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7 Common SEO Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

SEO is vital for any business. If your company has a website, you need to do your best to improve your ranking in the search results. Many people never go past the first page of search results, and around a quarter of searchers click on the very first link.

So, if you want to improve your search ranking, you need to recognize common SEO mistakes so that you can avoid them in your digital marketing strategy.

In this guide, we're going to take a look at how SEO works and how these mistakes can hamper an SEO campaign's success. We'll also show you what you should do instead.

Are you ready to learn more and start reaping the benefits of SEO? Then read on!

1. Ignoring the Fundamentals of User Experience

Your user experience (UX) is vital to a website's SEO. Google wants searchers to get the best experience, so the most authoritative, most relevant, and yes, well-designed sites are better ranked.

A huge part of your search ranking depends on user behavior. If a customer sticks around on your site for a while, your site will rank better than one which has a high bounce rate.

This means that you need to see web design and a solid UX as part of SEO. You should create a website that loads fast, is intuitively designed, and will give your users a great experience.

2. Not Having an SEO Plan

Anyone can do some cursory keyword research and pump out blog articles that feature these keywords. Yet this isn't likely to yield terrific results.

If you want to create a brilliant SEO campaign, you need a plan. An SEO plan should include information such as:

  1. Competitor research, including the keywords they're using
  2. The role and aim of your content
  3. The technologies that you're going to use
  4. Your ultimate objective

Having a roadmap like this will make your SEO strategy far more cohesive, and ultimately, more likely to succeed.

3. Copying Content

If a competitor is doing content very well, it can be quite tempting to imitate them. This is a dangerously fine line to tread.

While it's fine to create content that's inspired by your competitors, plagiarizing their content is a whole other matter. If you plagiarize content from another website, Google will be able to tell, and they will penalize your site, sending your ranking crashing down.

If you like the content that a competitor has created, question what it is that you like about it, whether it's the style, topic, or something else. Then you can put your own spin on it. This approach will help you create original content and avoid any Google penalties.

4. No Internal Links

Internal links are an important part of SEO, but why? Why do so many websites like to link to their own pages within their content? 

It's because, without these internal links, search engines can't find pages on your website. For instance, Google's crawler goes from page to page via links, and if you have a page on your website that isn't well-linked to, or, heaven forbid, not linked to at all, Google is going to have a harder time finding it. If nothing links to it, Google won't be able to find it at all.

Yet this isn't the only reason that you should practice internal links, regardless of your business' project. Internal links also lead visitors deeper down your content funnel, which in turn, means that you can market to them more effectively, and demonstrate more of your products and services to them.

Without internal links, your bounce rate is likely to increase. Try to entice your visitors to take a look at more of your website.

5. Creating Low-Quality Content

Some people seem to think that SEO is all about quantity over quality. If you simply throw enough content online, your search ranking will increase, right? 

The answer is a resounding no. You need high-quality content if you're going to increase your site's ranking because this is the kind of content that will make people stick around on your website and navigate to other pages on the site.

Quality content is also more likely to get linked to by other sites. If you can get more backlinks, Google will see your site as more authoritative, and it's also another link that the crawler can use to find your site.

6. Not Optimizing Your URLs

Your URLs need to be readable by humans. While an alphanumeric may be recommended by your CMS, you should avoid these in URLs. There's no way for a human to know whether the page is relevant by URL alone, and this will impact the crawler's behavior, too.

Make use of hyphens in your URLs to represent spaces, and always avoid underscores. Google has a hard time recognizing these characters, and will probably ding your ranking as a result.

7. Not Tracking Results

If you're not tracking results, you've no idea whether your SEO strategy is working or not. There are several different metrics that you can use, ranging from improved sales to increased traffic or a decreased bounce rate.

Whichever metrics you're using, you should track them before the SEO campaign and during, to see how much of an impact it's having in objective and empirical terms. 

If the campaign isn't having a big enough impact, you can tweak it and try out new tactics.

Avoid These Common SEO Mistakes

We hope that you've enjoyed this look at some common SEO mistakes, and now know how you can avoid them. Put our advice into use and you'll be well on your way to a strong SEO strategy.

If you're interested in some more help, we're here for you. We offer a range of digital marketing services and can even help you with your web design. For more information, contact us today!


Headshot of Nik Paprocki, head of growth at WebSuitable.
Nik Paprocki
Head Of Growth
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