17 mistakes to avoid when using SEO to rank your website

by | Mar 8, 2023 | Marketing, Public Relations

After creating a website for your business, there is so much you need to do to make it ready for customers. And after everything is ready, you need to ensure that customers can see it, which means getting it SEO-optimized.

Search Engine Optimization is a powerful tool that can help you rank your website higher in search engines. While it seems easy, people make many mistakes when using SEO on their websites, which could cost them ranking points, and ultimately traffic. This blog post explores various errors to avoid with your SEO strategy so you don’t lose out on potential visitors.

17 mistakes to avoid when using SEO to rank your website

Mistakes to avoid when using SEO to rank your website

SEO plays a crucial role in ranking your website of SERPs; as such, you must always ensure that your website and content are optimized. If you need help figuring out where to start, reach out to Guaranteed SEO, as they have a team of SEO experts in almost all niches. Here are a few mistakes you should avoid.

1. Not using relevant keywords

One of the most common SEO mistakes is not using relevant keywords throughout content and titles. Good SEO practice needs to include targeted keywords in different sections of your page, such as headings, body copy, titles, and meta descriptions.

This will allow search engines to understand better what topics are being discussed and ensure they’re displayed in relevant searches. Next, subscribe to the appropriate keyword search tools, such as Ubersuggest and Keysearch. These tools only require you to input the primary keyword or topic title, and you will get a list of ranking keywords.

2. Keyword stuffing

Using too many keywords throughout content or titles is known as keyword stuffing and should be avoided at all costs. Search engine algorithms detect when businesses use too many keywords within their text to manipulate rankings. And this results in lower rankings due to keyword stuffing being considered spammy behavior. Therefore, always ensure that the keywords are used seamlessly within the text.

3. Failing to use title tag and meta description

Another mistake often made by businesses is failing to use title tags or meta descriptions. Both elements should be used strategically as they allow search engine optimization, which makes your site visible in the SERPs (search engine results pages).

The title tag should contain variations of the primary keyword on your main page and any other page where SEO work is applied. This means that the primary keyword must appear at least once in the H1, H2, and H3 title tags.

The meta description should be a summary of the page to attract visitors and must also use the primary keyword.

4. Failing to optimize for engagement

Don’t write for the sake of writing. You must write to target your audience and get them talking and acting. That means writing long, quality content that captures your reader’s attention, and you will see a spike in your ranking.

Human beings are visual, so include quality images, quotes, videos, and infographics in your content, as they will enhance user engagement. This also helps reduce your bounce rate.

5. Failing to identify your target audience

When developing content for your website, you must know your target audience. Failing to do so will cause you to create generic content that isn’t informative and interesting enough to keep people on your site long enough, which could significantly affect your ranking.

Knowing what type of people are likely to visit your website helps you create better content tailored specifically for them, thus helping increase engagement rates and therefore ranking points. The best way to do this is by developing a list of your customer’s characteristics, needs, and problems you could solve.

6. Low-quality content

Another common mistake businesses make when it comes to SEO is producing low-quality content. Unfortunately, many do this by copying and pasting from other sources or writing without researching topics properly. And this greatly affects your site’s ranking.

You must produce high-value content that provides customers with helpful information. This helps differentiate your website from your competitors. You can incorporate how-to articles and video tutorials.

7. Slow-loading website

A website’s loading speed significantly impacts SEO rankings, as slow pages can lead to higher bounce rates. This means it’s essential for businesses to ensure their sites are optimized for speed by reducing large images, compressing files, and using caching plugins if necessary.

You can avoid this mistake by running a website crawl using Site Audit. Alternatively, you can use page speed testing tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to see how fast or slow your website is. Then take the necessary measures to improve your website speed.

8. Failing to insert internal links

Internal links help search engine crawlers index your site more efficiently. However, not including internal links in your content could result in slower crawling times due to crawlers having to manually find each page or section, resulting in lower rankings.

By looking at the anchor texts, Google uses internal links to better understand your content flow and context. You can find relevant content you can link to your text by running a crawl on your site using Ahrefs Site Audit.

9. Not using sufficient backlinks

Backlinks are essential in SEO because they’re used as a “vote” of confidence from one website to another. The higher quality backlinks you have pointing towards your site, the better your chance of ranking higher in SERPs. This means they should be included in blog posts and other online content. It’s recommended that your backlink come before internal links in your text.

The best way to find backlinks is by reaching out to other people who may be interested in your content and requesting them to link to you. And you can find them by searching for the top pages with your topic and narrowing down in terms of domain rating score or website traffic.

10. Not consistently doing SEO

Another mistake businesses make when it comes to SEO is not consistently doing it over time. Search engine algorithms are constantly changing and improving, so your website could suffer rankings if you don’t keep up with the latest trends and practices. Therefore, it’s important to stay on top of SEO to ensure your site and content are always optimized for search engines.

11. Duplicating content

Search engines penalize websites for duplicating content from other sources, which can be plagiarized. Therefore, ensure all content is unique and valuable. This will help avoid potential penalties, if you have multiple websites, ensure content is unique and SEO-optimized.

12. Using the wrong meta tags

Meta tags are HTML elements that provide information about a webpage, such as page titles, descriptions, and keywords. However, if they’re not used correctly, they could hurt your SEO efforts. Make sure all meta tags accurately reflect the content on each page and use relevant keywords where possible to boost rankings.

13. Not using heading tags

Heading tags help structure text properly, making it easier for search engines to index them, positively impacting your SEO rankings. However, not using heading tags means crawlers have difficulty understanding what topics are being discussed within the body copy, making it harder for them to rank the page accordingly.

14. Failing to conduct a website SEO audit

You should regularly conduct a website SEO audit to check for any issues or errors affecting your overall ranking points. This includes checking loading times, coding errors, and duplicate content. Failing to do this could mean potential problems go unnoticed, hurting your SEO efforts and ranking over time.

15. Non-mobile friendly website

Millions of people are online on mobile phones, so you must ensure your website and content are mobile-friendly. Search engine algorithms now heavily favor websites optimized for mobile devices. This means if your site is not mobile-friendly, you’ll likely suffer from lower rankings due to a lack of optimization. Ensure all pages are responsive and load quickly on smaller screens so users can easily access your content without issue.

16. Publishing thin content

Thin content is defined as having little value, usually under 500 words per page. This kind of content won’t provide much information to readers and won’t rank well either due to its low word count making it less likely to appear in search results. So, ensure your content is above 1000 words and contains informative content.

17. Your website is not user-friendly

Search engine algorithms also consider how user-friendly a website is when ranking it; this includes navigation, layout, and ease of use. If users find your site difficult or confusing, they won’t stay on the page for long, resulting in reduced engagement rates and lower rankings.

Final thoughts

SEO can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to rank higher in SERPs, but many mistakes could hurt their efforts if not avoided. Take note of the above mistakes, and avoid them when optimizing your website. You must also ensure that you’re consistently updating content with relevant keywords and providing valuable information to readers.

Elisabeth Washington
Elisabeth Washington is obsessed with dogs, tech, and FPS games. Coffee addict, and during her spare time she binge-watches old shows on Netflix or enjoys a good book. A true believer of the saying "words have the power to change the world" and lives life embracing the present.