SEO Mistakes to avoid at all costs
SEO mistakes could be harming your business without even knowing it.
With 90% of all purchases starting with an online search, being found in search results is critical to any business success. However, 90% of all clicks happen on listings that return on page one, 90% on positions 1 and 2. So there’s no doubt as to the importance of good SEO to generating company revenue.
But with ever-increasing businesses moving online, selling their goods and services to the same customers you’re targeting, the competition to claim the top spot in search engine results pages (SERPs) is heating up.
Unfortunately, many businesses just can’t measure up when it comes to getting improved search rankings no matter their SEO efforts. The reason normally boils down to 9 simple marketing mistakes that are commonly made. These mistakes waste your time, money, and resource. No matter how good you think your SEO strategies maybe if you don’t have the right foundation and keep making these mistakes, you’re going to fail.
Here are the top 9 SEO mistakes you need to avoid
12 SEO Mistakes to avoid
1. Failing to understand your audience and their buyer journey
Understanding who your audience is should be the first step in developing your SEO strategy.
What is your audience searching for online? Are they asking specific questions online that are going unanswered? What problems do they have with current product and service offerings? Without understanding these things, you will miss the best keyword opportunities that drive traffic, and you’ll fail to create relevant content.
Buyer Journey is the process a buyer goes through on their path to purchase. It includes four stages – unaware, pain/problem, solution, decision – in which the customer becomes aware of a problem or need state, the research various solutions to their problem, evaluate their options, and then decide which solution to purchase.
Mapping a buyer journey is simply defining and mapping out the process that the buyer goes through on their path to purchase. Sales, marketing and SEO efforts build an understanding of needs, problems and behaviour throughout the entire journey to create appropriate content for each stage.
2. Not Having a proper plan
An SEO strategy should include your keywords, content plans, social media activity and content, as well as how you will build backlinks, maximise your local SEO efforts and other media online you want to appear in. In addition to this, who will be managing all of this, how will you generate quality content consistently and what is your budget?
First and foremost, in creating your SEO plan is understanding what you want to achieve. What are your KPIs and how will you measure your return on investment against them? This will help direct your SEO strategy and all your plans. Once you have set your KPIs and you know your audience, conduct proper keyword research, and study your competitor’s activity. This will help you identify the right way to stand out online.
3. Holistic SEO mistakes
When decision-makers lack a clear understanding of our SEO works, they fail to understand that SEO is impacted by everything you do online. Content, on-page SEO, technical SEO, backlinks, social media, local SEO and more, all impact your search visibility. Each plays a vital role in how well your website ranks for various search queries as well as the performance of all other online profiles such as Google business listings, social media profiles and other online directories for example.
A business that develops a holistic SEO strategy that coordinates all online marketing efforts will appear higher in search and get more traffic, more leads, and more sales.
4. Ignoring Your Competitors
Why reinvent the wheel if someone has already worked out the best strategy to maximise their search results? Obviously, we’re not saying to copy directly from them, you will need to differentiate your brand and positioning. But by looking at what your competitors are doing online, you can learn from their success and from their mistakes.
Generate insights about your customers’ behaviour online by how they interact with your competitors. What are the keywords that generate the most traffic, how have your competitors optimised for them and are there any gaps in meaningful keywords they’ve missed.
Review your competitor’s content to generate ideas on what to write about and what content to produce. There are many tools online to help you see which topics generate the most traffic. You should also investigate how your competitors share their content online to drive reach and traffic. Where are they sharing it, what platforms and how regularly are they posting their content.
Your competitors can also help you build your approach to link building. Backlinks to your competitors’ sites are easy to find with various backlink spying tools available to use free online.
5. Failing to differentiate / Pay too much attention to your competitors
Your competitors can give you good insights to help you build your SEO strategy and plans but if you want to beat the competition, you must do it better than them. There may be things they aren’t doing well that would waste your budget and undermine your efforts. Identify these and exclude them from your strategy and capitalise on missed opportunities. Furthermore, it is critical that you can differentiate from your competitors in order to stand out.
Businesses should be able to differentiate their products and services and brand positioning from competitors. They can also differentiate with what content they create, and the topics covered, or the platforms leveraged to get content out there. Whatever it is, to take advantage of new opportunities, reach more of your audience and maximise their ROI, businesses must do more or do it better to appear higher in search than competitors do.
6. Poor Content Relevance, consistency, and quality
Google likes informative, meaty, and unique content that connects users to business. Most of all, your content needs to be relevant to your audience.
Google states that giving customers the information they’re looking for is the single most important thing you can do in their steps to a Google-friendly site.
The best way to do that is to understand what your customers are looking for online and what websites and information they interact with. Refer to step one above. You need to know who your audience is to create content for them.
Avoid wasting time and effort creating content that is irrelevant to your target industry and your target audience. There are only so many hours in a day so ensure they are spent where it matters most. Also, by being targeted in your approach, what your business and website are about will become clear to customers and search engines alike.
7. Technical SEO mistakes
Technical SEO is the process of making your website more visible to search engines and helping them read and understand your website content. This helps search engines to crawl, index and then serve your website for better search rankings.
Technical SEO focuses on things like structured data markup, meta tags, alt tags, URL structure, and robots.txt to name a few. It is important to ensure each of these are properly optimised to help search engines read your website and understand what your content and your business are about.
8. Link-Building Strategy
Link-Building is essential to SEO. Backlinks help search engines find your website and to understand what your website is about. By doing so, search engines can index your website and serve it in SERPs for relevant search queries. Backlinks also build your domain authority by telling search engines that your content is worth linking to, this is a great way to get listed higher in search results.
It’s important to understand, however, that there are a lot of link building strategies that can hurt your business. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of not so reputable businesses selling link building services like these.
Never purchase backlinks. Rather, build them with quality content people want to link to. Share your content to get it seen by more people to generate backlinks. You can also request backlinks from relevant websites with high domain authority to relevant content on your website.
Backlink building can be difficult, taking time, effort, and patience. Understand more about how link building can support your SEO strategy in our article “Is Link Building Dead? Or should it be part of my SEO strategy?”
9. Poor website design and website performance
You want your customers to stick around once they have visited your website right? Then ensure your user experience makes users do so.
Websites are the new face of the business, the silent salesman, and aligned with brand image. As such, websites should be beautifully designedhttps://foundonline.com.au/content/ as well as informative and conversion rate optimised to encourage users to act – click, call, buy, hire, contact, etc.
More than that, your website needs to be fast to load and easy to use across all devices. This is now a ranking factor that helps determine the position in SERPs. As such, ensure your website is mobile responsive, easy to read and easy to navigate. User’s experience should be a priority, in addition to the content, a website contains. Keep an eye on your core web vitals via Google Search Console to prioritise website development and improvement work to improve your website usability.
Website development most often requires a unique set of skills. Work with website developers who know how to design and build websites for SEO. See Found Online Website Development Services.
10. Local SEO mistakes and lack of local SEO
Local SEO is like normal SEO except that it optimises for local and “near me” search queries.
Search Engines provide personalised search results to customers based on the customers’ location when the search takes place. Therefore, if your website is not optimized for Local SEO, you will not be found by local audiences. This will make it hard for customers to find your physical location too.
Local SEO can even help you compete with big national brands and businesses with unlimited resources and spending power. Proven Local SEO techniques like listing your website on Google My Business, creating locality-based content etc, will help you rank higher for local keywords and locality-based search.
11. Failing to properly resource your SEO efforts
Many businesses have internal marketing teams. Unfortunately, they are often stretched with competing priorities or lack the right skill set to manage all elements of SEO. Some or all SEO efforts can be easily outsourced which enables businesses to grow rapidly and adds flexibility to business making decisions.
SEO takes time and effort, as well as a unique skill set from content writing to website design and development, as well as all elements of good SEO – eg. Keyword research, technical SEO and link building. By properly supporting your marketing teams efforts and allocating an appropriate budget to outsource key SEO functions to experts, it is impossible to fully optimise your search rankings.
The right SEO experts can help you develop an effective search strategy. Outsourcing the most time-consuming activities like content writing will ensure consistency. As will using professional developers for the more complex technical and coding needs for your website.
12. Not tracking and learning from results
SEO is not a set and forget strategy. Customers change, competitors hit back and the ever-evolving digital landscape means you have to stay ahead of the game to win with SEO.
Track your progress vs. KPIs and amend your strategy and SEO tactics accordingly. There are several tracking tools like Google Analytics and Search Console which are free to use and show the results of your SEO efforts. You will also want to keep an eye on your website load speeds. You can do this via Lighthouse Page Speed testing which is part of Googles web developer tools.
There are many other keyword popularity, backlink checker and competitive spying tools out there to help you keep an eye on your results. Or you could work with an agency like Found Online to track your performance and maximise your SEO strategy.
Have you made any of these SEO mistakes?
If you are failing to see page one results, get in touch with Found Online SEO agency. We take a holistic approach to our SEO Services. Offering 20 years of experience in SEO we know how to get you better search results.