8 Stupid Mistakes that can Negatively Impact your Search Engine Optimization

Making mistakes is part of being human and is completely normal. We all mess up sometimes and it should be expected every now and then. That being said, it can seriously set back your progress, especially within the digital marketing world. Let’s take a look at 8 stupid mistakes that can negatively impact your search engine optimization and help prevent you from repeating the mistakes of others in an effort to streamline your digital marketing and SEO progress!

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is a tool used by digital marketing specialists and individuals to help their content better rank within search engines to allow their message, products, and services to reach a wide spectrum of potential viewers, customers, and clients.

Designed to improve the quality and quantity of web traffic to your site, SEO can make a massive difference in your engagement and ability to contact clients and potential customers, increasing your revenue potential greatly. It is a way of using unpaid traffic to connect instead of paid advertisements and direct messaging.

Through the strategic use of keywords and careful content planning, you can create an article that is perfect for your given niche and work towards getting higher visibility for your content by helping it rank well within Google’s algorithm. This means it will be displayed sooner in the list of articles supplied by Google when a search related to your keywords occurs and is more likely to be selected for viewing.

Common Mistakes

There are a lot of things that can be done wrong accidentally when working with SEO. It is a bit of an intricate system and takes some getting used to in order to be able to effectively use. One of the best ways to help speed up your road to SEO success is to learn from the mistakes of others and skip the mishaps. Let’s explore eight of the most commonly made and easily preventable mistakes that are often seen within search engine optimization digital marketing campaigns.

1. Post-Launch Noindex/Nofollow

When working on creating a new website or revamping an old one to better sit within the current niche marketplace, using the noindex or nofollow meta tags can be very helpful in ensuring customers and clients do not view your site until it is completely ready for a public launch. These meta tags work to indicate to Google that you do not want a website or page on a website to show up in searches at that given point in time, causing Google to automatically drop the content and not display it.

This is beneficial when you do not want the site to be viewed but sometimes, those tags are not removed with the launch. This means that even though your new site or page is ready to be displayed, that noindex or nofollow meta tag is going to prevent any search engine traffic.

This can dramatically slow down a launch and prevent you from reaching your digital marketing goals on time, so be sure to always check and doublecheck that those stopper meta tags are properly removed when you are ready to go public.

2. Using the Wrong Keywords

When you are an SEO specialist or even someone who works within the realm for any significant period of time, it is easy to develop patterns. You find a nice, longtail keyword that is an easy option due to lowered competition levels within the niche and goes with it, only to find that when people are looking up that keyword, the content you write is not appropriate.

It is very easy to pick a keyword-based on the ease of use and likelihood of success and not actually do the research to see how to be an effective and informative writer for that topic. The majority of people who may Google, “leather shoe cleaning at home” may be looking for leather shoe cleaning kits, requiring a product-based article, but if you do not look into what they are seeking out, you may create a piece based around how to clean your leather shoes at home without the use of products altogether. This is a mild example but in some cases it can make your article wholly ineffective and even outright useless to your consumers, causing them to click away almost as soon as they open the link.

Research is key, even if you are confident in your keyword selecting skills. Even professional SEO specialists mess up sometimes.

3. Under Utilizing Google Analytics and Google Search Console

There are a lot of tools available to those working on search engine optimization. This is a good thing since it can sometimes be a bit of an intricate job to properly search engine optimize the content on a website or page. If you are not using the tools given to us by Google to directly benefit these SEO efforts, you are truly missing out.

Google Analytics is a tool designed to give you direct performance data concerning your website. This includes how many people view your site, what time of day your site is most used, and the demographics of those viewing your site, like location and how long they were on your site.
Similarly, Google Search Console is a tool that works excellently in tandem with Google Analytics. This helps you to learn about who linked your article, who uses it, and if there are technical or mechanical issues within your content and site.

There are plenty of amazing tools out there that can be very beneficial while working on a search engine optimization digital marketing campaign but not also utilizing Google Analytics and Google Search Console while using these tools that you have invested in could create blindspots and cause you to miss out on some very valuable input data. There is no reason to not use both Google tools and the proprietary or secondary ones you have access to. More data is always better!

4. Lack of Internal Links

When finding sources, it is easy to get wrapped up in using Google Scholar to pull content from journals and credible resources that give your site an air of authority. While this is definitely beneficial and creates an expertise niche within your genre of content, it is important to remember that linking to your own content on your own site can have the same effect and help draw even more traffic and assist Google in crawling your sites.

If you use some reputable sources like medical journals and case studies in your content, there is no reason you cannot link to your own pages. In fact, it could be even more beneficial for your clients and customers who are viewing your pages since it creates a much more seamless navigational experience and reading time. Plus, your articles should be well researched enough so that other sites will link them as authoritative resources, so why not do it yourself and double down on the SEO? It will likely have a very real impact.

5. Staying the Same

Google refreshes its algorithm and works to ensure that all content it ranks highly is not outdated, incorrect, devalued, or irrelevant. That means that in order to continue to rank well within Google’s algorithm standings, you may have to refresh and update your content regularly.

Sources change and over time, we often discover that what we once thought was correct is actually outdated or outright wrong. We learn new ways to do things and create new research information regularly, which contributes to the need to update things based on new information.

Keeping yourself and your site up to date on the latest advancements and information to be made available is key in ensuring your content does not become buried when things begin to change or when the algorithm refreshes and boots the inaccurate or not helpful pieces.

6. Unclear Search Intent

Google divides its searches into three different groups:

  • Go Searches are searches that are designed to help you go achieve a goal, like “shoe stores near me” or “places to purchase chocolates in Cleveland”
  • Know Searches are designed to inform someone and answer a question. They are made to provide knowledge and include things like, “can cats have milk?” or “best treats for ferrets”.
  • Do Searches are used to do things online, like “buy laptops online now”. They will direct you to stores and other sites where specific goals can be achieved from a transactional standpoint.

If you are creating content for search engine optimization purposes, you need to decide on which option would best fit the content and write for that option. It does not make sense to write an article about purchasing candy in person for someone who was searching for online shopping options or vice versa, so be sure you are creating the content your keyword choice requires to best serve your audience and remain ranked highly within the Google algorithm.

7. Pausing SEO Efforts

Once your site is up and running, it can be very tempting to want to sit back and take a break. After all, your site likely is doing well following all of your previous SEO efforts and probably is generating a decent amount of traffic due to all of those previous articles and content updates you have made with strong keywords. Why not take some time off and let it do its thing?

This is a very good way to tank your site. SEO efforts require continuous updating and refreshing, as previously mentioned, and can be a bit finicky. You have to keep the effort going in order to ensure you will keep ranking well within Google’s algorithm. If you slack off, there is a very real possibility that your ranking will begin to slip and your articles and content will begin to lose interest and views. Once this happens, it can be tricky to regain the level of engagement you once had since another site has since taken your place.

Pausing your SEO efforts is not typically a good idea unless it is a very brief break or once that you cannot control. SEO is something that is vital in ensuring your website meshes well with leading search engines and is viable. This is why search engine optimization digital marketing campaigns are so popular and widely used now. They make a massive difference in the impact of a site. Do not let your content and previous efforts go to waste; keep working on your SEO and ranking higher and higher.

8. Traffic-Only Focus

Having thousands of people come to your site to view things is great but if only two make a purchase or show interest in your brand, you are not getting the effect you need in order to thrive. Quantity is not more important than quality in regards to the connections made with your content and turnover rates. You have to focus on both.

Traffic is something that your site obviously needs. You have to have people coming to view your content or else it is not serving any purpose at all. That being said, there is more to SEO than just how much traffic you are getting.

Sure, traffic is vital but conversions are equally, if not more, important. Conversions are how many of the views you get and how much of the traffic brought to your site is turned into a sale or service request. Essentially, how many people who come for the SEO content stick around for your brand.

A Learning Process

There are a lot of things to learn within SEO and digital marketing as is. Why not make it easier on yourself and learn from the mistakes of others? It might make your campaign run a little bit smoother and create an easier pathway for you to reach your ultimate goals. Being successful in online marketing requires a lot of work so take the easiest path and skip these common slip-ups.

Josh McKay
Josh McKay
I write on the foundational concepts of search engine optimization (SEO). Learn the strategy behind great SEO, including keyword planning, content optimization, link building, and SEO for ecommerce, local search, and mobile audiences.
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Showing 2 comments
  • Susan
    Reply

    If you are into getting more leads, don’t just focus on traffic. Make sure to focus on targeted traffic.

  • Roger
    Reply

    Noindex/Nofollow is one of my usual mistakes that I should always remember. Thanks for sharing this list. I will bookmark this and make sure to check this list everytime.

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