Everyone thinks they can do SEO. And, all new bloggers think that optimizing their blogs for search engines isn’t as hard as it looks. But they don’t realize their SEO mistakes until they mess up everything!
SEO has been evolving at a rapid rate and most of the information on the internet is old. Most of the new bloggers read old SEO tactics and think they still work. Sad to say – but they don’t, Google’s algorithms changes too fast.
Even the experts can just assume what works and what doesn’t by looking at the data. If someone guarantees your rankings then most likely it’s by either black hat SEO or they are scamming you. Be careful while hiring someone to do SEO.
It’s common for newbies to do mistakes but there are some mistakes which can mess up everything. How would you feel if you worked hard on a blog for months, finally you’re making it top of the rankings and suddenly you’re hit by a penalty?
And, lose all of the traffic? It would suck. Right? This is what happens when you do some mistakes at the starting and don’t put efforts with the right methods. Would you like to be someone who likes to mess up his own hard work?
I know you don’t want to mess up anything, but some mistakes happen on their own when you don’t know about them. In this article, you will know about 10 SEO mistakes that most of the people make. Let’s start.
#1 Stuffing “Keywords” On Your Content
One mistake that almost every new bloggers make is that they think “keyword stuffing” still works. It a black hat way of ranking your site and will surely backfire if you wish to do so. It just goes against the best SEO practices.
For those who don’t know, Keyword stuffing means including a keyword again and again in your blog posts to boost its rankings. In simple words – when you put keywords into your blog post knowingly, again and again, that’s Keyword Stuffing.
Here is an example of it – You should buy a car. If you buy a car then you won’t have to get a taxi. It is great to buy a car. Everyone should buy a car. This is what it looks like. It doesn’t feel good to read. Right?
And, there is no profit in getting the 1st position with blog posts which have a keyword a hundred times. If you do so, you may get some result but they will bounce off your site because that blog post will be damn worse!
#2 Not Updating Your Old Blog Posts
Are you someone who publishes a blog post and then forget about it? If yes, then you’re are missing something. Most of the bloggers are like this, publish a blog post and then forget about them. This is wrong!
If you won’t update your blog posts then people will assume that your blog post is old. But the main importance of updating the blog posts is that it helps in increasing organic traffic. Yes, it sure helps and isn’t hard at all.
It has been proved multiple times that updating old blog posts have a direct effect on search traffic. Bloggers who update their old blog posts see an increase in traffic, an old blog post ranks much higher when it is updated.
Almost every successful blogger does this, you can see that their oldest blog post dates always change. Even I also change the date of my blog posts which makes them feel more recent. Updating the blog posts is good for your blog.
#3 Not Using Images On Blog Posts
Blogging is not all about writing! People just don’t like seeing huge chunks of texts all over the place. That’s why it is important to add images to your blog posts. Not only images make your blog post more appealing it’s also good for SEO.
People are most likely to stay on your blog if you add more images. Most of the readers on the internet love visual content, one reason why so many bloggers create infographics. I also like to see infographics and share them.
While adding images to your blog post is important, you should only add images that are relevant to your blog posts. Adding images which are out of context doesn’t seem like a good idea. Your readers won’t like them.
Also, adding images and optimizing them for image search will give you a lot of image search traffic. Optimizing images for search engines is not hard. Although it’s not too easy either, you can learn about it in a day or two if you are willing to learn.
#4 Having A Slow Site
Is your site way too slow? If yes, then it will surely affect the rankings of your site. Even Google has announced that site speed really matters and it affects the rankings. So, are you good with a slow site? You shouldn’t be!
It’s very important for having a fast loading website. Just think of it – only when your readers will be open your site quickly then they can read it. If your site loads slowly then your readers will leave without ever reading your blog posts.
Nowadays, people are very impatient. Most of the people expect a site to load in 4 to 5 seconds if it is much slower than that they will exit. Site speed is an indirect ranking factor as having a fast site reduces bounce rate.
And, having a low bounce rate has many benefits. There are a lot of ways to speed up your site like – optimizing and compressing images, removing bad plugins, using a CDN, etc. Thus, get up and speed up your site. (If you still haven’t.)
#5 Not Getting Quality Backlinks
There’s a big difference in getting backlinks and getting useful backlinks. Most of the new bloggers think that spamming links all over the web will have an impact on search rankings. And, yes it has an effect that’s called getting a penalty from Google.
You can’t just start to build several thousand backlinks to a single blog post, that too in a single day. Not all backlinks are good for your blog (or site). Links from spammed sites, adult sites have a negative effect on the rankings.
And then there are No-Follow and Do-Follow links. If you’re only creating No-Follow links then it’ll only generate referral traffic. Do-Follow links are the one which passes link juice from web pages. Also, creating only Do-Follow links isn’t good.
If you’re creating only Do-Follow links then it’ll be seen as suspicious. The best way to create backlinks is to create link-worthy content. If your blog post is damn good then it’ll be easier to get backlinks from high authority blogs.
#6 Ignoring Internal And External Links
I guess that you already know about Internal and External linking. If you don’t – Internal links are those links which send your visitors to other pages on your blog (or site), on the other hand, External links send your visitors to another site.
There are many benefits of internal linking, like – passing link juice to pages which have lower rankings, increasing page views, etc. With internal linking, you also get more sales because there will be more page views. Which the main aim!
Also, External linking is also important. Using high authority blogs as source helps to become more credible in the eyes of your readers and search engines. If you link out to other blogs chances are that you will also get a link back.
While link building is important you shouldn’t do it the wrong way, or else face the consequences. The Pros and Cons of Internal & External linking are fully covered by Rand Fishkin on his Whiteboard Friday series. You should check it out.
#7 Hoping For Quick Results
One of the biggest SEO mistakes that you can make is to think that you will see results quickly. When you are blogging, you should know that it’s rare for someone to make money, heck even getting tons of organic visitors too early.
On an average, it takes more than 6 months to get totally out of the google sandbox. Only after that, you will see some decent visitors on your blog. It takes a lot of patience and hard work. (And, it’s not as easy as you think.)
However, the returns of blogging in general, are the same as investing. You can see the investments and efforts reap the benefits only after some time. If you’re someone who can’t put efforts and remain persistent it’s not for you.
To get the maximum returns from SEO, only use white hat techniques. Some often get into thinking that ranking from black hat methods is permanent. Avoid them, make use of your brain and you will find success. (100% sure.)
#8 Plagiarism, Stealing Content
Stealing other people’s content has been a common mistake that most bloggers make. After all, making 100% original content is damn hard. However, some just copy and paste the entire section or blog post from other sites.
Learning from others is good and, it’s almost impossible to create a wholly original piece of content. Whatever you write there will be someone who has written at least some lines like yours. So, aim to be as unique as you can be.
There’s a difference between just passing plagiarism tests and providing unique value. As Rand Fishkin says – your main aim should be to provide unique value to your readers. Providing additional value should be more important.
Just don’t go out and steal others’ work, give them credits if using others words. Everyone’s work is a copyright and you can land in trouble if you steal others work. Also, getting a penalty due to copying others doesn’t sound good!
#9 Not Using SEO Tools
At the starting of your blogging journey – you will need the help of SEO tools to get the basics. Without these tools, you can’t learn SEO. Free tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest.io are good to get started.
When you’re just starting out purchasing paid SEO tools would look like a big investment. But the returns you can get from using these paid tools is way higher than their costs. These tools are created for one thing – to improve your site’s SEO.
Some of the best-paid SEO tools are – SEMRush, Long Tail Pro, Ahrefs, Kw Finder, etc. Like I said free tools are good, but they are not much accurate. At the start using free SEO tools is good but when you can afford paid ones, they are a better choice.
Of course, just using these tools won’t guarantee any results. How you make use of these tools, will show great results. They are just a means to an end. You will only get data from these tools. In the end, you will be the one who has to do SEO.
#10 Neglecting Other Search Engines
Google isn’t the only search engine! Although, it’s the biggest one there are also a lot of other search engines. This is what most of the bloggers forget always and only aim to rank high in Google. (Including myself.)
There are hundreds of other search engines, out of which most people only know about a few popular ones. I’m not saying that you need to work on all of them but trying to rank higher in a few other search engines is good.
Some of the other search engines you can target are – Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc. If you are targeting countries like China, Russia you can use Yandex and Baidu. (As Google is banned in these countries.)
And yes, people do use other search engines than Google. Some people don’t like Google’s way of collecting data and some just like other search engines. So, trying to rank in other search engines is worth the effort!
Apart from all these tips – always be updated with all the new things happening, as things changes quickly here. There are a lot of SEO blogs that you should follow. It’s important to know what’s happening to keep ahead of the competition.
If you’re doing these mistakes then fixing them will be the best for you. And, you will also see an improvement in your rankings when you fix your SEO mistakes. If you’re doing it wrong, it’s just like you’re doing nothing. (It also hurts your site.)
So, what’s the biggest SEO mistake you have ever made? What do you think everyone should know before they start doing SEO? Let us know in the comments below.