A cross mark representing a mistake and a tick mark representing avoiding the mistake.

The 10 Common SEO Mistakes You Should Avoid: How to Avoid Them

Diana Aghumyan

Table of Contents

“I will publish fresh content for my audience”. “I will pack my content with lots of keywords”. “I will post beautiful pictures of my niche”. “I will create a website”. When starting a business from scratch or landing in the digital sphere, you probably have such thoughts. You think you automatically appear on people’s screens from a search. Hmm, will I disappoint you if I say your ideas may not have much effect? People will find you if you want to. But it doesn’t mean begging engines to rank your website. Instead, it means optimizing properly and SEO mistakes to avoid. 

Today, any business should consider digital optimization when there is a digital battle for buyers’ attention. It is integral for brand awareness, website traffic boosts, and sales growth. Imagine the audience loss otherwise. Since a significant part of product searches (yearly 87%) start on engines. Lesson learned – investing in Search Engine Optimization is the way to go.

Whatever you do, practicing the right and fast way out is critical. SEO practices are continually changing due to changes in customers’ behavior, engine regulations, and market demands. SEO requires careful attention to procedures and thoughtful undertaking steps. In any business, mistakes are a natural part of the working process. SEO mistakes are too. Even so, the best way to avoid them is acknowledgment. 

Do you recognize the following SEO mistakes? Learn how to avoid them

If you deal with SEO, somehow, you will recognize some of the widespread SEO mistakes. No harm done; it’s time to learn how to avoid them in the future.

1. You don’t know your audience

Why do you care for SEO? Because you want a particular audience to see your content. What if you don’t know the audience? Oops, you optimize for an anti-age cream for 20-30-year-old girls, whereas your real audience is the 40+ women who want to look younger. Here is a big bummer. When optimizing a niche website, you must ask yourself who you are advertising and marketing for. Acknowledging the right buyer persona is the first step in smooth SEO. You need to wholly understand the exact audience, their needs, and demands to appear in the right search results at the right time.

Tips to avoid the mistake 

  • Ask yourself who will need your product or service
  • Understand who you produce or serve for
  • Find out information about your website visitors (demographics – age, gender, location)
  • Do a competitor analysis 
  • Gather follower information from your company’s Facebook page
  • Talk to potential customers about their pain points, needs, and interests
  • Craft a buyer persona and get started

2. You don’t optimize with the correct keywords

Do you create content? Great job if you do. What keywords do you use? Randomly chosen or out of the blue? Well, that counts in big SEO mistakes to avoid. SEO is based mainly on the right keywords that affect search engine visibility. They help create compelling content and drive quality traffic from the engines to your website. Not selecting the appropriate keywords will decrease your ranking chances. If you continue producing content with no relevant keywords, chances are you get no website traffic since you are not optimizing your top content for the audience’s search intent. Common keyword SEO mistakes to avoid include:

  • Doing no or partial keyword research
  • Not choosing long-tail keywords
  • Neglecting search intents

Tips to avoid the mistake 

  • Identify your audience’s intents
  • Allocate time to researching 
  • Select both long- and short-tail keywords before creating content
  • Use online tools to explore keywords
  • Don’t focus only on one topic keyword, be versatile in your choices
  • Target keywords with less difficulty

A searcher looking for something.3. You don’t have an SEO plan

Who will need the audience and keyword research if the information is not applied strategically? SEO plan or strategy refers to the steps you take to maximize your search engine visibility. This plan is central as it helps you be on track and create what your ideal audience is looking for, not what you presume they are looking for. The plan makes your content organized, indexable, and timely found. SEO is not a one-time thing, it is a continual process, and you need a plan to stick to and not fail the ranking.

Tips to avoid the mistake 

  • Evaluate your competitors’ performance in ranking and content
  • Set optimization goals aligned with your overall company goals
  • Craft a set of actions to tackle the goals
  • Break down tasks for your team
  • Set deadlines for each campaign
  • Integrate tools for a smoother workflow and follow the strategy

4. You don’t create relevant and authentic content

What do you think potential customers in the awareness bubble look for? When they are in the awareness stage, your audience is searching engines for your content to get useful information and get educated on your niche. This means your content should align with your audience’s needs, wants, and interests. One of the most common SEO mistakes arises when content is not about the right audience. Occasionally trying to fool audiences, marketers appear in the wrong content trap. Remember, any content will rank well when it fits the searcher’s intent – that’s the engine’s logic. 

This mistake arises when creators:

  • try to pack a single content with multiple keywords
  • produce content just for keyword input
  • don’t put content and keyword topic on the same line
  • focus on content quantity instead of quality

Creating relevant content means matching it with the audience’s search intent. Creating authentic content means building trust with your audience by giving them value.

SEO mistakes to avoid: Tips for you

  • Learn who you produce content for and personalize accordingly
  • Research well before creating content
  • Aline your SEO goals with your content
  • Don’t focus on a single content type – be flexible
  • Create your content around E-A-T – Expertise. Authority. Trustworthiness.
  • Answer people’s questions, not your imagination 

5. You don’t have unique title tags and meta descriptions

Keywords and content are just the start of SEO. Optimization often fails because of lacking or wrong use of title tags and meta descriptions. Leaving them out of your SEO checklist means losing ample audience base opportunities. Engine crawlers and indexers pay a lot of attention to these features. Your site’s optimization and SEO results hugely depend on unique title tags and optimized meta descriptions. Simply said, these two are to impress engines, the way gifts impress your consumers. Title tags and meta descriptions are indicators for the searchers and the engines to know what your page is about. They help engines rank according to the search intent, and viewers decide whether to click.

Tips to avoid the mistake 

  • Give each page a unique title tag and meta description
  • Invest in optimizing the title tags and meta descriptions
  • Keep the title length under 60 and the meta description length under 160 characters
  • Don’t write long title tags; try to match them with the search intent
  • Use keywords logically and mindfully without packing 
  • Use the main keywords at the beginning of the titles
  • Create a concisely descriptive meta description in around 1-3 sentences
  • Include contact information and other useful data in the meta description
A mobile display of a search.

6. You don’t have authentic internal or external links

You make a purchase, open the box, and there is garbage inside. What will you do? Get irritated, avoid the brand, write a bad review, etc. Search engines take low-quality link-filled content the same way. When it comes to internal and external links in SEO, sites that link authentically without trying to deceive or mislead engines seamlessly rank top. Sometimes, guys in SEO have wrong imaginations about linking, link earning, and link building. Some specialists rely on how many links they’ll insert in the content rather than how valuable and authentic those links are. Only focusing on the number of links turns the site into a garbage-like purchase. Engines detect and avoid such websites. Understanding this is a part of the fundamental SEO specialist skills. 

Not only should links be authentic, but the text, the anchor text you put the clickable link on, should be relevant to the link. It happens that content producers take it out of nowhere. This common mistake decreases the site’s reputation.

When linking internally, a common mistake is that sites don’t place links to well-performing sites. Just like keyword packing, link packing is also a widespread mistake. Internal linking should be done more than just for the linking purpose but for providing value to the audiences. Engines consider unnatural linking deceitful, and site ranking becomes a dream.

Tips to avoid the mistake 

  • Check the DA of a site you want to link to
  • Keep checking the quality of the links you have 
  • Detect any harmful and broken links to fix or remove
  • Quality content magnets quality links
  • When linking internally, link pages that have similar content
  • Don’t link to irrelevant internal links

7. You don’t have a fast and mobile-friendly site

Imagine you enter a website on your mobile device and cannot find the search button that was so well visible on the desktop and on search engine visibility. You will get nervous and shut the page. Search engines don’t want the user to get irritated and rank according to their convenience. To be mobile-friendly means to work as comfortably on the smartphone as on the desktop. In other words, mobile friendliness implies a website is convenient to navigate on any device or tablet. The mobile-friendly website comes with a fast load. 

Slow-loading sites cause the same irritation among users. So, this is another consideration if you want to rank top. SEO experts must follow Google’s rules in the ranking game. In this respect, Google has adopted a mobile-first index in ranking pages. Thus you will win the ranking game if you don’t fall into the desktop-only optimization trap. Design, low-quality videos, unoptimized images, and pop-up ads are the primary factors that cause these SEO mistakes.

Tips to avoid the mistake 

  • Work on accelerating the site’s load time
  • Use a dynamic website design to serve different HTML codes
  • Create a mobile subdomain to direct mobile traffic there; it will look something like m.domain.com or mobile.domain.com
  • Develop a responsive design that is a design that responds well to different devices and windows according to the screen size
  • Compress images for optimization, this will affect the load-time

8. You don’t optimize images

You will think, what on Earth is image optimization, or who has invented it? If you still don’t put efforts in image optimization or recognize the concept, your SEO practices are half-done. Your actions can fall flat if the images on the site are not optimized. Website performance hugely depends on image optimization, but this factor is often ignored. Image file optimization is important because:

As a chain of cause and effect, SEO elements affect one another. If images are not optimized, browsers take time to load, slowing the process down, as a result, ranking is negatively affected.

Tips to avoid the mistake 

  • Resize and reduce image sizes
  • Optimize the file name, including the target keyword separating it with a hyphen
  • Use hyphens to help engines understand individual words
  • Make sure both humans and engines will understand the file name, don’t overcomplicate it with meaningless numbers or symbols
  • Based on what you want to emphasize choose the right file format
  • Don’t forget the image alt text or title

9. You don’t have good Google reviews

We sometimes hear businesses ask their customers to leave a review. However, some need to learn how to use those reviews. The good side of reviews, whether positive or negative, is that they influence engine ranking. It simply tells engines that the site and product have engagement. Google reviews are estimated to account for 57.5% of all local online reviews, whereas Facebook reviews account for 19%. Reviews help businesses appear in the map pack and affect the local ranking. Regardless of the content, reviews tell Google that your business is real and that people do business with you. This helps the engine add a point to your page’s ranking possibility.

Tips to avoid the mistake

  • As a business, ask your customers for reviews. As an SEO specialist, make sure the reviews are available on the website, and Google search results
  • Ask your customers to specify their reviews about one product or service they get
  • Actively respond to reviews, and engage with the consumers
  • Ensure the reviews include target keywords 

10. You don’t use analytics

As an SEO expert, you must know how and when or what pays off your efforts. The most important thing comes in the end; it is the result. You want to know how well your optimization attempts work and what you should improve. 

The way to do so is through progress tracking. You must be in all-out control of the results. Sometimes optimizers are unaware of the tools they have access to for easy measurements, such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console which help monitor how a website performs.

You must do monitoring and tool usage for analytics and various metrics in various stages. These include researching for keywords, link measurements, tracking, analyzing the site visitors’ information, workflow management, content posting, image compressing, etc.

Tips to avoid the mistake

  • Choose the best tools for your needs 
  • Track the results of your actions
  • Track the visitors’ bounce rate and identify the reason 
  • Use Google Analytics for 404 pages alert
  • Watch for the social media shares 
  • Track location-based organic traffic

Boost your website traffic by avoiding the most common SEO mistakes 

Digital marketing is half-done without search engine optimization. The component provides your business with new leads, consumers, and sales. Therefore, SEO should be done with utmost attention and care to avoid losing people or income. Engines change the regulations and ranking factors so frequently that a once-effective practice may become an unwanted mistake not to affect search engine visibility. Hence, SEO specialists must keep watching the engine regulations and constantly invest in their optimization practices. We discussed the most widespread mistakes in the sphere and suggested tips to avoid each. The best way to rank your website is to learn the good and the bad, endow in the good, and eliminate the bad.


Receive the latest Saynine Newsletter updates.

Next to the SEO-related results, outsourcing will save you costs, time, resources, and headaches.