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 the top basic SEO mistakes that most beginners make and how to avoid them altogether.
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 that 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 considerable blowback before taking off.
Table of Contents
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 them to build a great SEO strategy.
If you avoid or forget keyword research, you will 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 of developing a great SEO strategy. If you don’t know who you are competing with, you cannot improve. Also, your SEO efforts could go in the 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 your competitors are targeting, which nofollow or dofollow links they are getting, what advertising campaigns they are doing, and so on.
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 and frequently updated sitemap. The XML sitemap provides Google with that structure so Googlebot can crawl the website pages easily and index them in their search database.
You can indeed index your entire website without submitting a sitemap, but as your website grows, Google might miss some pages from your website to get indexed 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
Other than that, if you are using duplicate meta tags, it can also negatively impact your SEO. Google Search Console report most meta tag duplication issues. You can also use a third-party tool, such as Screaming frog.
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 titles.
You should write great content or hire a professional writer. There’s no other way around it. 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 website’s XML sitemap. I recommend Google XML sitemap if you use 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 high-quality content. But it is still important to focus your content on the keywords you want to rank.
For example, if your website content is about “Men’s Sports Shoes,” then make sure you have used that keyword repeatedly in your post or page.
Never stuff keywords for the sake of it. It is not a good SEO practice to manipulate Google. Your content should be concise and written nicely.
7. Poor backlinks
One of the main reasons most websites don’t rank well as others. Bad Backlinks from less credible and sketchy link schemes websites won’t give you a ranking. You should clean up low-quality bad backlinks as soon as you can.
You can create backlinks with new methods. I 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 completely ignore headings or use them with the wrong keywords. Headings are a great way to tell search engines about your content topics. 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. Users usually scan content online to find the information they need. A user will likely read a page with proper heading structure than the content with no heading.
Always use proper keywords in your HTML headings. You can use H1 for primary keywords. You can use H2 and H3 headings on your page for keyword variations and secondary keywords.
9. Internal linking
Internal links are hyperlinks pointing from one page to another on the same website. It is a great way to transfer link juice to 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 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 mistakes I made when working on my websites. So, I thought to share with others.
You should always keep an SEO checklist to avoid this kind of SEO mistake. If you like the article, please share this article so more people can prevent these disastrous SEO mistakes.
Further Reading on SEO Topic:
If you're interested in working with me, get in touch.