As a beginner in the industry, at some point, you believed that creating content for your website is not a big deal. You just need to identify your website’s niche and write content related to that niche.
But that’s not true at all.
Creating a website for your business means that you have to attract visitors. There are different ways to drive organic traffic to your website. More people visit your site when you have high organic traffic by clicking your link from search engine result pages. And when there are more visitors, there are more potential customers.
Search engine optimization (SEO) can help you in this particular aspect. Understanding how SEO works can make crucial changes to how you run your business. But it’s not as simple as learning A-B-C.
Mistakes are bound to happen, especially since search engine algorithms are always changing. Luckily, you can avoid these by finding out the most common SEO mistakes. And as much as possible, you should try to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Using the Wrong Keywords
Most business owners tend to get lost in the optimization that they try to use keywords that do not fit their content. Sure, keywords are great for improving your ranking. They are the means through which people find your website.
But if you use them for the wrong content, it will surely backfire.
Search engines such as Google always prioritize substance over keywords. Their only goal is to answer users’ questions.
Not only that but using the wrong keywords tends to attract the wrong customers. These customers are those who are less likely to buy your goods or services.
The Solution: Keyword Research
To avoid this, you should know the best keywords to use for your content. To do this, you can conduct keyword research. You can try Google’s free keyword research app to start your keyword research. The program will let you type in phrases for your content, and it will generate possible keywords that you can use.
In this way, you’ll be attracting the right people to your website in no time.
Mistake #2: Using Lots of Keyword
This technique is referred to as keyword stuffing, and it’s a black-hat technique. Keyword stuffing is when you use the same keyword in your article several times. Some entrepreneurs do this to convince Google that their content should be ranked highly.
Because most website owners use this, fortunately, Google has already updated their system. It can now detect websites that use this technique and penalize them for such behavior.
The Solution: Write Naturally
To avoid using too much of your keyword, you should write your content naturally. You can always go back and add a couple of keywords when you feel that it’s lacking. Just remember to insert them naturally in the sentence.
In addition to this, you can use LSI keywords, which helps search engines recognize your site’s content.
Mistake #3: Using Low-Quality Backlinks
Link building is one of the most important parts of digital marketing. Linking other sites to your content helps you build connections with other business owners. Not only that, but it helps your readers understand more about a term or phrase.
But having too many backlinks is not ideal.
Low-quality backlinks, such as links from spam sites and unrelated sites, can harm your website’s SEO. And you should be more aware of the links you’re using, especially with the 2016 Google Penguin update.
Google Penguin is an update that aims to eliminate spam sites from search results. One of the major criteria for ranking your website is the quality of the backlink profile that you built. When the algorithm detects potential spam on your website, it can penalize it.
The Solution: Use Links from Authority Sites
You can avoid linking to spam sites is to focus on building links from authority sites. News publishers, for example, are authority sites that are trusted by the search engine’s algorithm. Not only that, but they are also regarded as respectable sources by users and business owners.
So when you link to an authority site, you’re already building high-quality backlinks.
Mistake #4: Ignoring Mobile Compatibility
One of the most common mistakes made by business owners is the failure to make their websites mobile-friendly. Last 2015, Google released a new ranking algorithm, targeting mobile-friendly websites. In the update, they are now prioritizing websites that have mobile versions.
More people search the web through their mobile phones. Just last January 2021, Statista recorded that mobile traffic accounted for 54.8% of web traffic. Just imagine how much traffic you will be losing if you don’t optimize your website for mobile users.
The Solution: Use Mobile-Responsive Designs
Large firms can easily invest in building a separate mobile-friendly version of their site. Fortunately for starters like you, there’s no need to spend that much money.
You can just redesign your website to have a more responsive design and elements for mobile users. In addition to this, you can take the extra step and ensure how mobile-friendly your website is. You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test for this. It gives you information on how customers navigate your site through their mobile phones easily.
Mistake #5: Avoiding Linking to Other Websites
Given the information above, we know how scary it is to link to other websites. You might be thinking that you’re only helping other sites with their ranking because of the inbound links they’re receiving.
But that’s wrong.
Linking to other sites also helps your website in so many ways. For example, Google looks for relevant links in your article, and this will improve your site’s SEO.
The Solution: Build Link Networks
External links are not only helpful for your site’s SEO, but it also helps you build link networks to other businesses. What happens is that when you put a link to other sites, other businesses will also link to yours. This will, then, increase your inbound links.
Not only that, but external links increase the quality of your content. And if your content is considered high-quality, you will gain more traffic.
Mistake #6: Publishing Duplicate Content
Some business owners like to take shortcuts, especially those who just started their business. They wanted to generate traffic and spread brand awareness all in one day, right after creating a website.
So what they do is publish content that is similar to the ones they have previously published. Some even try to copy another site’s content and publish it as their own.
When they do so, Google will get confused about which of these identical content should get ranked. Just imagine having to judge a carbon copy of a science project. There’s just no way of telling which is the best because they are the same in every aspect!
Although Google does not give any penalties for this offense, it filters pages with the same content. And when it does so, there’s a chance of losing web rankings.
The Solution: Use Duplicate Content Checker Tools
If you’re thinking of how much duplicate content you can publish before the algorithm ignores them, stop right there. It’s not worth trying to produce articles copied from other websites.
Related: 17 Best Content Writing Tools That Will Help You Create Better Content
The best way to check whether you’re writing something that has been published is to use a duplicate content checker. Another thing that you can do is to do an exact-match search on Google.
Simply copy a sentence or paragraph from your content and paste it on Google’s search bar. Before you hit enter, make sure you put quotation marks before and after the sentence. What this will do is Google will give you links to content that has the same line.
If you received zero results, then no one had copied your content. But if you received some results, then that means your content has been copied.
Mistakes are unavoidable, especially if you’re still starting in the business industry. Even entrepreneurs before you did something wrong throughout their journey. So take their advice and apply what you’ve learned.
Like what they always say, “Mistakes are there for a reason.” What matters the most is that you’re learning from them.