You probably already know what SEO stands for if you are reading this article, but in case you are not sure, please read our post about How to Write a Blog Post for SEO before reading this. But this time we want to discuss the Biggest SEO mistakes people are making. We will talk about 20 biggest mistakes and how you can avoid them.
We don’t want to waste your time anymore, so sit down comfortably, grab a cup of coffee or tea and let’s have a look at the biggest SEO mistakes.
Choosing the Wrong Keywords
Choosing the wrong keyword is a very common SEO mistake. Many people are choosing too competitive keywords. As an example, if you choose a keyword which other 1000 people used already, that means that you have to compete with all of them and write a better article than a 1000 people if you want to rank on the first page of Google. It might be a very hard task to do, especially if you are new to writing articles or you are not a great writer in general.
The best way to avoid this mistake is to target low competition keywords. That is where keyword research tools can come very handy. Jaaxy is a keyword research tool we are using for our keyword research and we highly recommend trying Jaaxy out for FREE. With Jaaxy you can type your keyword in and get information on how many Google searches per month that keyword is receiving and how many competitors that keyword has. Your job is to find a keyword with as many monthly searches as possible, but with the as low competition, you can find.
Using Too Many Keywords
Very often people think that if they will use keyword in their post as many times as possible, that post will get higher rankings in search engines. This is a very big mistake because Google is not stupid and Google algorithms can detect unnaturally forced keywords.
Do not use your keyword too many times. The best is to use a keyword in your title, in the first paragraph, in the last paragraph, and one or two more times somewhere in your post. That depends on your post length, if your post is very long you can use it a few more times and if it’s very short, using your keyword three times is more than enough.
Your Keywords Are Not Relevant to Your Topic
Using keywords that are not relevant to your topic. Search engines will figure it out if you are trying to do that and most likely will punish you by giving you even worse rankings or no rankings at all.
Always use relevant to your topic keywords. Choose a different topic or search for different keywords if you struggle to write an article for your chosen keyword.
Posts Are Poor Quality
Some people just try to write and publish as many posts as possible and forget that quality is more important as quantity. Writing low-quality posts won’t make you any good, because most likely none of them are going to rank on the first pages of Google.
Write engaging, good quality posts. Do research before writing. Help people to solve their problems, give answers to most common questions, including some researches and YouTube videos. Write every post with this kind of attitude and the quality of your posts will become much better.
Overlooking Post Titles
Tittles are an essential element of SEO and can’t be missed. First of all, your title will appear in the search results and second it can improve your SEO and boost the rankings.
Make sure you have a title for every post. Always incorporate the keyword in your title for better SEO. Tittle should be captivating, engaging and catch the reader’s attention, so after reading your title your readers would like to read your article.
Missing Meta Descriptions
Same as titles, Meta descriptions are very important for SEO. They are shown in your search results as well, under the title. The meta description can help to catch people’s attention and improve your traffic. Also, it can help you to boost your rankings in search engines.
Add a Meta description to every post. We highly recommend that your Meta description is no longer than 160 characters and no shorter than 100 characters. Search engines won’t display more than 160 characters in search results anyway, so there is no point in adding a longer Meta description. Make sure you include your keyword in your Meta description so people would see that they can find answers in your post. The meta description should be captivating and explain why visitors should read your post.
Not Running Regular Website Audits
This is very important if you want to improve your website’s overall performance and rankings against competitors. Regular site audits can greatly improve your SEO and give you an insight on your website weaknesses, compare your site with competitors, give you a general overview of SEO efficiency and can help you to identify changes to be made.
We recommend doing your site website audit at least once a year because it is a long period of time and you might add many new posts and change a lot on your site. You have to make sure that your site is still healthy and SEO is efficient. Check out this FREE online SEO optimizer tool.
Not Adding Featured Images
SEO is not just about keywords. Featured images can be one more very important attribute to SEO. Mainly because you can add an alt tag including your keyword to featured image. Another very important thing that featured images can increase conversions and traffic because people are visual creatures and post with an image will look more engaging than a post without images.
Make sure your featured image is relevant to your post and includes your keyword as an alt tag if you want it to improve your SEO. However, the featured image is more beneficial for increasing conversions than SEO.
Missing Alt Tags
Alt tags are HTML attributes applied to images to provide a text alternative for that image for search engines. They describe and represent the picture. Missing alt tags in your images is a huge mistake because you are missing the opportunity to get that image ranked in search engines.
We recommend using alt tags for every image you post in your article, especially for featured images. Placing your keyword as an alt tag can improve your SEO because it is an extra keyword in your post which will be found by search engines. For the best results, your picture and alt tag must be relevant.
Missing headers one more very common SEO mistake people are making. Most people that headers have nothing to do with SEO, but in fact it is the opposite. Good, relevant to your topic and including your keyword headers can boost your SEO and search engine rankings. Also, it will improve your post readability and engagement.
These days’ people are very busy and if they won’t find any headers most likely they won’t be bothered to read through all text. People are more likely will read your post if you include captivating headers, so they would know what they are reading about. Also, if visitors don’t have enough time to read all posts, headers can help them find what they are looking for a lot easier.
Our recommendation is to include at least 5 headers into 1000 words post. You can include more headers if your post is longer. Headers should be interesting, captivating and catch people’s attention. And most important they have to be relevant to your topic.
Paragraphs Are Too Long
Too long paragraphs can affect your traffic and conversions because it is very difficult to read long paragraphs. Very long paragraphs can repel people because if you don’t break your text down into smaller parts it is very hard to read a post. Imagine if we write a thousand-word post as one paragraph without any spaces. Would you read that kind of post? Probably not.
Break your text down into smaller paragraphs. But don’t just split it anywhere, try to finish your though and start a new one as a new paragraph. We recommend that your paragraph length won’t exceed 5 lines for best readability. Maybe a short paragraph will not improve your SEO directly, but it will make readers more likely to stay at your site longer and read your posts.
No Quality Links
To get the best from SEO, content marketers today should grasp that the quality of external links included in content is more important than their quantity. That’s why it’s better to make sure you link to relevant, well-ranking websites with solid reputations – not just any site. It’s also useful to link back to sites that have linked to you, as this brings back traffic in the future.
Another counterproductive practice when it comes to links is using ineffective anchor text. This wastes precious SEO opportunities, as the anchor texts signify to the reader and to search bots what the link is about and how it can be beneficial to users. Thus, avoid using ‘click here’ as an anchor text and make sure you opt for a variety of anchor texts, as employing the same text over and over again can be seen as spammy.
Using Too Many Backlinks
There are also common mistakes when including internal links that you should watch out for. Naturally, it’s important to think about your top-performing pages and consider placing links to them in your content. This is a way to give them visibility and create additional traction. But make sure you don’t include internal links just for the sake of having them in an article if they don’t match the topic and focus of the piece.
As with keyword stuffing, it’s crucial to watch out and not overdo internal linking. If the content and links seem unnatural, the work will not be appreciated by your target customers. It would not be favorably treated by search engines either, as it can be seen as a fraudulent practice.
This is another typical mistake done by people. Don’t go the easiest way and do not just copy text from other blogs or articles. Copying and plagiarizing content is seen as spam and it is highly discouraged. For that reason, search engines penalize this practice and downgrade your site rankings. Duplicate content simply won’t work.
You have to create meaningful, original, helpful and engaging content if you don’t want to get penalized and your posts to be pushed back in the search results.
Posts Are Not Long Enough
One of the biggest SEO mistakes is that people writing very short posts and expecting them to rank very high. We do not say that is mission impossible, but it is definitely a lot easier to rank higher with longer posts. Statistics show that the best ranking posts on Google search engines are between 1700 and 2500 words.
Our recommendation is to write at least 1000 words posts. But even better if you could write posts around 1600 words. But don’t try to force it and make each post exactly 1600 words. Stay natural and write different length posts, because some people like to read long posts and other short ones. You want to target different types of audience. Also, don’t write just to hit word targets, your posts still have to be good quality, engaging, relevant to the topic and include keywords.
Not Engaging With You Audience
Another huge SEO mistake is that people forget the importance of comments. Engage with your audience and always reply to your visitors’ comments, because they can boost your site SEO. Search engines are crawling not just your posts but comment too. Good quality comments, which are relevant to your post can improve your rankings on search engines.
Our recommendation is to reply to people’s comments within 24 hours. That will help to build trust between you and your visitors as they will see that you care about them and try to help them out. Happy visitors are more likely to come back to your site.
Also, you can include keywords or links in your comments, if they are relevant and make sense. Don’t insert them, if they don’t make sense, because it might negatively affect your rankings, because Google will see that you try to force keyword or link.
Comments like well done and nice posts are classified as spammy and they won’t improve your SEO. Comments must be at least a few lines of length and relevant to your post.
Website is Too Slow
Search engines don’t like slow websites and most likely, will rank them lower than sites that are fast. Make sure that your site is as fast as possible to improve your rankings.
To improve your site speed use a reliable hosting platform. Also, use your plugins responsibly, because some plugins can slow down your site drastically. Too many plugins can slow down your site speed too.
You can check your site speed on mobile and desktop with this free Google Page Speed tool.
Site is Not Mobile Friendly
Similar to slow site speed, this can negatively affect your rankings because search engines don’t like sites which are not mobile-friendly and usually rank them lower than those sites which are mobile-friendly.
Before selecting a theme for your site make sure that theme is mobile friendly. We are living in the era of smartphones and these days more and more people are browsing the internet using their phones. Not having a mobile-friendly theme not just affects ranking but you also can lose potential visitors or customers. Imagine if a person visits your site using a mobile phone and can’t properly navigate or read it, most likely he will leave and never return.
You can check if your website is mobile-friendly with this Free Google mobile-friendly tool.
Your Site is Not Added to Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a great tool that can provide you with various data about your site such as your site traffic, which posts are most popular, where your traffic is coming from (social media, direct, organic). Also, it can give you information on your visitors’ location, age group, and gender.
Website is Not Verified with Google Search Console
Same as Google Analytics, Google Search Console is a very important tool for improving your SEO and site rankings. This tool can help you to get your posts indexed in Google in a matter of minutes. Also, Google Search Console will provide you with your site data like what keywords are ranking best in search engines, how many clicks each keyword gets, how long people are spending at your website, what crawl errors your site has and how to fix them and much more.
These are in our opinion the biggest SEO mistakes people are making. We hope that you enjoyed reading our article and will be able to avoid these SEO mistakes or fix them after reading our post and advice we gave you. However, to learn everything about SEO and how to start your own online business, read our review on one of the best online training program created by people with over 16 years of experience in online business, SEO and affiliate marketing.
If you ever need a hand or have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate and feel free to leave them below and we will be more than happy to help you out and answer your questions as soon as possible.
All the best,
Marius & Ndidi
Founders of howtoquit9to5job.com