Avoiding common SEO mistakes is crucial because they can negatively impact your website's traffic, visibility, and ranking on search engines, resulting in lost business opportunities and revenue.
I'll walk you through these common mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Keyword Stuffing
One of the most common mistakes in SEO is to overuse the same target keywords on a web page. It does not only come across as spam, but search engines can also pick it up, and they may penalise you for it. If your target keywords are relatively short, you can repeat them across the page multiple times, but for long-tail keywords (whole phrases), try to use them just a couple of times to avoid keyword stuffing.
Do this instead:
Head to one of your web pages and press Control + F to get the search bar.
Search for your target keyword and press 'Enter'.
You'll see how often you use the same word or phrase on the page.
If you notice that you have overused your target keywords, you can tweak some of them or replace a few with a similar word.
If you have not used the target keywords enough, you can carefully weave them into your website copy in a way that feels natural for humans and bots.
2. Poor Quality Content
High-quality content on your page is essential for your SEO and your site's user experience. It's better to have ten well-written blog posts than 30 poorly written ones on your site. Thin content with poor grammar will not do your website any good, as search engines may even decide not to index them. Users who don't find your content resourceful or relevant are less likely to return to your website.
Do this instead:
Ensure that the new content you add to your site is of actual value for your target audience.
Work through your old content and remove irrelevant or poorly written articles or paragraphs. By removing thin content, your high-quality content will stand out more, and your audience will likely stay on your page longer.
Always check the grammar and correct any mistakes.
Test any links in your copy (try this free link check tool) to ensure they work.
You can hire a copywriter to write your articles for you. Make sure to use a copywriter experienced with website copy and SEO integration.
Be careful when getting inspiration from other articles and websites - duplicate content can affect your SEO negatively.
3. Not Optimising Your Website For Mobile
Optimising your website for mobile can positively affect your website SEO, leading to higher bounce rates and lower conversion rates. It will also result in a poor user experience for those visiting your site on a mobile device. A responsive design, large enough images and fonts and easy navigation that works well on all different screen sizes can make or break your SEO.
To Do Instead:
Take a look at your website on your own phone and try to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes;
Is the text easy to read, or should you increase the font size? Is there enough contrast between the text and background colour?
Are the buttons easy to click on, or are they placed too close to each other or other elements?
Are the images large enough? Are they necessary, or is the site experience better without some of the photos?
Connect your site with Google Search Console and click on Mobile Usability from the Google Search Console Dashboard. It will tell you if any of your pages need to be mobile-friendly and how you can fix it.
Note: If you are planning to build a new website, make sure to select a platform that has responsive designs available. That way, your website can look fabulous no matter the visitor's device.
4. Neglecting Meta Tags
Meta tags help search engines identify the content of your website. Page titles and page descriptions are examples of meta tags, but even the image alt tags (the names you give your images) and headings tags are included. Search engines consider meta tags when ranking pages, so you'll want to get these right. Commonly, a website generates default meta tags if you don't manually change or add them. The default ones are usually very generic and may not reflect your content well.
Do This Instead:
Use relevant keywords that reflect your content when writing your title tags and meta description. Being specific will provide accurate information to search engines and users.
5. Neglecting Local SEO
Optimising your website for local keywords help your business to be found by customers in your local area. Neglecting this opportunity can hurt your search engine rankings, and you may miss out on many opportunities and business growth. Optimising your website for local search can increase your visibility on search engines and attract more local customers to your physical location or Online store. Driving more traffic can lead to more sales, foot traffic and phone calls.
To Do Instead:
Add your business details to Online directories like Yellow Pages, Yelp and TripAdvisor.
Have a separate contact page on your website with an integrated Google map to show your location.
Keep your Google Business Profile updated and ensure that your service area and/or address are up to date.
Use local names/areas in articles or blog posts on your website, heading tags, and page titles.
6. Ignoring Load Speed
Slow loading times can lead to a high bounce rate, and your users may abandon your website, while a fast-loading site will result in a great user experience, better rankings and conversion rates. There are multiple ways to boost site speed, and if you've got a website with many pages, you can work on improving one page at a time until you've covered at least your most visited pages.
To Do Instead:
Run your website through a free testing tool like PageSpeed.
Compromise any large images and upload them in JPEG format instead of PNG.
Remove unnecessary videos and pictures (as long as it does not affect the user experience negatively).
Minimise the use of plugins.
In conclusion, avoiding common SEO mistakes is crucial for the success of your website's search engine optimisation strategy. Addressing these common errors can improve your website's visibility, traffic, and ranking on search engines. Doing so can increase your online presence, attract more visitors to your website, and ultimately grow your business.
If you don't feel confident optimising your website, you can hire an SEO freelancer or agency and let them perform an SEO audit. Based on the site audit, they can create a strategy tailored to your website goals.
SEO Specialist & Web Designer