Here’s what the SEO journey of many businesses looks like, even the big ones. See if it sounds familiar to you:
Businesses start by focusing on search engine optimization as their primary traffic strategy.
They optimize the website content so that search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing send masses of visitors daily to their websites, and all that is free, of course.
Some rush off to do the keyword research and add in some phrases that are ranking high in the volume of traffic. These businesses even get a lot of links, expecting their website to rank higher in the search results.
..but the process is uncomfortably slow.
Even after several months, websites can’t break onto the first page and remain stuck on page two or three.
Are you, too, wondering what’s going on with all those websites? Is the case similar for your business as well?
Don’t worry; every business has been there.
Search engine optimization takes time to master so that your website ranks higher for select keywords.
By making a few adjustments to your current strategy, you can still achieve first-page ranking for high-traffic keywords.
But what you need to do is analyze and rectify common SEO mistakes that are delaying your online marketing success.
Here are the 7 common SEO mistakes to avoid to rank better:
Common SEO mistakes that are hurting your digital efforts
1. Poor local search optimization
Do you run a business that focuses on customers in a specific region or city?
If yes, then you need to understand the importance of local search.
There are keywords that people use globally to find a search result. For example, if someone searches, ‘best shoes that go with black pants,’ it’s such a generalized question that might be coming from any part of the world.
But if someone searches ‘best digital marketing agencies in Missouri’, it reflects a local intent.
Search engines handle searches with a local intent differently than global keywords.
What you can do is begin by using local keywords in your site’s meta-title and descriptions.
Ensure that your NAP citations( name-address-phone number) are mentioned evenly on your pages, such as in the footer or header, and your Google My Business page, to appear in local search results.
Is ranking in local search results extremely important for your business?
2. Not conducting a site audit
If you never know what’s wrong with your website, you will never get it right. And your website won’t get any better by itself.
The first step is to conduct a site audit.
It becomes even more important if you add new tools or plugins or after a site migration.
Here are the common technical mistakes that affect a website:
- Incorrect data structure
- Broken links
- Copied content
- Slow loading speed
It is essential to audit your website for mobile searches. AMP or responsive web design alone is insufficient; your website needs more.
To create a quick and responsive design, make sure to minify your CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and JS, as well as reduce the size of your images.
Reassessing your onsite content strategy is the final component of the audit that many businesses mistake to skip.
Make changes to your website to showcase new launches or offerings for your business.
3. Poor website content
Content is the food for your website. That means you need to post regularly, and the content should be original.
If you think low-value content or copied content may increase the volume of words on your website and benefit SEO, you’re in the wrong.
Many businesses take the shortcut of hiring underpaid writers and use tools to write content, which in fact, spin the original articles already present on the search engines to create new articles.
But it pays off negatively to the website and even leads to a penalty by the search engine.
Let’s assume that the content is well-optimized. But know that you’re posting it for real people to read and not the bots. Unoriginal content leaves a negative impression on visitors.
Even a normal reader can tell whether the content you’ve created is original or not; forget the industry clients.
You need to work with expert digital marketers and writers who understand your industry, even if they’re on a bit costlier side.
That’s why McElligott Digital Marketing has a team of industry-specific writers and content designers to deliver top-notch converting content.
4. Broken images and absent alt tags
Alternative tags or better known as alt tags help describe the content of an image. These are HTML attributes of the images, and when we are talking about on-page SEO issues, alternative tags are important to consider.
If you’re wondering about the reason why image content on some websites doesn’t even show up, it’s due to an incorrect file path, wrong filename, or using the wrong extension. Here, an alternative tag for the image reflects the content of the image and functions on the site.
It helps when the algorithms crawl your website for indexing by enforcing the chosen keywords.
Broken images or missing alternative tags are some common SEO mistakes you need to correct.
Adding an alt tag is not complex as it sounds. In the HTML code, you can find the image content, and implement an alternative tag to it.
Here’s an example for you to understand better:
<img src=”image.jpg” alt=”Digital Marketing Agency” width=”500″ height=”600″>
Now, let’s see another SEO mistake that is related to customer reviews.
5. Bad reviews on search engines
Review networks are a part of optimizing for local search.
Your website will encounter both favorable and bad reviews of a product or service, therefore you should consider both. The total amount of reviews, however, boosts your company’s social proof and influences localized search ranking elements.
But you need to be careful about the fact that having just good reviews makes your website appear very suspicious, even though they help your website’s trustworthiness. While if several customers are voicing their displeasure with your website, it may potentially discourage visitors.
You can use bad evaluations to strengthen your bonds with your clients, and better understand your audience, their pain points, and attract new clients.
Your website will get more credibility if you post on social media about the types of problems encountered and the solutions implemented.
Encourage your customers to leave reviews by sending them a form or through a newsletter.
Openly welcome queries and doubts as they make you look genuine.
6. Duplicate metadata
Do you use your company or website name as the title for the pages everywhere through your website?
If yes, you need to stop it now as it is damaging your website’s SEO.
Every page on your website needs a unique title, and this is not only for search engine optimization.
When someone bookmarks your site, the title is used as the text for it, and people also might share it in tweets so having unique titles for all the pages is important.
Meta descriptions also are crucial for your website. These function as a 160-character advertisement for your page in search results, meaning, they increase the click-through rate of your website.
Make each meta description as distinctive and compelling as you can. A unique meta description with select keywords(primary and secondary) should be included on your homepage and every page of your website.
This will encourage visitors to click on your site in search results.
7. Not using the right keywords and keyword stuffing
This is significant. It’s easy to get caught up in the trap of optimizing for generic keywords that bring in people who have little interest in what you have to give.
A similar mistake business make is to use keywords that don’t target the buyers but only the people who are visiting for free information.
Also, be careful about using broad keywords as they already have a lot of competition, and several SEO masters are already fighting to secure the top rankings.
The best method is to be specific with your keywords as much as possible. Specific keywords lead to higher rankings and traffic that has more potential buyers.
Keyword stuffing is a big no-no, and an SEO expert knows this well.
Search engines are now updated to understand the content and not just the structure.
So, to pass the ‘smell test,’ for your content being natural, write your piece in a way you have a conversation in real life, and your keyword usage should be around 2-3% as a general rule.
Over to you
SEO mistakes can impact your digital marketing success if not corrected. To avoid this, you can take the help of a digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO.
Or you can simply ask us to help you go ahead with your online marketing.