Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has never been easier and more complicated at the same time, thanks to all the myths and wrong information being spread on the Internet. The need for SEO has skyrocketed beyond predicted expectations. With the help of clear and precise guidelines from prominent authorities, like Google and other SEO experts, the methodology for doing effective SEO has been clearly laid out over the course of years.
Just like in every field there exist some basic fundamentals, SEO is also no different. Yes, there are some advanced strategies that exist. However, none of it would yield any significant organic leads, if the fundamentals are not properly followed. In this article, we are going to layout the 20 worst mistakes in the field of SEO that are overlooked by the so-called SEO Experts. So let’s get on with it.
Do the visitors find it difficult to navigate on your website? Are they able to locate each and every page with ease? If the answer to the above questions is no, chances are that search engines are also unable to browse each page, which signals them that your website is perceived less useful by the people.
The reason for listing site structure as the topmost SEO mistake is that, unlike other parameters, changing a site structure is time-consuming. Therefore, it be should be given prime importance for SEO, whenever a site is getting designed [Yoast].
After a site’s navigation structure has been taken care of, it is time to focus on the Meta Tags. You can find out what Meta Tags are and their importance in Search Engine Optimization from our previous article here. Meta Tags need to be defined clearly, according to the niche of the website.
A Meta Tag states the intent and purpose of a website to the search engine. It is hard to believe that many websites wishing to be listed in the top ranks of Google do not even have their Meta Tags clearly defined. Even if a website has great content, it is vitally imperative that Meta Tags are defined for all pages of a website [Moz].
Not incorporating images and defining them with ALT Tag
An image serves the purpose of presenting engaging content to the reader. It also helps in reducing the bounce rate (lower bounce rate equals higher rankings in search engines). An image can very well be understood by humans. However, such is not the case with search engines as most of them can interpret only the text. Therefore, in order to explain the relevance of an image to the search engine, the ALT tag must be used [Big Ecommerce].
Creating Unique Content
Gone are the days when creating any content was a viable method to obtain rankings. Search engines have evolved significantly to differ between quality, unique content, and plagiarized material. Doing a spin-off of an original article does not work anymore and producing quality content takes time, research, and hard work. The choice is yours to choose from the two [Search Engine Land].
Focusing on the quality of links rather than quantity
Creating thousands of low-quality links is an easy task but does not produce any significant results for SEO, whereas getting a quality backlink is extremely difficult. This is why search engines place so much trust on higher authorities domain. Investing time and energy for getting quality backlinks is highly suggested, as they will produce significant results over a period of time [Digital Search Group].
Stuffing Keywords in Meta and Body
Appropriate usage of keywords in your Meta and body description is essential for good rankings. However, taking a step further and trying to fool the search engines, by incorporating targeted in unnecessary quantities will result in a bad user experience and a drop in Google’s rankings [Hobo- web].
Broken links are like a dead end to the visitors. Anyone in the right frame of mind would not like his website visitors to reach a dead end. Finding broken links or backlinks, which are not working, needs to be disavowed (i.e. telling Google not to consider them for SEO) or preferably removed, by contacting the site’s owner, who has provided the particular backlink [Site Improve].
Not incorporating Video
Just like images, videos are an efficient way to produce engaging content. It also helps to lower the bounce rate and signals search engines to consider your domain as a higher authority. It is also necessary to optimize SEO aspects for Video [Viral Video kc].
Site Load Speed
Your website should load as fast as possible. Search engines consider load time as extremely important since a website having a longer than average load time makes the visitor close the website and look for another one. According to Amazon, having an extra second of load time can cost the company a loss of 1.6 billion dollars each year [SemRush].
If your website is not mobile responsive, you potentially risk losing a plethora amount of traffic. More and more people are now using mobile for browsing the Web. Since carrying a mobile is easier than carrying a laptop, you should make your website be viewed easily on mobile [Google].
Sitemaps are the easiest way for a search engine to crawl a website. A website without a sitemap may encounter some problems when they are trying to be indexed by Google. Even how great content may be, if Google is unable to find the pages of your website, they are of no use [Blue Corona].
Google does not give any importance to the name of the domain. However, a relevant and short domain name is much easier to remember for people. Keeping it short, relevant, and catchy is the way to grab eyeballs now [Square 2 marketing].
Social Media provides a ton of traffic. With its help, one can easily advertise anything and raise awareness about services/Brands/Products. It also serves as a platform to be more interactive with the users and to gain their constructive criticism [Business 2 Community].
Accepting any Guest Blogging from anyone
Guest Blogging is the easiest way to produce content. It also saves your time and energy and helps you in getting content for free. However, if the sole intent of allowing guest blogging is to get money from under the table, then we highly suggest you think twice before adopting such a strategy. Paid links can now be sniffed by search engines very easily these days and will surely result in your website getting penalized by Google Panda [Quick Sprout].
Using the same anchor text over and over again
We understand your desire to rank your keywords, which have the highest probability of lead conversion. You may be tempted to use the same anchor text for all your link-building purposes but do not do that. Using the same anchor text looks unnatural and signals search engines that your links might be bought off from sellers. It is suggested to use a modified version of the desired keywords for the anchor text in your link-building process [Powered By Search].
Not analyzing website performance
Free Analytical online tools like Google Analytics are more than sufficient enough for anyone to measure their website performance. Find out which page is getting the lowest bounce rate. It is also possible to find out (indirectly) which keywords are bringing in more traffic and which are able to provide to lead generations. You can also find out the pages with the highest bounce rate and then work on them to engage your audiences [Search engine Journal].
Posting content with proper formatting
There are many quality contents out there on the World Wide Web. Most of them are worth the time to read. However, they often lack proper formatting like appropriate spacing and indentation of the subtitles. It is a good habit to give a line space after every 3 or 4 sentences and then maintain the uniformity of font throughout the whole article/ Blog or any content.
Proper formatting allows the visitor to read your posts quickly and most importantly efficiently [Forbes].
Using 302 Redirect and/or 302 Redirect
302 status should be used, whenever the page is temporarily offline. A perfect example on when to use 302 Status is when a product is being sold out on an e-commerce website. You surely want to keep the link juice of that particular URL. However, you also want to let the visitors know that they should come back later on to the same page when the product will be available again. A 301 redirect should be used when the page no longer is needed. If you change the URL of your website to a new one, then it is the perfect moment to use the 301 redirects so as to let the search engines pass the SEO juice to the page of the new domain [Seo Hacker].
Not doing citations can make you lose a ton of potential clients for your businesses. Citations are specifically done for local searches. They provide a lot of benefits in Google rankings. The more the citations, the better it is for SERP [Higher visibility].
Register your website on Bing and Yahoo
While Google is likely to remain the giant in the area of search engines, completely ignoring the traffic from Bing and Yahoo would be highly unwise. At the very least, you should perform citations with them. Google works tirelessly on improving its algorithm for a better user experience, whereas Yahoo and Bing roll out their algorithm updates very few times a year than Google. This means a website shaken up by a major Google update can expect to maintain its traffic from Yahoo and Bing [Hub Spot].
Search Engine Optimization is becoming more difficult day by day and one needs to be regularly updated in this field. Trying to provide a good user experience is the safest way to achieve top rankings. However, that is easier said than done. If you ever feel the need for hiring an SEO agency, you can always ask them about the above points that we just mentioned in this article. This way their authenticity and knowledge about SEO can be easily verified. Good Luck.