Since times are changing so quickly, you must be aware and updated in the latest search engine algorithms. As a digital marketer or a website owner, knowing the right SEO strategies can help you drive traffic and increase sales. Now, it is also important that you know the most common SEO mistakes so you can avoid them at all costs. Making any of these errors can harm your reputation and lower your Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) in Google. To help you, we’ve listed them down here.
What are the Top SEO Mistakes to Avoid in 2020?
1. Not utilizing analytics tools
You might be wondering why, even with the best keywords, are you still not getting the ranking you want on search engines. Why aren’t they working on your site? Well, before you make a big fuss about this, remember that getting traffic isn’t your only goal. Many businesses and site owners end up overlooking conversion optimization.
One way you can effectively optimize conversions is by using more specific phrases. They may result in lower traffic but they can give you more conversions. To figure out which keywords and phrases you should use and to see which of them are most productive and converting, we recommend tools such as Google Analytics and other analytics tools. With this, you can surely optimize your whole website better.
2. Focusing on traditional SEO techniques and not keeping yourself updated
SEO is constantly changing and developing. If you don’t keep up, you won’t get a higher ranking or you won’t get to stay on top of search results. More importantly, you can get penalized as well if you stick with traditional SEO techniques. Gone are the days that you can use PBNs and keyword stuffing because Google is smarter now more than ever.
Not long ago, Google made an update with its Google BERT. This algorithmic update helps to better understand a website’s content and queries from users. Also on January 14, 2020, the search engine giant announced a broad core algorithm update called the January 2020 Core Update. Now, due to this move, website owners can no longer rely on keywords and phrases alone. The only way to improve your ranking is by providing users with great content.
See, Google releases updates several times every year. And once they do, you must be always up-to-date as these can impact your SERP and website traffic.
3. Ignoring branded anchor text
One of the biggest content mistakes that harm SEO is not utilizing anchor texts. While these visible and clickable texts in hyperlinks look simple, they make up a large portion of your link building strategy. Don’t just stop at getting loads of backlinks. You should also consider the anchor texts of these links.
You can use anchor texts that describe your website pages and blogs. Or, better yet, you can use branded anchor texts or links that contain your brand name. Doing so can improve your brand recognition, brand authority, and soon you can start ranking higher too.
4. Not using videos as content
Don’t just focus on text content and consider making videos as well. Now is the best time to join the bandwagon as videos are highly considered to be the future. Compared to any other content format, people prefer watching videos as a means of learning. Aside from that, it will take less time for videos to rank on Google and they are less competitive compared to text content. It’s a plus that they are more engaging as well.
Therefore, if you want your website to succeed, don’t just focus on writing blog posts and consider using videos as content.
5. Search intent is not met
When creating content, there are two things you should remember: your target audience and search intent. If you are targeting the wrong audience, they won’t find your website or content useful. And, if you are ignoring search intent, you are putting all your efforts into waste.
Search intent is the purpose behind the search. Your content, as well as your website, should provide a solution or an answer to a user’s search. This is why it’s important that you also understand what a user is thinking when they are searching. To give you an idea, if one person searches for “web design”, it means that he/she wants to know what web design is. However, if this user types “web design services” then he/she is looking to hire someone with that expertise.
See, these keywords have different intentions. But if you’re targeting web design services and asking “what is web design?” in your content, then don’t expect to rank high on Google. Because first, you were unable to satisfy the intent of the user’s search.
6. Incompatible with mobile devices
Nowadays, there are more mobile users than desktop users. Google knows this as well thus if your site is not compatible with mobile devices, your site will automatically be considered unfriendly by its users. A website’s mobile-friendliness and its page speed are some of the factors Google uses to determine ranking results. So make sure that your website can respond to any type of mobile phone.
7. Not setting out your SEO goals
Indeed, SEO is a vital part of building your website. This is the reason why you should first set out what you want from SEO before you start acting on it. If you don’t have specific goals, it will be hard to grow your website and it will be harder for you to plan your SEO strategy. Not knowing where you want to go is confusing and most of the time, it will lead you nowhere.
8. Not utilizing structured data
Google provides structured data that most people tend to overlook. However, if you use it, you’ll be able to stand out from the rest. Also with structured data, you’ll appear bigger and more eye-catching than the other listings with you. Thus, making your chances of getting clicked by a user higher.
9. Duplicating content
If you have duplicate content or having the same content on more than one page of your site, then search engines won’t be able to decide your best URL. Thus, your website won’t rank highly.
10. Not optimizing your website for local search
If your business aims to provide service or products within a specific location, you must learn about local search. Look for keywords that are more region-specific and use them in titles and meta descriptions. Also, including your local address and phone numbers in the header or footer of your website will help show you in local results.
Now that you know the top SEO mistakes in 2020, you will have a better chance of achieving your goals: to rank, get traffic, and convert visitors into customers. You can also look at your current strategy and make changes if necessary. In line with your SEO strategy, make sure that you are up-to-date regarding the latest techniques. In the digital world, the worst thing you can do is be outdated.