SEO for Dummies: Top Mistakes to Avoid

Some of the common hiccups when it comes to SEO is getting de-indexed or penalized by Google. Google, which is the most popular search engine, uses special tools to crawl and rank websites. However, not getting things right can get you in trouble or even shun away potential clients.

That’s why you should always get things right. Among other things, you should avoid making the following common mistakes.

Using Incorrect Keywords

Keywords written in scrabble letters

Keywords are important components when it comes to implementing an SEO strategy. Thus, getting it right with your keyword research is vital. In particular, you should use the right keyword research tool.

Using the right keywords is the surest way of propelling your site to the first page of Google. With keywords, you have a tool that will help users find your site.

Using the wrong keywords will bring the wrong customers to your site. However, the right keywords will bring you the right customers. So, focus on keywords that are related to your business.

Go for keywords that fall within your business niche. Leverage on the power of research tools to mine the right keywords. The market is filled with numerous keyword tools. Do the research and ask for referrals. You will definitely get a keyword research tool that suits your explicit needs.

Keyword Stuffing Is Toxic

According to SEO experts, keyword stuffing, which involves overusing the same keywords in your content, won’t generate results. Instead, it will kill your site’s prospects of ranking high in Google.

Remember, Google cannot be tricked. With this black-hat technique, you will go nowhere.

Google has special tools that can fish out such techniques and even penalize you. So, if you are new to SEO and you want quick results, this isn’t the way to do it. Instead, focus on creating content that naturally flows. Use your keywords naturally. Plus, consider using LSI keywords—it’s one of the best ways of avoiding keyword stuffing concerns.

Not Using the Right Meta Descriptions

Person typing on white laptop

If you haven’t been providing meta descriptions, you are doing your site a disservice. Remember, Google uses meta descriptions to know more about your content. Not using meta descriptions can actually harm your site. So, put more emphasis on meta descriptions which can be more thoroughly checked by using a meta description length checker.

For instance, if you are using WordPress, get a good SEO plugin. Here, you will be entering your focus keywords in addition to meta descriptions for your posts. Plus, if you want to make your meta descriptions more engaging, consider including a call to action at the end of each piece.

If you don’t include meta descriptions in your content Google will take the first paragraph as your meta description.

Not Making Your Content Mobile-Friendly

You are living in the digital era, right? Well, keep mobile in mind when creating content or designing your site. According to the stats, more and more people are turning to mobile to search for content.

In particular, more than half of world searches are happening via mobile. Plus, the rate of penetration of mobile phones is impressive.

Thus, having mobile-friendly content is key.  So, optimize for mobile. Work on page speed. Create a mobile-friendly site structure. Improve your site’s overall design.

Not Using a Sitemap

Man drawing sitemap

Google needs to know more about you to rank your site. Thus, leveraging on a sitemap is important.

Defined as a tool that Google uses to understand your site, a sitemap is turning out to be an important aspect of SEO. Among other things, it will know the most relevant keywords when it comes to your site. So, eliminate the guessing game. Tell Google the location of your XML sitemap.

Google won’t find difficulty locating the link to follow. It will have an easy time crawling your sitemap, reading your properties, and indexing your pages accordingly. So, if you want to rank on Google, consider submitting your site’s sitemap to Google.

Not Linking to Other Websites

Of course, Google is very strict when it comes to link building. However, this doesn’t mean shunning the whole idea of link building.

Being scared to link to another site is a huge mistake. The only thing Google wants you to do is to incorporate relevant links. It wants you to stay within the rules.

Google isn’t out to scare you from the whole idea of link building. So, consider linking to relevant sites. It offers your users the best experiences. Sometimes when you link to other sites, they will return the favor by linking back and naturally boosting your SEO. You might also want to consider hiring a link building agency to build quality links.

Not Proofreading Your Content

Woman reading

Content readability is everything when it comes to ranking high on Google. So, failing to proofread any type of information you publish on your site is a huge mistake.

Make your content easy to read. Proofread to remove all grammatical errors. Remember, customers are likely to stay away from sites with poor content.

When Google notices that users are fleeing from your site, it won’t index it. So, before publishing your content, read it again. Also, you can bring a proofreader on board. Remember, anybody can make mistakes. So, hiring a proofreader can make a huge difference.

Creating Content that’s Not Sharable

How will Google determine the usefulness of your content if you don’t make it shareable? Through sharing, Google will measure its value and rank your site accordingly. And one of the best ways of making people share your content is making it easy to read and share.

Add visible social sharing buttons. According to experts, social media link strength is considered a ranking factor by Google’s algorithm.

Google will determine the number of times your content is shared, tweeted, retweeted, liked, and posted. Frequently shared content will automatically lead to better search engine ranking.

Other Mistakes

Also, avoid the following additional mistakes if you want your SEO strategy to register impressive results:

  • Don’t use duplicated content
  • Don’t choose quantity over quality

The Bottom-Line

According to, being new in SEO doesn’t mean that your site cannot appear on the first page of Google. As long as you get things right, employ the best strategies, and follow all of Google’s rules, you can propel your site to greatness.

Additionally, avoid the above-mentioned common mistakes most SEO dummies make. From not choosing the right keywords to not employing the best link-building strategies, avoiding those mistakes can turnaround the fortunes of your site.

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