Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a powerful tool that can help businesses increase their online visibility and attract more customers through search engines such as Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo.
However, SEO is an ever-changing beast, and with all the extra documentation being released by search engines all the time, it’s more important than ever to remain vigilant when it comes to the fundamentals of SEO.
When it comes to staying ahead of the crowd, you should be aware of the common pitfalls that can so often hinder your efforts. You can use Smarketa’s SEO services to avoid Common Seo Pitfalls.
In this article, we’ve explored three of the most common SEO pitfalls: poor keyword research, mismanagement of 404 errors, and low-quality website development.
Poor Keyword Research
Keyword research is the foundation of any successful SEO strategy. When undertaking keyword research, you should always be looking to identifying the keywords and phrases that your ideal users are searching for, and optimising your website accordingly.
Many website owners make the mistake of not conducting thorough-enough keyword research, though. Aside from not aiming your content at your ideal customer base, weak keyword research can lead to poor search engine rankings across the board, and low traffic to boot.
Some SEOs focus too heavily on high-volume keywords without considering the competition. Perhaps they’re seeing case studies in their head! More likely, it’s because they haven’t spent time fully understanding what their client base is looking for.
Instead of aiming for the big fish, trying to identify long-tail keywords that are less competitive (but still relevant to your business!) is often a higher yield strategy, despite being less glamourous.
Mismanagement of 404 Errors
A 404 error is returned when a user tries to access a page on your website that doesn’t exist. A common occurrence that may seem scary at first glance, but according to Logic Design 404s can be good for SEO so they are not an occurrence that need to hinder your efforts.
404 errors are inevitable, so it is important to manage them properly to avoid negative SEO-related consequences.
One of the most common mistakes that website owners make is to simply ignore 404 errors. This can lead to a high bounce rate, which is a negative signal to search engines. To avoid this, you should consider using plugins such as Redirection (if you’re using WordPress) to manage your 301s, and redirect users to a relevant page on your website, instead of allowing them to encounter a 404 page.
Another mistake is to redirect all 404 errors to your homepage. While this might seem like a good solution, it can be detrimental to your SEO efforts.
Search engines are looking for relevant content that matches the user’s search intent. If all 404 errors are being redirected to your homepage, there is a strong chance that you’re not providing the user with the content they were initially looking for. Not only will your users become frustrated, but search engines are likely to penalise your site as a result.
Low-Quality Website Development
Finally, poor website development can be a major pitfall when it comes to SEO. A website that is slow, difficult to navigate, or not optimised for mobile can hugely impact your rankings, user experience and even perhaps the authority that your website holds within search engines.
When it comes to what makes a website slow, there are many tools that can help you understand this. None more helpful than Google’s very own PageSpeed insights.
Often, factors like there being too many images on a page, or icon libraries being needlessly loaded can really slow down your website. (While visuals can enhance your website’s design and user experience, many SEO managers will tell you that there is certainly a line to avoid crossing!) Using tools such as PageSpeed insights, Google Lighthouse or GT Metrix can be really helpful when identifying problem points in your landing pages.
It may seem crazy in 2023, but there are still websites that are not optimised for mobile devices. This is a huge mistake. With more and more users accessing the internet on their mobile phones or tablets, there really is no excuse for your website to NOT be optimised for mobiles.
Whether it’s the layout, the load time, or the poor usability, a poorly optimised-for-mobile website makes users far more likely to leave your website before they’ve had a chance to read your content – and look for what they need elsewhere.
SEO is a complex practice that requires careful planning and attention to detail.
By avoiding common pitfalls and staying on top of industry developments, there is always room to improve your search engine rankings and attract more traffic to your website.
Overall, by avoiding the three pitfalls above, you’ll have a great base point for building traffic and rankings, and you’ll be on your way to helping your business succeed online.