If you want to get massive organic traffic from Google search, there’s one thing you need to know:
You need to follow Google’s best practices for search engine optimization (SEO) while keeping apprised of algorithm updates.
SEO is one of the most cost effective ways to get a constant flow of traffic to your site.
Why don’t more people succeed with SEO?
The majority of people who rush off to do SEO make mistakes that can easily be avoided.
Today I’m going to show you the top SEO mistakes and how to correct them so your site can get found in Google search results.
Top SEO Mistakes and What to Do Instead
Mistakes are part of learning. The key is to correct them. By understanding the challenges of search engine optimization (SEO) you can use best practices to do it the right way and avoid making common mistakes.
You want to get found in Google search don’t you?
Let’s get started.
SEO Mistake 1 – Not Optimizing for the Right Keywords
Most bloggers fall into this category due to misunderstanding keyword research and how to use them within your content.
If you use keywords that are too broad, I can almost guarantee that your content won’t get found in Google search results.
For example, a common mistake might be using a broad, general keyword like “coffee.”
Such a broad term is not specific enough for Google to understand exactly what your post is about. Not only that, there are way to many search results of various coffee topics to ever rank for that single term.
Instead, the way to fix that is to use long tail keywords.
Using the coffee example, a better and more specific keyword phrase would be something like:
Review of the best Sumatra coffee from South America.
You can see that it’s more specific than just the word “coffee.”
Read my article, “How to Use Long Tail Keywords” for more detailed information.
Another huge mistake that has to do with keywords is depending on tools like Yoast to determine whether your content is optimized.
I always hear frustrations from bloggers who use a single term like “coffee” or “mom”, get the green light in Yoast and then are disappointed because they don’t rank or get traffic in Google search.
Yoast is just a tool. While it is a wonderful too, the real work is done by you. That is doing proper keyword research to find the long tail keywords that your audience is actually searching for.
While we are on the topic of keywords, another SEO mistake is thinking that you have to use a keyword phrase over and over in content in order to rank.
That is far from the truth.
I can see why this might be confusing. It was a very popular method to rank many years ago but it’s not true today.
Once you understand what keyword phrase you will focus your content on, then your content should be congruent with that phrase. In other words, write an article that provides the best information in the most comprehensive way possible around that topic.
Google algorithms are smart and know whether your content is the best match for any particular search query by how well your article matches a user’s intent.
SEO Mistake 2 – Not Using Good Headlines and Meta Descriptions
While meta descriptions are not really a Google ranking factor, they can help your click-through rate if your page appears in search results.
Meta descriptions are a short snippet of text that appears in search engine results. They look like this:
They are important because they help a user decide which search result to click on for the information they are looking for.The meta description also display when posting in social media like Facebook.
Too often, bloggers make the mistake of not bothering with writing meta descriptions.
Google does not always show the meta description that you created for your blog post. Many times, Google will show a snippet from your content that is a better match for a user’s search intent.
You can see in this example, using a slightly different search term, the same page appears in the results with a meta description that Google selected from the page content.
That brings us to headlines. If a user sees your title and meta description in search, will they be compelled to click it?
One huge mistake is writing titles that don’t tell a searcher anything specific about the content. For example, I saw this blog title:
Well, that doesn’t really tell me what the article is specifically about. It could be about anything. A better title is focused on exactly what the content is about. For example:
30 Best Ways to Maximize Space in Small Kitchen
Spend time creating a compelling headline that tells your potential readers what to expect from your content.
For even more details about writing great titles, read my article, “How to Write Headlines That Get More Traffic and Shares.”
SEO Mistake 3 – Too Many Top Heavy Ads
Google is all about user experience. With that in mind, make sure you integrate ads strategically on your site.
I’ve visited many blogs that make the mistake of showing this giant ads above the fold (top part of web page). They add no value to the content and are a distraction from the content.
That is not good for SEO since Google penalizes sites with too many top heavy ads.
If a user has to scroll too much to get to your content, you should rethink your ad placement.
SEO Mistake 4 – You Don’t Use Google Webmaster Tools
Google webmaster tools exists to help you understand what is happening on your website and how to improve your SEO rankings.
There are a number of things that Google Search Console checks for and alerts you to like index crawl errors, bad links, search analytics and much more.
You’ll need to set up a Google Webmasters account and submit a sitemap. It’s a free tool where you can optimize the visibility of your site.
If you are making any of these SEO mistakes, you can easily make the necessary changes to correct them. Once you start adhering to the SEO best practices, you have a better chance of getting found in search results and getting more traffic.
What SEO best practices are you using? Let us know in the comments below.