7 deadly SEO mistakes that can ruin your website

Search Engine Optimization has created an opportunity for a lot of content creators to generate visibility for their content and website traffic for their websites.

In fact, using the right SEO strategy, some small businesses have been able to improve their sales and grow their brand.

But, notwithstanding the mouth watering benefits of SEO, figuring out how to create content that is optimized for the search engine can be quite tasking. Especially for most newbies.

The most challenging part is that Google and other search engine websites are constantly changing their algorithms. And for this reason, in some cases, an SEO tactics that worked last week may not be working anymore in the next few weeks.

This has created a situation where it is possible you can create content to meet the demands of a specific set of SEO rules today, only to discover later on that those rules have been changed…

And all your content no longer produce the kind of SEO results they used to produce, before the changes took effect.

Now, researchers have found out that 70% of buying decisions are usually made before a lead finally decides to buy.

In fact, most of your potential clients will always start their searches online, read reviews, or talk to friends and family before they ever land on your website.

That’s why, it is increasingly becoming important to use the right optimization strategy and avoid key SEO mistakes that will bar your website from showing up in the first few slots on the search engine results page (SERP).

Talking about SEO mistakes, even after optimizing their content for the search engines, a lot of content creators have made some terrible SEO mistakes that have caused them their search rankings.

Below, I will be discussing with you, the top 7 deadly SEO mistakes you need to avoid, if you want to create content that is visible on the search engine…

Stuffing Keywords

With the latest innovation in search engine algorithms, gone are the days when you could use the same phrase over and over in your blog posts, because you want to drive and drive traffic to your site.

While it is important you use your target keywords in your headings and throughout your text, the keyword you’re using has to be relevant to the topic you’re writing about.

Think of various ways to say the same thing in different phrases. If possible, use a thesaurus and tools such as Word Hippo to find relevant synonyms for your content. Remember, not everyone will use the same phrase when searching for a topic.

Google ranks your page according to how valuable your content is. Make sure you thoroughly answer the question related to the keyword, and you’ll have a much better chance of popping up in the first page of results. 

Ignoring Rich Media

Rich media involves everything from videos to animation but engages the user in some way. When it comes to SEO, you can use it to rank for rich snippets.

If for instance, you have a video on how to cook spaghetti squash and someone searches for “how to cook spaghetti squash,” you want your video to pop up in the featured snippets box.

Make sure you utilize descriptions and use your preferred keyword within the title and meta description sections. This tells the search engine you have interactive content on the topic the person is searching for. 

You can also use high-impact media in your advertising. This grabs users’ attention and is particularly effective on social media and search engine results pages. You can also place ads on some email providers, such as Gmail and Yahoo. 

Ignoring Metadata

When you create content for your website, it’s tempting to ignore the metadata slots. After all, you’ve already written the article, added images and researched for hours.

Unfortunately, Google doesn’t appreciate a lack of information in your meta data sections because it uses those little details in its search engine listings. 

Never use autogenerated content in these fields. Instead of that, add in detailed descriptions. Keep in mind that users will only see a short snippet and stick to a set number of characters.

Make the title catchy and descriptive enough that it stands out from other results on the same page. 

Blocking Site Indexing

Google crawls websites to find content matching what users need. However, this can also impact your search traffic and eat into your bandwidth.

Some websites with limited bandwidth may want to block search engines from crawling the site in some cases.

This is a very serious SEO mistake, from an SEO standpoint. You’re much better off paying a bit more for bandwidth because search engines like Google cannot rank your website, if it doesn’t crawl the site to know the pages that are in existence and their content.

If you want to help the process along, you can submit your site to Google via the Google Search Console. Verify the website as yours and also offer a sitemap. Helping them along speeds up how fast Google crawls your pages. 

Not Optimizing for Mobile

According to Statista, there are 3.5 billion smartphone users globally, with an expected rise to 3.8 billion by 2021.

With faster connectivity and more reliable service, more people are using their cellphones for internet browsing than ever before. Google recognizes this shift in technology and now ranks sites based on how mobile-friendly they are.

So, creating a website that is not mobile friendly is an important SEO mistake you want to avoid is a grave SEO mistake.

If your website is not optimized for mobile search, you risk not ranking when people search on their phones.

A poor mobile design will cost you in SEO, and you’ll also aggravate anyone who visits your site on a smaller screen.

You can write the best content anyone has ever read, but if the text falls off the page on a cellphone, you’ve lost a large audience segment. 

Using Too Many Links

Having too many links is one of the top SEO mistakes that often times escape the notice of most SEOs.

Be careful about the number of outbound links you use in your articles. In an effort to look authoritative, you might be tempted to link to every fact or idea you share.

However, too many links may look spammy to users and can make text challenging to read. Google limits the number of links to 100 per page, but that is honestly way too many for most sites. 

What kind of links should you add for good SEO?

Only link to sites that are recognized by everyone as great sources of information. As much as possible, link to universities, government websites, and well-known and trusted news sources.

If you aren’t sure how reliable a source is, find a different one or leave it out altogether.

We often judge fellow humans by the company they keep. Your website has its own persona and is also judged this way, both from the search engine and the human point of view.

If you link to poor-quality sites too often, people will see you as unreliable, and the search engines may as well rate your website really low. Instead, focus on linking only to the best websites you can find and do so sparingly.

Ignoring the Power of UX

The user experience (UX) is one of the most important elements on your site. With a good user experience, you can drive traffic to your web pages, but people will bounce away if your website is not engaging.

Google also utilizes real people to help it rank pages and work on algorithms. That is why the more bounce rate a website has, the less it becomes shown on the top part of the search engine results page.

While putting together your website, you want to put yourself in your users’ shoes. If they look for a topic and visit your page, will they easily get what they want? And will they be captivated enough, to stay longer on the website?

As much as possible, you want your page to stand out from your competitors’ sites, too. so, take out time to visit other websites ranking for the same keywords as yours and see what they’re doing right and what they aren’t.

When you’re done, find out; what can you do better? What is something you can offer that they don’t? And then work on improving your website, based on your findings.

Dig Deeper

SEO is about so much more than just choosing the right keywords or writing engaging content.

To create content that ranks very well on the search engine, you have to dig deep and figure out what you bring to the table that’s unique. Find ways of adding to the discussion in a new or exciting way. 

Before you get started with content creation, ask yourself, how can I develop content no one else has yet? Or how can I add a fresh perspective to an existing idea or content.

Whether you need to up your video production game, offer infographics, break articles into longer pieces or add more images, there is something you can do to make a stronger impression with your website.

As we wrap up, i want to remind you that the secret to great SEO is understanding what your audience wants even before they do and delivering it, the way they want it. 

So, there you have the top SEO mistakes you need to avoid if you want your website to gain more search visibility. Also, for professional SEO services, from experts, check out our offers.

Now, lets hear you. Which of these SEO mistakes are most important to you?

Lexie is a Web Designer and IoT enthusiast. She enjoys hiking with her goldendoodle and checking out local flea markets. Visit her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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Victor Winners

Victor Winners

A Nigerian trained Law graduate and British LL.M candidate, using his widespread experience in tech, law and innovation, to evolve cutting edge and growth driven solutions for brands and businesses in Africa and beyond. As a Law-trained tech expert, Victor brings in over 7 years experience working in the Digital Marketing, SEO, Web Development, Online Publishing, Social Media and Legaltech sectors, to create result driven content and innovative solutions to brands and businesses. Named as one of the top 50 Web Design Influencers Globally, Victor Winners started one of Africa's most widely read blogs on Digital Marketing and Strategy. With this platform, he has impacted the lives of over 2 million readers spanning more than 135 countries in 8+ years

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