10 Common SEO Mistakes Killing Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Image of busy street-level view in Hong Kong, many neon signs. Don't get lost in traffic because of these common SEO mistakes that can hurt your digital marketing strategy!

A solid digital marketing strategy requires you to know about search engine optimization and to execute well. Otherwise your website and content are going to have limited impact. But even if you have the basics down, you could get tripped up by various pitfalls. There are several common SEO mistakes that I often see due to forgetfulness or lack of knowledge. 

Here are 10 of those mistakes so you can do a check of your own behaviors to start improving your digital marketing performance.

1. Not posting regularly enough.

If you want your efforts around SEO to have an effect, you need to go all in. You can’t expect to post once in a while and see tremendous results. Consistent, regular content publication is rewarded. And that’s going to require more than just one post of average quality a week.

2. Not having enough high-quality copy on each page.

There isn’t a number for the exact amount of copy you need for a high-performing web page. And different types of pages need different amounts of copy. But generally you want to have enough copy to where search crawlers recognize that you’re offering a significant amount of valuable information. For my blog posts, I always like to target 600 – 800 words. If you can do more than that, hats off to you. Yoast recommends no less than 300 words for a regular page or post, and over 900 words for a cornerstone content page. 

3. Using duplicate copy. 

Duplicate copy seems like the search engines’ way of penalizing for a lack of originality and potential plagiarism. Make sure none of your pages have significant chunks of copy that can be found elsewhere on the web, even on your own page.

4. Using duplicate images.

This fact surprised me when I first learned it’s a (little known) common SEO mistake, but using duplicate images (even stock photos) on your website pages can result in an SEO penalty. Aim to invest in getting original images created as often as possible, although if you do need to resort to using stock images, it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to successfully rank on search engine results pages.

5. Not targeting a variety of keywords.

A lot of content marketers tend to focus on short, simple keywords. Most of these are highly competitive. The best SEO strategy will include both short and long-tail keywords. For example, if you have a website about selling jewelry. A simple keyword phrase would be “buy jewelry.” A long-tail keyword would be “buy best custom made jewelry.”

6. Overlooking search intent when doing keyword planning.

Keyword planning isn’t as basic as it may seem. The most successful SEO strategists don’t just pick a handful of basic keywords. They also consider search intent, or the actual goal of people performing searches who they want to attract to their website. The 4 types of search intent are informational, navigational, transactional and commercial investigation. You should take time to figure out where the keywords that you’re targeting fit within those categories, and then create high-quality content that speaks more specifically to that.

7. Not including external links to credible sources.

Linking to external websites says to search engines that your content is backed by research and other sources. It’s an important piece of any SEO strategy. Plus it encourages proper attribution. 

8. Not linking to your other internal pages.

Why wouldn’t you want to promote your own awesome content? Linking to other internal pages helps create a better user experience and reduce your bounce rate. People are encouraged to keep clicking and exploring your content, rather than reading one post and bouncing away from your website.

9. Not having an SSL certificate.

An SSL certificate for your website means your URL starts with https:// instead of just http://. It’s recognized by Google and other search engines as being a more secure option. Websites that start with https:// rank higher than those that are marked by search engines as unsecure because they don’t have an SSL certificate.

10. Not changing the metadata on your images (or on the page in general).

In general you want to make sure you write optimized copy for all the metadata points on a page, including the page description. But I often see marketers forget to change the title and alt-tags for images when they upload them to a website CMS. This extra step can give you a boost when it comes to SEO. It’s just proper form, so you don’t want to forget to do it.

For more common SEO mistakes you should avoid (plus other digital marketing tips), add me on LinkedIn or tweet me!

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