If you’re trying to climb to the top of Google, it’s important to make sure you’re not undermining your own SEO efforts.
Here are six of the top SEO mistakes that we see companies make:
1. Not treating SEO like a long-term investment
Any organic form of marketing is going to take time.
When it comes to getting more inbound leads and traffic to your site, you have two choices: paid or organic methods.
Paid ads and search campaigns are going to get you much quicker wins. But the traffic stops as soon as you stop paying. On the other hand, organic strategies—in this case, SEO—are going to take time to grow like any other worthwhile investment. However, this method can provide compound growth. Meaning, your efforts from the previous month can add to the next month and so on. This doesn’t happen with paid ads. As soon as you stop throwing money in, traffic will stop coming in.
When you’re getting started with SEO, the results can be minimal especially if you’ve never done any SEO for your site. There is a significant amount of foundational work that needs to be done before going after links if you ever want to increase rankings, and eventually, outrank competitors.
One of the most important parts when it comes to marketing is making sure you’re building off of a solid foundation. This leads us to our next point…
2. Only focusing on content
No matter how many optimized blogs you post, if you haven’t done on-page optimizations, you won’t rank
On-page and technical SEO helps Google crawlers understand what your site and content are about so that they can rank it accurately. Can you rank just from blogs alone without on-page SEO? Sure. Anything is possible. But if it could take months or even years. And if it does happen, it would be from powerful backlinks, high engagement, and/or lots of shares on social media.
It’s better to take matters into your own hands to optimize for Google as much as possible rather than playing a guessing game. On-page SEO includes:
- Adding focus keyword to URL and blog title
- Making sure alt text, file names, heading tags, and meta descriptions are all completed and include keyword
- Make sure the page loads quickly (3 seconds)
- Ensure the content is original
- Add FAQ schema—have you ever googled a question and gotten an answer box? FAQ schema is responsible for the website owner landing that spot on top of results)
3. Buying cheap links
Let’s be real—getting high-quality backlinks isn’t a cheap investment (whether you’re doing it yourself and it’s costing you time/effort or you’re hiring a partner to do it for you).
This is why those cold emails offering backlinks at a ridiculously low price might be tempting. This is a quick and cheap option, but it’s against Google’s guidelines and could result in losing keyword rankings for six months or more. These quick “wins” are not worth the risk and actually won’t add to your goals and bottom line.
Building > buying always.
4. Not optimizing the site for mobile
It’s mind-blowing how many company websites we come across that don’t work properly on mobile. There’s too much to lose considering more than 50% of web traffic is done through mobile.
Google prioritizes whatever websites give users the best experience which means delivering fresh, valuable content that they care about and works correctly regardless of the device that’s being used. So if the user has a poor experience or doesn’t get what they need from your site, Google won’t rank you.
This is why we build all of our websites on mobile first THEN desktop. Never the other way around.
Think of it like this: issues on mobile = potential $$ down the drain.
5. Ignoring search intent
Companies often provide keywords they want to rank for. The issue is typically these are keywords they THINK people are searching for or they are too competitive and ranking would take too long.
It’s important to back everything up with data and not just “a good feeling”.
We perform keyword research to find keywords and phrases that people are actually searching for. But it’s not just high traffic that we’re looking for.
We take in search intent—what keywords would people be looking for when they’re ready to buy? If they’re searching for a website visitor tracking software, they would probably search for things like [website visitor tracking software reviews] or [website visitor tracking pricing].
People ready to buy are looking at pricing options, demos, FAQs, reviews, etc.
Not only do we take into account search intent, but we also consider quality search results because this shows how much competition there is for that keyword. Our goal is to find high traffic and lower competition keywords. That exposes a gap that we can fill.
6. Not prioritizing SEO from the start
Like we said from the very beginning, SEO is about compound growth. It might be small movements at first but the more you build and let time do its thing, the more you have a snowball effect.
Lots of companies care about just getting a site up and then, later on, backtracking to set themselves up for SEO.
If it’s possible, it’s best to do SEO (especially keyword research) from the start because it shows exactly what people are searching for. This will guide all of your site content from your standard business pages to blogs to even social media content.