SEO is always evolving – and 2020 is expected to bring even more challenges to the industry, including updated algorithms, new keyword analysis techniques and more. The simple truth is that what worked a few years or months back may not work tomorrow.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is all about how users find the best websites while searching on Google. So it’s important for businesses or brands to gain more website traffic. As a digital marketer, it’s time to look deep into the SEO strategy to follow in 2020. You may have already started working on your 2020 SEO journey and that’s great!
Keeping up to date with the search engine optimisation criteria is not an easy task, with many businesses falling into the pit of bad SEO practices. Instead of gaining high traffic and conversion rate, the results will be quite the reverse.
It is quite natural that mistakes happen no matter whether you are new to search engine optimisation or have years of experience. Even the smartest SEO professionals can make some simple mistakes.
Here I’m going to share some of the common SEO mistakes to avoid so that you can save your time and energy.
Let’s get into what works and what doesn’t.
1. Buying links
Google has a clear policy when it comes to paid links – ‘do not buy them’. Buying or selling links is against Google’s quality guidelines.
Imagine you’ve spent all your time, money and effort for creating a successful website. To stand ahead of your competitors, you brought links believing it would increase your site authority and ranking. And one morning you found your site has been disappeared from the search results. Google has punished for violating its policy. It could take a long time to get back to where your website was. So, it’s better to avoid going through such a situation.
Search engines have updated algorithms to recognise sites that use inbound links from websites that act as link warehouses. Google will penalise your website as low-quality. Never risk your existence on search engine by buying links.
2. Stuffing keywords into your copy
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Pretty boring right? This is not even the worst keyword stuffing example.
When you cram your content with keywords, you fail to educate and engage your readers, resulting in poor user experience. This will increase the bounce rate and drive away potential customers from your website.
Although keywords are necessary for your web page, try to avoid repetition by including keywords that are not relevant to the context. Including long-tail keywords and LSI keywords is also a good solution.
3. Duplicate content
On the web, duplicate content occurs when similar content is found on multiple URLs and as a result, Google doesn’t know which URL to display in the search results. The search engine doesn’t want to show the same contents repeatedly.
You might not know if your web page contains duplicate content, so it’s a great idea to use plagiarism checkers to make sure content is unique. Copyscape, Duplichecker and Plagspotter are some of the good tools which can be used to check for duplicate content.
Try the following techniques to avoid duplication
- Not using scraped content
- Use redirect permanent (301)
- Customise product descriptions
- Add a canonical link to the duplicate page
4. Not being mobile-friendly
I know you are busy optimising your website, but there lies a great chance of neglecting the term ‘mobile-friendliness’. For sure, this is a severe mistake to rectify; a website that you plan to perform the SEO campaign in 2020 should be mobile-friendly.
But the ‘why’ thoughts still remains, right?
Use of smartphones and tablets have grown at an incredible rate over the past 3-4 years. Users now prefer mobile phones to access your website and they expect the same user experience as in desktop search. So responsive design became a standard element in any SEO strategy despite business or brand.
Follow the same desktop format on your mobile – text, images, videos etc. should be indexable and crawlable in mobile. Your navigation should be clickable and easy to spot (horizontally or vertically placed). Also, do not ignore the page loading time as mobile websites that load faster increase ranking.
5. Only favouring On-site SEO
To put it simply, any moves you do outside of your website in an attempt to increase your SEO ranking comes under off-page SEO. There is no doubt that off-page SEO will improve your website position in SERP.
Always come up with creative and shareable content to generate more backlinks to your website. But make sure those links are from completely relevant domains.
Note that fresh and updated content will work well in search engine optimisation.
Never neglect the power of social media as it is one of the best off-page SEO techniques. The more that users share your content on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms, the more you will get noticed among your niche. And if you keep on leveraging social media platforms for sharing and engaging your business, you will see great results.
6. Ignoring Algorithmic updates
Google often introduces updates to its ranking algorithm so that it can give good search results to its visitors. Some may be tiny tweaks while others are complex which can shake up the SERPs. Having a good understanding of Google’s Algorithmic updates is very important for ranking high in the search engine.
Always keep an eye on Google Algorithm updates which in turn help you to stay top on Google search results.
7. Skipping schema markup
The core agenda of search engine optimisation is making it easier for Google to understand what the web page is about. Here comes the importance of structured data – it’s a great way to showcase what the business is all about, what products are for sale, where the company or store located, what the hours of operation are and so on.
Schema markup is a structured data that helps Google to understand the context of your content better. Using schema markup can improve your search engine rankings. It displays the details of your business like name, address, phone number, event details and other information. Once Schema markup is added to a web page, it creates a rich snippet, which will appear in the search results.
To sum up
Now that you are aware of some SEO pitfalls that could kill your business, you must take steps to avoid those in the upcoming year. All are prone to committing mistakes and being aware of the possible SEO mistakes will help you take up the right direction.
After all, to be prepared is half the victory!