8 Common SEO Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

1. Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is the identical or similar content appearing on more than one web page. If the same content appears on multiple places on the internet, then it confuses Google and affects your site’s traffic. For that reason, the search engines decide to index the most relevant version of that content. In general, no content is shown in the search results more than once.

Now, this can be problematic if your content is found somewhere else on the web and the engines figure out to index the duplicate version on SERPs.

Consequently, it will devalue your URL and not rank your site highly.

The content duplication on the web exists for many reasons. In some cases, the site owners purposely push their content to third-parties to get published on their sites for the content syndication.

And, if your site enjoys great popularity online, then you must have been a victim of content scraping which is nothing but stealing the original content without the consent of the actual source.

If you really want to syndicate your content, do it as safely as possible. Here are some solutions: Place “rel=canonical” tag on the original page which will inform the Google about your preferred version to index among all the web pages. Or, set up 301 redirects which point the duplicate page on your URL to the page you want to rank.

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Make use of the Copyscape to catch the scraped content or set up the Google Alert. With Whois Lookup, you can find the contact details of that site’s owner. Contact the owner and request him to remove the duplicate content instantly.

Read more: Top 5 Tips for Great Website Content

2. Slow Loading Web Pages

If your site operates slowly, then you need to pay attention to this as website speed matters more than other things. Google puts great emphasis on the speed of the site, so the quicker your page loads, the better signals Google gets. It is one of the main parts of Google’s ranking algorithm and leads the slow website to lower SERPs.

Nowadays, people use the Internet more often whether they need to do research, shop online, etc. So, the sites should give them the best online experience. According to a survey, pages with fast loading speed create more loyal customers.

Just think how it would be to fill out a form or buy some product from a site that takes ages to load?

When a site takes a lot of time to load, it negatively affects Google’s ability to take notes of signals found on the sites and then, decreases the number of pages being crawled.

Sometimes, the website creators focus more on design, functionality, or the content on pages. Unfortunately, the visitors care more about the speed than the attractive features on the site. And if your website is slow, then the visitors tend to abandon the site and, this result in higher bounce rates and low average time-on-page.

Page speed impacts your site’s user experience and the search engine ranking. So, here are a few ways with which you can improve the site’s speed:

  • Compress large pages
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN)
  • Reduce redirects
  • Optimize large images by reducing their size and using the JPEG format
  • Use minimum plugins

Read more: 7 Tips to Increase Your Website Loading Speed

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Use Google Page Speed Insights to check the speed performance of your page. Firstly, enter your site’s web address in the field and Google will display the aspects which have been slowing down your site and their corresponding solutions.

3. Wrong Keyword Optimization

Keywords are the most significant SEO aspect. But, have you been choosing the right ones for your site’s ranking?

If you are not laying the foundation with the correct keywords, then possibly you are not going to attract your target audience and may create such content that does not interest your readers.

Some common SEO mistakes in keyword research are the following:

  • Using keywords irrelevant to your audience
  • Relying on keywords that have a high competition
  • Optimizing for general keywords that brings less traffic
  • Ignoring long tail keywords

Finding the right keywords for your content is like doing market research. The recommended way to approach this process is to keep your customers in mind and segment your keywords to make it more relevant to the customers.

Try to use location-specific keywords if you are targeting the local customers. Don’t neglect the long tail keywords that are more specific as they are closer to a point-of-purchase.

In the end, ignore such keywords that are related to a specific interest. Like, if you are managing a tourism site, don’t expect from the online searchers to just enter the search term travel.

Read more: 6 Best Free Keyword Research Tools You Need to Use

On the whole, the keyword optimization means that the keywords accurately describe your service or convert into the customers. It is better to select the right keywords for your content, or else the traffic is completely useless.

4. No Mobile Optimization

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Image source: Wikimedia

Mobile-use is on the peak, so it is great to take advantage of this incredible technology by creating a mobile-friendly website.

Almost 57% of internet users do not recommend such sites that are not responsive or mobile-friendly. So, you cannot afford to ignore mobile users while creating your SEO strategy.

By responsiveness or mobile-friendliness, it means that the site adjusts to screen size of the handheld device. If you have only a desktop version of your site, it will become hard for the mobile users to read the content or click on any button, link, or image without zooming in.

As more people now use the internet on mobile devices, it will be a big opportunity for you to reach an entirely new group of users and get higher page views and other engagement metrics with a responsive site.

Want to create a mobile-friendly site? Make use of the simplest and most affordable way to design your site for mobile, i.e., choose a responsive theme. Fortunately, there are hundreds of free and premium responsive themes available on the internet.

And if you are looking to hire a web developer to create a mobile site for you, make sure that the developer has detailed knowledge to make your site faster and responsive. Also, check the developer’s previous work samples.

5. No Internal Links

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Image source: Pixabay

One of the biggest SEO mistakes is to ignore the internal linking. From the user experience and ranking perspective, internal linking is equally important.

Basically, it means that a page on a domain is connected to another page on the same domain. This link building greatly helps the users navigating your site and contributes to the site’s ranking.

Internal linking aids in making your pages visible to the search engine and crawling easier. If you fail to link the pages internally to other pages, it becomes much harder for Google crawlers to index your pages correspondingly.

Proper internal linking also passes link juice on your web pages. It gives other pages linked to that page chances for ranking.

It is advised not to overdo the internal linking across your pages. Below are some best internal linking practices to follow:

  • Link to the related articles/posts present at the bottom: You can link your page to some related articles or posts at the end of the article either manually or by using the internal linking plugin.
  • Use different anchor texts: Do not use the same keywords for your anchor texts especially when you link to the same page. According to Google, this approach is spam.
  • Link to your main or popular post: If you have some older posts that gained great popularity, link them to your latest posts or articles to boost your site’s visibility and SEO.

Use the right internal linking strategy to show your valuable and informative content to the visitors. Link to only related posts or pages and, it must be of some interest to the people.

6. Forgetting External Links

It is totally clear that no site owner would want his visitors to click on links that direct them away from their sites.

Let’s imagine that you have posted an article on a health topic. And, you find an authoritative site that has some articles on the same niche. Still, you have no idea that linking out to that post or article will be helpful for your site or not.

While you link out to other sites in your industry, you also get to outreach and add value to your content.

Below are some benefits of external linking mentioned by Rand Fishkin of Moz:

  • Linking out to other sites encourages positive participation and, you get opportunities to build relationships with multiple external resources including journalists, bloggers, website builders, etc.
  • Adding informative external links helps to improve the credibility of your site.
  • Your links to other sites also make your site earn backlinks which represent vote of confidence.

You’ll notice that external linking is one of the secrets to a successful and profitable site.

Sometimes, it’s good to link out to other websites rather than keeping all the link juice to yourself. After all, you cannot give everything to everyone.

7. Ignoring Image Optimization

Visuals on the website provide a nice bit of traffic. Most bloggers ignore the image optimization, the most common load time mistake which deteriorates the SEO performance.

If you are using jumbo-sized images on your site, then you need to improve the page speed to provide an excellent experience for your visitors.

With large-sized images, the page takes a longer time to load which could negatively impact your site’s ranking. People look for responsive sites with super-fast delivery, and if you fail to provide that, it will surely lead to higher bounce rates.

For the image SEO, you should choose the proper keyword-rich name for your image file. If you use the randomly generated name for your file, it affects the image SEO badly.

Once you learn how to do the image optimization, you can use the visuals on your site to keep the visitors engaged and entertained.

Start off with choosing the right image that reflects the topic of the article or adds value to your content. Then, use the best suitable image format, i.e., JPEG as this type retains image quality even after getting resized.

While naming your images, focus on the keywords which describes the images. Google looks for the keywords in your image name when crawling your webpage. Suppose, you have an image that shows sunrise in the New York, then the proper descriptive file name would be new-york-sunrise.jpg instead of the default file name from your device.

You can also include captions to your images as they speak about the content in that specific picture and helps your visitors to understand the meaning of your image.

8. Not Utilizing Analytics

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Image source: Pxhere

Last but not least, don’t get too much involved in the SEO optimization that you forget to track your site’s performance.

Regularly reviewing your performance is essential as you get to see how your optimization is working for certain SEO methods and strategies you are trying out.

Knowing helps you optimize your website in general and see which efforts need more focus and which ones should be released.

Like, if you observe that your strategies cause a boost in the site traffic, you should focus on that particular thing which is responsible for such outcome and scale it as much as possible.

Google Analytics is a great tool with which you get an overview of your site’s performance. It lets you keep your eyes on the engagement rates by displaying some metrics. These metrics involve but are not restricted to:

  • Traffic sources
  • Mobile traffic
  • Conversion rates
  • Bounce rates
  • Time on site
  • Site search

For other aspects of SEO like keywords and backlinks that bring massive traffic to your site, you can use Ahrefs for tracking purpose.

Final Thoughts

It is better to get well-acquainted with the SEO challenges that others have experienced and avoid them for your campaign.

I have shared here with you the precautionary measures and solutions with which you can really expect to take your game to the next level.

It is high time to do yourself a big favor. Start evaluating and correcting your SEO aspects if you’re really after success.