Search engine optimization (SEO) is an incredibly useful tool in the arsenal of a digital marketer. When used correctly, SEO can catapult a website out of obscurity and in front of its most relevant audience, enhancing brand authority and driving inquiries.
However, as with any discipline, there are plenty of common mistakes that amateur practitioners routinely make. At best, these mistakes will delay your SEO progress, and at worst, entirely jeopardize it.
This is why it’s essential for anyone practicing SEO to familiarize themselves with common blunders so that they can do their best to avoid them. There’s no excuse for making a mistake that could be easily avoided with a bit of study.
With that said, let’s take a look at the most common mistakes that can destroy your SEO strategy.
Not committing to a continuous SEO strategy
One of the most common mistakes people make with regards to their SEO strategy is they don’t stick with it for long enough. SEO is a continuous process that requires you to constantly implement new tactics to stay ahead of your competitors.
While an aggressive and thorough SEO strategy might yield significant results in a few months’ time, failing to continue this strategy will see those results gradually disappear. SEO is like a propeller engine: it can take you very far but needs time to spin up and continuous fuel to keep you from plummeting.
This is why it’s best to engage a professional SEO agency to carry out all of your optimization work behind the scenes. This will give you peace of mind knowing that your SEO is being maintained while you focus on other aspects of your business.
Focusing too heavily on content alone
If you’ve followed SEO circles for any decent amount of time, you will have undoubtedly heard the phrase ‘content is king’. This phrase became popular when Google released its ‘Penguin’ and ‘Panda’ search algorithm updates which both heavily punished automatically generated and spam content that existed purely to host links rather than provide value to users.
This prompted a shift in digital marketing firms towards producing high-quality, original content and away from pure link building. It is now considered common wisdom in the SEO community that sincerely written, high-quality and in-depth content is always going to perform better than the mere presence of links pointing to your domain.
The problem with this is links still have value for SEO and shouldn’t be ignored just for the sake of creating content. The most amazing article ever isn’t going to do a lot of good in terms of SEO if it isn’t supported by additional tactics and strategies.
In this sense, content is more like the queen of SEO: it produces great results when married to a comprehensive link strategy.
Buying consultancy from fake ‘SEO experts’
The field of SEO has earned somewhat of a negative reputation because of the number of dodgy practitioners out there trying to scam small businesses with promises of instant exposure and increased sales. Because SEO can seem complex to those who are inexperienced with it, many unscrupulous practitioners try to exploit the ignorance of small businesses that are desperate for online exposure.
This means the term ‘SEO expert’ or ‘SEO wizard’ is thrown around to deliberately mystify the process so that people pay more for work than what it is really worth. Lots of companies have sunk large amount of capital into an SEO campaign that was sold to them based on lies and misinformation.
Another big mistake people make with their SEO strategy is they rely on unethical or ‘black hat’ tactics such as link buying. This involves paying to have links to your domain hosted on other sites without disclaiming that they were paid for in a bid to artificially inflate the relevancy of your website.
Obviously, this practice is heavily punished by search engines. However, this doesn’t stop people from trying to take shortcuts with their SEO strategy.
Ignoring local search
Because of how competitive Google’s rankings are, it’s increasingly difficult to rank on page one for general search terms. For example, you are unlikely to reach page one for the keyword ‘plumber’ unless you have a great deal of capital to spend on an aggressive and long-term SEO strategy.
However, a plumber would have far less competition if they tried to rank on page one for geographic keywords. This is because it is narrowing the search results to a specific geographic area.
Taking advantage of local SEO opportunities is absolutely essential and simply can’t be ignored by anyone who wants to achieve digital success.