10 Common SEO Mistakes We Hope You Aren’t Making

We all know SEO (search engine optimization) is important. But, did you know that finding and correcting some of these simple SEO mistakes could make a world of difference in your website’s search ranking? 

1. Quantity of Links Over Quality

More isn’t always better. One killer link could do so much more for your search engine ranking than 10 low quality links. 

2. Not Using the Right Keywords

This is a big one. Generic keywords that attract visitors who have no interest in what you’re offering or global keywords when you only offer things locally are just two examples of poor usage. When it comes to keywords, it’s best to be as specific as possible. If you’re looking for “house painters,” you don’t want to find one in the next state over; you want to find one in your own town. The keyword“house painter” alone is not only much more competitive but also not as useful to your potential customers as the very specific  “house painter in Cape Girardeau.” 

3. Not Knowing Your Audience

One way to think of SEO is as your customer’s voice. While many marketers think they know their audience, they often fall into the trap of not understanding how consumers behave in their market. Use both historical and real-time data to understand how their behavior is changing. While you might define your products and services in a certain way, it’s way more important to understand what words your potential customers use to refer to them.

4. Failing to Invite People to Your Site

Once visitors are on your site, an important goal is to keep them on your site. But you have to actually get them there first. Including links in everything helps. Giving them a nudge by suggesting what you have on your site is what they want is a great tool. They just read an article about hot tubs, for example, and how important it is to have proper sanitation, so what’s the very next thing a sane hot tub owner would do? Look up information about hot tub sanitation products! If that’s your business too, have links to that section of your website so they don’t just Google it and end up on someone else’s site.

5. Not Utilizing Analytics

The only way to know if your SEO and content is working is to track the progress with tools like Google Analytics. Not only will this let you know if your current efforts are working, it will also help you make adjustments as SEO best practices change—just like everything else. It’s always good to go back and check previous content to make sure it is still relevant.

6. Writing a lot of Mediocre Content

The single goal of search engines is to help people find relevant, high-quality information quickly. Whether you outsource content or have an in-house writer, make your writers are capable of producing original articles that you’re proud to publish on your site. Ultimately, these articles reflect you as a company regardless of who wrote them.

7. Forgetting about Image Optimization

The images on your website or blog add an important visual element that can positively affect the user’s experience. But they can also help you tell your story to search engines. Use alt-text on images to provide a helpful description and possibly include a keyword, as these are both used by Google to analyze images.

8. Optimized Anchors

Optimized anchors are anchor texts that use keywords for which you want to rank. If you want to rank for the term “top mobile phone,” it would use the anchor “top mobile phone” to link to its mobile phone site. It’s risky and can potentially give you a negative result due to gradual algorithmic penalization. (I know, a lot of big words.) Basically, use safe anchors like naked or branded URLs because, these days, using links is more important than optimized anchors.

9. Not Ready for Mobile

Mobile is the future (and the present if we’re honest). Making your website mobile-friendly is almost as important as having a website in general because, without it, Google will automatically consider your website “unfriendly” for its searchers. By tapping into the mobile traffic, you’ll also be able to increase your website’s visibility.

10. Doing Your Own SEO Instead of Hiring an Expert

SEO is a full-time job and requires advanced knowledge of the current trends, strategies and algorithm changes. Does that sound like something you want to do on top of all the things it takes to run a business and have a personal life? Hiring an expert can be a lifesaver for you and your website. The great thing is Rooted Web is here to help you. Our dedicated marketing team does all the work for you when it comes to SEO research and implementation. Let’s chat!

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Samantha Prost

Samantha Prost is a digital content writer with almost 10 years of experience who uses her upbeat and creative energy to write fresh, fun and custom content for our clients.

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