Not ranking #1 for your targeted keywords on Google and have no idea why? You may be making one of those very common SEO mistakes that many website owners make!
When it comes to SEO, the needs are changing daily, but the opportunities are growing at breakneck speed: content marketing practices and overall digital strategies. As a rough guide, the market size is expected to reach $1.6 billion by 2027.
Struggling to avoid technical website issues and most importantly to keep up with continuous algorithm updates is part of marketers daily life. You are not alone because we have all been there.
The good news is that SEO is one of those strategies that you can build up gradually, but it takes time to master.
With a good understanding of the most common (and potentially harmful) mistakes, you can maximize your website’s performance.
Let’s go ?
1. Minimize site speed
One of the most common SEO mistakes is minimizing website speed: the faster your website is, the more Google will favor it. So work on your website speed to keep your pages in search results.
Google itself offers a handy tool to check the speed of your website and give you an overview of the aspects to improve in order to increase the speed of a specific page. This is Google PageSpeed Insights.
Among the key elements that slow down a website’s loading speed, don’t forget photos. Some are very large and therefore take a long time to load. This also affects the referencing of images.
2. Not knowing your audience
One of the fundamentals of SEO is understanding your target audience. Do you think you know your audience? Some often fall into the trap of not understanding how consumers behave in their market.
At the same time, consumers expect immediate answers and results to their questions. While historical search engine optimization data always gives good insight into seasonal trends, marketers need to understand their customers holistically.
One of the most common keyword picking mistakes is overlooking search engine and user preference for long-tail keywords. Therefore, while you can define your products and services in a certain way, you should understand what keywords your potential customers would use to refer to them.
3. Not having an SEO action roadmap
There’s no point in knowing your audience and taking random steps to maximize the opportunities from that knowledge.
Many companies, whether small, medium or large, struggle to develop or implement a strategy because they do not have a clear roadmap.
To have a sustainable and effective strategic marketing perspective, set goals and clearly define your missions:
- Assess and understand your competition – rankings, keywords, content and performance;
- Break down actions into tasks;
- set actions for content, website updates, SEO strategy;
- Look for SEO platforms and tools to help you set up and then succeed in your SEO strategy.
4. Don’t use Google Analytics to see what’s converting
Other SEO Mistakes: SEO isn’t just about getting massive amounts of free traffic. It’s also a matter of conversion. It’s easy to figure out which keywords bring you the most traffic, and then quickly become disappointed when you don’t rank for those highly competitive, high-traffic keywords.
But think again, traffic isn’t all that matters!
Often, low-traffic phrases convert better because they are more specific, and getting a first-page ranking for several of them can boost a number of conversions.
The only way to find out is by tracking data in Google Analytics. Look at the data conducted for your different keywords or phrases, then compare them to see which ones are performing the best. In this way, you can optimize your site better overall and know specifically which efforts were ultimately worthwhile and which have to be given up.
5. Ignore mobile data traffic
If your website isn’t mobile-friendly or mobile search isn’t part of your SEO strategy, you may be missing out on several opportunities.
Google also tends to favor mobile-friendly websites: over 50% of all traffic comes from mobile devices.
If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to adapt your website to organic mobile traffic. Make sure your website is responsive and loads in less than 3 seconds. So don’t ignore mobile optimization if you want to increase your website’s organic traffic.
6. Keep old-school SEO practices
It’s no longer a secret: Google is constantly developing its search algorithm. So it makes perfect sense that SEO would evolve with it. Strategies that worked well 10 years ago no longer work. Staying on top of Google SERP requires staying current with and applying modern SEO techniques.
Keyword stuffing, private blogging networks (or PBNs), and all those other old-school SEO techniques are now viewed more as search engine punishments than ranking benefits.
So stay up to date with modern SEO best practices, keep an eye out for new updates, changes from Google and changes in the market.
7. Ignore bad Google reviews
When it comes to having Google reviews for a product or service, they can be either positive or negative. The aggregate number of these reviews increases your business’ social proof and contributes to localized search ranking factors.
So if you only have positive reviews, your website will look suspicious. Multiple customers voicing their dissatisfaction on your site can even drive traffic away. Otherwise, the credibility of your website will be strengthened by positive reviews.
And what about bad reviews on Google? Use them to your advantage to build good relationships with your customers. Use them to better understand your audience and thus attract a new audience. For example, you can post on social media what kind of problems these people are having and what actions you are taking to deal with them. This shows your professionalism and adds credibility to your website.
Instead of closing yourself off to the conversation, always be open to criticism. Even encourage your audience to post reviews of your services and respond to them openly.
8. Forget about content formats other than text
Text, video, infographic, podcast, webinar, and images aside, drive organic traffic to your website. According to this data collected by Oberlo, the use of videos in particular has increased significantly and is considered an excellent sales tool:
- 56% of the French population watches a video at least once a month;
- 86% of 15-24 year olds watch a video once or twice a week;
- 86% of consumers want to see more video content from brands and companies;
- 73% of consumers are swayed by a brand’s presence through social media video marketing to make a purchase.
- 80% of marketers say video has directly helped increase sales.
- 80% also say the video helped drive traffic to their website.
More and more visitors would rather watch videos than read an article. Because of this, you are probably seeing more videos on social media feeds as well as Google SERPs. So it’s time to get started!
9. Ignore branded SEO & EAT
SEO isn’t just about ranking first in Google results. It’s also about building a trusted brand. Nowadays, Google prefers authentic, reliable and popular websites. This is Google’s EAT (Expertise, Authority, and Trust) concept. It determines the EAT of a website using a combination of different data points and algorithms.
To demonstrate your expertise, authority and reliability:
- Try to be featured in top media publications;
- Be transparent: provide information about your company: address, introduction of the authors, prizes won, etc.;
- Make sure your SEO strategy includes ways to increase branded searches.
10. No optimization for local SEO
If you run a business that focuses on customers in a specific city or region, avoid one of these most common SEO mistakes: neglecting local SEO. Most search engines, including Google, handle it a little differently than more general keywords.
Start including region-specific keywords in your page titles and meta descriptions. Also add a local address and phone number to your pages, e.g. B. in the header or footer so that they appear in local results.
To further optimize your site for local SEO, consider also signing up with local review sites and networks like Google Places, FourSquare, Merchant Circle, or Yelp.
11. Don’t use anchor text for internal links
Have you ever seen “click here” type links in an article? It doesn’t do much good from an SEO point of view. Sure, using a call-to-action can increase click-through-rate, but it decreases the ability to customize your anchor text, one of the most important components of SEO.
For example, if you’re writing a blog post and want to link to your ecommerce services page, create the anchor text “ecommerce web design services.”
Besides, if you got to If you absolutely have a call to action, try to include at least a few relevant keywords in the link. Example: “Click here to learn more about our e-commerce services.”
12. Not inviting people to visit your website
When a website ranks for certain searches, metadata appears on search engine results pages (SERPs). In particular, this includes the title of your page and its meta description:
- Page Title: This has always been an important ranking factor for Google. So make sure it’s properly optimized for each page by adding your keyword if possible while making sure your page title isn’t too long;
- The meta description is not a ranking factor, but it does play an important role in your click through rate (CTR). The more likely people are to believe that your website will provide an answer to their search query, the more traffic a page will gain. Optimizing your meta descriptions with a clear and engaging message will make it easier for them to tell if the information they are looking for is on that page.
Up to you ! And if If you want to deepen the topic, discover the web marketing training with a module on the basics of SEO.