Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is a fast-changing and often misunderstood enterprise, so it’s unsurprising that there are many common mistakes and pitfalls associated with SEO.
We reached out to some of Australia’s leading SEO experts and asked the question:
What is the most common mistake you see in SEO?
In the quotes below you’ll find details on why some of the most common SEO mistakes are:
- Not understanding your target market
- Not optimising for mobile content
- Using outdated SEO practices
- Not implementing SEO strategies
Site owners need to be more mindful and aware of what the purpose of their content is and the type of audience who will be consuming that content, as well as where they need to place it within the site for maximum reach.
Ignoring user intent. And ignoring what Google deems to be relevant to a search query. This means, it’s not enough to just rely on keywords with high search volumes, target these and then sit back and wait for things to fall into place. The pages on a website need to provide an answer (information) or a solution (sale) and serve content based on what the user is looking for.
The most common mistakes are not understanding the market you are competing in. SEO is changing every day and the vertical aspect of any business plays an important role in determining what side of the equation you should focus your resources on.
I see a huge shift in building content on a scale in recent years which can be beneficial in some categories but doesn’t always work with others. I think having a deeper understanding of what you or your clients offer and how your services, products and content fit together is going to become much more important in the coming years.
It’s still so common for the desktop experience to be prioritised above mobile. In 2018 SEOs, developers and clients have to be relentless about putting the mobile experience first.
Everyone knows the stats about visitation from mobile outpacing desktop and it’s only growing. Yet we still come across sites where the mobile experience is second rate compared to desktop.
A common mistake that I still see in these days is that websites are not creating mobile responsive versions. A lot of websites are set in their ways and think that their visitors will not be affected if they don’t have a mobile version.
No matter how many desktop users you have, you still need to think of the mobile users. By not having a mobile responsive web design, you are essentially isolating all of these users.
One of the most common mistakes I see is digital marketers and content developers not optimising content for mobile. No matter what kind of content we create, we need to ensure people can access and engage with the content from their mobile.
Optimised images, article formatting and a mobile-first approach will help you keep your mobile traffic on your site, and they’ll be more likely to convert.
It’s 2018, and even though Google has warned people, I’m still seeing websites that have all of these really poor SEO practices that might have worked 10 years ago, but people are often suckers for these ‘reach the top of Google for this very cheap price’. They buy into these snake oil things, like link farming, copying content from really obvious external sources and over-optimising keywords so the actual sentence doesn’t even make sense anymore.
In 2018, and with recent algorithm updates such as RankBrain, each website should be looked at differently. Instead of the automated audit and strategy, far more time and analysis should be put into developing strategies and roadmaps that add value and cater to the user. Everything from design to site architecture to content to funnel optimisation should be looked into.
The biggest mistake I see is that people still try and retrofit SEO into live content instead of having their content be informed by SEO insights.
People need to look at content as an asset because of the value it drives to the site over time, especially when it comes to evergreen content.
If you have a piece of content crafted using SEO insights, trends data, content amplification trends and solid persona information, the quality and reach of that content will be far more lucrative for your business than if you write something you “happen to think” will work with your audience.
The way that content is placed into the site is also only too often overlooked. Information architecture is very important for SEO visibility and growth. Burying valuable and informative content deep inside your site structure will do no favours for your site visibility and traffic goals.
For me the most common mistake I’ve seen would be web developers launching a client’s new website without any consideration for SEO. Over the past 12 years I’ve seen it all – from sites launched with a sitewide NOINDEX tag, pages missing Google Analytics codes, to one-page designs with no content at all.
Another common issue I see is sites being “de-optimised” during the build process – a process where optimised, ranking pages are changed or removed from the website completely during the build process. It is essential that web developers and SEOs work together during a website launch, from the design phase right through to post launch checks
The most common mistake is lack of implementation! Strategy and planning are great, however it’s execution that gets results.
Two of the main reasons for lack of implementation are:
- Lack of dedicated resource to implement – Dedicated developer / editorial is not assigned to the project.
- SEO is not seen as a priority – Tasks get added to the development list but constantly get de-prioritised due to other business development tasks getting priority.
Do you recognise any of these mistakes? If you do, you’re not alone and it’s easier than you think to turn your SEO strategies around. By keeping up-to-date with the latest SEO techniques and implementing strategies targeted towards your audience you can improve your website’s performance in no time.
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