In order to reach the top ranking for their targeted keywords, search engine optimization novices often make errors that hurt their SEO. Others forget to take care of the essentials for attracting traffic. But every snag someone else has hit can be a lesson in what not to do. Here are four common SEO mistakes you should avoid making:
1. Stuffing Your Content with Keywords
Making content related to target keywords (the ones you want your site or page to rank for) is a basic technique of SEO. This fact may lead you to assume that the more you use these keywords, the better an effect you’ll have. This couldn’t be more incorrect. Overusing your target keywords is considered spam to search engines. They will penalize your site, meaning you could actually drop in rank as a result of keyword stuffing. Don’t fall for the quantity-over-quality trap.
2. Ignoring Mobile
Ignoring mobile users is a massive mistake for a couple of reasons. The first, and most obvious, is that more people are browsing the web on mobile devices than computers. This trend has been the case for a few years now, and the trend shows no sign of stopping. That means if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’ll have a lot of very dissatisfied customers. These customers are will likely to bounce immediately off your site when they realize it isn’t responsive. Google and other search engines penalize sites which they detect aren’t mobile-friendly, regardless of the device visitors are using. So even someone searching your target keywords on a desktop won’t see your site in the top results—all because you didn’t optimize for mobile.
3. Using Poor Quality Backlinks
Another core SEO technique that can go wrong if improperly applied, building backlinks is all about establishing your site as a connected and reliable source of information. But if you’re earning backlinks from other sites that aren’t reputable and reliable, you won’t see any improvement in the rankings. Moreover, if the search engine detects that you’re using “spammy” backlinks, you’ll get penalized. So link to sites that people visit, and get backlinks from these same reputable sites, especially if they’re in your niche.
4. Duplicating Content
Plagiarizing your material, whether it’s from someone else or yourself, is easy for search engines to pick up on. And they’ll knock you for it. While it’s understandable that you might be in a rush to put together content quickly, you’ll regret it if you resort to copying and pasting content from another website. The same is true about republishing your own articles with new headlines or tags. Google and other search engines see this as disingenuous and will penalize your ranking immediately if they discover you’re publishing non-original content without attribution.
Take the time to carefully do your research and make sure to avoid these and other SEO mistakes. It will pay off in the long run and help you to achieve your search engine optimization goals.