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SEO Strategy
5 Major SEO Mistakes You Could Be Making

Mistakes should be reserved for your middle school fashion choices (low-rise jeans, anyone?) and not for your brand’s ranking on Google.

SEO mistakes can hinder your business’s success, returning a high bounce rate instead of that all-important sales conversion rate. According to Databox, 70% of respondents surveyed said SEO is more effective than PPC at driving sales conversions. So you better get it right. Lucky for you, we’re here to identify the most common SEO mistakes we see out in the wild World Wide Web.

Ready to find out what SEO mistakes to avoid so you won’t look back and wonder what the H-E-C-K you were doing with your SEO? Let’s jump right in.

SEO Mistakes #1: Not Publishing Enough Content

One of the most common SEO mistakes is not publishing enough valuable content. This doesn’t mean posting thousands of pieces of content daily. In fact, that’s the exact opposite of what we recommend. 

When you race to publish pages and pages of new content focused on the same topic, you commit one of the biggest SEO mistakes–you cannibalize your site. Create one landing page or blog post and go back to update it periodically. Google will identify that one page as an expert resource. 

As Marketing Director and SEO mastermind Bin Cochran describes the phenomenon:
“Say you want to write a blog post on cool shoes. Some companies will write about the same cool shoes every single week for years while they’re cannibalizing their own content. On the other hand, they should produce one webpage on why these shoes are awesome and update that constantly. They almost talk too much about an item versus really picking one page that they want that keyword to go to and putting all of their resources into that page.”

Each piece of content on your website should be:

  • Between 500-1,000 words
  • Unique–not copy and pasted or plagiarized
  • Prioritizing one main keyword and including 2-3 other keyword variations
  • Include 2-3 of both internal and external links throughout the content piece

Not publishing enough quality content can be one of the most costly SEO mistakes. Why spend time and money developing content that won’t drive the needle? Speaking of valuable assets…

SEO Mistakes #2: Selling So Much You Forget To Provide Value

Of all the SEO mistakes to avoid, this is a big one. Evaluate the content you’re producing. Is it too sales-y, or does it provide real value for potential customers? 

Don’t overcomplicate it. Are you producing content people like? You don’t have to give away all your secrets, but you should provide resources people enjoy whether entertaining or educational. Better yet–make it both. Besides, gatekeeping is so 2004.

SEO Mistakes #3: Ignoring Your Website Functionality

You’ve already made it through two top SEO mistakes to avoid from a content perspective, but it’s essential to consider how your website functionality plays into common SEO mistakes.

The prettiest website with the most beautiful graphics on Earth should get you more customers, right? Not when it interferes with your site’s functionality. On the technical side of SEO, if your site is slow to load, you won’t rank well with Google’s crawlers. Neither will you impress your potential customers.

According to Pingdom, the average website experiences a bounce rate of 9% at 2 seconds but 38% at 5 seconds! Within a 3 second timeframe, the bounce rate increased by 3x. Your visitors don’t have time to waste, and they’re ruthless.


SEO Mistakes #4: Trying to Attract Google’s Bots Instead of Your Customers

Are you trying to do business with Google’s bots or potential customers? (This is a rhetorical question–the answer is customers.) You should be writing your website content with your customers in mind.

Though SEO is a long game, it’s not a magic trick. Let’s review a few of the biggest SEO mistakes you might be making on-page that speak more to web crawlers than customers.

You’re using the same keyword over and over and over, also known as keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is easy to do, making it one of the most common SEO mistakes to commit and easiest to make right. Besides getting your site penalized, it also makes your content difficult to read. 

You’re optimizing for just one keyword. If you’re using one exact keyword too often, you’re not optimizing your content for enough keywords. Just like there are a variety of cool shoes that exist, so too are there many different ways people search for “cool shoes.” 

Marketwake Search Engine Manager Josh Cummings explains this in more straightforward terms. “It’s never really about just going after one keyword. You gotta have every aspect of whatever your product is–whatever you’re selling–you’ve gotta address that from all angles and not just the one or two things you think might drive most of the traffic to your site.”


You’re optimizing for the wrong keywords. If you’ve noticed a higher than average bounce rate, you may be optimizing your content for the wrong keywords. Of the most common SEO mistakes, it’s the most innocent because you think you’re putting in the work, but you’re getting slightly off course.


SEO Mistakes #5: Setting It and Forgetting It

One of the biggest SEO mistakes committed comes from misunderstanding SEO principles. SEO is not one-and-done. It takes routine updates, periodic on-page evaluation, and monitoring the latest trends and algorithm changes. 

SEO is not a one-time activity to check off your start-up to-do list, and you can’t invest in SEO strategy for two months and stop cold turkey. It takes continuous thoughtful content and keyword strategy to see impactful results, often taking about 3-6 months to see the full impact. But once you start noticing the results, it pays off exponentially–and it gets easier!

In the digital age, things constantly change, whether it’s Google’s algorithm, ADA compliance rules, or keyword rankings. 

Don’t wait until it’s too late and you’re looking back with rosy cheeks if you feel you're committing any of these common SEO mistakes. 😳 We stay up-to-date, so you don’t have to. Contact our SEO team today to start an SEO strategy that won’t go out of style.

Marketwake team

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