Most Common SEO Mistakes & How to Fix Them Easily


by Stevan Blazin | Aug 29, 2022

No matter how much time, money, and effort you might have invested in your website, even the simplest SEO mistakes can make it collapse like a house of cards. And nobody’s safe – falling into certain SEO traps is more frequent than you might think.

While we’re all laser-focused on staying on top of the ever-evolving SEO trends and search engine algorithm changes, we often fail to spot simple issues that can seriously hurt a site’s performance and cause our rankings to plummet. Nonetheless, getting your SEO back on its feet can be frustrating and time-consuming.

Don’t let these slip-ups blindside you and hinder your website’s SEO success. Keep reading to find out what the most common SEO mistakes are so you can keep an eye on them and, more importantly, learn how to fix them in a heartbeat without breaking a sweat.

The Needles In a Haystack: How to Find SEO Mistakes

The-Needles-In-a-Haystack-How-to-Find-SEO-Mistakes

A well-executed SEO strategy can significantly increase organic search traffic and land you a top spot on SERPs. A poorly-implemented one can leave you scratching your head and biting the dust. While some common SEO mistakes are easier to fix than others, recognizing that there is an issue in the first place is the first step to resolving it. After all, you can’t be tilting at windmills – you need to know what you’re up against.

Maintaining your website’s health and rankings by keeping up with the ever-changing SEO universe can be a daunting task. Luckily, you can minimize technical problems by always keeping one eye open for the most common SEO mistakes, so you can avoid and fix them before they damage your SEO efforts and hamper your site.

Technical SEO Audit to the Rescue

SEO is a powerful tool that may be easy to implement but a beast to master and can make your site’s rankings drop if you’re not careful. Doing an in-depth technical SEO audit is the key to nipping the simple yet all-too-common SEO mistakes in the bud. It’s the process of evaluating your website to see how well it’s performing to ensure it can be discovered, crawled, indexed, and ranked by search engines and running smoothly, without any hiccups.

As you go through your technical audit, you’ll discover SEO mistakes that need to be fixed to optimize your website and improve its performance. It’s how you figure out what’s wrong and create an SEO strategy to fix it. To ensure you’re getting the best possible results out of your SEO audit, it should cover at least the key factors such as crawlability, indexability, rankability, page speed, user experience, and on-page optimization.

Implementing a technical audit manually is often time-consuming, so you can always leverage technical SEO audit tools like Google Search Console, Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, SEMrush, etc., to help you identify the most common SEO issues. Then, it’s up to you to resolve them before they negatively impact your search rankings. How? Keep on reading to find out.

Easy Fixes for the 10 Most Common SEO Mistakes

Easy-Fixes-for-the-10-Most-Common-SEO-Mistakes

Even the smallest, simplest, and sneakiest errors in SEO implementation can cause your rankings to plummet, your traffic to suffer, and your bottom line to waver. Thankfully, most of the common SEO mistakes can be fixed easily, if you know how to.

So, without further ado, here’s a roundup of the most common SEO mistakes holding back your website’s success and how to fix them quickly and easily:

1. Under-Optimizing Meta Titles and Descriptions

Often overlooked, title tags and meta descriptions are the keyword-centric base of search engine optimization. It’s a simple SEO feature, but many pages miss this. Well-optimized meta descriptions are a key factor in increasing your click-through rates, along with relevant title tags, so make sure you avoid this common SEO pitfall.

Under-optimized or duplicate title tags, header tags, and meta descriptions, as well as missing meta descriptions and ALT attributes, are the most common mistakes that are easy to fix. Run an SEO site audit to discover pages that are missing meta descriptions. They should all include keywords relevant to the content of the web page to help users and Search Engines understand what the page is about and index it accordingly for relevant keywords. So, stick to Google’s best practices for creating SEO meta titles, descriptions, and snippets.

2. Over-Optimizing with Keyword Stuffing

Irrelevant keywords and keyword stuffing come hand in hand as some of the worst yet most common SEO mistakes. Although keyword stuffing was the golden SEO technique in the past decade, Google got smart, and the overuse of keywords is now ineffective and even considered a “black hat” technique that will hurt your search engine rankings and might even get you penalized.

Relevancy and optimal usage are key to properly implementing keywords and avoiding decreasing your rankings by making this mistake. If you want to see a page rank higher, don’t get stuck in the mentality of finding the most popular keyword and then using it wherever you get the chance to – opt for quality over quantity! There are plenty of online tools that you can use to check for keyword density and help you stay on the right track with target keywords.

3. Having Spammy or Duplicate Content

Killing two birds with one stone is not the right mindset regarding content but a typical mistake. Duplicate content refers to content that is similar or identical to other content on your site and is very likely to affect ranking, as search engines will show the version they deem more relevant to the readers in the SERPs. It can lead to cannibalization, plagiarism and ranking penalties, and lower overall website authority.

Luckily, the mistake of having duplicate content is easy to avoid by ensuring you always produce unique and fresh content. While more time-consuming, creating original, high-quality content always pays off in the long run. To fix existing duplicate content, you can use tools like Copyscape and Duplichecker to identify copies of your page, then merge them or remove any duplicate content you come across. Proper rel=canonical tags, proper configuration, and correct implementation of hreflang tags are essential.

4. Not Using Search Engine/Google Analytics Tools

One of the most common SEO mistakes people still make is not leveraging the all-but-necessary feedback given to you by search engines. Not having your website registered with Google Search Console, Bing, or Yahoo webmaster tools in 2022 is like driving with eyes wide shut.

Always make sure you use their analytic tools to determine which pages on your website are underperforming and which are doing well on the SERPs of those search engines – it will save you valuable time and steer you in the right direction instead. Since they’re original and not third-party tools, this will ensure you get nothing but the most trustworthy and relevant data related to your rankings and searches.

5. Not Optimizing for Mobile

Computers left the throne a while ago – it’s a mobile-centric and mobile-first indexing world. Yet, many still make the mistake of not having mobile-friendly sites, thus sacrificing indexability and user experience, and ultimately their reputation, conversion rates, potential customers, and rankings. You can test if your site is mobile-friendly by using Google’s mobile-friendly test.

If it’s not, choose a reliable web host, optimize your site’s loading time, enable Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), and re-design your website for mobile devices. Ensure your site’s HTML code complies with Google’s AMP guidelines. If you run into problems, check for AMP issues on your site by doing a site audit to see what needs to be fixed. It most commonly comes down to issues with HTML, style, and layout or page templates.

6. Having Pages Not Indexed

When it comes to SEO, Google and visibility are your best friends. As far as Google is concerned, if your pages aren’t indexed – they don’t exist. One of the biggest and most common SEO mistakes appears in robots.txt files: “noindex.” It means that your page will not be indexed and displayed in search results, meaning you’re losing potential search traffic. What a miss!

To easily fix this deadly SEO error and tell Google to crawl and index your page, perform an audit of the indexed content, then either modify the X-Robots-Tag HTTP header or remove the tag altogether. You can use various tools to crawl your website and solve indexing issues with Google Search Console. Phew, what a relief, right?

7. Not Optimizing Images

Common image-related SEO mistakes stem from missing ALT tags, having too-large images unnecessarily increasing page loading time, or non-optimized images that lower ranking opportunities in image search and damage the topical relevance of your site. Even though they hinder performance greatly, they’re easily fixed.

By combining Web fonts, HTML, and CSS, it’s possible to retain the beauty of visuals and nail the SEO. Compress images for your website and save them with descriptive ALT text that contains relevant keywords for the specific page. This aids accessibility and recognition, allowing search engines to “understand” the content of your images and even presents a chance to potentially show up in the Google Image Search results!

8. Forgetting that Slow Doesn’t Win the SEO Race

If there is one factor we are 100% certain that affects bounce rates and ranking position, it’s page load speed. Yet, neglecting it remains one of the most common issues. To improve the load time of your website, run a page-speed test through the Google PageSpeed Insights service or another tool and follow their guidelines.

The usual solutions for increasing page loading speed include image optimization/compression, server response time improvement, browser caching improvement, and JavaScript minifying.

9. Having Broken Links

Nothing points more to a neglected website than broken links – the all-too-common SEO mistake that leads to the infamous “404 Page Not Found” error and results in eroded crawl budget, lower conversion rates, damaged authority, and ranking. Overlooking these issues means your target audience likely never run into your page in SERPs, let alone visit or stick around.

Audit and crawl your website regularly to ensure all links are working correctly and find 404 pages with Google Search Console. Setting up 301 redirects from the deleted pages into other relevant pages will preserve the SEO link equity and make sure users can seamlessly navigate your site. Also, ensure all external links on your site lead to reputable, authoritative sources that add value for your visitors.

10. Not Keeping Up

One of the biggest mistakes that plague the digital world is treating SEO as if it was a one-time thing, even though it’s a never-ending, continuous process. The digital world is constantly evolving, and if you don’t keep up with the latest trends and algorithm changes, make no mistake – you’re going to get left behind. How can you avoid this potential pitfall?

By keeping in mind that running regular website audits is a must to keep your website in good shape at all times by avoiding and tackling any mistakes that might come up along the way and updating it accordingly. Updating stale and old content is also crucial, as it’s the core of SEO. After adding any new features or content to your website, you should also update your XML sitemap to avoid any crawling or indexability issues.

 

 

Actionable Steps: Prioritizing which SEO Mistakes to Fix First

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Now that you’ve caught onto the pitfalls of the most common SEO mistakes, you’re probably eager to get down to work. But, before you roll up your sleeves and start fixing the simple yet harmful common SEO mistakes you’ve discovered during your audit, you need to get all your ducks in a row and your priorities straight.

After all, you can’t tackle them all at once, so you should approach them strategically and make sure you’re focused on what matters most. The simplest way to prioritize technical issues is:

  • By the number of issues that exist on the website / a page (tackling the numerous ones that stand out first)
  • By page value/ranking potential of a page (pages with higher ranking potential, more engagement,, and greater impact on your personal goals and KPIs)
  • By the type of the issue at hand (some issues are more damaging and worth fixing quicker than others)
  • By weighing the urgency of an issue and the time needed to fix it

If you’re still having trouble prioritizing the SEO mistakes you’ve found, here are a few additional tips:

1. Tackle Indexing Issues First

The first thing search engines will do regarding your website is crawling it. So, fixing indexing and crawling issues like broken pages and ensuring your sitemap and robots.txt is set up correctly on the most relevant pages on your site should be a priority, so it doesn’t lead to poor user experience or waste any organic traffic and ranking opportunities.

2. Deal with the Metadata Mistakes

Things like missing meta descriptions, un-optimized H1 headings, title tags, and images are common SEO mistakes that should be fixed after you ensure all your pages are accessible to both users and search engine bots.

3. Then Fix Content-Related Errors

Content and content optimization issues are important, but they’re low on your SEO efforts priority list in contrast to functionality and performance mistakes that require your full attention.

Attention to Detail Wins The SEO Race

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If technical SEO issues plague your site, it will struggle to offer a positive user experience, rank, and thrive. Avoid making these simple yet all-too-common SEO mistakes to ensure the success of your website, and even if they somehow manage to slip through the cracks, make sure you fix them with the help of our guide. If you ever need a hand with optimizing your website to its full potential, feel free to contact us anytime – it’s what we do best.

Don’t despair if you don’t see the change immediately – as with most SEO-related matters, it can take some time to see the results. What’s important is knowing what to avoid, what to look for, and how to fix any problems as soon as they arise.

Good luck!

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