The 7 Most Common SEO Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

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SEO, or search engine optimization, is a crucial component of any successful online marketing strategy. Unfortunately, there are many common mistakes that can damage your site's ranking on search engines and reduce your visibility to potential customers. These include things like neglecting to perform keyword research, failing to create quality content, and not optimizing for mobile devices.

In order to avoid these pitfalls and ensure you're getting the most out of your SEO efforts, it's important to familiarize yourself with the most common mistakes that people make. Some ways to do this include reading up on the latest industry news and staying up-to-date on the latest best practices. Additionally, it's always a good idea to seek out expert advice and guidance whenever you're struggling with a particular aspect of your SEO strategy.

By being proactive about addressing potential issues ahead of time, you can help ensure that your site stays at the top of the rankings for years to come.

In this episode, we'll discuss the 7 most common SEO mistakes and how to avoid them. By following these tips, you can improve your website's ranking and visibility in search engines, and generate more traffic!

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Atiba de Souza: Hey, everybody. Welcome to Traffic Keys. I am your host, Atiba. And today, we are going to dive into the Seven Biggest Mistakes That I See People Make in SEO.

Okay. There's going to be a lot here. So hold onto your seats because we're going to have a ton of fun.

Alright. So mistake number one, is ignoring Off-page optimization. Now, when we talk about SEO, just SEO by itself. We're talking about On-page, Off-page and Technical SEO. Those are the three different types of SEO. And it's so often that people ignore the Off-page SEO, because then I get it. I get it. It's hard.

And it's nebulous. And the rules are kind of weird because on some places Google says, well, "You can't buy links." Other places people say, "Well, yeah, you got to get back links." And that's what we're talking about Off-page SEO is all about your back linking strategy. So now even if you don't have a solid back-linking strategy, the thing that you should at least do is make sure when you're producing new content, that you're sharing it on social media. You're sharing it out with your audience, even by email, share it out because as you share it, other people find it, they may share it with others and you may get links organically, but it's vitally important that you do not ignore, even at the base level, your Off-page SEO. Okay. You're Off-page SEO. Now that being said, if you are a local business, then you must also master your Off-page local SEO, by making sure that your Google business profile is up to date. Making sure that your name, address, and phone number are all right. And get this, get this, because this is the key, consistent.

Consistent. Google's kind of funny about this. Okay. For example, I had a client some time ago that had a world of hurt trying to get into Google maps because the city that they were in got rezoned and they changed the city name. The zip code stayed the same, but they changed the city name in the public record and they were still using the old city name that they've used for 20 years. But Google didn't like that. And so there was a mismatch and wouldn't list them in maps. So your address has to be the same everywhere. Your address has to be the same everywhere. Okay. Then, consider local directory that you can get into, your local chamber of commerce.

All of those places provide backlinks to your website that builds your Off-page SEO. If you're not a local business and you're already sending out stuff on your email list and I get it, that's a bit of a— even a long shot to get some of those people to link back to you. Then you've got to consider, "Who are my suppliers?, Who are my colleagues in this industry? Not necessarily my competition, but my colleagues who provide tangential services or complimentary services? Maybe they will link back to me. Maybe my vendors will link back to me?" So that you can build that backlink profile. The other thing that you can do is get into the press. Right. Publish a press release, send it out to the local newspapers.

If that's something that you need help with, let me know because I can help you with that. Okay. I've got services that can help you there, but the press is a great way to build backlinks, you can publish one press release and get for 500 sometimes backlinks from one press release. So, tons of different ways that you can master your Off-page SEO.

But if you don't master your Off-page SEO, then you will always be lacking. Because again, there are three different types of SEO. The On-page the Off-page and the Technical, and you have to master all three of them.

The second biggest mistake that I see people make is slow site speed. And this is a weird one. It falls in the Technical SEO bucket, but this is a weird one, because people come and say, "Oh, but my site is fast. I mean, look, I'm going to pull it up for you and look how fast it loads!" And it may load faster than naked eye, which is good.

I'm not going to take away from that because there are lots of plugins that make your site look like they load really fast, but guess what? Google doesn't care a darn thing about those plugins. Google has its own suite of testing tools. Okay. Google Lightning that you can use. Google PageSpeed Insights that you can use to test what Google believes your site speed is. Unfortunately, I wish— believe me, I wish because I've fallen victim to this a ton of times. I wish it was as simple as, "It's faster than naked eye. We're good", but it's not. If the Google tools think your site is slow, your site is slow. Now the good part about the Google tools is they all give you recommendations on how to speed up your site, or at least what was wrong, what went wrong, what needs to be fixed, so that your site can speed up. But slow site speed, when you have plugins that make it look like your site's loading fast, yeah, that can be a real problem because then Google won't rank your site. They will ding your site and deprioritize your site compared to some of your competition that do pass some of their tests.

Now, at the same time, if your site to the naked eye is taking four seconds to load, my friend, my friend, that's way too long. No one's waiting that long. I know, I know our attention spans are super short, but that's just reality. You have to get your website to load fast. Now because this is Technical SEO, it often will require a developer or working with your web hosting company, depending on what your issues are.

But you can use Google Lightning or Google PageSpeed Insights that I mentioned earlier. And I'll put a link to them both down below, or at least how you can access them. Cause Lighthouse doesn't actually have a link, per se. But if your site's running at four seconds or slower, you gotta use those tools and figure out why, and then get a developer who can help you solve those issues.

The upside of solving those issues is typically once you solve them once, you don't have to worry about it again. It's not an ongoing thing. It's not an ongoing thing. So fixing your site speed, whether it's good to the naked eye and Google thinks it's poor or it's poor to the naked eye and Google things, it's poor, either way, you've got to work on fixing your site speed. That's the number two mistake that I see people make all the time.

So the third mistake that people make with SEO, has really nothing to do with On-page, Off-page or Technical SEO. This has more to do with the theory behind driving traffic. And if you've been around here for a little while, you know, I talk about what we need is to drive traffic to our properties. And the way we drive traffic is by number one, obsessing with our audience, knowing our audience super well.

Number two, having a great content strategy. And number three, number three mastering SEO. And so this next mistake is creating the wrong type of content. Now the wrong type of content falls into one out of two buckets. Either you didn't understand your audience and what they needed, so you created the wrong content and they're not interested in it.

You're creating content that's not solving their problems. You're creating content that they don't want to consume because it doesn't line up with what they're going through and what they need. That's the wrong type of content. The other wrong type of content is if you create content in the wrong medium.

So for example, if you know that your audience loves video and you're creating 2000 word blogs, wrong type of content, my friend. Likewise, let's say, like I have a client, they serve doctors, doctors want to read and consume and they want proof. And so if we created 15 second videos for them, or one minute videos for them, they wouldn't be very happy.

They want research papers. They want explanations. They want detail in written form. So, wrong type of content either means you're misaligning the content, of what you're producing with what your audience wants to consume or you're misaligning how they want to consume it, the medium by which they want to consume it.

So you must master both. You must master both. You must master both.

Because if you don't. You'll be creating content and wondering scratching your head, "Why is anyone consuming my content? Why are my rankings not increasing?" Google knows the type of content and the medium of content your audience wants to consume. Google knows, and Google understands that. And so if you're consuming content that doesn't fit that, Google knows not to list you.

Yeah, they're that smart. They're that smart. That's why this is such a big problem. And this is a mistake that I see people make all the time. They make it all the time and then make it all the time because they can create content that they think they want to consume. They would create content that that's all about what they think and not about what their consumer wants.

And then they create content in the way that they want to produce it. Not in the context that their consumer wants it. So, let me give you an example of this. So for example, Let's say right now I'm creating video content because that's what's easy for me to create. It's easy for me to create video content.

Great. But if you hated to consume video content, then I would have to know that. And then say, okay. Even though I created this great video, I need to bring somebody in who can help me turn this video into a blog that you're going to want to read. So even if you create content in the medium that you love, you may have to realize that you may have to translate it into a different medium that your audience loves.

I hope you're getting that. I hope that's coming crystal clear to you. You've got to know what their issues are and what content they want and need to consume, and then marry it with how they want to consume it. That's a huge mistake that I see made over and over and over again on websites. And I'm hoping that you can avoid it today.

Alright, here we go. The fourth major mistake that I see people make all the time is they create a websites for desktops and they never stop and consider that the majority of people— and I'm saying majority, but really these days, like 50-50 or more of people are really consuming their website on a mobile device.

They're looking at their website on a tablet, not only on a desktop. And why this is a major problem, especially in SEO is because about four or five years ago. Google said, Hey guys, mobile-first is where it's at. And we're going to ding your sites and deprioritize your site. If you aren't mobile-friendly.

What does that mean? What does mobile-first, mobile-friendly mean? Well, mobile-first means that you created this site for a mobile device first, you considered how the site will work on a mobile device first. Mobile-friendly means that the site will work well on a mobile device. Now, when you combine those two together, which ended up with, is the reality that the site should work the same way on mobile as it does on desktop. Granted, the presentation might be a little bit different, but there shouldn't be functions. There shouldn't be menu items. There shouldn't be content that's exclusive to a desktop and exclusive to the mobile. Google is not a fan of that at all. At all.

At all. Google wants with those two platforms, mobile and desktop, to be as similar as possible, as similar as possible from a user experience standpoint, can you deliver that? You see, it's really not your fault. It's the fault of the developer that you hired to build your website. Because you came to them and said, "Hey, I want to build a website" and they built you— they probably drew it out and built you this beautiful website that looks wonderful on a wide screen, on a laptop, on a desktop. And it's okay on a mobile.

Those days are done, guys. So that's where your website is, right? If your website doesn't function the same way on the mobile device as it does on a desktop device, then it is time to redesign your website to be mobile-first is you because if you design a website to be mobile-first, it will automatically be mobile-friendly, kind of works hand in hand.

And if it's mobile-first and then mobile-friendly, then it's going to work on the desktop as well. And that's what Google is looking for. That's what Google's looking for. And that's why you even see a disparity in ranking. You may see one site that ranks really well on desktop, but really poorly on mobile.

That happens all the time. Well, how do I get my site that's ranking poorly on mobile to rank it equally on mobile and desktop. Go mobile-first with your design. Go mobile-first with your design. Okay. That's the fourth biggest mistake that I see people make.

Number five biggest mistake that people make. And this is an old school mistake that still plagues us today, broken links. Broken links. And I'm talking about broken internal and external links, broken internal and broken external links. That means you're linking to resources in your own website, that maybe their pages that you took down and you forgot that you were linking to them.

Uh-oh, that's a broken link, broken links of web pages that you linked to out in the world that no longer exist. Uh-oh, that's a broken link. Google hates broken links. Google absolutely hates broken links. So, there are a couple of different ways that you can actually see that you have broken links. One of those ways is in search console, inside a Google search console.

They'll actually show you your broken links. That's probably the easiest most cost-effective way to do it. You can find all of those and then fix all of those. Little bit more advanced, I'll put a link to it down below is a tool called Screaming Frog, Screaming Frog is a crawler that will crawl your website and give you more information than you probably ever cared to have about the Technical SEO of your website.

But one of the things that it gives you is a list of all of the broken pages. On your site other— excuse me, broken links on your site and where they were pointing to so that you can correct all of them. Okay. So broken links. It's old school. It's one of the reason I'm talking about way, way, way back in the day, but it still plays today and it's still super important.

It often goes overlooked, but it is super important because Google hates broken links. So that's number five biggest SEO mistake. We've got two more to go. Two more to go, and these next two, just hold onto your seat. We've got to cover these next two right now.

The sixth. Number six biggest mistake that people are making in 2022 in their SEO, guys. You're not social media. I see so many websites that don't have their social media icon or the links to their social profile on their webpage. Let me, let me be clear. I'm not even talking about taking your content and repurposing your content on social media.

I'm not even talking about, you publish a blog post and you shared that you publish a blog post on social media. I'm not even talking about that. I'm talking about the simple, simple, simple thing of linking your social media profiles on your webpage. The other thing that kills me, I don't understand this at all.

It's people who hide them. Like you have to go all the way down to the footer, into some obscure place to find the social media profiles of this company, Why? Why? That, that doesn't affect SEO, but it's just one of the mind blowing things to me that I just don't understand why people hide their social media icons, why they're not at the top of the page.

Why you don't want people to go to your social media? Is it because Google wants to go to your social media? Because why? Because Google wants to know that your real, relevant and current. You see, you aren't going to post new content to your website every single day. That's not going to happen. Heck, you might not even do it once a week.

You may not even do it once every two weeks. But you are posting to social media a couple of times a week, aren't you? You are posting to social media, 10, 15, 20 times a month, aren't you? Yeah. And Google goes to your social media and sees, okay. Yeah, they are relevant. Oh yeah. They are current. Oh yeah, they are real.

Oh yeah. They are still in business. Oh yeah. They are still doing things.

 Having your social media links on your website is super, super, super important. That's the number six things, a super easy one, super easy, but I see it overlooked so very often, add your social media profiles to your website.

Now if the first six one ain't enough number seven, wraps it all up and brings it home. And that is not having clear goals for your SEO. And more frankly, and more succinctly put for your website, for your content. Getting back to what we talked about a little bit earlier. Okay. About having the wrong content. If you don't have clear goals because you didn't totally understand your audience and what they were looking for, then you're not going to create great content, which you're not going to optimize well with SEO, which means where the heck are you going?

What is your site about? You must, this is why this is number seven, this is the big one, because if you don't have this one, the rest of them, I mean, you might do them, but you still may not create anything great, because you don't have a clear goal. When you have a clear goal, you're talking about specific topics.

When you're talking about specific topics, your considering what it is your ideal audience wants to know about those topics, with the questions they're having about those topics. And you're answering those questions for them. And you're building this ethos of just information that you're putting out there and saying, Hey, this is what I know.

This is what I represent.

Then you start to have clear goals as to what your website content is all about. And Google says, "Yes, I like that. Yes, I can see that you're an authority on this topic. Yes, you're proving that you have some expertise on this topic. And so yes, I will reward you." This is Google saying, "I will reward you with higher rankings. I will reward you with how you're ranking." So you've got to have a clear goal. You must have a clear goal for your SEO. You must have a clear goal for your website. You must have a clear goal for your content, not just to be out there, not just for the sake of creating content, but actually for helping your customers make better decisions that will change their lives.

That will change their lives.

Okay, so I've got to add one more. I know I said there were seven and we ran through the seven, but I've got to add one more because this is another pet peeve and people miss this all the time. There's so many websites where there's no address or phone number listed. Now I get, you may be a virtual business.

And so you may not have an address, but you got a phone number. And I see so many sites where they bury that deep on a contact us page. Why isn't it in your header or your footer? On every single page? Is it because Google again, uses that information. Somebody searches for an address near you, somebody searches for your phone number.

It happens. They will find you and that's what you need. So that's number eight, number eight. Don't forget your address and phone number on every single page of your website on every single page of your website.

Okay, everybody, so that was the top seven plus one mistakes that I see people make here in 2022 in their SEO. And I gave you some tips too, on how to avoid them, or if you're already making them how to kind of shift away from them. You've got to avoid these mistakes. Trust me, there are more mistakes that you can make, but these are some of the biggest, most egregious ones that honestly you can do so much other stuff right.

Don't do these seven and a half, almost eight mistakes. And you'll be frustrated because you're doing all of his work over here. And you say, "My rankings, aren't changing. My rankings— I'm not growing, I'm not getting more traffic. "And then you start cleaning up the seven, eight mistakes and all of a sudden your rankings change.

So make sure you pay attention to these. That's why I wanted to do this video for you guys today. That's why I wanted to share this with you today because I see this, I go to so many different websites. I audit so many different websites and I see these things pop up time and time and time again. Not that you're missing all seven of them, but I seek sites that I'm missing two or three of them.

And just making those two or three changes alone, ends up making massive difference in their search rankings. So, pay attention for the seven we've got them listed right there. Look at those seven, make sure you're not doing any of these. And if you are, that you fix them right away. If you need help, figuring out how to fix them, drop me a link down below.

Okay. Let me know. Let me say something. Ask a question, see if we can help. We've got tons of videos on all of these topics on this channel. So there is a way that you can even learn how to fix all of these on this channel. Alright, everybody, I'll see you real soon. Bye-bye.

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