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Top SEO Mistakes to Avoid in 2019 and Beyond

Like everything else in the tech world, SEO has changed significantly in the last few years. A lot of the tricks that used to work like a charm are now more likely to get your website penalized. With that in mind, we’ve composed a list of five mistakes to avoid when creating an SEO strategy.

Content Problems

Two of the most common SEO mistakes are thin content and duplicate pages. Both of these issues will negatively impact your SEO rankings, to the point that your website might be excluded from search results or even penalized by Google.

 

Having thin content means your website isn’t bringing anything new or valuable when compared to the ones already out there. There are a number of reasons why this might be the case, not all of which are under your control.

 

If your website isn’t very content-heavy, you don’t have to try adding filler to each page. Consider adding a blog section, which will increase the number of pages with relevant content. At the same time, it will also increase your domain authority (which we’ll discuss in more detail later).

 

Duplicate content refers to any page on your website that is an exact copy of another page, whether on your site or elsewhere. Issues like these often crop up due to technical glitches.

 

Fortunately, duplicate content issues are far easier to solve than thin content. Simply check the content of your pages to make sure it’s original. If you find any issues, either restructure the page or delete it altogether.

Too Many Poor Quality Links

Back when SEO was a hot new thing, one of the fastest ways to boost SEO rankings was buying links. Nowadays, this is the fastest way to get your website penalized.

 

A sudden sharp increase in the number of links to your website will alert search engine crawlers. If these links come from untrustworthy websites or the bots consider them spam, your SEO score will suffer. Rather than buying links, focus your effort on creating a comprehensive marketing strategy with a focus on SEO. This will help you get the attention of websites with high domain authority, which can lead to natural backlinks.

 

Having a few high-quality links built through organic communication with other website owners is one of the safest ways of climbing to the top of search engine results.

Keyword Issues

Keywords are the very foundation of any solid SEO campaign. This is because search engine crawlers find them essential for understanding the content of your website. On the other hand, if you choose the wrong keywords to focus on, your SEO rankings will plummet.

 

To find the right keywords to use, detailed research is indispensable. Tools like Google Keyword Research Tool will help you find the most relevant keywords related to your industry and location.

 

The keywords you use should be specific and relevant to your field of work.  For instance, using a key phrase like ‘best auto repair shop’ won’t boost your SEO rankings, since it’s too general. A key phrase like ‘best auto repair shop in the downtown Michigan area’ is much more useful in this context.

 

Another keyword-related mistake that many websites make is keyword stuffing. This means that you are overloading a webpage with keywords in an effort to increase your search result ranking.

 

Adding more keywords does have a positive impact on your SEO rankings, but only up to a certain point. If you’re adding keywords in a way that doesn’t fit the natural context of the page content, search engine bots will quickly pick up on that and lower your website rankings. Instead, focus on creating high-value content for your visitors and only add keywords if they follow the natural flow of the prose.



Poor Performance and Design

People don’t like to wait, so if your website is slow to load, you will have a very hard time retaining visitors. Because of this, one of the first things Google checks for when ranking your website is loading speed. Tools like Speed Test or PageSpeed will not only test the speed of your website but also give suggestions on how you can improve it.

 

Another important aspect of performance you should take into consideration is how your website looks on mobile devices. Again, there are tools (like mobiletest.me) that can help you see how your website will look on a wide range of screen resolutions. If you don’t already have a mobile-friendly version of your site available, adding one can greatly improve your SEO score.

No Authority or Credibility

Most of what we described above can be considered either technical SEO (optimizing your website architecture and performance) or on-page SEO (focusing on creating quality content). There is, however, one more side of SEO that we’ve only touched upon - off-page SEO.

 

Off-page SEO focuses on building your domain authority by having other websites cite you as a valuable source of information related to your area of work. We’ve already covered one of the ways you can achieve this, by building links to your site from other high-authority domains.

 

Another way you can use off-page SEO is to encourage customers to leave positive reviews and testimonials. You can do this by having a button or even an entire section on your website that will let customers comment and leave reviews.

 

You can also leverage certificates and badges from brands like Google of Better Business Bureau to increase your website’s trustworthiness.

Conclusion

As search engine algorithms continue to change, the techniques used in the pursuit of top SEO performance must evolve with them. A fist step toward this is to let go of some of the most pervasive but harmful SEO techniques. Using the guide above, you will know which mistakes to avoid, and where you should invest your time and energy for best SEO results.

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