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5 of the most common SEO mistakes and how to avoid them

By Jake Bentham | February 2, 2024

The World Wide Web is the ultimate battleground for visibility — and every business wants to come out in the top position. However, navigating SEO can be confusing, and with a few SEO slip-ups here and there, you may find that your website begins to struggle.

Today we’re here to help you sidestep these common blunders, so don’t worry — you’re not the first to make them, and you’re definitely not the last. Without further ado, let’s shed light on the usual SEO mistakes and, more importantly, how you can fix them to boost your website’s ranking.

 

  • You’re putting keyword research on the back burner

Diving into SEO without doing your keyword homework is the, if not one, of the top SEO mistakes to avoid. It’s a common misstep that can attract the wrong target audience, or in some unfortunate cases, no audience at all.

It’s best to think of keyword research as the map that guides potential customers to your site. Without it, you’re essentially playing a guessing game with your content, leading your users on a confusing journey to find what they’re looking for. 

Get started by playing around with handy SEO tools such as Google Keyword Planner — it’s an incredible resource that allows you to find out what your audience is searching for. Then, you can specifically tailor and optimise your content to meet their direct needs.

You don’t have to stop there, though — and we’d actually recommend you keep going if you’d like to see tangible results. The conversion magic often lies in long-tail keywords which are more specific, longer phrases that target a more niche demographic. These are your golden tickets to attracting more qualified traffic from users who are closer to making a decision or purchase.

 

  • You’re neglecting on-page SEO

This oversight can be a significant roadblock in your quest to improve your website’s SEO score. Meta titles, descriptions, header tags, and images aren’t there to look pretty and give structure —  they’re integral ingredients that search engines digest to rank your content. Ignoring them means you’re just making it harder for your site to show up where it matters.

Let’s break it down into simple steps. Firstly, start with the meta titles and descriptions of your pages. This is what search engines and potential visitors will look at first, so you must make a good first impression. Include your primary keywords in these areas but keep it natural to prevent keyword stuffing as this can harm your SEO.

Next, header tags. Think of your H1s, H2s, and so forth as structure signifiers. They help organise your content for human eyes and for search engines, making it easier to understand the hierarchy and flow of your information. The quicker your content is understood, the quicker it can be ranked.

It’s an easy mistake, but don’t forget your images. The image alt text describes exactly what’s on display to search engines and it also plays a part in improving accessibility for users with screen readers. It’s a dual win for SEO and user experience in our eyes.

 

  • You’re still publishing low-quality content

Low-quality content just doesn’t hit the spot anymore. Where the focus used to be all on how many keywords you can fit into one paragraph, Google now has a preference for content that is educational, authoritative and trustworthy. In SEO terms, this is also known as the EAT principle, and it’s definitely worth reading up on when you have a spare moment.

When you post high-quality content, you’ll be engaging users and keeping them glued to your site longer. This will also reduce any annoyingly high bounce rates. Then, when you seamlessly incorporate keywords into this type of content, you can ensure that you’re not just filling space pointlessly but enhancing the search engines’ understanding of your website.

Mixing up your content formats can also help matters — videos, infographics, podcasts, and blogs all bring digestible forms of content to the table, catering to various preferences. Ultimately, you need to remember that quality content is still king. It satisfies the needs of search engine algorithms as well as meeting the real, human needs of your audience. A win-win in our eyes.

 

  • You’re treating mobile optimisation as an after-thought

In a time where smartphones are glued to our hands, designing websites exclusively for desktop viewing is, quite frankly, a completely misguided approach. The bottom line is —- mobile optimisation is no longer optional, and ignoring it means missing out on an important audience segment.

Responsive web design is the first place to start. It ensures that your website looks and functions seamlessly across devices, adapting to different screen sizes, no matter what phone model you’re browsing on. Page performance also matters too, though. Improving your page load times is crucial, as even a second’s delay can lead to frustration and a press of the X button.

We have very short attention spans nowadays, right? Well, the new goal is to make everything — from navigation to content consumption — as smooth as silk. Search engines now use mobile-first indexing, meaning they look at the mobile version of your site first when deciding how high you should rank. 

 

  • You’re leaving analytics and tracking behind

What’s the point in implementing a fully-fleshed SEO strategy if you’re not going to assess its impact? Tools like Google Analytics are there for a reason, and they allow you to set specific goals. Be it increasing page views, reducing bounce rates, or enhancing conversion rates, they provide a tangible benchmark for you to measure your success against. 

Regularly diving into this data helps you understand what’s working and, just as importantly, what isn’t. Why not book a slot in your calendar once a week to check up on your analytics? Even a quick 10-minute scan could do wonders for your site’s health.

 

Reach out to us for SEO help

We understand that navigating the complex world of SEO can be daunting. That’s why our tailored SEO services are designed to help businesses like yours avoid these common SEO pitfalls.

Curious to learn more? Visit our SEO hub for insights or get in touch with us to discover how we can transform your SEO challenges into opportunities.

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