As digital marketing evolves, you need to adapt. This leaves even SEO experts exposed to mistakes. Here, we’ll outline 7 SEO mistakes that could be costing your site valuable traffic and how to avoid them.
SEO can sometimes feel like a game of cat and mouse. As Google, Bing, and Yahoo constantly change their algorithms, digital marketers need to keep up.
Online marketing tactics constantly change and evolve.
But, if you want to have your voice heard online, SEO is essential. Take edgylabs.com for example. Organic traffic makes up almost 70% of all our traffic.
SEO marketers are multitasking translators. On the one hand, we need to be able to make it easy for search engines to understand our sites. On the other, we need to make visitors flock to our high-quality content over someone else’s.
Just when we think we are fluent in SEO, new technology pushes us back to step one. We need to optimize content for voice search while keeping mobile scrollers happy, use keywords but not too many keywords, and post on social media while not coming across as spam.
It can be a bit overwhelming.
The good news is no matter how much search engine technology changes, the underlying principles of SEO marketing stay the same. Just as these principles stay the same, so do the detrimental mistakes you should avoid.
You may not even be aware of how much simple SEO mistakes are costing you.
Read on to figure out the mistakes you probably don’t know you’re making and how to avoid them from now on.
Read More: The Ultimate 2018 SEO Ranking Checklist
1. Not Auditing Your Website Regularly
The first of our 7 SEO mistakes is failing to audit your website.
If you’re not auditing your website regularly, you’re begging Google not to rank you.
How can you fix all the issues that may be affecting your rankings if you don’t know what they are? The simple answer is you can’t.
What’s more is that auditing once in a blue moon just isn’t enough. Think about it like flossing your teeth.
If you don’t do it regularly, you’ll get cavities. If you don’t audit for a long time, SEO issues will mount.
Technical SEO mistakes like broken links, duplicate content, slow loading speeds, and unoptimized meta tags are the cavities of SEO. Fix them before they become an issue.
My dentist used to say: if you don’t want to floss your teeth, just floss the ones you want to keep.
If you don’t want to audit your entire site, just audit the pages you want to rank.
This one of the biggest mistakes made by SEO marketers. Which is, also, ironically, one of the easiest to avoid.
2. Writing Content for Bots instead of Human Readers
Maybe it’s because we are so focused on outsmarting algorithms that we forget about the actual humans who your content is for. Understanding people is at the core of marketing. So why would digital marketing be any different?
So many SEO marketers are still tempted to go for outdated SEO strategies like keyword stuffing, specific content length, and manipulative linking schemes. Wake up! The days of tricking search engines are over!
One of the major SEO mistakes I see is putting ranking over user experience. This tactic will only come back to bite you.
Even if you find the perfect keyword and fully optimize it, search engine bots may not want to rank you. Now more than ever, user experience is a major element in deciphering what should rank.
Unless you implement both keywords and content that readers want, you won’t rank. Avoid the SEO mistake of doing one but not the other.
Create your site for the human readers, but make it easy for search bots to see how good it is.
3. Creating Content Just to Increase Volume
Out of all the SEO mistakes I see being made, creating content just to increase volume is a particularly common one.
Yes, we are constantly told that we should produce content consistently if we want to increase our brand’s exposure, authority, and indexation rate.
However, there is so much trash being thrown up online these days, you aren’t here to add to it. Creating content with intent is important.
This connects back to user experience and keyword research.
Your content must be created to solve a problem your readers may have or provide sought-after information. You should always perform strategic keyword research before writing. Your content needs to match the intent of the keyword users are searching.
Key tip: Use your keyword and closely associate keywords in H2 tags and body paragraphs. This will convey the context of your content to search engines and show that it meets user intent.
Google bots are more sophisticated than you’d think. They can see past low-quality content that has no intent behind it.
Read More: A Simple Guide to Fast Indexing on Google
4. Optimizing Keywords for Irrelevant Content
This leads us on to the fourth of our SEO mistakes. So you’ve found the perfect keyword: it has a low rank-for difficulty and high search volume (a.k.a. the dream).
It can be very tempting to optimize your next piece of content for it, even if it isn’t a perfect fit.
Don’t fall into this trap.
Always remember that you should only optimize keywords for relevant content and search intent.
Avoid these SEO mistakes by:
-Taking national and local searches into account during keyword research
-Getting customer feedback. Ask them what search phrases they would use to describe different parts of your industry. You could incorporate this into your live stream or Q and A session. This will help you to compile a list of keywords that are relevant to customers.
-Don’t forget to treat commercial and informational keyword opportunities differently
5. Chasing New Tactics Regularly
SEO isn’t like social marketing where you can test and see results within a matter of minutes. It takes longer to see your hard work pay off. Going off on a wild goose chase for new tactics every day is an SEO mistake even the experts make. Instead, you should follow a solid strategy.
Long-term success calls for long-term planning. If you don’t have a strategy in place to backup your tactics, they will be inefficient and aimless.
Your strategy is the bigger picture. This should define the tactics that will help you achieve your goal. Having a strategy in place will give you a significant competitive edge.
6. Creating Content That Isn’t Link-worthy
Let’s face it, not everything we create is going to be amazing. However, everything you choose to publish can be.
Before you publish any piece of content you need to ask yourself, would I link to it? If the answer is no, then you should not be publishing it.
You need to strive to have the most link-worthy content you can. Other websites and blogs will only want to link to high-quality content. Backlinks are the backbone of becoming a trustworthy and reliable source of information.
One of Google’s most important ranking factors is the quality and quantity of unique referring domains to a certain page. Winning over high-quality backlinks will improve domain authority ultimately drive more traffic to your site.
Read More: How to Build SEO Backlinks Like the Experts
Investing time into crafting long-form content that is valuable to your industry will pay off. Whether it be an evergreen guide, an interactive quiz, or an infographic, your content should have something to offer.
7. Measuring the Wrong Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Many marketers constantly measure ambiguous metrics like inbound links, follower count, and likes. Depending on context, this could be a complete waste of time.
So, you see you have gotten a thousand inbound links. Time to celebrate, right? Wrong. What if all of the links you’re counting came from one low-quality website? Or what if they were all comment spam? Avoid making these SEO mistakes.
Instead, you should be focusing your attention on key performance indicators relevant to your site. In order for any metric to be a valuable KPI, it should make sense. There is no rule of thumb to follow here because it will be different for every business.
Say you counted a thousand inbound links that came from a high-quality industry specific website. This is a win you can celebrate.
A relevant link is infinitely more valuable from an SEO perspective because the people who see it are more likely to be members of your target audience.
Choose the KPI’s to monitor carefully. Every single metric you measure should relate back to a specific business goal.
Re-evaluate your current system. For each KPI, ask why this figure is relevant to your business. Does it help you get in front of ideal prospects? Does it show that you are generating effective PR? Or does it generate revenue?
Identify which KPIs are useful and useless and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Other SEO mistakes that marketers often make here is not using the tools that are available to us. Free tools like Google Analytics and Search Console can effortlessly track every KPI you could imagine.
Read More: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Google Analytics
This makes monitoring KPIs less time consuming and more accurate. Tracking your site’s performance lets you continue to do the things that work and stop wasting time doing what isn’t. So there’s really no excuse.
Hopefully, we helped shed some light on the SEO mistakes you could be making. Now it’s over to you, take this advice and fix them before it’s too late.