6 Top SEO Mistakes to Avoid

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is a field that seems deceptively simple at first. In reality, it's more difficult than it looks. If you don't have a lot of experience in SEO, there are several traps you might fall into and mistakes you might make. Before you start offering SEO services, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the most common mistakes so that you can avoid them.

This article will cover six of the most commonly made mistakes — read on to learn what to avoid in SEO.

1. Not Acquainting Yourself with Your Target Audience

Perhaps the most common SEO mistake is not taking the time to get to know your target audience. Learning the age and gender of your demographic is a good start, but on its own, it's far from enough!

For example, if you learn that your audience is mostly composed of men aged 25-35, what does that actually tell you about them? What does that information tell you about their interests, their passions, or their online habits? Really, it doesn't tell you very much at all!

You may wonder why it's so important to get to know and understand your target audience. Well, in order to use relevant keywords, you need to understand what terms your audience is using when searching for goods and services online. How can you possibly guess what keywords to include when you don't know what sort of language your audience is using?

In short, learning about your target audience can help you cater your content to them, hopefully drawing in a wider crowd.

2. Not Utilizing Long-Tail Keywords

Two commonly encountered terms in SEO are short-tail and long-tail keywords. The difference between these two types of keywords is very simple.

Short-tail keywords, otherwise known as head terms, are short, broad search terms, usually containing between 1-3 words. These types of keywords are more general than long-tail keywords, and, as such, they usually have a higher search volume. Because of this, including short-tail keywords on your website is more likely to attract visitors to your site.

Long-tail keywords are longer keywords, usually entire phrases or questions. These types of keywords are more specific and less general than short-tail keywords. They don't draw in as many new visitors to your site, but long-tail keywords tend to show a higher conversion rate due to their greater degree of specificity.

Since short-tail keywords tend to generate the most traffic, people often make the common mistake of neglecting long-tail keywords. SEO beginners who do so are missing out on a golden opportunity. Where long-tail keywords shine is attracting visitors with more specific needs.

3. Focusing on Quantity, not Quality

A common SEO mistake to avoid is placing a focus on quantity rather than quality. What do we mean by this?

Some SEO agencies place too large of a focus on producing a high quantity of work over high-quality pieces. They might reuse previous bits of writing in an effort to include a greater number of keywords on a webpage, or they may try to pad out a post with unrelated keywords just to get more clicks. Other SEO agencies make the common mistake of trying to squeeze several different topics into a single post or article.

When SEO agencies lose sight of the importance of quality and begin to place more emphasis on quantity, it never ends well! For one thing, Google's algorithm has gotten quite good at spotting reused material. For another thing, your articles are far less likely to make a lasting impact on the reader if they were hastily or sloppily put together.

In all likelihood, the points you're making in your piece are not unique to you. After all, as Ernest Hemingway put it, "the only kind of writing is rewriting." Rather than trying to create something totally new, it's more important to use your unique style to write about a topic you genuinely care about.

4. Not Communicating With Your Clients

An SEO agency should always listen to a client's needs and take them seriously. This involves keeping in regular contact with the client throughout the SEO project, asking questions, and seeking feedback on their work so far. A good SEO partner will take care to make sure they have a full understanding of the project — not just at the start but throughout the course of the entire job.

If the agency is not in regular communication with its clients, this is absolutely a red flag. Even if no questions or concerns have arisen, the SEO team should still be in contact to give regular, comprehensive reports on their progress so far.

When an SEO agency doesn't take the time to listen to a client and talk to them about the project, it communicates a lack of interest on the agency's part. It shouldn't be difficult to get in touch with your SEO partner, nor should it feel like they're trying to avoid giving clear answers to your questions.

The bottom line is that, when clients are working with an SEO agency, they want the reassurance of knowing that you care about their project. You want to be able to build a relationship with them, not just swap a couple of emails back and forth when you feel like responding. If you are the owner of an SEO agency and are wondering how to make yourself more available, you might consider a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), so your customers can contact you easily over online calls.

5. Not Making the Most of Data and Analytics

One of the best ways to determine how your SEO strategy is performing is by monitoring your results. For instance, Google Analytics and Google Search Console are two of the most valuable tools in an SEO writer's arsenal. These handy platforms can reveal whether or not your current strategy is working and can also help you locate any problems with your website that you should sort out.

Keeping an eye on your SEO's performance means that you can quickly address problems with your current strategy, — but it also means you know what to implement in future strategies. The best SEO plans are supported by experience and analytics. If these supports aren't in place, then your strategy will be flawed from the start.

Other useful analytical tools for analysts include:

  • Ahrefs: Comes with tools that let you keep track of internal and external links, scan your site for any SEO problems, and track your SEO performance.
  • GTmetrix: Tells you how quickly your site loads, gives you insight on how to optimize your web page's performance, and offers graphical visualizations of web page performance.
  • PageSpeed Insights: Gives you feedback on a page's performance on both desktop and mobile browsers, generates lab data to help you fix performance issues, and provides information on real user experiences.

6. Neglecting Your Website's Performance

Following up on our previous point, another common SEO mistake some agencies make is neglecting to address issues with their website's performance. Some SEO partners forget that the quality of their website is equally important as the content of their writing. You might have the best-written articles out there, but if your website is not appealing visually, or if it's confusing or difficult to navigate, you still won't get many clients!

Disregarding the performance of your website will result in you missing out on website traffic. This, in turn, will affect your conversion rate — so, it's a serious issue for agencies.

Pay attention to how your site performs on mobile and desktop browsers. Most people these days browse on the go, so they are more likely to view your website from their smartphones.

One of the most important aspects of web design is optimizing a page's performance. Keep an eye out for these factors that might be slowing your website down:

  • Large, unoptimized image files
  • Using an unresponsive design
  • Using code that is unnecessarily slow or long
  • Having too many adverts on your page


This article has covered six common mistakes to avoid in SEO, including everything from not getting to know your target audience to not optimizing your webpage. Yes, that's quite a broad list — but the SEO industry is one where multiple disciplines must successfully come together to form a useful service. When looking to improve your SEO agency, you should pay attention to all aspects of the business, not just one in isolation.

As a final word of advice, make sure you have a reliable internet provider when working on your site, as this will make testing and optimizing it so much easier. To find out more about reliable internet services, check out blog.
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