Even seasoned SEO experts are prone to make mistakes. Sometimes even a small mistake could make your site disappear from the search results. I have compiled a list of top basic SEO mistakes that most beginners make and how to avoid them completely.
If you forgot some Meta tags or mistyped keywords, this could be disastrous for your website. That’s why I recommend keeping an SEO checklist, so you can avoid as many SEO mistakes as possible.
Making these mistakes may drop your SEO rankings in search results, which means your business will get a huge blowback even before taking off.
1. Starting SEO with no prior keyword research
It is a very common SEO mistake. Keyword research is the process of researching low competition highest traffic keywords. It’s easy to find low competition keywords and use those keywords to build a great SEO strategy.
If you avoid or forgot keyword research, you would be competing with giants in your industry. Because “generic or one-word” keywords would not bring any traffic to your website unless you have lots of time and money to rank your website for those keywords.
So every time before writing your website copy, make sure to do proper keyword research. Find the keywords with more searches and less competition.
You can use these free keyword research tools to find great keywords for your SEO campaign.
2. No SEO Competition Analysis and Market Research
Competition research is a crucial part to develop a great SEO strategy. If you don’t know who you are competing with, you cannot improve. Also, it is possible that you can go in all wrong direction.
Avoid this SEO mistake as much as possible. If you are developing an SEO strategy for your website. Competition research would greatly help you know what keywords are your competitors targeting, which nofollow or dofollow links they are getting, what advertising campaigns they are doing, and so on and so forth.
Also, check out this post on how to find competitors backlinks
3. Not Submitting Sitemap in Webmaster Tools
Sitemap submission is an important step. Google ranks websites with good structure, frequent updates, useful content prioritized. The XML sitemap provides Google that structure so Googlebot can crawl the website pages easily and index them in their search database.
It is true that you can index your entire website without even submitting a sitemap but as your website will grow, Google might miss some pages from your website to get index in search engines. Or those pages get indexed quite slowly in the search.
If you are using WordPress for content management, then you can check out these best XML sitemap plugins for WordPress.
When you have a sitemap, you can submit that sitemap to Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
4. Using Duplicate Content
Google Search Console will report all duplicate Meta tag errors on your website. It will be much easier to fix them. Find out which pages have duplicate tags and replace them with unique tags.
You should write great content or hire a professional writer there’s no other way around. You cannot just copy content from other websites and hope to rank websites even better than the original content publisher.
5. Not using Google Webmaster Tools
If you are not using Google webmaster tools also known as Google Search Console, you are losing all that valuable data which Google webmaster tools can provide.
It is a great tool to let you know whenever your website is in trouble, like any algorithm penalty, DMCA notifications, etc.
Make sure to install Google Search Console on your website. After installation, you can submit your web site’s XML sitemap. I personally use and recommend Google XML sitemap if you are using the WordPress self-hosted website.
6. Keyword Stuffing
Content is the king. However, those days are long gone when keyword-stuffed content ranked better than other well-written content. But it is still important to make sure your content is focused on the keywords you want to rank your website.
For example; if your website content is about “Men’s Sports Shoes” then make sure that you have used that keyword enough times in your post or page.
Never stuff keywords for the sake of it. Google doesn’t like to be manipulated. So make sure your content is concise and written nicely as well.
7. Poor backlinks
One of the main reasons most websites don’t rank well than others. Bad Backlinks from less credible and sketchy link schemes websites won’t give you ranking. You should clean up low-quality bad backlinks as soon as you can.
You can create backlinks with the number of different methods. I personally like to create web 2.0’s relevant social profiles and guest posting on high authority blogs. Please check out these link building tools to improve your link campaigns.
Always use your website URL whenever you make a social profile or when you leave a comment on a relevant industry blog.
8. Not Using Proper HTML Headings
Some websites either completely ignore headings in their content or they use it with no proper keywords. Headings are a great way to tell search engines what your content is about. Google algorithm is smart enough to detect and match your other text but it is still considered a good practice.
Why? Because headings make the content easier to read. People usually don’t want to spend much time reading stuff online, so they mostly scan the content and try to find what information they were looking for.
Always use proper keywords in your HTML headings. You can use H1 for primary keywords. H2 and H3 headings can be used for keyword variations and secondary keywords.
9. Internal linking
Internal links are hyperlinks that are pointing from one page to another page on the same website. It is a great way to transfer link juice to your other low ranking pages and posts.
This SEO mistake is very common because people usually give importance to inbound links but internal linking also has its importance.
Internal linking will help you:
- Spread link juice from your higher ranking pages to the lower ones.
- Improve site navigation for your site visitors.
- Improve navigation hierarchy.
- Reducing bounce rate
How did I avoid these SEO mistakes
Mentioned above are some of the mistakes I made when working on my websites. So, I thought to share with others.
To avoid this kind of SEO mistakes you should always keep an SEO checklist. If you like the article, please share this article so more people can avoid these disastrous SEO mistakes.
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