9 SEO Mistakes To Avoid In 2020

By BELABBES Brahim

SEO is an essential skill if you want to drive organic traffic to your blog and build an audience. The problem with SEO is that search engines are pushing down sites that practice black hat techniques. They are getting smarter to deliver the best results to their users. SEO is not all sunshine and rainbows.

Some SEO practices are outdated and Google may penalize sites that try to manipulate or deceive the system.

If you want to make your site a success with SEO, then you need to avoid mistakes and pitfalls people make with their sites.

If you want to drive organic traffic to your blog and build an audience via organic traffic, then keyword research is a mandatory phase.

Before you plan to write about a particular topic, how could you know that your audience has an interest in that topic?

When it comes to business, there is no room for intuition or guesswork. Building a blog without doing keyword research is suicide. You might have heard that someone has built a blog without doing SEO. This is might be true, but it doesn’t work for everyone. 

There are a lot of factors involved like expertise or business background.

In many cases, even if you rank number 1 for a search term, or drive organic traffic, it doesn’t mean leads or customers. The search intent is different for everyone. Some keywords have a higher conversion potential than others.

Another big problem in keyword research is targeting hyper-competitive search terms that are impossible to rank for. You need to check your domain authority as well as your competitors. This way you can define your strengths and their weaknesses.

I wrote a detailed guide on how to find and qualify keywords ==>> Profitable Keywords

Skipping Competition Analysis

Whether you are blogging about Japanese manga or real estate, you are not the only blogger in this arena. There hundreds if not thousands of bloggers targeting the same niche or keyword.

In SEO, the name of the game is to beat one of your competitors. In other words, moving down the website and letting yours take its place. Skipping this step can lead to a huge waste of effort and time. 

You may end up creating a lot of great content without getting any significant traffic. A deep competitive analysis allows you to figure out the elements on your websites you need to improve to stand out in the SERPs.

Also, you can determine the weaknesses of your competitors than capitalize them on your blog performance.

For example, you can beat your competitors in terms of backlinks, User experience, content length….etc

One of the results has just a few backlinks. What you can do is to build a better version of that content. Then, build more backlinks to increase your page authority.

Another advantage of doing the competitive analysis is you can identify the type of content your target audience are interested in

Your Site Takes Too Long To Load

Google made clear that website loading speed affects ranking. Page speed is a term that refers to the time a visitor has to wait until before a page is completely loaded. 3 seconds or less is ideal for small and medium sites. If your site takes 5 seconds or more, then you need to do some changes to make it better.

Slow-loading websites suck for Google and users. The amount of time a website takes to load relies on many things like the number of HTTP requests, size of images, redirect chains, pop-ups…etc

10 SEO-friendly WordPress Themes

Creating Thin Content

Sites like Goarticle, Articlebase, and Ezinearticle used to rank on the first pages of Google. Whether you’ve noticed or not, these sites seem to disappear from Google, and for a good reason. I used to write Goarticle and ArticleBase to generate traffic to my website, But now they are gone.

Most articles on these sites have no more than 600 words and very similar. Google started to push down these sites because they produce almost no value to the readers. This type of article is what is called thin content.

From Google’s standpoint, thin content that:

  • It has low word count and lacks usefulness.
  • Doorway pages or pages made for ads
  • Duplicate content from other sources
  • Have grammatical errors and bad readability
  • Automatically generated content 

Unfortunately, low-quality content can still rank on Google, and it’s difficult to define what ranking signal they use to determine thin content. However, This is not an excuse to produce crappy content

You can learn how to write a quality article from my article here: How To Learn Content Writing 

Lack Of Consistent Content Production

In SEO, internal links, loading speed, long content matter a lot to your website ranking. However, small things count too. From all the SEO techniques available on the internet, consistency is hugely important. I consider consistent content production is the strongest of Google’s ranking factor.

Have you ever come across a website on the first page of Google with just a few pages. With tiny niches, you can rank with just a few pages. But, as a general rule quantity content matters. 

Probably you come across SEO tips like prioritizing quality over quantity. Quantity content doesn’t mean low quality. Content creation is like any skill and you can learn it over time. Generally, the first 10 articles are crap. However, as you practice, you will figure out the elements that need improvement.

The sad truth is Google doesn’t trust new websites and the SEOs call it Google’s sandbox. To win the trust of Google you need to create a lot of content. The more pages you have on your website, the more likely to get organic traffic. This is the reality of SEO is all about content.

Your Site Looks Ugly On Mobile Devices

I repeated this tip several times, but it’s very important to make your site looks good on mobile and table.

Google Search Console warned several times that my site look is easy to access on mobile. On smaller screens my site had no white space, the ads blocked the content and other problems too. When the warning came from Google, it means mobile-friendliness matters to SEO. People access the internet via their mobile devices more than ever.

Another reason, Google considers mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor. Users are more likely to trust your site if it looks good on mobile. 

The best way to make your site looks good on mobile is to improve its speed. Eliminate any plugin, images, themes that aren’t necessary for your website performance. Another tip that helped me a lot is to install a responsive design. This way you allow your site to adjust itself according to the screen, size.

Buying Links

Backlinks send a signal to Google that your site deserves better ranking. The process of building links back is time-consuming and sometimes overwhelming. Some bloggers want to shortcut the process and buy links. Backlinks buyers have an undeniable advantage.

The money. Most people who buy links don’t bother about the site quality or link placement. This practice is a manipulation of Google’s algorithm. Unfortunately, there are a lot of links buyers on forums and social media and bloggers are still using it.

However, if Google catches, you will get a manual action against your site and shut down all your organic traffic. It’s hard to recover from Google’s penalty.

Buying backlinks is cheating and there is no guarantee of their relevance. Also, it’s a bad investment for SEO success. You can spend money on tools for email outreach and monitoring software to find real people to link back to your site.

Your Site Has 404 Pages

A broken link, a 404 page, or a dead link is simply a link that leads to a webpage no longer exists. It’s frustrating to click on a link and lead to a webpage that tells this doesn’t any longer exist. 404 pages not only are annoying, but they can also hurt your SEO efforts.

Small websites usually don’t have broken links, but it will eventually happen when a site gets bigger. Broken links happen for different reasons :

  • Changement in the URL structure
  • Moving to a new domain name
  • Content removal
  • Page title Changement

Broken links lead to frustrations, especially if it leads to product pages. In this case, it costs you money and customers. Your visitors are used to broken links and might forgive one or two? If your site has too many blank pages, people will leave your site and move to another.

You can use SEO audit tools like Semrush or Ubersuggest to spot broken links on your site.

Your Keywords Are Over Repeated

Keywords stuffing is an old blackhat SEO technique that used to work. When search engines were at their beginning, people used to show as many SEO keywords on a page to rank on the first results. Keywords were the only thing that matter for Google.

Bloggers used to place keywords out of context and unrelated to the page topic. Also, they used to match the text color with the background.

As a result, this led to poor user experience, and Google changed its algorithm. Although this practice is still common these days, no longer working for SEO.

SEO experts still debate about keyword density, and most people agree between 2%-5%. This number doesn’t matter as long as the target keywords are in the right places.

Keywords optimization still an important ranking factor, but not the only one. The way we should use keywords for SEO has dramatically changed.

Now you have to put your keywords on specific places like 

  • Meta Title And Description
  • First paragraph
  • Images Alt Tag
  • Url
  • H1 And H2

Conclusion

If you didn’t make a good job with SEO, don’t worry –you can still recover. I used to stuck with SEO, but gradually I improved my skill. I’m ranking on the first page of Google for different keywords. 

These are SEO mistakes you need to avoid in 2020.

Does SEO seem complicated? I suggest you read my guide on the best SEO techniques. It is 6000 words long article, and you will get a lot of value from it.