So, you’re ready to dive head first into the realm of SEO? Given the sheer depth of the topic, if you’re new to SEO, it’s a momentous challenge to tackle. With so many moving parts, it can easily take you years to learn everything you need to know, and not without your fair share of frustrating mistakes along the way.
To help make your life easier, in this article, we’re going to cover some of the most important SEO mistakes to avoid.
1. Instant Results Don’t Exist
It can’t be helped. In today’s day and age, we want results instantly. The harsh reality that you’re going to have to accept is the fact that SEO doesn’t happen overnight, or even in a few weeks. For you to begin seeing the results of your hard work, it’s going to take a few months until the winds of change become noticeable.
Even after a few months, the differences are only going to be minimal at best. In order to reap the best SEO results, you have to consistently stay at it for years. It’s the combination of persistently implementing your SEO strategy and the overall growth of your site that will compound and yield the best results.
Of course, it’s not just consistency that plays a role, but also making sure that your SEO strategy covers all of the bases. SEO encompasses a wide range of different factors and tactics that cumulatively affect your overall rankings.
On a cautionary note, if you decide to outsource your SEO needs to an agency, beware of any companies that claim they can get you results in a matter of days or weeks. SEO agencies that make these claims are likely using black hat tactics which will actually damage (possibly beyond repair) your website and ranking ability.
2. Technical SEO is the Other Half of the Coin
So much of the SEO information available on the web talks solely about on-page and off-page factors while completely ignoring the topic of technical SEO. It’s not the most exciting part of SEO, and as the name suggests, it can get pretty technical.
Simply put, technical SEO works around improving how quickly search engine spiders can crawl your content. If your website is laden with broken links and a poor structure, it’s going to slow the spiders down and signal to the search engines that you have some work to do (that means lower rankings).
The speed in which your content loads is a huge factor for search engines and readers. Think about the last time you clicked on a website that took 10 seconds to load. Did you stick around while is slowly appeared, or did you hit the back button and go to the next site below it?
Google found that 53% of website visits are abandoned if it takes longer than three seconds to load. So, not only is a slow site hurting your SEO ranking, but it’s also costing you valuable traffic!
All that being said, if you’re not a technical SEO wizard, consider outsourcing the work to a freelancer or agency. Neglect its importance at your own peril.
3. Mobile Optimization Importance
People are spending more time than ever on their phones. As a result, more people are also conducting searches from their phones. In fact, Google reported that nearly 60% of searches globally are done from a mobile device!
With such prevalence, Google has made it clear that their updates will continue in the direction of making mobile optimization an increasingly important SEO factor. If you want to stand any chance of ranking, it’s important that your website is both desktop and mobile ready.
Try to think about the last time you landed on a website that wasn’t optimized for mobile devices. You were more than likely greeted with a wall of tiny, unreadable text and unclickable icons that immediately created a bad first impression. Search engines don’t like desktop only sites, and neither does mobile search traffic.
4. Backlinks Haven’t Gone Away
It’s far too easy to get stuck focusing on the more exciting SEO factors and neglecting the less interesting ones, like backlink building. Backlinks have always been an important factor, but search engines like Google have (dramatically) changed the way they rank websites and backlinks are now ranked as one of the most important SEO factors.
Search engines use backlinks as signals that tell them the content is high-quality and informative. They’re now becoming more geared toward providing users with targeted, high-quality authoritative content.
As long as your content is meeting those standards (more on this in a moment), then you’re naturally going to get more backlinks to your site. In essence, backlinks are a vote of approval that help to validate the fact that your content is actually useful to readers.
While at first you may have to put in the legwork to go hunting for backlinks, it won’t take long for the snowball effect to start.
5. Content is King
Continuing from what we just touched on, content is still the SEO king. A few years ago, you used to be able to pump out mediocre content stuffed with keywords. Today, that’s no longer the case. Google wants to provide its users with genuinely useful and high-quality content.
When you put out a steady stream of valuable content, it’s going to help your SEO game a lot. Taking things one level deeper, it’s not just the quality of the content, but the length as well. Research shows that the highest ranking content is just over 2,000 words.
If you’re not used to writing articles that long, it may be a bit of challenge at first, but you’ll get the hang of it after a few. By targeting a word count around 2,000, you’ll be able to cover the topic more in depth and ensure you’re really providing readers with the kind of value that Google is looking for.
What we’ve covered in this article is going to help you steer clear of the worst pitfalls that most people learn the hard way. In the vast world of SEO, it’s inevitable that you’re going to make a few mistakes, but that’s all part of the learning process.
Take what you’ve learned here and get to work on a comprehensive SEO strategy that you can implement on a consistent basis and begin your journey to the top search result spot.