SEO: 5 Biggest SEO Mistakes

byJeff Cooper

Learning search engine optimization (SEO) is complicated.  We will go over 5 mistakes your company might be making and offer some helpful tips on avoiding search engine optimization mistakes.

If you are at the beginning stage of learning all about search engine optimization, it can be extremely complicated. You must learn about how search engines work, the technical features of things like HTML and JavaScript, core web vitals, and page speed.  It can be very challenging to learn all these things and execute them. In this article, we’re going to break down the five biggest mistakes that companies make when they’re doing SEO.

Mistake 1: Not setting a consistent set of realistic keyword targets

The first big mistake companies make when they’re investing in SEO is not setting a consistent set of realistic keyword targets. If you are an e-commerce company, you shouldn’t be trying to rank for every single variation of every single product that you have to offer.  You should be very careful and deliberate about picking your battles and finding keyword targets that are realistic for you to win ranks for and drive traffic and customers into your business.

Mistake 2: Lack of empathy and search intent for keyword targets

The second big SEO mistake that companies make is losing track of empathy and search intent when creating content for a specific keyword target. I see businesses writing content that they are trying to get to rank for a specific keyword for their business and they forget to look at the search engine results page or compare their article to other content that currently ranks for that keyword target. Remember, you’re writing for people, not robots.  Be sure to think of search intent, and don’t lose track of empathy for your user.

Mistake 3: Obsessing over technical SEO

The third big mistake I see companies making with their SEO is obsessing over technical SEO when they don’t have the right content in the first place. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love technical SEO.  I started as an engineer, and I want to spend all my days sitting in a dark room and optimizing things like page speed. The problem is if you have a technically optimized website, and you don’t have any great content, you’ve effectively just polished a turd 😉 You are not going to see any business value from all those investments. Be sure to not over-focus on technical SEO until you have enough content to merit that investment.

Mistake 4: Thinking backlinks will solve all your problems

The fourth big SEO mistake I see companies making is overvaluing backlinks, thinking backlinks might solve all your problems. Again, just like technical SEO, if you don’t have good content that is engaging or useful to your users, then links to that content from around the internet are not going to do you much good. I see a lot of SEOs and companies starting to buy low-quality backlinks or directory backlinks when their core problem is no one cares about their content and their content is not engaging. Remember, backlinks are important, but don’t overvalue them early in the process when you need to focus on things like content.

Mistake 5: Treating SEO as a campaign

The fifth big SEO mistake I see companies making is treating SEO like a campaign.  They want to turn on their SEO when they are about to launch a new product or turn off their SEO because they want to save some money and relaunch their SEO later. Search engine optimization is a lot like branding. It doesn’t work that way. You need to make a consistent effort to build up your authority, build a corpus of content that Google values and your users care about, and earn keyword ranks over time. If you can’t afford to be making a consistent investment into your SEO, then it’s possible you can’t afford to be doing SEO in the first place. You should consider whether you’re better off using something like pay-per-click advertising or direct sales to grow your business.

If you’re a company doing SEO and you’re making one of these five mistakes, you need to reevaluate how you’re approaching search engine optimization and how you can continue to grow your business through search engines.

I hope this article has been helpful as you manage your SEO. If you need help managing your paid search or SEO, contact our experts to see if we can help and remember to always be optimizing.

Jeff Cooper

Founder & President, Saltbox Solutions

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