Top 10 SEO Fails And How To Avoid Them
Search engine optimization is a mission-critical aspect to any successful digital marketing campaign.
However, there are so many things that could go wrong if you decide not to play by the rules. Check out our list of the top 10 SEO fails so you can avoid them.
#1: Choosing The Wrong Keywords
We hear it time and time again. Clients often want to rank for keywords that they think will bring them more website visitors but without doing the research, how would you know which of those keywords actually has any search volume behind it? In other words, what if the keyword you’re wanting to rank for doesn’t get searched that often, if even at all?
You need verified, real data to back your chosen path. If your target market isn’t using the keywords you’re wanting to rank for, then what’s the point? Never choose keywords based on guesses!
#2: Amateur Web Design
A professionally-designed website will be easy to navigate and keep users engaged. On the contrary, a poorly-designed website that still hasn’t left the 90s and has terrible on-page optimization could be detrimental to your success.
Treat your website as your storefront that never closes and make sure it leaves a positive impression on whoever visits it.
#3: Preventing Access to Search Engines
You might be thinking, “Well, duh. Why would I prevent search engines from accessing my website?” But sometimes this can happen on accident through implementation of incorrect meta tags and/or robots.txt directives. If you’re using an outside web developer, it’s always best to check these things prior to launching your website.
Inadvertently preventing search engines from crawling your site will lead to no visibility at all.
#4: Neglecting Technical Stuff
Site architecture, domain and page canonicalization, domain configuration, Schema tags, titles and metas, internal linking, 301 redirects, .htaccess…everything serves a purpose. Avoid these things and it can cost your site its visibility.
#5: Adding Bad Content
Writing only for the search engines rather than your website visitors won’t keep them coming back. Google realizes this tactic has been overused and abused and will rank you accordingly.
#6: Not Tracking Your Analytics
Google, and other search engines, have put tools into place that can help guide you in making sound business decisions. Tools like Google Analytics, Search Console, and Bing Webmaster Tools can help you track data and make improvements and is essential to any long-term SEO strategy.
#7: Not Being Mobile-Responsive
Ever since Google rolled out the “Mobilegeddon” hammer it has become imperative that websites are optimized for mobile devices. This includes all smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Not having a website that is responsive can be detrimental to your success.
Don’t know if your website is mobile-optimized? Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to find out.
#8: Duplicate Content
Not being mindful of potential content duplication on and off your website is bad practice. Google could algorithmically penalize you for this.
Rule of thumb: don’t copy and paste content that isn’t yours and always use the original “author” meta tag in your pages when possible.
#9: Spammy Backlinks
You can’t always control the kinds of sites that may link to yours but Google is pretty intelligent in determining which ones came directly from your efforts or otherwise. Some things to keep in mind are:
- Never purchase backlinks – believe it or not, link farms still exist today. Stay away like the plague!
- Quality is always better than quantity – fewer links from authoritative sites are much more effective.
- Don’t manually disavow any backlinks unless you’ve received a manual penalty for it.
Google Penguin updates will target spammy links and low quality directory submissions.
#10: Slow Page Load Times
Pages should not take any longer than 4 seconds to load or your visitors may lose interest. You’ll also cause slow crawl speeds that may miss important content of SEO value or important pages altogether.