5 SEO DON’Ts – The Most Common Mistakes in Search Engine Optimization

Ranking on Google is difficult in itself, but add in changing algorithms and transformational consumer behavior – and you’ll find yourself in need of optimizing your site more frequently than not. We’ve listed the 5 most common SEO mistakes you’ll want to avoid to rank on search engines:

1. You forgot to focus on site speed

The most common SEO-mistake is forgetting that speed matters! You want Google to favor your site? Make sure it’s FAST. The faster, the better. Now that the page experience ranking factor is slowly rolling out, your business’s website needs to prioritize speed in order to keep a high ranking in search results. We recommend using Google PageSpeed Insights to learn more about your website’s performance and what aspects you can improve on.

But, if you’re looking for a quick fix – Optimize your images! Images are rather large, and many websites are filled with not only photos, but videos and animations that slow the loading time down. By resizing your images, you can speed up your time.

Another potential fix is to analyze your site’s plugins. Are you utilizing them to their fullest? Are you using them at all? Is it possible that you can condense and find one plugin to fit all operations? Less is more – and the fewer plugins you have activated on your site, the faster it may load for users on desktop and mobile.

2. You’re using generic keywords on every page

Search engine optimization goes beyond just inserting generic keywords into your website content. To rank on Google you have to make sure you’re using specific keywords. For example, a small business that implements “real estate” into their strategy is not going to be able to compete with the bigger businesses using that generic keyword. A better strategy is to add the area your company is located or services. For example “Real Estate Agent in Manhattan”. This tightens the net and brings in users that fit your target criteria.

Use your generic keywords to brainstorm long tail keywords. From this brainstorm, you will find that you have an outline of content to create for the upcoming months!

3. Keywords in page titles are MIA

Not only do keywords in your page titles and meta-descriptions help Google to identify what your page is about, but, without such – consumers don’t know what to expect when presented with your website in search engines. After searching for a query, the consumer is presented with a multitude of options to click on. Each one contains the title of the page and it’s meta-description.

By adding your keyword to both these features, you are signaling to the consumer that your website provides exactly what they are looking for. Be careful though! If your page title is too long, it will get cut off. Optimizing both of these will increase your Click Through Rate (CTR).

4. Writing new content just “isn’t for you”

Even after suggesting this over and over again, we still experience some business owners who just don’t want to write content because “it’s not what they do”. (Totally fine – because.. It’s what Adapting Social does!) If you aren’t having someone create content for you, you have to spend some time on it.

Google needs enough copy to find out what value your page provides, so each page should have at least 300 words. To signal to Google what your content is about – use your keyword 1-3% of the time throughout the page and remember – Google is not your audience, you should be writing content that your target audience will find entertaining and engaging!

5. Your mobile version sucks

In a World where consumers use their phones more often than their computers, it is so important the mobile version of your site is pristine. This is a common mistake many make, especially after Google switched to mobile-first indexing back in 2018. Having a killer site on desktop means nothing if the mobile version is not responsive.

If you’re unsure if your site is mobile-friendly, check out Google’s mobile-friendly test. It’ll help to determine how easily visitors can use your page on their mobile devices. But don’t solely take their word for it – check it out yourself. Doing user experience checks every so often will help to ensure that your site is as responsive as it needs to be for your target audience.

Let’s Wrap It Up

SEO is not easy! We get it – the algorithms change very often, the digital landscape changes and your consumer’s behavior changes as time goes on, too. All of which affect the way your site should be optimized for search engines. While the journey mirrors a roller coaster, it is important to update and optimize your website on a regular basis.

Don’t make one of these common mistakes. By following this optimization advice you are already on your way to white hat, optimized site. And, we’re always here to help lead the way. With a variety of SEO packages, we are confident that we have an optimization service that fits your site’s needs. Contact us today to get started!

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