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20 Biggest SEO Mistakes to Avoid

20 Biggest SEO Mistakes to Avoid

SEO is a critical piece of today’s marketing budget. In fact, the SEO Market has reached $80 billion annually in spending and will continue to grow as a significant revenue channel.

With the breakneck speed of technology, changes and adjustments often occur in how SEO works. Perhaps one of the most significant announcements regarding SEO changes from Google centers around the Page Experience Update.

The Page Experience Update is based on Core Web Vitals, which measure the speed and usability of a web page. It confirms that user experience will become an SEO ranking signal during 2021. SEO methods are continually evolving.

This is due to changes in consumer behavior and new developments in search engines. Preparing for the coming SEO changes is vital, as is determining what SEO mistakes you may be currently making. Take a look at your website to determine whether your site is making any of the following 20 SEO mistakes:

 

site not accessible

1. Your site is not easily accessible.

Accessibility is one of the top SEO mistakes out there—issues with indexation and accessibility account for a significant number of all SEO errors. To ensure accessibility, prioritize features like alt text, and prioritize accuracy above keyword density.

2. The “noindex” tag was not removed.

A noindex tag tells search engines not to index your page, meaning you could have the most comprehensive SEO around, and users would still be unable to find your page.

3. The content on your page is too short.

Yes, at one time, shorter was considered better, but today, content is getting much lengthier. Google and other search engines need a minimum of 300 words to work with—longer is even better. In fact, most pages that rank in the top ten have more than 2,000 words. This is not to say words should be added for no other reason than to make a word count, but thoroughly covering a topic is recommended.

4. Your content is long enough, but it’s not the content your audience wants.

When you create content only to rank for a specific keyword, but that content is not actually about your audience, you fail in your SEO objectives. When any of us type in a search query, if the results do not answer our needs, we will quickly go elsewhere. To rank for keywords, sometimes the quality of the content deteriorates, or there is an attempt to fit several topics within a single piece of content. While your content should have high-ranking keywords, even more, it must closely correspond to the needs of your target audience, answering their questions in a straightforward, thorough manner.

5. The content you are publishing is not original.

“Back in the day,” duplicating text was standard. However, today, such practices are penalized by search engines. Never copy content, never plagiarize content, and never duplicate content. Spinning old content into new is simply not worth the toll it can take on your rankings. Make sure your headlines are strong and match your content topic, ensuring the content provides answers and is relatable and engaging.

6. Your AMPs (Accelerated Mobile Pages) are not working correctly.

When you use AMPs, pages will load faster on mobile devices, making the page much more user-friendly. It is important that you not use JavaScript code or CSS stylesheets with AMP—they are not compatible. Also, make sure you remove outdated tags in the AMP document.

seo for target audience

7. You don’t have a good understanding of your target audience.

No matter what business you are in, if you don’t have a thorough understanding of your target audience, your SEO will fall flat because SEO is your customers’ voice. How do your customers behave in your specific market? And while you may have a particular understanding in your mind of how your products and services are defined, do your customers have the same understanding?

8. You’re flying blind without a solid SEO plan and roadmap.

Even if you happen to have a solid understanding of your clients and your audience, if you don’t have a solid SEO plan, then whatever you’re doing can come off as random. It is surprising to realize how many businesses lack a specific SEO strategy, which is crucial for success. Take a look at your site now, including the level of results you’re currently getting. Is it where you want it to be? Do you have specific goals? Do you understand your competition? Do you know what tools and platforms will help you meet your goals and help you with workflow?

9. You’re working with meta content that is not optimized.

Meta content or tags describe the contents of a page to search engines. Meta titles should not exceed 11 words, with a meta description of between 150-300 characters.

pages not being crawled

10. Your pages aren’t being crawled as they should.

This could be because your HTTP status code has an error.

11. Your headings are “off.”

Search engines see headings as a sign of relevance, plus they guide users with short attention spans through your content.

Don’t buy your links. Build them organically. Always ensure there are no broken links and use appropriate tools to help monitor the site’s links.

broken internal links

Consider your top-performing pages, then place links to them in your content. As with external links, audit your internal links often for broken links.

14. Your site is not mobile-friendly and/or is too slow.

Since more than half of all those who search the internet do so on mobile devices, your site must be mobile-friendly. If your site is too slow, your users will bounce and will not be back.

15. You are failing to utilize analytics properly.

If you’re not tracking your SEO progress, then there is no way to know if it’s working as it should.

choosing the right keywords

16. You’ve failed to choose the right keywords.

Always use a reputable keyword finder, and never use overly-generic short-tail keywords.

17. You are using the same keyword for more than one page.

When you do this, you are, in effect, stealing your own keywords, plus you are forcing your pages to compete against each other.

18. You are ignoring local SEO.

When you do this, you will not rank in your immediate region, meaning you will not connect with local customers. Utilizing local SEO is a must in 2021.

19. Your conversions are not being properly analyzed.

Conversion tracking tools can help you determine which parts of your content leads to conversions—when you fail to convert organically, you are almost certainly losing out on revenue.

20. There are pop-ups lurking on your pages.

Pop-ups are annoying, so use them with care. If you want to notify your visitors about an important event, ensure the pop-up only comes up once when your visitor first enters your site.

 

Hire an Experienced SEO Firm with a Proven Track Record

To ensure you are making none of these SEO mistakes, UnReal Web Marketing has a systematic search engine optimization program that generates page one rankings every time. Our SEO program has been proven time and time again; our holistic approach integrates research, design, content, structure, links, UX, and analytics. Contact us today for a free health check and ranking report.

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Major Marketing Trends for 2020 and Beyond

Major Marketing Trends for 2020 and Beyond

With so many changes happening at such a high speed in digital marketing, most organizations are finding it challenging to keep up. As 2020 fast approaches, there are a few trends that are set to take the digital marketing world by storm.

Live Stream with Your Audience

Live video, or video streaming, allows you to broadcast a live video feed to an online audience. It’s like a live newscast, except anyone can do it and the audience can comment and react in real-time. Although live videos started trending in 2017, many businesses have still not adopted this interactive marketing channel to communicate with their audience. But according to Markets and Markets, live streaming will be worth an astonishing $70.05 billion by 2021.

Several social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Periscope now offer live video. You can often comment and react to live videos as they’re streaming. For example, while using Facebook Live, you can tap various reaction emoticons that will cause smaller versions of the emoticons to float across the bottom of the video, giving everyone a sense of the audience’s reaction.

With live video, marketers have an exciting opportunity to tell their story and engage with real people in the same exact space, creating brand trust, one of the biggest factors in consumers’ purchasing decisions.

Get the Top Spot with Zero-Click Result

You’ve probably seen this new search trend on Google. When you search for a question, Google itself automatically provides you an answer to your search query in the form of a snippet from someone’s website. No clicking on or reading through websites required.

This search result is often referred to as Google Zero, or the zero-click result, and it’s the new aspiration for all websites out there.

How does it work? Imagine you type in a question in your search query, such as “What is the weather in Long Island?”  Before the Adwords results, and well before the organic search results, a box will pop up in which Google provides you with what they feel like is the best answer, lifted as a quote from some lucky website, in this case, weather.com.

Why does it matter? According to Jumpshot, 62% of search results now include a Google Zero answer. That means more and more keywords are becoming less profitable, as Google is taking them over themselves.

How to get your answer chosen, however, is the new holy grail.

While the automatic snippet does come from a website that ranks somewhere on the first page of the search engine results, there’s still no clear understanding of how companies ought to be optimizing their content to get chosen for the Google Zero spot.

And, it’s one of the biggest open opportunities out there in digital marketing’s future. The brand that figures out how to optimize their SEO for Google Zero will have a huge competitive edge over all the others in their industry.

Advertise Through Smart speakers

One of the most interesting developments of late is the smart speaker or the little AI speakers that have begun to run our homes.

According to Edison Research, 43 million Americans own a smart speaker. This is 18% of the adult population, in just 2+ years of existence.

These speakers are managed by AIs that go by the names of Alexa, Siri or Google Home, depending on the maker, and are offering a new potential advertising outlet to savvy marketers.

While branded advertising on smart speakers started in 2017, well before the speaker’s itself hit their heyday, ads were few and far between. Now, smart speakers’ ads are better, less invasive and more customer-friendly.

One of the best ways to advertise on smart speakers is to make what’s called a “branded skill.” For example, if you tell Alexa “Ask Patrón for a cocktail recipe,” Alexa will respond with a diverse selection of possibilities, courtesy of the premium tequila maker. According to Digiday Patrón gets more than 6,000 queries a month for its Alexa skill – it’s a strategy that works.

Give Your Content a Voice

Another opportunity that comes along with the AI world is to think of your content not just in written form, but in spoken word as well.

According to Google, 20 percent of all Google search queries now take place through voice search. That doesn’t apply to just Smart Speaker queries, either. According to Thrive Analytics, 71% of all mobile users between the ages of 18 and 29 use voice assistants on their smartphones.

For example, you can add voice to your blog with a platform like Amazon Polly, a text-to-speech service which synthesizes speech that sounds like a human voice. Check out our blog posts to hear this in action.

If the trend continues, which it probably will, optimizing your content for voice search is going to be a new business necessity. There’s a lot of tips on how to do this, but the consensus boils down to making content more conversational in tone. Optimizing your content for spoken queries now will put you ahead of the game as voice searches begin to take over, bringing you well ahead of the competition.

Why Your Business Needs Social Media Marketing

Why Your Business Needs Social Media Marketing

Are you aware that the lead-to-close rate of social media marketing is 100 percent higher than outbound marketing? Or did you know that 84 percent of business-to-business (B2B) marketers use social media in some way?

By now, lacking an active social media presence is akin to removing a flip phone during a business meeting and later wondering why your manager or supervisor continues to give your colleague at work all the new accounts.

However some people still use flip phones and other people still resist social media marketing, stubbornly. They do not understand how it can assist them and they do not know if they need it. Here are a few powerful reasons why your business needs social media marketing:

You Can Use Social Media to Generate Targeted Traffic

Building a new page on your website can be likened to taking a beautiful selfie. You want the whole world to see it and admire its radiance, but you do not want to appear as if you are desperate for attention. This is why well- positioned social media posts can make a big difference for landing pages. For example, one link on Reddit can bring in 20,000 visitors while links placed on StumbleUpon can raise the number of visitors from a constant handful every day to hundreds. Everybody would want to benefit from that.

Social Media Enhances Your Website’s SEO

Search engine crawlers can tell the pages that attract traffic continually and dormant pages that just exist and have been long forgotten. An excellent SEO strategy is the most critical aspect of getting to the top of search engine rankings.

Social Media Can Assist You to Make an Impact or Attract Media Coverage When Attending Events

Social media is the best way of taking maximum advantage of your presence in a charity fundraiser that you have sponsored or attendance in an important trade show. For example, a tweet we sent when attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) resulted in one of our clients being featured in a prominent magazine.

You Can React to Problems Right AwaySocial Media Marketing 2018

You want to be informed immediately when one of your products or services has a problem. The feedback that you get as you are doing social media marketing ensures you will always be first to know when problems occur. You can then initiate corrective measures straight away. Various studies have indicated that consumers value companies that are responsive to customer complaints (and feel free to launch an online tirade when companies refuse to resolve issues relating to their products or services).

An Active Social Media Presence Creates Loyalty to Your Brand

A research study conducted by Texas Tech University revealed that brands that are active on social media have more loyal clients. It is not hard to see why this is the case. When you engage and interact with customers productively on social media (and not just flinging posts out on the internet in the hope that somebody will discover them by chance them ), you become part of a united group of people with a shared vision.

You Might Get Business from Customers That You Were Not Aware Of

When marketing on Facebook, you may perhaps join numerous groups linked to your products, customer base and industry. When you post links on such groups, you might persuade customers to visit your site. You can also answer questions on Quora. After posting a link today you may get a sale from it weeks or months or years down the line.

Top 4 Essential Steps To Consider In Order To Uncover Hidden Website Optimization Secrets

Is there a formula for helping you decide what parts of your website you should test? This is an essential question when it comes to website optimization. However, an even more relevant question is this one: How can you actually determine what you should not test?

 

1: Check For Evidence

If you have no evidence there’s a conflict or issue of some sort, then you shouldn’t test anything. There’s a reason such ideas are known as theories. A theory is just something you may come up with, sprinkle some logic on it that works for you and there you go. However, this is more of a brain fart, honestly speaking. Therefore, you first of all need to educate, then inform and finally come up with data for your ideas, because if you don’t, then they cannot be called a theory. They’re just things you think are cool to think about.

One of the main pros of starting to look for proof is the fact that you can remove a theory. It could be that the evidence you find suggests there’s no problem to solve in the first place.

Just check out this example of a theory for an electronic commerce website’s product page: If the Add to Cart button is placed at the footer of the page, there’s a good chance more users will add one or more products to their cart. Initially, this sounds, right, but if someone scrolls down the webpage, this theory will fail.

Just check the heat map or attention info generated by software programs like CrazyEgg. They’re going to tell you how far those who visit your website scroll on the product page. If they don’t scroll that much, then this hypothesis may come in handy at a later date.

When trying to think about what you need to test, every theory you come up with should be rated from one star to five stars for the amount of evidence you have for it.

A theory that’s rated one star has no evidence, so it’s useless. A rating of 5 stars does show that you have a lot of evidence you’re dealing with an issue that your theory can fix.

2: Measure Traffic

Optimizing parts of the website that you shouldn’t optimize is something you need to avoid. Your list of theories needs to contain ideas for page specific and site-wide improvements. For instance, if the structure of the website’s navigation is altered, then this can be considered a site-wide alteration. On the other hand, you can call a page-specific change one where trust symbols are added to the checkout page. If you’d need to rate your traffic’s value from one to five stars, how would you rate these 2 scenarios? In fact, there’s a good chance they’d be rated five stars.

Site wide changes usually have a full impact on every visitor, so it should be rated five stars. But when you change a webpage, it’s something that only twenty percent of visitors see, so you should rate it one star.

In general, only a minute number of visitors will end up checking out. The reason you should rate them 5 stars is because even if their number is small, they do make up for that in opportunity. People who buy something from your website and then check out have proven a major intention to buy and therefore, are very important for your business.

There are of course, pages that won’t get too much attention, such as the FAQ and About Us pages, so in this case, they may be rated two or three stars.

Prioritize theories that have a direct influence on the most interesting or the majority of visitors.

 3: Is Testing That Difficult?

The level of effort for each of your theories needs to be well understood. For instance, adding live chat to a website is a lot more complex than changing the font of an offer.

By using the one to five scale once more, a modification of the copy can be rated one or two stars, but implementing live chat involves paying a vendor, considering integration and hiring new employees to chat with your visitors. This is rated 5 stars.

Never favor easy tests because it’s easy to do so. Likewise, it’s also recommended that you’re patient with your fives and leave them for when the time is right.

 4: What Has Experience Taught You?

Eventually, you’ll need to estimate the impact your theory is going to have. This is something that’s based on what you have learned from the tests you previously conducted. It’s based on the research you have done and on your experience as an internet marketing team.

What about a one to five star rating again? If a theory is rated one star, what you’re saying is that this is just an idea. But if it has a significant impact, it’s going to take you by surprise.

If your theory is rated five stars, then this means you believe the change is going to have a major impact on your website’s visitors, but also the website itself. As a result, you’re expecting a great win.

Intuition though, usually leads us astray and therefore, don’t be surprised when you’re going to find yourself rating theories a lot higher on the impact scale because you’d like to try them and not due to your experience. It can also be that you favor one, since the idea sounds interesting.

However, in the scientific environment we’re creating, these types of sentiments simply do not belong. It’s true, though, that experienced businessmen have a great intuition that cannot be ignored.

This is only 1 of the 4 factors we consider, with the rest being the level of effort, traffic value and proof. A theory can be tipped into the top ten by a great impact score, yet this is only possible if it managed to score positively in the rest of the categories.

Once a theory has been disproven or proven, there’s no more room for intuition. When you have specific data in front of you, you’re always going to prefer it rather than intuition. On the other hand, when thinking about what to test, it may be a good idea to add in some intuition.