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Use Smart Optimization To Avoid Seven Common SEO Mistakes

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Did you know 380 websites are created every minute? That’s a staggering statistic that points to the hyper-competitive nature of the internet.

In other words, your digital marketing efforts must be near-perfect if you want your customers to find you on search engines like Google. Many marketers create quality sites with great content but are in disbelief when their sites are nowhere to be found on search engine results pages (SERPs)

These sites fail because of search engine optimization (SEO) mistakes that are dogging their sites ability to appear at the top of Google.

What mistakes are these sites making? And what should you be doing with your website to ensure your marketing efforts don’t waste?

Keep reading to discover the seven most common SEO mistakes you need to avoid now.

1. Not Doing Keyword Analysis

Keyword mistakes are probably the most common SEO mistake, so I’ll spend the most time on this point.

In their most basic form, search engines are still keyword based. A user enters keywords in the search bar, and the search engine finds relevant search engine results based on that keyword.

Most website owners recognize the importance of keywords but don’t know how to accurately identify and utilize the best keywords for their business. That’s understandable because they have businesses to run and little time to study SEO.

Here’s what you need to know:

Choose keywords targeted to your business using popular keyword tools like Ahrefs Keyword Explorer and Moz Keyword Explorer.

These platforms allow you to easily see what keywords your competitors are ranking for to give you a good idea of your customers’ keywords. You can also perform keyword searches to discover how many inquiries a keyword receives and how difficult it would be to rank for that keyword.

Don’t commit the SEO mistake of creating content around high-difficulty keyword phrases. For example, let’s say you want to publish an article for the keyword phrase “life insurance.” If you notice the top 10 results on Google are all owned by huge companies like State Farm and USAToday, it will be next to impossible to outrank those websites.

That’s why it’s essential to check the “difficulty ranking” you whatever keyword tool you are using.

Another mistake is not using long-tail keywords, which are the low-hanging fruit of SEO rankings. Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases. These keyword phrases are usually easier to rank for, and because they are so clear, they usually convert better.

So, instead of ranking for “life insurance,” choose a long-tail keyword like “best life insurance, no medical exam, no waiting period.” According to Ahrefs, the latter keyword receives over 1,200 searches each month with an “Easy” keyword difficulty score.

Perhaps the most prominent SEO mistake relating to keywords is overusing your target keyword in the content. Typically, this means you are writing for a search engine, not a natural person. The copy ends up sounding unnatural and forced.

Don’t aim to use the keyword a set number of times or a percentage. To avoid Google penalties, only use your target keyword organically.

2. Not Claiming Your Google My Business Listing

The most common SEO mistake is not listing your business with Google My Business.

With the growing popularity of “near me” searches, small businesses’ most significant search opportunity is to claim your business location, list your business hours and answer all the pertinent questions.

Google has appropriately emphasized near-me searches, recognizing the trend of consumers searching for nearby businesses. Getting your business to show up for local Google searches and on Google Maps is a quick win so claim your Google My Business listing now.

3. Not Optimizing Page Titles and Meta Descriptions

Search engine users decide if they will click on a search result based on the page title and meta description. In the SERPs, the title is the page’s name, and the meta description is the snippet underneath the title that gives you a preview of the content on that page.

You want an attention-getting headline for your title and a meta description that accurately describes what the content is about. You want to optimize these components not only to attract more clicks but to attract the correct clicks.

The user will hit the back button if your content doesn’t match the page title and meta description. This will hurt your bounce rate and session duration, two metrics that let Google know if users find your content valuable. Bounce rate measures how often users hit the back button and return to the SERPs, and session duration measures how long a user stays on your site.

4. Ignoring Link Structure

As mentioned in the last item, session duration is an important SEO ranking factor. One of the best ways to increase your session duration time is to make sure your site is easy to navigate for users.

Organize your site categorically using keyword-optimized category names. And make sure your link structure creates pathways for users to find exactly what they want within two or three clicks. This is especially true for your conversion pages.

Also, include links to older articles to spread the authority to these pages, which may be hidden deep on your site.

5. Not Having Quality Content that Gets Links and Shares

Always remember that Google is in the business of delivering relevant and valuable search results. To that end, the search giant always looks for signals that indicate relevancy and value.

The two most significant indicators Google depends on are social and authority signals. The more people share your content, the stronger your site’s social value has with Google. The more links your posts receive from other websites, the more Google views your site as an authority domain.

Therefore, your goal is simply to create the most link-worthy, share-worthy content on the internet. How do you do that? Make sure any content you publish is better than all the top search results.

Look at what your competition is creating and what did they leave out! How can you expand upon their content? What personal insight can you add to the conversation? Read the user comments on their posts, looking for questions you can answer in your content.

6. Not Mobile Optimizing

In 2018, Google announced they are now “mobile-first.” That means they are delivering search results based on the mobile-friendliness of a website. The more your site is optimized for the mobile experience, the better it will perform in Google’s SERPs.

Luckily, Google has a mobile friendliness test you can run on your website. The test will give suggestions for improving your site’s mobile responsiveness. Pay particular attention to improving the page loading speed on mobile devices, as that is a typical mobile SEO problem.

7. Not Performing Regular Audits

One of the problems with SEO is, as the saying goes, “you don’t know what you don’t know.” As a result, if our site is underperforming on Google, we aren’t sure why most of the time.

That’s where SEO audits come in handy. They allow us to discover and address SEO mistakes that may hurt our search rankings. Make sure to regularly audit your website’s performance from a client’s view and the view of a search engine.

Ensure your site has no broken links and that information is easy to find. Ensure your site loads quickly on desktops and on mobile devices. Review your checkout process and the quality of your content.

Final Thoughts About SEO Mistakes

Finding SEO mistakes on your site should not be discouraging. Think of any problems you encounter as opportunities to improve your search rankings.

SEO work is never complete. Be consistent in your optimization efforts and evaluate your progress over time. Schedule regular audits, test titles and meta descriptions, and continue to create link-worthy content. Before long, your site will be an unstoppable force on Google and other major search engines.

If you found this article helpful, check out how to get the fastest SEO results now.