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13 Most Common SEO Mistakes

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The world of SEO is constantly changing, meaning what worked for you in the past may no longer be sufficient. If you are not achieving the results you desire, it could be because you are making one of the following SEO mistakes.

#1. Using only one keyword, and using it too often

Search engines these days are more nimble when it comes to determining what a user’s intent is. As a result, you no longer have to optimize for only one keyword. Instead, include a variety of keywords based on terms that are likely to draw visitors to your site. This will help you avoid the proverbial keyword stuffing-something that can come across as spam and cause your site to become penalized.

#2. Creating content that has nothing to do with your keywords

Similar to keyword stuffing, it involves writing text that uses your keywords without providing any real information about them. The problem with this is that search engines may deem your content irrelevant or unhelpful, in which case it may fail to rank.

#3. Leaving old or outdated content up on your website

Cleaning up content that hasn’t been viewed in a while can boost search engine rankings-provided they are done in the right way that is. Ensure you have a 301 redirect for any pages you delete; otherwise, you will wind up with a 404 error page. Too many 404 error pages gives the message that your site is ineffective-something else that may cause it to perform poorly.

#4. Not optimizing your site for mobile users

More people than ever are searching for content on mobile devices these days. In fact, mobile searches have increased so much that Google now penalizes websites that are not mobile friendly. Don’t just assume your website performs well, but instead view it on some of the more common mobile devices so you can see the results firsthand.

#5. The incorrect use of links

Hyperlinks are a tricky component to manage. On one hand, you want to keep readers on your page, which is why you should provide relevant internal links whenever possible. On the other hand, links to high-quality outside sources can provide credibility and allow your website to be viewed in a more positive light. As a general rule, include outside links whenever you would like to cite sources, but use internal links to provide more information on a given topic.

#6. Failing to optimize your images

Your keywords are not the only thing that needs optimized, as your images do as well. One way to do this is by including keywords in your image filenames. You should also adjust image sizes to ensure they are compatible with mobile devices.

#7. Including unoriginal content

You may have the same or similar content on many of your pages. If so, you could be penalized without even knowing it. You’ll be surprised at what a difference rewording even one or two sections of content can make.

#8. Leaving out meta descriptions and title tags

Search engines look for title tags and meta descriptions when crawling different websites. Leave them out, and you are missing a great opportunity to get yourself noticed. Skipping meta descriptions and title tags is akin to not listing your business in the local Yellow Pages.

#9. Having very long URLs

Very long URLs are difficult to crawl, and should be avoided whenever possible. The ideal URL will be short, concise, and contain at least one keyword. You’ll also attract more web traffic whenever your URLs are consistently formatted across the board.

#10. Preventing search engines from crawling your site

Make sure your site is not inadvertently blocking search engines in its robots.txt file, as this will prevent your site from being found in search engine results. This is a relatively simple fix, yet one that many people are completely unaware of.

#11. Not optimizing for local SEO

Make the most of local SEO by using tools such as Google My Business, Moz, and Whitespark. Next, solicit online reviews and work on getting citations or links from other businesses in your area. Use an online tool to check your competitors’ citations so you can determine how well you are doing in comparison.

#12. Optimizing only for Google

There is an overwhelming tendency to optimize only for Google. In doing so, many people completely forget about other search engines such as Bing and Duck Duck Go. With alternative search engines becoming more popular these days, it’s important to focus on more than just Google.

#13. Not tracking analytics

The best SEO techniques will not do you any good if you fail to follow up on them. The only real way to know how well your website is doing is by closely monitoring your analytics and then making adjustments as necessary. If you’ve been neglecting analytics, now is the time to dive into your numbers. You may be surprised at what you discover by doing so.

These are just a few of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to SEO. Use this list as a guide to help you avoid these errors and improve your SEO results.

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