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15 SEO Mistakes you don’t know you’re making

Is the fear of making mistakes stop you from leveling up your SEO game?

Trust me, you’re not the only one!

The fear of making mistakes to try something new is what stops us from achieving great things in life.

It’s the same when it comes to search engine optimization. People are afraid of messing things up and getting penalized by Google.

Also read: 17 SEO myths you should stop believing right away

They keep looking for tiny bits of information here and there & end up following the wrong or outdated advice.

Building a good SEO strategy means staying updated with the right information and avoiding stupid mistakes.

In this post, I’m going to show you 15 Stupid SEO mistakes that you might not know you’re making.

Let’s roll it…

Contents
1. Not doing Keyword research
2. Keyword stuffing
3. Putting search engine bots before human readers
4. Creating irrelevant content
5. Duplicate content
6. Poor site structure
7. Not having a secure website
8. Mobile unfriendly design
9. Skipping meta descriptions
10. Getting poor backlinks
11. No outbound links
12. No / Poor interlinking
13. Not optimizing images
14. Forgetting social media
15. Not evaluating your SEO strategy over time

1. Not doing Keyword research

The very first mistake many bloggers and content creators make is writing anything and everything they want.

They don’t care about what their target audience wants or what they’re searching on the internet.

In order to create quality content that solves problems and makes you money, you need to understand what your audience is looking for.

And that’s where keyword research comes into play…

Keyword research is the art of finding the keywords & phrases that your target audience is using in the search engines to look for something.

Once you find what those keywords are, you can easily create targeted quality content around them.

Not doing proper keyword research is the worst and most stupid SEO mistake one could make.

You can do use Google’s free Keyword Planner tool to do your keyword research or you can go with a paid tool like SEMrush.

2. Keyword stuffing

A few years ago, it was much easier to rank in SERPs (Search engine result pages) just on the basis of keywords stuffed here and there.

People were using white text on a white background to hide their keywords.

But that’s not the case anymore since Google has evolved to become much smarter and there are better algorithms in place.

If you focus on optimizing your content by stuffing keywords for the search engine bots, the crawlers can sense that and you’ll end up getting penalized.

You have to make sure that you don’t over-optimize your content with keywords.

Make sure to use your main keyword only once per 100-120 words and include synonyms and related words in your content.

3. Putting search engine bots before human readers

One of the most common SEO mistake content creators make is forgetting that they’re creating content for the humans and not the bots.

Users always come before search engine bots.

They are the ones who are going to interact with your content and turn into customers later. If you ignore them, means you’re ignoring money.

Google rewards those websites with better search engine rankings which provide a great user experience to the searchers along with the quality content.

You have to make sure that the main purpose of your article is clear.

You can optimize your content for crawlers as much as you want, but if the users are not happy and satisfied, your rankings are not going anywhere near the top.

4. Creating irrelevant content

Search engine crawlers can easily get confused if you produce content that is completely not relevant to your website topics.

For example, if you blog about ‘home decor’ and suddenly you write an article on ‘dog grooming’, then that’s not going anywhere.

Topic relevance is one of the important ranking factors in search engines.

Making the mistake of creating irrelevant content will do nothing but your blog’s SEO.

5. Duplicate content

The next stupid mistake is about the quality and originality of your content.

By Duplicate content, I mean that having the same content on multiple pages of the same or different websites.

Duplicate content on multiple pages of the same website confuses search engines about which content to index and results in poor SEO.

While copying or plagiarizing content from someone else’s website is strictly inappropriate and can result in getting penalized by Google.

The best thing to please both search engines and the users is to create your own original quality content.

6. Poor site structure

Having a poor structure is really common among bloggers and content creators.

What does the site structure mean exactly? The way of organizing and linking your web pages in order to make it easier for the users and crawlers to navigate through your website.

Having a poor site structure not only results in poor user experience but it also makes it difficult for the crawlers to crawl through your website.

Use of categories, top & footer menus, linking related posts together is how you structure your site in a better way.

Secondly, your content should not be more than 3 clicks away from your homepage or any page.

For example, if I have to reach a post in “social media” category, then it should be like home>social media>post.

The easier the better!

7. Not having a secure website

Another stupid mistake people make is ignoring the importance of having a secure website.

Securing your website not only protects it from hackers and attackers, helps in gaining user trust but is also good for SEO.

A few things you can do to secure your website are –

Going HTTPS or getting an SSL certificate
Installing a secure and trustworthy theme
Using a CDN like Cloudflare
Getting a security plugin like Wordfence
8. Mobile unfriendly design
As we have already seen that SEO is not just about content and keywords but also about the user experience.

With the number of smartphone users increasing year by year, it’s no surprise that Google gives preference to websites with a mobile-friendly design.

Make sure that you have a responsive theme installed on your website that adjusts your website content to multiple screen sizes.

divi-theme
I use & highly recommend Divi theme by elegant themes if you’re looking for a multi-purpose theme with a great visual page builder.

9. Skipping meta descriptions

Though Google made it absolutely clear that they don’t see meta description as a ranking factor, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect your blog’s SEO indirectly.

Let me explain…

Writing a great click-worthy meta description means more clicks to your website from Google. Now, Google tracks this, and if your website gets more clicks than the websites above it, Google pushes your website to high ranks.

You see now? You cannot afford to make the mistake of skipping the meta descriptions.

10. Getting poor backlinks

No matter what they say, quality always beats quantity in everything.

If you believe that Google can’t track which sites are linking to your website, then I hate to break the surprise and tell you that you’re absolutely wrong.

Google knows EVERYTHING! From where you had your last meal to which sites link to your website.’

Do not, I repeat, do not make the mistake of getting links from poor quality or irrelevant websites.

It’s not good for your blog’s SEO and does more harm than good.

Only focus on getting backlinks from quality websites that are related to your niche.

11. No outbound links

Many people think that linking to other websites is useless and will push their traffic away.

While the former is false, the latter is partially true!

Linking to other related quality websites tells Google that your website is a great source of information.

But if you link to your competitor’s site, then it’s just gonna take your traffic away.

Here are a few types of websites that you should link to –

government websites (.gov)
educational websites (.edu)
brand blogs
directories, etc.
You wanna make sure that you link to at least one quality website in your post.

Also read: 10 types of links that actually matter for SEO

12. No / Poor interlinking

Sometimes, I get surprised by how many bloggers make the mistake of not linking their related articles together.

Interlinking not only helps Google bots to crawl your website easily but it also makes the readers stay on your website for a long time and increases the pageviews.

Make sure that you link your related articles together. Focus on the word RELATED.

Do not make the mistake of ignoring the power of interlinking or linking irrelevant content together. That’s just going to hurt your SEO.

13. Not optimizing images

When I first started blogging, I didn’t know that you have to resize and optimize your images before putting them on your website. Otherwise, they can slow your site down and hurt SEO.

I just downloaded the stock images and uploaded them just like that, without any resizing or optimization.

I don’t want you to make the same mistake with your precious blog.

There are a few things you need to do before uploading them to your website –

Resize them properly – Stock images are supposed to be very large and you need to change their size according to your theme.
Compress them – I use a plugin called Shortpixel to compress my images.
Use Alt tags – Make sure that you properly describe the image using keywords in the alt tag.

14. Forgetting social media

Search engine optimization is not just about creating and optimizing it for search engines.

You need to make sure that your content can be easily shared and you share them constantly on your social media profiles as well.

This improves engagement and helps in diversifying your link profile.

Make sure that you have a good light-weight social sharing plugin like Sassy social share installed on your website.

You can also ask your readers to share your content at the bottom of your articles to improve engagement.

15. Not evaluating your SEO strategy over time
Even if you do everything right, making this single stupid SEO mistake can make everything go into dust.

Search engine optimization is not about optimizing & forgetting. You have to constantly evaluate your strategy to see what’s working and what’s not.

Trends change a lot faster than an F1 race car when it comes to SEO. And you have to keep yourself updated with those trends and adapt your strategies according.

One algorithm update and BOOM!