5 of the Most Common SEO Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
January 21st 2021 | By Emma Grant
If you feel you’re putting all the effort into trying to rank at the top of Google for your focus keywords, but just don’t seem to be getting anywhere, it could be that you’re making one or more of the biggest SEO mistakes that are common amongst website owners. Here we take a look at a variety of SEO issues that tend to occur most frequently, with advice on how to avoid or resolve them.
SEO mistake 1: Failing to have a plan in place
Every SEO campaign needs a plan. Firstly, you need to set goals so you know what you’re aiming for.
Secondly, it’s vital to understand the competition, so you can see what you are up against. This means looking at how competitors are ranking, what keywords they’re using, the type and quality of their content, and how their efforts are performing.
Without a plan in place, there is no roadmap to success. So be sure to start as you mean to go on. Make a plan.
SEO mistake 2: Choosing the wrong keywords
One of the top SEO mistakes is poor keyword choice. It really is so important to choose the right keywords for each page of your website. Be specific rather than generic, and try not to aim too high. Otherwise you could be facing way too much competition.
At very least, make certain you are geographically targeting your keywords by adding a local area, otherwise you’ll end up competing with a global audience.
The longer the keyword, the better your chances of ranking for it. Make sure also that you optimise each page of your site for a unique keyword, as this will help you gain more traffic for all the keywords combined, rather than aiming at one overall keyword.
Check out our guide on how to carry out keyword research, including recommendations on keyword research tools.
SEO mistake 3: Leaving out vital meta data
As SEO mistakes go, leaving out carefully crafted meta data is one of the most common.
Meta data is the information that appears in the search engine results pages (SERPs) when a website is shown for certain search queries. It includes the page title, and the meta description. The page title is a major ranking factor for Google.
Optimising your meta data is crucial to SEO success. This means setting a page title and description that are unique to each page, and that include the focus keyword for that page.
The page title will need to be an optimal length, otherwise it will cut off in the search results and won’t look compelling to the visitor. You want to make sure that it hooks attention and encourages a click, in doing so optimising your click through rate (CTR) which is another important factor when it comes to SEO.
Your meta description needs to be compelling also and an optimal length, ideally with a clear explanation of what to expect from the content, and a call to action. The better the description, the more likely visitors will realise that they can find what they are looking for by clicking onto your page.
There’s some useful advice here on how to optimise your meta description.
SEO mistake 4: Neglecting to publish great content
Not having great quality content on each page of your website is one of the most common SEO mistakes. Your key objective is to showcase yourself to Google as an expert in your field, and you are not going to do that unless you have rich content on your site.
Failing to ensure your content matches search intent is also one of the biggest SEO mistakes to avoid. Search intent means matching the correct type of content to a particular type of search query. Directing users who purely looking to enrich their knowledge on a subject towards a product page in an online store for example, is never going to end well.
Always be original with your content, and keep in mind that you need to write for your audience, rather than for the search engines. In other words, avoid keyword stuffing (one of the biggest SEO mistakes). Here’s some advice on writing great SEO content that works for readers, and for Google.
SEO mistake 5: Overlooking user experience
User experience is very important when it comes to SEO, and it’s vital for customer retention too. In terms of website design, user experience takes in visual impact and ease of navigation, as well as the new core web vitals such as page loading speed, interactivity and visual stability. These core web vitals form part of the new ‘page experience’ ranking signal, which directly influences search engine rankings.
Also included in the new page experience ranking signal are mobile friendliness, safe browsing and site security and stability. When a website page is optimised for these factors, users get to enjoy an enhanced online experience, which in turn signals to Google that the page is worth a good ranking position.
Want to avoid all those common SEO mistakes? Talk to Figment.
If you’re looking to avoid the biggest SEO mistakes that are holding you back from online success and from growing your business, talk to Figment. We have been helping businesses improve their online visibility and grow their sales for many years, and with great success.