Getting more search traffic to your site is something that every blogger and website owner would want. Yet, there are some common SEO mistakes that people are making, that may hurt their site’s rankings.
In this post I’ll be going over 7 of those mistakes so you can avoid having to make them.
Before we get into that though, I’d like to make something clear about Google’s (and other search engines’) goals. This is really critical to optimizing your site for them.
Here’s Google’s true goal:
Whenever a user searches for something they want to make sure their search ends right there. In order words they want to make sure their users will find exactly what they’re looking for.
And so they’ll continue using Google.
Any behavior on our end that’s shady and manipulative for the rankings is generally frowned upon and might get your site penalized.
I’d highly recommend your site with Google’s mission, which pretty much comes down to making sure your readers get what they’re looking for.
In other words: Write good shit!
Anyway with that being said, let’s dive into these SEO mistakes so that you can avoid them.
1. Relying too much on media
Since there are multiple meanings and definitions of media, let me quickly cover what I mean when using this word:
Media refers to content like images, infographics, embedded audio or video and content like that.
Also, I’d like to make one thing clear:
In no way shape or form am I saying that you shouldn’t use them in your blog posts. They’re great to use and they can help engage your visitors longer and get more value.
The problem is that Google still can’t fully understand what your media is about to the degree that it can understand written text like the one you’re reading. Although
Of course you can add an alt-text and description to your image, which you should. But, having the long-form written content alongside will help you way more.
I’m a huge fan of using video, and I’m using it in almost every blog post that I write. The Video below is pretty much the same content that you’re going to read here, just in a different format.
Now imagine this:
Imagine that this blog post was completely empty except for the title of this blog post. And that the only thing besides the title was the video you see above.
That’s pretty much the definition of over-relying on media!
As far as search engine optimization is concerned I’d recommend you write longer articles, because these can help you bring in additional search traffic through the use of long tail keywords.
2. Not doing your Keyword Research
Once upon a time an incredibly stupid marketer (a.k.a. former me) thought: Ya know I’ll just write some great content, push it out through social media and people will find it since it’s awesome content!
Guess what happened?
He waited, and he waited, and he waited. Patiently waiting for that one moment the Fairy Godmother on the white horse would appear, turn into a frog and grant him endless search traffic.
Err…. I may or may not have got a few fairy-tales mixed up.
The thing that’s important though to know is that you’ll have to use the same language your target audience uses when they search for information. In other words, do your keyword research to find keywords people use and that you can rank for!
If nobody is searching for it, nobody is going to find it.
It may seem like common sense if you’re already into SEO, and looking back I was incredibly Stupid!
Just make sure you don’t repeat my mistakes, ‘kay? ;)
3. Over-optimizing your blog post for a keyword
Did you do your keyword research and found a long tail keyword that you want to target?
Before you get into writing your content, it’s important you know what over-optimization and keyword stuffing is, and why you should avoid it.
It’s not as common today as it used to be before. Years ago, stuffing your blog posts with keywords would actually improve your rankings. Nowadays, you’d better not make that deadly SEO mistake.
So, what do I mean by keyword stuffing exactly?
The image above is a clear example of how NOT to write your blog posts. Looks kinda spammy doesn’t it?
So, what should you do instead?
Of course you will have to use keywords in your posts, but when you do use them where they fit naturally into your content. In addition to that, make sure you are using what we call LSI keywords in your blog posts as well.
LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing and what this basically comes down to is that Google will understand what your page is about by the words you use, even if they’re not your exact keywords.
Google will be able to tell that keywords like “common SEO mistakes to avoid” is synonym to “search engine optimization errors” or similar phrases.
Take a quick look at the image below. This was a search for “how to get more blog traffic” that was done in incognito mode to avoid getting any results personalized to me.
Take a look at the underlined headlines:
As you can see most of the post titles don’t have the exact keyword in it, yet they still rank pretty well. Part of this is because they’re big authoritative sites, but it’s partly because of the use of different related keywords in the title and throughout the post.
4. Giving too little value to content
Whatever kind of business you have, you should be focused on creating more content for your website or blog.
Content is what drives the internet.
People are always looking for information on the internet to help them solve their problems, answer their questions or just to learn something new.
If you’re not putting out content on your website, you’re missing out on those people find you and your business.
Statistics show that small businesses that blog get a 126% higher lead growth than businesses that don’t blog.
Other research shows that companies that blog also generate 55% more traffic to their websites and attract 97% more links from other websites.
If content creation isn’t part of your marketing strategy yet, I’d highly encourage you to give it a second thought.
Don’t know how to get started with blogging?
Then I’d highly recommend you check out this free training with one of my mentors Ray Higdon. Where he shares how to become an authority through blogging.
5. Not putting the focus on your readers
In an attempt to write a post that could rank well in the search engines, don’t forget about your readers.
If your readers are not getting the information they’re looking for, they are going to click the back button on their browser and you’ll likely won’t ever see them back.
This is known as a “Bounce”.
Which of course means you won’t be able to convert them into leads and sales down the line.
But, there’s also the SEO aspect you’ll need to consider:
The reason writing just for the search engines is an SEO mistake is the fact that the search engines are smart enough to tell that your readers aren’t getting what they’re looking for.
Remember Google’s goal?
They want to deliver the best results to their users, so what do you think they do when they find out their users aren’t finding what they want on your site?
Exactly, you’re not going to rank for that search phrase for very long!
User engagement which consists of things like time on site and bounce rate, is a big factor that search engines use to determine if your page deserves to rank highly or not.
What can you do to make your content better for your readers?
The first thing that I would suggest is to focus on writing content that provides tons of value to your readers. Instead of skimming the surface of your topic, make your blog post more in depth and give people actionable information.
Consider the blog post you’re reading right now. I could have taken the easy way out, writing a short 400 word article that basically lists off these 7 deadly SEO mistakes.
Instead, I’m explaining more about how these errors can destroy your site’s search engine optimization. At the same time I offer pieces of advice that will help you not only prevent making these same mistakes, but implement some SEO best practices.
The fact you’re reading this proves that it works. ;)
If you’ve been reading up until this point, then you’ve most likely been on this page for at least a few minutes and may have checked out a couple of the articles linked to. Which helps me increase the time on this page, and get lower bounce rates.
Neil Patel refers to this as “Dwell Time“, and it’s definitely something that impacts your site’s rankings.
From reading this, you probably have learned a couple of things you can do to benefit your site as well. :)
6. Your site isn’t mobile optimized
Hopefully I won’t have to remind you what time we live in.
These days almost nobody leaves home without their smartphone, there are more new tablets being sold than computers and I don’t see that trend going away anytime soon.
We’re in the mobile era.
Which means that if your site isn’t optimized to be used properly on a mobile phone or tablet, you miss out on a huge part of all people that use these devices to browse the interwebz.
Things got even worse last year:
When Google introduced their mobile friendly algorithm it started giving a boost to sites that are well optimized for mobile devices when users search on a mobile device.
If you’re not sure if your site is mobile friendly, let Google tell you themselves here.
The tool above will tell you whether your site is mobile optimized or not. The results from your site should look something like this:
If everything’s okay, that is….
If your site isn’t yet mobile optimized, this tool will also explain to you what’s wrong with it (a.k.a. what you need to improve).
Which would look like this:
If this is the case I’d highly recommend you look into a way to make sure your site becomes mobile friendly ASAP.
I’m not technical at all (just one crazy guy behind a keyboard, and camera I suppose), so I’m not much help in how to optimize your site.
However, this guide might be of great benefit to you! :)
Also, if you’re using WordPress for your site you might want to install a plugin called Jetpack. That’s actually how I made the mobile version of my blog.
7. A snail is faster than your website
People’s attention spans have been getting lower and lower over the last years. In fact, statistics show that the average attention span of a person is less than that of a goldfish for crying out loud!
What does this mean for you?
Firstly: Although this is kinda off topic here, focus on writing interesting headlines and introductions to your post that grab people’s attention. Also make sure you use sub-headers, so people can easily skim through your blog posts.
If your site is running slower than the average snail, people are going to go hit the back buttons and abandon your website.
Not what you’d want I assume.
If you’re not very technical, it may be quite a hassle to improve your site’s speed. I completely get it, since I’m exactly like that.
Here’s a few things I did:
Since I’m using WordPress I’m using a couple of plugins that are helpful to your site’s speed.
One of these plugins is WP Super Cache, which helps your pages load faster. I don’t know exactly how it works, but what I do know is that it’s helpful.
Another one is EWWW Image Optimizer.
What this plugin does is reduce the sizes of the images that you upload and that you use in your blog posts, which reduces the amount of data needed to load a page.
Of course there´s lots of other things you could do to improve your site’s speed. Unfortunately for you, I’m a marketer and blogger, not an IT guy.
But, using the above plugins has helped me get a decent score (in my opinion).
While getting search engine traffic to your website is something that can take months to get on a consistent basis, it’s something that you absolutely can’t ignore to pay attention to either.
Above, I’ve shared a couple of SEO mistakes that you shouldn’t be making, if you want to achieve this.
Avoiding them will help you avoid getting your site penalized and help you get more organic traffic to your site.
Over to you:
Which of these SEO blunders have you made in the past (or are still making today)? Leave a comment below and let me know.
Also, if you got value out of this article, please share it using the buttons on the left of this page, greatly appreciate it!
To your continued success,