Today SEO is no longer optional for bloggers, it’s now one of the essential elements of blogging. But are you doing it right? Make sure you are not making any of these 22 SEO mistakes to avoid in 2021.
Many marketers and business owners fail to yield positive results from their search engine optimization efforts. Mostly, it’s because they’re falling prey to common SEO mistakes. So keyword research knowledge is extremely crucial for SEO success.
The problem with SEO is that search engines are getting ever smarter and more sophisticated. Which means that the rules are constantly moving.
So if you want to stay ahead of the curve and give your blog the best chance of success in 2021 and beyond, you need to focus more of your efforts on SEO, to avoid common mistakes associated with SEO and make sure what you are following is the current best practice.
If you think you are already implementing SEO best practices, you might want to take a look and see if you are committing any of these 22 SEO mistakes to avoid in 2021.
- The SEO Mistakes To Avoid In 2021
- 1. Not Valuing Search Intent
- 2. Not Submitting Sitemap To Webmaster Tools
- 3. Neglecting Website Maintenance
- 4. Avoid Creating Thin Content
- 5. Avoid Duplicating Content
- 6. Not Fixing Broken Links
- 7. Not Optimizing Your Content For Mobile Devices
- 8. Building Poor Quality Links
- 9. Not Setting Crystal Clear SEO Goals
- 10. Avoid Keyword Stuffing
- 11. Not Paying Attention To Your Internal Linking Structure
- 12. Don't Buy Backlinks
- 13. Slow Page Speed
- 14. Focusing On Quantity Rather Than Quality
- 15. Not Writing Image Tags
- 16. Targeting The Wrong Keywords
- 17. Don't Optimize Content For The Same Target Keywords
- 18. Don't Underestimate The Power Of Page Titles And Meta Descriptions
- 19. Not Using H Tags Properly
- 20. Not Setting Up Yoast SEO Plugin Properly
- 21. Don't Use The Old HTTP Version
- 22. Expecting Good Results Overnight
The SEO Mistakes To Avoid In 2021
Avoid these SEO mistakes at all costs:
1. Not Valuing Search Intent
Google favors sites whose content satisfies the search intent for a given query. Search intent refers to the reason behind a person’s search.
You have to establish what a user wants to get when making the search in search engines. Does the searcher want to buy something? Or are they trying to search for information about something?
For example, if the user types “affiliate marketing” into the Google search bar, that may mean the user wants to learn what affiliate marketing is. So the person in question has informational intent.
However, if the user was searching for “affiliate marketing programs”, that would probably mean that the user wants to join a company that offers affiliate marketing products.
To answer the search intent behind this query, you will have to provide specific details about your affiliate marketing products in your program. Therefore, if you fail to meet or satisfy the searchers’ intent, you won’t be able to rank for very long.
2. Not Submitting Sitemap To Webmaster Tools
Google usually ranks websites with good structure, frequent updates and useful content. The XML sitemap provides Google that structure so Google Bots can crawl the website pages easily and index them in their search database.
So sitemap submission is an important step in the right direction.If you are using WordPress as your content management system, then use the best XML sitemap plugins for WordPress like the Yoast SEO.
When you have a sitemap, you can submit that sitemap to all the best search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
3. Neglecting Website Maintenance
Make no SEO mistakes here. Google favors blogs which are well maintained and so not maintaining your blog can result in your blog dropping in rankings.
Google does not want to send its users to blogs that are poorly maintained. So results from blog are less likely to show in Google.
Thus you should be regularly checking your blog to make sure everything works properly and you have a good internal linking structure with no orphaned content and your content is updated and fully optimised.
4. Avoid Creating Thin Content
What is thin content in this context? This is the content that has pages with low word counts. Or content that has no unique value. In other words, it’s content that has no new ideas.
While this is a good indicator of thin content, I actually think there’s another form of thin content that’s often overlooked. It involves copying and pasting what other people have already produced.
But if you want to truly succeed with SEO, avoid such mistakes, you have to focus on adding unique value to the content you create and not copying and pasting other bloggers’ content.
5. Avoid Duplicating Content
Duplicate Content usually happens when there is similar content on several pages of your WordPress blog. This can lower your SEO ranking.
To avoid your website from decreasing it’s SEO ranking, ensure each page of your site has unique content that your target audience will find engaging, informative and valuable.
6. Not Fixing Broken Links
Broken links usually occur when there is a link on your blog that sends your reader to a “404 Not Found” page when they click on it. This 404 might be on your own site or one on an external website.
A website full of links to 404s is an indication of poor blog maintenance and can cause your blog to drop in search engine rankings.
To fix this issue, use a Broken Link Checker to find the broken links on your site and then work through them, line by line, either deleting those links or updating them as appropriate.
7. Not Optimizing Your Content For Mobile Devices
If your website is not optimized for mobile devices, then you are missing out on potential leads and sales if it does not display beautifully on all screen sizes. A long time ago, creating a mobile responsive blog wasn’t easy.
Now, it is more easy and efficient to create a blog that is responsive. A responsive blog rearranges itself in response to the screen size that is detected. Thus designing a responsive blog is one way to ensure your blog looks its best on all devices.
8. Building Poor Quality Links
First do an in-depth research into domains you’re linking to, to ensure they are both relevant to your blog and have a good standing with search engines.
Having thousands of backlinks from hundreds of domains helps to improve your website’s domain authority and eventually your rankings in search engines.
But black hat tactics (bad link building tactics) like building links to directories or simply buying as many backlinks as possible have resulted in penalties and ranking demotions. Google, however, rewards websites that get backlinks naturally.
9. Not Setting Crystal Clear SEO Goals
To succeed in your SEO campaign, you will have to set out clear SEO goals for yourself. Though many business owners and marketers run SEO campaigns without having any goals. And they fail at the end of the day.
Therefore, for your SEO efforts to yield positive results, you need to understand what you want to achieve. What is it that you want to attain? Do you want better quality traffic, more organic leads, or more sales?
Take for example, you drive 15,000 monthly organic users to your website but only 2% of them end up buying from you. Do you know why this is the case? Well, there are two possibilities here.
It’s either you are attracting the wrong kind of traffic to your blog or your blog is not converting visitors into customers. So having clear goals will fix such avoidable mistakes.
10. Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is an act of using a keyword more in content than expected.
Most search engines like Google and Bing have improved their algorithms to recognize keyword stuffing.
So websites that do keyword stuffing tactics are removed from Google’s index. They suffer huge losses to their rankings as a penalty.
Therefore, make sure that your Keyword is used naturally in the blog posts. If your page sounds natural, you will be rewarded by search engines.
11. Not Paying Attention To Your Internal Linking Structure
First and foremost, all blog posts must have internal links pointing to them. Search engines follow links so as to index pages and posts. So if a post has no internal links pointing to it, it will be hard for search engines to find and index it.
Blog posts that don’t have internal links pointing to them are called orphaned posts. Do not have orphaned content on your blog.
Furthermore, search engines consider the number of internal links pointing to a post when assessing that post’s importance and relevance. So search engines will consider a blog post with no links as unimportant.
You should make sure that your cornerstone content ( the most important content on your website) has more links pointing to them.
12. Don’t Buy Backlinks
While building good backlinks from other high quality websites back to your blog posts remains an important SEO strategy, you should never buy backlinks in 2021.
Doing this can attract a Google penalty. Your blog will be demoted in Google’s search results or even removed from them altogether. Its one of those SEO mistakes you should avoid at all costs.
13. Slow Page Speed
A slow website frustrates users and drives them away. However, that’s not the only reason why it’s critical to have a fast loading page website.
Page speed is one of the factors that are taken into account when determining SEO ranking. There are several tactics that can be used to help speed up your site.
These techniques include optimizing the images, fixing any page redirects, and trimming down any unnecessary code. Speeding up your WordPress blog will not only improve your overall SEO ranking, but it will also help increase your website traffic.
14. Focusing On Quantity Rather Than Quality
This is probably the biggest SEO mistake most bloggers make in the blogosphere. But search engines are focusing on quality over quantity.
So writing 1 well written and organized blog post that offers solutions to your readers is far much better for SEO than writing many disorganized poor quality posts.
In fact, prioritizing quality over quantity is the best SEO strategy in 2021. These days, the secret to ranking number 1 on Google is to write the best content. And the best content is never going to be a poorly written or very short post.
15. Not Writing Image Tags
Stunning images are invisible to the search engines. So to make them visible, you have to use image tags. Make sure to add alt tags on each image. This will make your images be optimized by search engines.
A description of an image with a caption are bonuses for the search engines. But do not to fill your alt tags with keywords. Try to use real descriptions and include keywords only if they are appropriate.
16. Targeting The Wrong Keywords
Surprisingly, some bloggers jump into and try to conquer every keyword in their niche. This is a really bad idea, especially if you don’t have the website authority to target keywords with mid to high level competition.
If your website is new, focus on long tail keywords that have low competition, so you can get some easy wins out of the gate. Then once your site has built some authority, you can target higher volume and higher competition keywords.
17. Don’t Optimize Content For The Same Target Keywords
Another biggest and easily avoidable SEO mistake is optimising various content for similar keywords. Each page on your blog should have only one primary target keyword which is unique to that page and a few secondary terms to compliment your main keyword target.
To do it successfully, this should be planned well in advance. Do your Keyword mapping properly. If you have already made a mistake, revisit the intent behind these targeted keywords and make sure they match the most relevant content.
18. Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Page Titles And Meta Descriptions
By default, the meta description in your website dashboard is blank and the page title is listed as “home.” So if you neglect these, you’re missing out on huge SEO opportunities. Mody the titles and meta descriptions on your homepage and the rest of the pages on your site.
19. Not Using H Tags Properly
H tags are not an optional extra in 2021, they are a critical part of good SEO. H1 must be used only once for your blog post’s title. Use H2 for your main subheadings and H3 for sub-sub headings when breaking up H2 sections into smaller sections.
Subheadings are increasingly becoming more important because of the reading culture of people. People don’t have time to read bulk content. Subheadings help to break up bulk text and enable readers to figure out faster if your blog post covers what they want to know.
H tags also help Google to understand and know what questions your blog answers which helps it know to show your blog post when searchers type those questions into the Google search box.
20. Not Setting Up Yoast SEO Plugin Properly
Not having the Yoast SEO plugin in the first place is a biggest mistake. So If you don’t have this amazing plugin, get it now. It’s free and can help with all sorts of aspects of your SEO.
The second mistake bloggers make is not setting up the Yoast SEO plugin correctly.
Install it correctly. This plugin can do incredible things. It will help you get traffic to your blog. But it is set up wrongly, it can actually hurt your SEO.
21. Don’t Use The Old HTTP Version
HTTPs stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure and SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. Did you know that https is an SEO ranking factor? Google shows in search results websites that use https more than those that use HTTPS.
Some browsers mark websites without HTTPS as being non secure. They show “not secure” error pages to visitors who are browsing through such pages which are still on HTTP.
The secure version which is https version uses an SSL certificate to establish a connection between the browser and the server so that any information such as bank information, credit or debit card data that is exchanged between your browser and the website gets encrypted.
We’ve written a detailed guide on switching from http to https using SSL certificates where you can find all the details on how to easily secure your site for more authority, branding and improved search rankings.
So install a free SSL certificate on your WordPress blog. Once you’ve installed the free SSL certificate, switch from http to https to make sure that your website URLs are running on HTTPS.
22. Expecting Good Results Overnight
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a dynamic field that needs a lot of hard work and time. Thus, don’t listen to those offers that promise instant results.
Unless you have a very big advertising budget, it is not feasible to rank your WordPress blog higher within a short period of time. If you are wondering how to do SEO, avoid these mistakes and you will start to see results after some time.
To get the best results from your SEO efforts and to rank higher on Google, you’ll have to avoid the 20 SEO mistakes I’ve detailed above in 2021. Additionally, run an SEO audit for your website once a year or once every six months to help you spot and fix any possible problems.