Search engine optimization (SEO) can work wonders…
Your website will climb up search engine rankings in no time. Your site will gain visibility and enjoy direct visitor traffic from people searching for the topics you’re talking about.
But you’ll only get these results if you avoid a few common SEO mistakes that optimizers are discovering can hurt rather than help your ranking with Google.
So what are these mistakes? Let’s take a look at the top 6.
1. Lack of Quality Content
No one wants to read fluff. If they’re searching for information online, they want useful, specific information relevant to their query.
Content should be high quality.
It can be in any format: video, infographics, or written. It just needs to give visitors a reason to visit your site.
Quality is measured on:
- How well you researched your content
- How much it engaged with the visitors
- How useful it was to your audience
2. Content Duplication
As a digital publisher, which you are if you’re a content producer, you have a few responsibilities.
Number 1 on that list is to avoid plagiarism.
Plagiarism is a big no-no when it comes to SEO. Your content must be original and free from any duplication. SEO tools makes it easy to determine whether your content is 100% original or not. Use them!
3. Failure to Research Keywords
Simply placing random keywords into your content will never be as effective as researching for the right ones.
Generic keywords may describe your content adequately, but they’re probably not the terms your best customers are searching for.
Using unique keywords can increase visitor traffic. And that’s the point. So avoid copying keywords from your competitor’s website. Instead, do your research and work with the data you gathered from it.
4. Bad Links
There are two types of bad links: broken links (onsite) and disreputable backlinks (coming from other sites).
Let’s talk about broken links first.
When someone clicks through to your site and lands on a “404 Error Page,” it doesn’t build trust. If anything, broken links communicate that your site isn’t maintained and isn’t worth visiting again. That’s the opposite of good SEO, driving traffic away instead of keeping it on your site.
On the other hand, building the right links and providing additional information to your readers can generate more traffic.
So maintain your site. Fix broken links immediately. That’s a no-brainer.
Now for backlinks.
Since Google is committed to providing users with the best results in searches, your site should never be associated with low-quality sites.
Backlinks are a connection, if you will, between your site and the sites linking to it. So when those links come from low-quality sites, you’re telling Google that you’re possibly as low-quality as they are.
That’s why buying links is never a good idea. It’s like a neon sign announcing low quality links, and once search engines detect it, your website could be banned and all your SEO efforts lost.
5. Using Generic Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions and title tags may seem like they are just part of a website, but they are also helpful when it comes to increasing your site’s rankings.
A 60-character title tag can make a difference when attracting visitors. Make each one as unique as possible.
6. Lack of Social Media Interaction
Social media interaction is a strong signal to search engines. It serves as social proof that your content is valuable and people trust you.
And it’s easy.
Websites nowadays can be shared to various social media channels with the click of a social sharing plugin. You simply need to make sure your content is worth sharing.
Which, of course, takes us back to mistake #1. You must have quality content!
What’s the Key?
If you’ve been making any of these common SEO mistakes, don’t feel bad. Honestly, most website owners and content managers make them.
The more important issue is figuring out how to avoid them. For that, follow these 4 rules for SEO best-practice.
1. Quality Over Quantity
This applies to every piece of content you put on your website. Quality matters.
Even if you publish as many posts as you can, it won’t matter if your content lacks quality. You need to create content that your visitors find helpful. This will make them share your content and even come back for more.
Want to see what quality content looks like? Read 11 Examples of Top-Quality Content from 2016 (& My Picks for the Best)
Studying your content is important. Do your research so you can provide information that’s accurate and answers their queries.
Research the keywords they’re using. Build quality backlinks. And fix broken ones.
Quality research requires quality tools. For a complete list of the best SEO tools out there, both paid and free, check out this list by Linkio.
3. Be Present Online
The point of increasing your search rankings is to increase your visibility online. If you don’t actively build your website, you won’t rank. Period.
So do the work. Promote your content. Link your content to your social media accounts in order to direct more traffic to them.
For ideas on how to do this, read Are You Doing Content Marketing Right? (Tips from 11 Pros)
4. Rinse and Repeat
Once you get your rhythm, repeat the strategies you’ve implemented. SEO isn’t a once-and-done strategy. But content marketing and SEO go hand in hand, so improving one will definitely improve the other, giving your incrementally better results.
Even after you see results, you’ll need to continually optimize to keep your rankings high and continue to enjoy a steady stream of organic traffic. What’s your best SEO tip for keeping traffic numbers high?
About the Author: Bill Sheikh is the founder of U-Thrive Marketing, Tulsa, the city’s premier online marketing and website development firm. He’s helped hundreds of businesses in Oklahoma and the US put their business on the map online. He specializes in generating more customers for your businesses with proven online marketing tactics such as SEO, PPC, and social media marketing. Connect @UThrive_Online.