Save Your Business From These 7 Common SEO Mistakes
Search engine optimization (SEO) makes your business website accessible to your customers. Investing in SEO helps improve visibility and spotlights your brand, products, and services.
An expert SEO agency will tell you that successful SEO takes time and effort. It is also about avoiding common, costly mistakes. This guide is about the seven most common SEO errors:
- Having poor quality content
- Targeting the wrong keywords
- Overlooking title tags and meta descriptions
- Having slow site speeds
- MIssing backlinks
- Not optimizing for E-E-A-T
- Overlooking mobile optimization
Avoid them or fix them. Let’s go!
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1. Having Poor Quality Content
The content marketing industry keeps growing, with more people considering content to be king. However, this only holds true when content is free of common issues like missing the search intent and being unengaging. Other common problems are poor structure, bad grammar, outdated details, and a sales-y tone. Deal with them ASAP, or you will drive your audience away from your site and your company.
Remember that your content reflects your business. So mind its quality and be sure to meet your users’ search intent. This way, you can get better engagement and a greater chance of ranking high on search engine results pages (SERPs). Here are a few tips for creating good-quality content.
- Focus on your users. Step back from your marketing role and look at your content from your user's perspective. How satisfied are you with your content? Do you find answers to your issues and solutions to your problems?
- Research to back your claims. Provide useful, accurate, and quality content by looking at research papers and data.
- Fact-check your content. Before publishing, scrutinize every piece of data and information on your content to ensure that these are accurate and come from a quality source.
- Use various forms of content. Instead of relying on text, use visual content like videos, pictures, infographics, charts, and graphs.
2. Targeting Wrong Keywords
When your site is experiencing low traffic volume, high bounce rates, low engagement, or little to no visibility on SERPS, you could be targeting the wrong keywords. You might be using the keywords your target audience uses when searching for a business like yours.
When choosing your keywords, look for those with high search volume and low competition levels. Be sure they are specific. So, if you are a local HVAC service company, “air conditioning repair in San Diego” or “24/7 HVAC services in San Diego” would be good targets. They zero in on your specific audience to make them more likely to convert.
Thoroughly research good keywords by:
- Using a keyword research tool. Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, and SEMrush are good tools to start your research.
- Deciding on your keyword scope. Always consider search intent, understand your users, and figure out what you want to achieve with your content. From our example, are your users looking for emergency HVAC services or affordable HVAC repairs?
- Taking advantage of Google Search. Use the search bar to look for keyword suggestions, and the ‘people also ask’ sections for additional recommendations and related searches to improve search intent.
3. Overlooking Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Your title tag and meta description are what people see when your page appears on the SERP. Although Google will create descriptions for your page if you miss them, these could be inaccurate or unengaging. When your target audience does not understand what your title or description is saying, how do you expect them to click and visit your page?
Always make sure you have a well-written, concise, and engaging title and description to help search engines understand your content. More importantly, they should entice the audience to click through once they appear on the SERP.
Prevent title tag and meta description issues by following these best practices.
- Use keywords in your title and meta description. This helps search engines and people understand your content better. For meta descriptions, place your keyword at the beginning so this won't be cut off by search engines, especially on mobile view.
- Create engaging and unique meta titles. Your title must be head-turning and exciting but also relevant to your page.
- Maintain the correct metadata length. Meta titles must be under 60 characters, while meta descriptions must be under 145.
4. Having Slow Site Speeds
Have you ever clicked on a title on the SERP only to wait for five or more seconds for the page to load? Did you wait for the page to load, or did you just hit the back button? Almost every user leaves a page that takes too long to load. If this is how your web pages load, you could be losing visitors to your competition.
Take care of these issues by:
- Using correct image file types and sizes. The most efficient of all formats is WebP which has a file size that is 25 to 50% smaller than JPEG files without affecting image quality.
- Fixing broken links and crawl errors. These issues can slow down web traffic . Start with an SEO audit to find broken links and fix these using redirects or deleting outdated or duplicate pages.
- Cleaning up your site code. Technical errors and code issues can slow down page loading times. A web developer can help you clean up and boost loading times without affecting ranking or page authority.
5. Missing Backlinks
A webpage with missing backlinks may find it hard to rank on the SERP. Backlinks reflect your site’s authority. If high-authority domains link to your pages, expect better rankings on the SERP because Google deems your content updated and valuable.
While building backlinks takes time and effort, do not be tempted to buy links from spam or unrelated sources. It violates Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, and when Google detects them on your site, you get penalized. Instead, build backlinks organically by:
- Writing guest posts. Reach out to websites and publications and offer to write a guest post in exchange for backlinks.
- Creating the best content. Publish long-form content like reviews, ultimate guides, and best-of posts to which sites will organically link.
- Collaborating with influencers in your industry. This helps you get organic backlinks. Create a list of influential groups, people, or companies in your field and reach out to them for a collaboration.
6. Not Optimizing for E-E-A-T
E-E-A-T stands for experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, which are the bases for Google's Quality Rating Guidelines. Unoriginal and thin content are among those deemed to miss these four qualifiers. Not optimizing for E-E-A-T prevents your pages from ranking well because search engines deem your pages to be lacking credibility.
Avoid E-E-A-T issues and help your site rank efficiently by:
- Linking your content to an established, relevant external site. This shows that the information you have on your site is reliable and from a quality source. Look up relevant, credible sources in your industry online.
- Creating an extensive About Us section. Explain your company’s beliefs, show your experiences, and highlight your accomplishments. This page extends your E-E-A-T signals and invites new clients and visitors to your site and business.
- Publishing quality content. The best way to show your authority and expertise in your field is to publish content like case studies, product reviews, guides, and other helpful content.
7. Overlooking Mobile Optimization
Most people now use their mobile devices to access the web, so not optimizing for mobile use is an opportunity loss. Google mostly indexes and ranks mobile content crawled with the smartphone agent. So pages that do not respond well to mobile devices do not get indexed properly and, therefore, cannot rank in the SERP.
Among the reasons why pages do not perform well on mobile devices are poorly optimized images and unorganized content. Be sure to create a mobile-friendly site by keeping these in mind:
- Use a responsive website layout. This mobile layout fits according to a user’s device. If you use website builders like Wix or Squarespace, you have mobile-responsive themes. A website developer can help you create a responsive, mobile-friendly layout.
- Compress images. Use free tools such as Kraken.io to reduce file size without affecting image quality. Use the correct image format for mobiles like JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, or WebP.
- Improve your content structure. Text content should be readable, avoid long paragraphs, and use bullet points. Call-to-action buttons must be at the end of the scanning path so they can click when they are ready to convert. Use extensive and easy-to-read fonts like Open Sans, Roboto, Montserrat, and Source Sans Pro.
By avoiding these common SEO mistakes, you can develop a fully optimized, visible, and accessible website that benefits your business. Do you want to know how SEO can help improve your online presence? Contact Digital Authority Partners, and let's get started.
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