16 SEO Mistakes You Need To Avoid In 2021
You need to get to grasps with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) if you want to grow your blog. SEO should be an essential part of blogging if you want your blog to grow and thrive. The problem with SEO is that search engines are getting smarter and more sophisticated, which means the goalposts are constantly changing.
The SEO techniques that once worked are no longer acceptable. Search engines are introducing new adjustments to make their algorithms better. Do you want to give your blog the best chance of success and stay ahead of the curve? If your answer is yes, then you need to focus on SEO and make sure what you are doing is the current best practice. Let’s check out some SEO mistakes to avoid:
Focus On Quality Rather Than Quantity
While being a blogger, it’s probably one of the biggest SEO mistakes to avoid. Search engines are gradually more focused on quality over quantity. Rather than writing 10 rushed, badly written, disorganized, poor quality posts, it is better to write 1 well-written, well-organized blog post that helps your readers and SEO. The essence of a good SEO strategy is by focusing on quality over quantity. The best way to rank number 1 on Google is by writing good quality content.
1. Write What Your Readers Want To Read
People turn to Google for answers. So, you need to make sure that your blog posts are solving the said problems for the target audience. Try not to write what you want to write about rather write about what your readers would want to read. To do well in search engine results, get into the heads of your readers and think about what they would like to read about? What are their problems? Troubles? Just focus on solving your reader’s problems and write comprehensive answers to their problems.
2. Update And/Or Delete Poor Quality Content
Search engines are gradually concerned about sending their searchers to results from websites that have only good content. Even though your new posts are good, if you have out-of-date and poor-quality content on your website, it will hold back your SEO efforts.
Get into the habit of regularly reviewing your older content while focusing on your oldest content and posts which get little to no traffic. If you can try to salvage old content by improving and updating it, so that it’s high quality, up-to-date and helpful to your audience. Though, if you find a blog post that is not salvageable, just delete it because there is no point in keeping it. Ultimately, this will help your blog grow and flourish long term.
3. Do Keyword Research
If you want to grow your blog via organic search traffic doing keyword research is essential. How would you know if anyone is searching for the topic you are writing about if you don’t do keyword research before writing? If you don’t conduct keyword research to confirm there is sufficient search volume, you could be wasting time. Your blog post could be ranking number 1 for a search term, but if no one uses that search term, what’s the point? Your blog post will get no organic traffic!
Another keyword research mistake is targeting search terms that are too competitive. While researching your chosen keyword do a Google search on that search term and look at your potential competitors. Will you stand a chance against them? Are all big powerful sites? If yes, you should go for a less competitive keyword.
The last mistake people would make is choosing only one keyword to focus on. While it is good to have a focus keyword, try to optimize your blog post for synonyms of that chosen keyword and secondary keywords too.
4. Optimize Your Blog With The Keywords
After choosing your keyword research, strategically use them in your blog. Include your focus keyword in your URL, your title, your first paragraph, at least one subheading, your description, and scatter them naturally through your blog post.
5. Stuffing Or Over-Optimization Of Your Keyword
This used to be a good SEO tactic, however not anymore! Now, this tactic is more likely to harm than good. Make sure your main focus is on the keyword sparingly throughout your text. Try to aim for a keyword density of 1-2% and the rest of the time use synonyms and secondary keywords instead. This will benefit your SEO in the longer-term.
6. Set Up Yoast SEO Correctly
Not having the Yoast SEO plugin is the first mistake. So, if you don’t have this marvelous plugin, get it now! Also, it’s free! This plugin can help with all sorts of aspects of SEO. Additionally, a lot of bloggers make the mistake of not setting up the Yoast SEO plugin correctly. If you set it up correctly, it can do amazing things for your blog traffic. However, if the setup is wrong, it can cause damage to your SEO.
7. Use Hashtags Properly
Hashtags are increasingly becoming an important part of good SEO. Make sure that you are using hashtags for all your headings. Using a hashtag also helps Google to know what questions your blog is answering. This helps Google know to show your blog post when searchers type those questions into the search box.
8. Using Too Many Tags
Site structure is becoming more imperative to SEO because search engines tend to send their users to websites that are easy to navigate. An area of site structure that a lot of bloggers get wrong is having numerous tags. Each time you create a new tag, it creates a new tag archive page and Google considers these tag archives as ‘thin content’. If you have thousands of these ‘thin content’ pages, it can drag your overall SEO down. Ideally, you should reduce your tags down to just a handful of really good ones, that will be genuinely helpful to your readers and optimize them fully. However, if this looks like way too much work, you could do one quick fix, which is simply don’t add any index to your tag archive pages!
9. Not Optimizing Category And Tag Archive Pages
Bloggers often make the mistake of not optimizing their category and tag archive pages. When it’s fully optimized, these pages are a real asset to your blog and rank in their own right in search engine results (more often with more competitive search terms). However, if you leave them un-optimized, these pages can drag your overall SEO down.
10. Not Paying Attention To Internal Linking Structure
Bloggers not paying attention to their internal linking structure is a big no-no. Make sure that all your blog posts have internal links pointing to them. Usually, search engines follow these links to index pages and posts. So, if a post doesn’t have internal links pointing to it, it gets hard for search engines to find. In addition to this, while evaluating a post’s importance, search engines consider the number of internal links pointing to the said post. If a blog post has no links they consider it unimportant.
11. Do Not Buy Or Sell Backlinks
Even though building good backlinks from other high-quality websites back to your blog posts is an important SEO strategy, you should never buy backlinks. This could result in a Google penalty, which means your blog gets demoted in Google’s search results, or worse it gets removed altogether! Many bloggers continue to sell links on their websites, which also results in Google penalties. So, remember don’t follow, and never accept payment of any kind for following links because you are violating Google’s rules and could get a penalty.
12. Poor Site Maintenance
Poor blog maintenance is another area that can negatively affect your SEO. Google rewards blogs that maintain their blogs well because Google does not wish to send their users to poorly maintained blogs, and is less likely to show results from blogs with poor site maintenance. Also, your blog can slip down in the rankings if it’s not maintained properly.
Make sure that you are regularly checking your blog to ensure that everything is working properly and you have a good internal linking structure with content that is updated and fully optimized.
13. Fix The Broken Links
An area of site maintenance that you should focus on is broken links. Broken links refer to a link found on your page that sends your readers to a ‘404 Not Found’ page when they click on it. If your website contains links to a 404 page, it is a sign of poor blog maintenance and can cause your blog’s ranking to slip down in search engine rankings. To deal with this issue, you can use a service like Broken Link Check, which finds the broken links on your site and then work through them.
14. Having A Slow Website/ Blog
A slow website can seriously harm your SEO. It is one of the biggest SEO mistakes to avoid. As far as SEO is concerned, the faster you can make your website, the better. Here are some ways to improve your site’s speed:
- Authorize lazy loading
- Delete unnecessary themes and plugins
- Ensure the web host is fast and reliable
- Reduce the image sizes
- Use a CDN and a caching plugin to seriously speed things up
15. Get Mobile Responsive Website
This is an SEO no-no! Over 50 percent of web traffic now comes from mobile phones. Make sure that your blog looks and functions just as well on mobile as it does on desktop. First and foremost, you need to make sure your theme is responsive. If your theme is responsive, it will automatically resize the photos, text, etc, to give your reader an excellent experience on mobile. However, if it is not, go for a new responsive theme. In addition to that, whenever you publish a new post, check if it looks good on mobile and functions well there too.
16. Make Sure To Focus On SEO
Well, the SEO biggest mistake you could ever make is not spending any time on SEO. A lot of bloggers made this mistake over the last few years and are now desperately trying to catch up and fix issues on their blogs. So, if you have not yet started working on SEO make sure that you start ASAP, or else it will take even longer to catch up!
Honestly, SEO can be maddening at times. Plus, there is always some new kind of modification being done to Google’s algorithm. Some of these changes are major, while others are minor. We hope that putting things into perspective will help you focus on what matters. This will also help you avoid investing your time and energy into tactics that won’t bring any results. Good luck!