own content can cause a couple of issues. 1 – Your website can look spammy. 2 – search engines can struggle to identify which piece of content should rank for a keyword.

Duplicating rivals’ content is also a big no. You need to be seen as a credible source so you should avoid this at all costs.

Ignoring Quality Content

Focus on creating content that offers value to your audience will move your website up the rankings. Quality content can also aid link-building. Provide useful stats and information that other marketers will find useful and they will link to it.

Neglecting Mobile Optimisation

Google mostly uses mobile-first indexing, which means that Google will use the mobile version of your website when crawling your site. If your mobile site is outdated, the chances are that you won’t rank.

Slow Site Speed

Have you ever tried to load a website and you’re left looking at a blank screen waiting for it to load? Frustrating, isn’t it? Don’t let your visitors suffer the same fate. Optimise your loading speed.

This also affects search engines. Search engines want to send their users to a nice user-friendly fast website. Search engines also crawl your website. Your website will slow search engines down if pages take ages to load, so they won’t be able to crawl all the fantastic optimised content you’ve painstakingly created.

Top SEO tip: make it easy for search engines. You will be rewarded with rankings and traffic.

Unnatural Link Building

Backlinks are important in SEO so it can be tempting to get as many backlinks as possible. However, we have seen websites with backlink profiles full of spammy unnatural links. Even with the best content these websites are unable to rank. This requires a clean up and it will take time for search engines to start trusting these websites again.

A natural approach to link building will get the best results.

Broken Links

You’re reading an article on how to generate more leads for your business and there appears to be a link to another interesting article about how SEO can generate repeatable leads but it goes nowhere. It really intrigued you so you go hunting for it but to no avail, you can’t find it. What an infuriating experience. Don’t let this be your website. Ensure that there are no broken links and provide a good user experience.  When you remove a page or update a URL, set up a redirect so all the internal and external links to this page still work.

Poor H1 and Title Tags

If you’ve read about SEO, the chances are that you come across h1 and title tags. These are the cornerstones of SEO. You should ensure that you feature target keywords in these tags.

It’s useful to periodically review keyword rankings and corresponding pages to identify if there are new optimisation opportunities.

Poor Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are often overlooked. Yes, they aren’t a ranking factor but they still add value. Which page would you click on in search results? The page with the dull, unattractive meta description or the page with a compelling meta description with a strong enticing meta description? Easy decision.

Your page could rank higher, but you won’t win the click if your meta description is weak compared to the competition.

Include your brand’s message and calls to action in your meta descriptions to stand out.

Get in touch with us to discuss how to improve your SEO and generate more leads/sales. At Epic New Media we live and breathe SEO. With more than a decade of experience in search engine optimisation, we have in-depth knowledge of what gets a website to rank, and what doesn’t, and how to scale a search engine strategy to grow with any type of business.

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