In case you haven’t heard, Google has a reward-and-punish system in place when it comes to ranking pages. Naturally, Google¬†loves strong content and on-point pages for searched keywords. However, Google’s search algorithm is also hyper-focused when it comes to de-ranking or sometimes even de-indexing sites with poor SEO. It should go with saying that you want to implement all the top SEO practices. However, it is also important that you avoid the negative ones that can hurt your inbound traffic. The following are 6 of the biggest SEO mistakes that you can make that will keep your business from reaching its fullest potential.

Not getting help from a respectable SEO company

This is possibly one of the biggest SEO mistakes that companies of all sizes make. There are few things that embody the importance of seeking out a good SEO company than the popular saying, “a bad friend is worse than an enemy.” You are far better off not hiring an SEO company than hiring one that practices obsolete tactics or risky methods to reel in traffic.

There are tons of “SEO firms” out there looking for quick projects. This means they neither have the experience, nor the intention to make any long term positive changes for their clients. They rely on implementing cookie-cutter SEO campaigns for all their clients without developing a genuine understanding of their goals and industry requirements. Many of these companies also measure their success by metrics that make no difference to the bottom line of the businesses they serve.

In short, avoid shady SEO firms at all costs and learn how to identify respectable SEO companies. Reviews on independent listings sites are a great place to start if you want to avoid making a major SEO mistake.

Adding dates to URLs is a HUGE SEO mistake

Adding dates to your URLs may be great in the short term, but the same cannot be said for the long term. After a while, Google believes that the content is only relevant for that particular year. This means the content you create loses value over the years…unless you keep on changing the date and continue updating the materials…both of which are flat out impractical.

A lot of the time the dates in the URLs are auto-generated by WordPress and other CMS platforms. You need to make sure to remove them when uploading a new post.

Losing focus of the user experience

Driving traffic to your website consists of more than just targeting the right keywords and developing a killer PPC plan. It’s also about making sure that people who end up on your site stay there and keep coming back.

This is where user experience comes in. Google is prioritizing that over other parameters when ranking sites.

user experience

Adobe Stock

Google considers the content of a page to be irrelevant if people visit it and instantly hit the back button. If it happens time and time again, Google may de-rank the page for the searched phrase.

Sadly, there is no quick fix for user experience issues. Some sites have huge chunks of text written in small fonts and boring language that forces users to bounce. Others may have an outdated design that fails to resonate with the audience at hand.

Lack of focus on creating intriguing content is a rookie SEO mistake

Forget keywords and the nitty-gritty details of SEO and digital marketing for a moment. Are your blog posts interesting? Do they genuinely solve a problem that hasn’t been solved before? Is the content written in a way such that it appeals to all and in a font size that is comfortable to read?

All of these factors contribute to ensuring your blog posts get enough traffic and social shares. Aside from creating interesting textual content, try adding custom vector designs that convey what you are attempting to say visually. Add infographics or videos whenever there is an opportunity without making them seem forced. Really go in-depth and create content that’s interesting to the influencers in your business.

Target only highly competitive keywords

Only setting your sights on highly-competitive keywords can be a total waste of resources. This is especially true if your business site isn’t an authority site. You’ll have little hope of outranking established sites that have tons of content relating to such keywords.

A more logical approach is to make a list of low-competition keywords and get a flow of traffic for those terms. Once your site gains some momentum, start targeting mid to high competition keywords to witness a traffic boost.

Ignoring long-tail keywords is a costly SEO mistake

It goes without saying that targeting high-volume primary keywords that are relevant to your business is important. However, its also a wise idea to look into targeting long-tail keywords.

Long-tails are easier to rank for as they are typically less competitive. Long-tail variations can also be used to target people who are searching for specific services and products and are much more likely to convert.

About Andrew Roche

Andrew Roche is an underwriter at United Wholesale Mortgage by day and a digital marketer by night. In addition to his role as an underwriter and his digital marketing hustles, he is also in the process of completing an MBA in Marketing & Finance through the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University.