As a team of SEO experts with years of experience in the industry, we’ve seen our share of common mistakes in search engine optimization.
This article will highlight the top ten biggest mistakes and provide practical tips for avoiding them. By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can ensure your website gets the most out of its SEO efforts and outranking your competitors. Keep reading.
1. Not thinking of SEO from the start
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make regarding SEO is not thinking about it from the start. It’s easy to get caught up in the aesthetics of a website and focus on making it look and feel great, but overlooking the technical and fundamental aspects of SEO can be detrimental to your search engine performance.
To succeed with SEO, it’s essential to consider it from the beginning of the website design and development process. By baking the fundamentals of SEO into the website from the start, you can ensure that each page is optimized for search and will be able to reap the benefits of SEO sooner rather than later.
To avoid this mistake, involve an SEO expert in the early stages of website planning. They can help ensure that the technical aspects of SEO are taken care of and can provide guidance on optimizing each page for search. If you’ve already launched your website without considering SEO, there is still time to fix the issue. Conduct a thorough website audit to identify any technical SEO issues and work with an expert to implement the necessary changes to optimize each page for search.
2. Not thinking about SEO during a redesign
This website below launched a redesign in July 2021 and in one moth they dropped from 54,775 visitors to 21,555. As of December 2022 their traffic was 8,446. A 85% decline in organic search traffic due to not thinking about SEO during their redesign.
While a redesign can be an exciting opportunity to refresh and update your website, it’s important to consider its impact on your search engine performance. If not done correctly, a redesign can lead to a significant traffic loss and a drop in search engine rankings.
We’ve seen this repeatedly happen, with businesses losing thousands of visitors a month due to a lack of consideration for SEO during a redesign. This is because a redesign often involves changes to URLs and/or content, leading to many old URLs and content becoming dead and unusable. In effect, it’s like starting your SEO efforts all over again.
To avoid this mistake, it’s crucial to involve an SEO expert during the redesign process. They can help ensure that your redesign does not negatively impact your search engine performance and can even provide opportunities to boost your SEO. If you have recently undergone a redesign and are seeing a drop in traffic, there is still time to fix the issue. Contact an SEO expert as soon as possible to assess the situation and implement a plan to recover any lost traffic.
As an important note the longer you wait to fix your SEO mistakes after a redesign the harder it becomes to recover the lost traffic.
3. Not optimizing title tags
Another common mistake businesses make regarding SEO is not optimizing their title tags. Title tags are an essential part of on-page SEO, as they tell search engines what the page is about and are often used as the title of a search engine result. By not optimizing your title tags, you’re missing out on a significant opportunity to improve your search engine visibility and drive more traffic to your website.
Optimizing your title tags involves including relevant keywords to the page and accurately reflecting its content. It’s also important to keep your title tags concise, as search engines typically display only the first 50-60 characters of a title tag. By including relevant keywords and keeping your title tags brief and to the point, you can improve the chances of your website appearing higher in search engine results and driving more traffic to your site.
To avoid this mistake, include relevant keywords in your title tags and keep them concise. Consider using a keyword research tool to identify common terms in your industry. If you’ve already launched your website without optimizing your title tags, there is still time to fix the issue. Conduct an audit of your title tags and make necessary updates to include relevant keywords and improve their conciseness.
Learn more on this topic: How to build a strong SEO foundation with on-page SEO
4. Not updating good content
A lot of businesses neglect to keep their already-high quality content up to date. Creating and publishing high-quality, valuable content is an integral part of any digital marketing strategy, as it can drive traffic to your website and improve your search engine visibility. However, if this content is not regularly updated, it can begin to lose traffic and visibility in search.
Search engines and users alike prefer up-to-date content, as it is more likely to be relevant and valuable. Regularly updating your good content can improve its chances of appearing higher in search engine results and continuing to drive traffic to your website. It’s also a good idea to review your content regularly to identify any outdated or irrelevant information that should be updated or removed.
To avoid this mistake, include a plan to update good content in your digital marketing strategy regularly. Set aside time regularly to review and update your content, and prioritize the content driving the most traffic to your website. If you’ve already published content that is now outdated, there is still time to fix the issue. Conduct a content audit to identify obsolete or irrelevant information and make the necessary updates to improve its relevance and usefulness.
5. Not taking advantage of low-lying fruit
Another big mistake businesses make when trying to improve their search engine rankings is failing to take advantage of easy opportunities. As your website ages and you publish more content, you likely rank for hundreds of keywords. However, many of these keywords will be outside the top three positions where you can see the most significant impact on website traffic.
Low-lying fruit opportunities refer to keywords you rank for in positions four through thirty, within striking distance of the top three positions. By identifying these keywords and updating or creating new content to target them, you can improve your search engine visibility and drive more traffic to your website.
To take advantage of low-lying fruit opportunities, conduct a keyword analysis to identify the keywords you rank for in positions four through thirty. Then, either update existing content to make it more relevant to those keywords or create new content that specifically targets those keywords. By becoming the best answer for these keywords, you can improve your search engine visibility and drive more traffic to your website.
6. Not stealing from competitors
One way businesses can fall short when it comes to SEO is by failing to mimic the strategies of their competitors. While we’re not advocating for anything illegal, there are plenty of legitimate ways to analyze your competitors’ SEO performance and uncover opportunities for improvement.
One way to do this is by conducting a keyword analysis to identify gaps in your keyword strategy. This can involve using a tool to compare your keyword strategy to your competitors and identifying any keywords they have that you don’t. You can then incorporate these keywords into your content marketing plan to improve your search engine visibility and drive more traffic to your website.
Analyzing what is and isn’t working for your competitors in terms of SEO can help you steal their market share, which can involve looking at their search engine rankings, the types of content they publish, and any links pointing to their website. You can apply those strategies to your website and improve your SEO performance by identifying what works for them.
To avoid this mistake, regularly analyze your competitors’ SEO performance and look for opportunities to improve your own. This can involve keyword research, analyzing the content and links pointing to your competitor’s website, and applying any successful strategies to your website.
7. Not listening to your audience
Failing to listen to the needs of your audience can be a big SEO mistake. The content you produce should be aimed at the needs and wants of your target audience, and if you’re not considering what they are asking for, you’re unlikely to succeed with your SEO efforts.
To avoid this mistake, listening to your audience and uncovering their content needs regularly is vital. This can involve looking at commonly Googled questions related to your industry, searching for questions your audience is asking on forums and social media, and analyzing the content they are engaging with on social media. By understanding what your audience is looking for, you can create content that aligns with their needs and wants, improving your search engine visibility and driving more traffic to your website.
If you’ve already launched your website without considering your audience’s needs, there is still time to fix the issue. Conduct a content audit to identify gaps in your content strategy and make the necessary updates to align with your audience’s needs. Additionally, regularly listen to your audience and adapt your SEO strategy accordingly to ensure that it continues to align with their needs and wants.
8. Not optimizing for mobile & speed (also known as core web vitals)
Another common mistake businesses make regarding SEO is not optimizing for mobile and speed, also known as core web vitals. It’s easy to overlook the speed of your website and how it performs on mobile devices, but these are essential factors that can impact your search engine visibility and the user experience of your website.
To avoid this mistake, make sure to regularly check the performance of your website on mobile devices and its loading speed. You can use tools such as Google’s Search Console and PageSpeed Insights to identify areas for improvement and make the necessary changes to optimize your website for mobile and speed.
Optimizing for mobile and speed can have several benefits for your website, including improved search engine visibility, a better user experience, and potentially even a higher conversion rate. Making these optimizations a priority can improve your website’s performance and drive more traffic. If you’ve already launched your website without considering mobile and speed, there is still time to fix the issue. Use the tools mentioned above to identify any areas for improvement and make the necessary changes to optimize your website.
9. Not keeping the website secure
When a business neglects its website’s security, the site can be compromised. It’s vital to maintain the security of your website for several reasons, including protecting your sensitive information and that of your customers and maintaining your search engine visibility.
One way to improve the security of your website is by using HTTPS, which is a confirmed ranking factor for Google. HTTPS is a secure version of the HTTP protocol used to transfer data on the internet, and it helps to protect against hackers and cyber thieves. By implementing HTTPS on your website, you can improve your search engine visibility and the security of your website.
Another way to keep your website secure is by regularly maintaining your website CMS (Content Management System). Neglecting to maintain your CMS can lead to your website breaking or even getting hacked, which can negatively impact your SEO performance and the trust of your website visitors. To avoid this mistake, regularly update and maintain your CMS, and consider implementing HTTPS on your website to improve its security and search engine visibility.
Keeping your website secure is essential to protect your sensitive information and that of your customers and maintain your search engine visibility. By implementing HTTPS on your website and regularly maintaining your CMS, you can improve your website’s security and help ensure that it continues to perform well in search engines. By avoiding this common mistake, you can protect your website and its SEO performance.
10. Not fixing broken links and images
The last but definitley not least SEO mistake businesses make is not fixing broken links and images. While this may not seem like a big deal, broken links and images can significantly impact your search engine visibility and the user experience of your website.
To avoid this mistake, it’s important to regularly scan your website for broken links and images and make the necessary fixes. You can use several tools to do this, such as the Broken Link Checker or the W3C Link Checker. By ensuring that your links and images are in working order, you can improve the user experience of your website and avoid losing search engine visibility.
Search engines prioritize user experience, so it’s not surprising that broken links and images are considered a ranking factor. You can improve your website’s user experience and search engine visibility by fixing broken links and images. If you’ve already launched your website without specifying broken links and images, there is still time to resolve the issue. Conduct a website audit to identify any broken links or images and make the necessary fixes to improve your website’s performance.
In this blog post, we’ve covered 10 common mistakes businesses make regarding SEO. By avoiding these mistakes, you can improve your search engine visibility and drive more traffic to your website. To summarize, here are the mistakes to avoid:
- Not thinking about SEO from the start
- Not thinking about SEO during a redesign
- Not optimizing title tags
- Not updating good content
- Not taking advantage of low-lying fruit opportunities
- Not stealing from competitors
- Not listening to your audience
- Not optimizing for mobile and speed
- Not keeping your website secure
- Not fixing broken links and images
By avoiding these mistakes and implementing the strategies we’ve discussed, you can improve your website’s performance and achieve better results from your SEO efforts.