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6 common SEO errors that hurt site rankings, and how to fix them

Posted by Neha De

September 24, 2021    |     4-minute read (733 words)

Search engine optimization is essential for businesses to ensure they remain competitive and attract the right audience. When done right, SEO helps diversify your marketing strategy and brings in more qualified customers. But, if done incorrectly, recovery can be tough and extremely time-consuming. 

Check out six common SEO mistakes digital marketers make, along with tips on how to avoid them.

  1. Not enough audience research – For your digital marketing efforts to have any effect, you must first define the specific target audience that your products or services are aimed at. If you are too generic or casting an extremely wide net, you may end up inhibiting your company’s growth. Your marketing efforts will neither speak to qualified searchers, nor will they attract casual searchers. 

  2. To fix this issue, conduct audience research to learn more about the demographics, such as age, gender, race or occupation, of your business’ ideal customer. One constructive way to do this is to create buyer personas. The practice of recognizing your target consumer and why they would choose your product or service over others can help you send out marketing messages that connect with them.
  1. Using the wrong keywords – Keywords are one of the most important elements of a solid SEO foundation. Search engine crawlers use keywords to evaluate a website and determine the purpose of its content. Effective keywords reflect what interested consumers/searchers are inputting into search engines when looking for specific products and services. 

  2. Optimizing for suitable niche phrases with low competition is a good way to build ranking — usually, the most popular keywords are highly competitive and most likely already in use by larger organizations. Keywords could include location-specific phrases that include a specific neighborhood or city, as this will attract searchers who are close geographically. Long-tail keywords, typically made up of three to five words, are also useful because visitors are more likely to use these when they are closer to a point of purchase or when they are using voice search.
  1. Not using existing content: While up-to-date content is crucial for generating interest in a website, according to HubSpot, updating and republishing old blog posts with fresh content and images can increase organic traffic by as much as 106%. 
  1. Lack of links: Even a well-optimized website will not get results if it is not supported by a robust link network. According to Ahrefs, one of the largest data companies in the search marketing industry, “90.63% of all pages in our index get zero traffic from Google, and 5.29% of them get ten visits per month or less.” The No. 1 reason was lack of backlinks. 

  2. When visitors land on a web page, the aim is to encourage them to stay for longer, so they can learn more about your company. Links between pages are a great way to initiate conversation, which promotes repeat visits to the web page and provides visitors with more balanced information.
  1. Not optimizing for mobile devices: Google research suggests 72% of consumers prefer mobile-friendly websites. “Mobile searchers are more likely to use a site and complete a purchase when the site is mobile-friendly. Sites designed without the mobile consumer in mind actually annoy users and increase their chance of leaving five-fold,” the study reveals.

  2. This does not mean that companies should develop a dedicated mobile-friendly version of their website. Instead, they can come up with a responsive design that allows the website to work seamlessly across multiple devices, as it adjusts its layout, resolution and menu structure based on the device. 
  1. Neglecting to track results: A good SEO strategy is of no use if you don’t know whether it is working for your business. In order to find out which SEO techniques work, web traffic needs to be monitored and examined on a regular basis. This practice will also allow you to adjust your SEO efforts and refine them if required, for making results more scalable and predictable.
Good things come to those who wait

Lastly, it is important to understand that SEO takes time. When a new web page gets published, Google algorithms need to validate the relevance of the content, which is a gradual process and will not happen overnight. In order to give searchers the most useful information, Google algorithms look at many factors, including the words of the query, relevance and usability of pages, expertise of sources, and their location and settings.

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