Focusing on search engine optimization (SEO) to drive traffic to your website can deliver results that are incredibly rewarding or monumentally frustrating, depending on how effective your current strategy is. If you want to boost web traffic and brand visibility on common search engines such as Google and Bing, try not to make any of these common SEO mistakes. 

SEO Mistake #1: Building Your Website on a Platform That Isn’t SEO-Friendly

SEO is a complex practice and choosing a platform that isn’t intuitive or capable of supporting your goals is the first mistake you can make. Did you know that more than 1 in 4 sites on the web are built using WordPress? While other platforms may offer SEO features, WordPress is widely accepted by many as the best platform for SEO due to its easy management system, open-source customization, versatile plugins, content/mobile optimization capabilities and more.

SEO Mistake #2: Publishing Poorly Crafted Pointless Content

This should go without saying, but we still see it all the time. When it comes to content, think quality over quantity every time. Creating content that is poor in quality, uninformative, spammy, repetitive, short (<400-500 words) or without structure is a recipe for disaster (and a total waste of time). Publish longer content that is engaging, informative, grammatically correct and original to provide a better user experience, thus resulting in a higher search ranking.

SEO Mistake #3: Assuming Amazing Content is a Substitute for SEO

If you’ve worked hard on crafting stellar web content that is user-friendly and tailored for your unique audience – that’s great! However, if you (or your writer) aren’t building that content with SEO in mind, you’re doing yourself a major disservice. Creating excellent content is not a substitution for optimization, as on-page SEO is still imperative for rankings. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to take advantage of social media platforms and their many publishing/advertising capabilities to promote your content – are your competitors utilizing these tools?

SEO Mistake #5: Failure to Link 101

Links can make or break your SEO strategy – spammy links, broken links and the absence of quality outbound links to trusted sources can all cause your content to plummet in rankings. Inbound links, which drive traffic to other pages and posts throughout your website, are also a necessary tool for improving user navigation and overall SEO. In the words of Google, “In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.” This makes link-building an instrumental factor in how Google ranks web pages. Don’t let your content fall by the wayside, check out 7 killer link building strategies for small businesses.

SEO Mistake #6: Ineffective Keyword Research and Implementation

If you want to increase your ranking potential, blinding choosing popular keywords without formal research on their effectiveness isn’t the way to achieve this goal. According to Forbes contributor John Rampton, “Keyword research in 2017 means identifying highly-relevant keywords and phrases to help you figure out which topics and sub-topics to cover on your site. Those words and phrases should certainly be used in strategic areas of your content, however you should also be using variations and related terms as well.”

SEO Mistake #7: Succumbing to WordPress Woes (It’s Time to Brush up on the Basics)

As aforementioned, WordPress is one of the top platforms to utilize for user-friendly SEO implementation – but that doesn’t mean it’s simple. If you want your WordPress powered site to contribute to your SEO success, it’s critical that you brush up on the basics (general settings, analytics, meta data, permalinks, etc) by taking the time to evaluate your current strategy for the Top 10 WordPress SEO Mistakes to Avoid.

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