It can be heart-breaking to invest effort, time, and money into creating top-quality content for your website, only to discover Google ignoring it in its vaunted Page 1 ranking. As important as creating content that is relevant to your users, satisfies their search intent, is original, updated, and engaging, you also need to avoid common SEO mistakes that often trip up online marketers and prevent them from achieving success. Some of the common SEO mistakes to avoid include:
Using Keywords That Are Not Relevant or Optimized
One of the most common but critical mistakes made by online marketers in a hurry is not conducting proper keyword research. It results in the wrong choice of keywords. The keywords either do not fit the context well or do not have the desired volume. It is also likely that in their over-enthusiasm, content creators end up stuffing keywords that send a strong signal to Google regarding the quality of the content impacting the search rankings. It is good practice to introduce carefully-researched keywords into the content early on, preferably in the first paragraph as it helps Google discover it faster and drive the page up in the rankings. However, you must not forget to introduce the keyword or phrase organically. If the content reads awkwardly, users will recognize it as a clumsy marketing effort and abandon the website.
Not Optimizing Website for Mobiles
More than ever before, users are taking to their mobile phones to access online content. According to studies, mobiles account for more than half the traffic on the internet. T means that unless you have taken the trouble to optimize your website for mobiles, you are potentially losing out to a huge audience and making it easier for your competition to grab market share. With its mobile-first policy, Google has already made it clear that it prioritizes mobile-friendly websites over desktop versions in search rankings. Making your website mobile-friendly is not only a matter of responsive design that automatically fits the contents to the smaller screens. It is also about reducing the content to make it easier to read on the fly. The default setting should ensure that the content is large enough to be read at a glance and that the buttons are large enough can be clicked easily. The website should be optimized for loading quickly even when the connectivity is not great.
Not Creating Content That Matches User Expectations
People firing searches online are looking for high-quality content to fulfill their search intent. Unfortunately, many businesses think it is enough to publish ordinary content to lure potential customers to their website. However, contemporary users are discerning and quality-conscious, which means that if you do not create content that is relevant, in-depth, original, updated, and engaging, users are not likely to stick with you. One of the digital marketing tips suggested by expert marketers is to pay close attention to the presentation of the content because most people do not like to read much. Images, illustrations, charts, diagrams, infographics, and videos, can help you get and retain their attention. You should be careful to check the content for spelling and grammatical mistakes as they make you look unprofessional. It is vital to be neutral in your stance because users tend to dismiss overtly promotional content. Stick to the main intent of the article as introducing fluff to increase the length only serves to disappoint users.
Using Plagiarized or Duplicate Content
Many content creators take the easy way out and copy content published by others, however, this can be counterproductive due to two reasons. Firstly, users familiar with the contents will find nothing new. They will know that it has been copied from elsewhere, which will impact negatively the credibility of the website. Secondly, Google penalizes sites using plagiarized content and drives it down the search rankings, which means the chances of generating organic traffic to your website are greatly diminished. Google is so sensitive to duplicate content that it may start penalizing you for having the same content on the different pages of your website, so you need to be ultra-careful when creating and publishing web content. Not only do you need to instruct your content creators to avoid plagiarizing content but also check all content, including those submitted by guest bloggers with a plagiarism checker, says Forbes. Even though it can take more time and effort, it invariably pays off to generate original content rather than superficially changing words here and there to try and evade plagiarism penalties. At the end of the day, users are interested in getting original content from your perspective and not content lifted from other places.
Ignoring the Potential of Long-Tail Keywords
Most content creators focus on short and exact keywords for achieving higher SERPs. It is because they are not aware of the potential of long-tail keywords to generate organic traffic. However, as research has proven, the use of long-tail keywords improves the website’s SEO value. Typically, both users and search engines find long-tail keywords easier to understand, especially in a given context, which makes higher rankings possible. Since long-tail keywords are more specific to your business, they have a better rate of conversion even though the search volume is much lesser. Because long-tail keywords are more specific, they attract the attention of users who have more advanced search intent. Targeting high-volume keywords may help in optimizing the content for search engines, however, getting a decent rank can often prove impossible given the steep competition. Long-tail keywords have the advantage of being less used by the competition and thus a better chance to rank higher.
In the contemporary competitive environment, marketers have no option but to rely on digital marketing to ensure success. However, given the expense of online advertising, engaging in a sustained advertising campaign is not feasible for most businesses. It is more practical and affordable to craft high-quality content and implement search engine optimization tactics. However, you need to implement SEO keeping in mind the needs of your target audience and the challenges of the competitive environment and the search engine algorithm for the best results. Making mistakes can mean needless loss of opportunity, time, effort, and money.