Guest post by Kara Smith.
With the deluge of new content being produced online every day, SEO is becoming increasingly competitive. Standing out in search and staying ahead of competitors is no longer as easy as it once was. There are plenty of pitfalls and mistakes that can beset beginners and advanced SEO consultants alike.
There are many complex, highly technical practices in SEO which can get lead to a lot of mistakes of their own. But the three common mistakes detailed below are more on the strategy side of things.
Usually, you can quickly identify and fix technical issues on a website. But if your overarching SEO strategy is in the wrong place, you may end up having to undo months of work just to get back to square one!
Not Staying Up-To-Date
SEO is always changing, and one of the worst things you can do is fall behind on what works now. With changes to the search engine’s algorithms happening every single day, and core updates (the big changes) every few months, if you take your finger off the pulse you might well see your results starting to dip.
As a fast-changing discipline, SEO requires practitioners to be flexible and ready to rapidly pivot tactics, techniques. and overall strategy. If you’re ignoring the main updates and trends to see not only where off-page and on-page SEO are currently, but where SEO is going, you’ll fall behind and your websites will be falling down in the SERPs.
Tailoring your Strategy to Google Instead of Users
This one might seem a bit counterproductive – it’s search engine optimization, not user optimization, right? As Google and other search engine algorithms become more advanced, you’d actually be wrong. Google ranks web pages based on how well they serve users, not how they try to adapt to its algorithm.
Google’s role can actually be boiled down to one basic function: directing users to the web pages that provide the best answers to their questions. If they can’t do that, searchers will turn to Bing or other search engines.
That means that a site full of information-rich content including intelligent imagery and multimedia presentations, an easy-to-understand navigation system, that is regularly updated, quick to load, mobile optimized, and has a clear identity and message is what will get you to that coveted top search position.
Google wants to deliver user-friendly websites to the people searching, as they are more likely to find what they’re looking for.
Forgetting to Optimize for Mobile
You’ll have heard before (and will hear again) how mobile web use and searches on mobile devices are on the rise. In fact, over 60% of search traffic now comes from mobile devices, so if you’re only optimizing for desktop, your are likely neglecting more than half of your potential customers!
Since 2015, Google has reportedly been penalizing sites with non-mobile-friendly URLs, so if you still aren’t optimizing your sites for mobile, you’re not just behind the curve, you’re years behind the curve. And in SEO, that might just be the biggest mistake of all
These are some of the most common yet harmful SEO mistakes that consultants are still making in 2020. And they’re so easy to fix – it’s simply a matter of creating strategies with the end-user in mind, and never being averse to switching tactics as the algorithm is changed to better serve users.
Kara Smith is Content Executive at Embryo Digital. She loves creating content that’s meaningful and engaging, with a great understanding of SEO and why investing in the service is so important.