SEO Mistakes that Cost Dear: Confessions of a Seasoned SEO Webmaster

I have spent most of my career as a marketer. While working on the offline marketing campaigns, what attracted me to the digital format was its sheer dynamic nature. The response was quick and measurable. And that would let me know what worked and what didn’t.

SEO was no different. The constant effort that it demanded and the quantifiable results it produced were new to a traditional marketer like me.

In fact, it was this feature that attracted me and still keeps me hooked after so many years.

But despite the years of SEO behind me, I still make mistakes. If truth be told, most SEOs do! And just as I thought of penning down my thoughts on it, I came across a perfectly condensed article posted by the SEO publisher Search Engine Journal.

Here is a quick run through the points mentioned in this concise article.

1. Noindex/Nofollow Command on Pages that need to be Indexed

Imagine a page that you want to rank for is under the shadow of the Noindex/Nofollow command, and you are wondering why the content does not show up.

You may have added the command in the development phase, but always double-check if it has been removed before the site is launched.

2. Ditching Google Analytics and/or Google Search Console for Fancy Tools

Though that’s unimaginable to many SEOs, there are many in our fraternity, who bypass these simple and free tools for expensive and fancy ones.

Both the tools are must-haves. 

While Analytics tells you all about numbers like traffic volume, demographics, and time spent by users, the console gives you more qualitative insights for site improvements.

There is no disagreement in similar capabilities that the fancy tools offer but the Google tools remain the most comprehensive and accurate among all.

3. Wrong Keyword Targeting

Surprising yet true!

Every SEO has made this mistake at some point of the other in his career.

Wrong keyword targeting stems from the strong business affinity that we develop as we work on projects.

At the heart of it, all content is written for the customer/reader. Hence, user intent should be foremost.

Think of the terms the end-user/customer will use to look for your products/services. These phrases and words are the target keywords.

A great example, in this context, is quoted by SEJ.

For a company that sells shoes designed for people with hallux valgus, commonly known as bunions, the keyword choices could be “hallux valgus shoe” and “evidence-based shoes to treat bunions.”

While these look like the best options, they really aren’t. 

Reason being that it attracted the doctors who prescribe the shoes rather than the end-users who were actually targeted.

Makes sense?

4. Ignoring Internal Links

Linking to high-authority pages is a great idea. But, there is no need to ignore your internal pages. 

Internal linking suggests to the search engine that the pages linked to are important and sends traffic to otherwise lesser viewed pages, in many cases.

5. Stagnant Content

SEO is an on-going effort. 

It’s an effort that should keep up with the dynamic nature of the SEO industry.

Content once posted, needs consistent updates, with the latest information and stats, to stay relevant.

Stale information can adversely affect the site rankings even if the content was a high-ranking one at the time of launch.

6. User Intent

Post-BERT, more than keywords, it is the user intent that matters.

It is, therefore, imperative that the content is optimized for intent. Basing it deeply on a particular topic set in a context would help.

7. SEO is more than Just Traffic

Traffic is a great attraction for executing good SEO. But SEO is capable of more than just that. It is capable of getting you leads. And yes, conversions too.

So, don’t limit your SEO goals short of that, if needed.

8. SEO efforts on the Backburner

Once the site takes off, and the SEO efforts pay up, putting the SEO efforts on a pause will impact SERP rankings. 

Don’t be surprised if, one fine day, you find your site pushed to the second page.

As I said, SEO is an on-going effort. It needs to be ramped up as the ranking improves.

Without a consistent effort, not only will SERP rankings will deteriorate, but the SEO efforts put in this far will be washed away too.

Wrap Up

Just as SEO is vital for site visibility and achieving other content goals, avoiding errors in SEO is also important.

Inconsistent efforts, or efforts falling short of the aim, or simply in the wrong direction, can all prove fatal for the future of your business and its online reputation.

In this article, I have tried to highlight the SEO errors that even seasoned webmasters make and hope that it will help you avoid the same.

Do let us know if this helps by dropping a comment below or, write to us for a consultation here.



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