9 Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid in 2024

It can be incredibly frustrating to put a lot of effort into your website and follow as much SEO advice as possible, only for nothing to happen. Or, even worse, your website traffic may decrease.

Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, which means that you need to be very careful with the changes that you implement. Not all advice is to be followed.

Let’s look at some common SEO mistakes that you are making that might be working against you. These mistakes include a mixture of:

  1. Technical SEO Mistakes
  2. Content optimization mistakes
  3. On-page SEO mistakes
  4. Mobile optimization mistakes
  5. Local SEO mistakes
  6. User experience and engagement mistakes
  7. Maintenance mistakes
  8. Analytics and Measurement Mistakes
  9. Advanced SEO Mistakes

We’ll also look at how to fix these common mistakes so that you can get back on the right track and make sure you are ranking as high as possible.

1. Technical SEO Mistakes

Technical SEO is the very basis of your website. It can be difficult to improve, but it is very important to search engines.

Here are some common technical SEO issues that might be affecting your ranking and visibility.

Not Optimizing Indexing and Fixing Crawlability Issues 

If search engines can’t find and index your content, it will never rank. Without proper indexing, your valuable content may never reach your target audience.

Use tools like Google Search Console to determine which pages of your website are indexed by search engines. Identify any pages that aren’t indexed or experiencing crawl issues.

Tackle any crawl errors you find, such as blocked pages, server errors, or URL redirection issues. Also, make sure that your robots.txt file doesn’t prevent search engine bots from crawling certain pages.

You should also submit an XML sitemap to Google Search Console and pay attention to your internal links to make your indexing more efficient.

Not Improving Load Speed

If I visit a website that takes more than two seconds to load, I’m off to the next one. This is why search engines prioritize fast-loading sites in their rankings.

Google PageSpeed Insights can assess your website’s loading speed and identify areas for improvement. I try to saim for a score greater than eighty.

If you notice an issue, don’t ignore it!

Take steps to optimize your website and prevent slow site speeds. Ensure you have reliable hosting, compress images to reduce file size, minify your code, and utilize caching to speed up page loading times.

Consider using a plugin like WP Rocket if you have a WordPress site. This plugin offers comprehensive caching and optimization features to enhance your site’s performance.

You should also test your website’s loading speed manually. This allows you to ensure that your site maintains a responsive design and meets user expectations for fast loading times.

2. Content Optimization Mistakes

Even if your website has no technical issues, you might still have issues with content optimization.

If this is the case, your search engine rankings will be poor because search engines won’t know what your content is about or may recommend it to the wrong people.

If your click-through rate is quite bad, consider some of the following content optimization issues.

Poor Keyword Research

Skipping effective keyword research is one of the most significant mistakes in search engine optimization. Without proper keyword targeting, your content may struggle to rank in search results, leading to missed opportunities for organic traffic.

Conducting thorough keyword research ensures you target relevant keywords with high search volume and manageable competition so people actually see the content you created. These are sometimes called low-hanging fruit keywords.

Ahrefs or Semrush can identify these. If you are struggling, try searching for long-tail keywords that your competitors are using. Once you have a list of keywords, figure out which aligns with your target audience’s search queries.

Creating Duplicate Content

Duplicate content poses a significant risk to your SEO efforts. Search engines may struggle to figure out which version of the content to rank, so neither version does well.

By prioritizing unique and valuable, original content, you can also improve your website’s authority.

Use tools like Screaming Frog or Siteliner to identify instances of duplicate content issues on your website. Rewrite or reorganize duplicate content to ensure that each page offers unique value to users.

If you have multiple versions of the same content, use canonical tags to indicate the preferred version to search engines.

Neglecting Image Optimization

Neglecting image optimization can slow your website down and create an overall poor user experience.

Optimized images load faster, provide relevant visual content, and contribute positively to overall SEO efforts.

Assess the quality and relevance of your website’s images, considering factors such as resolution, clarity, and readability on various devices.

Pay attention to technical aspects of image optimization, including file size, format, and compression. Optimize images to strike a balance between quality and loading speed.

Provide descriptive filenames, alt text, and captions for your images to improve accessibility and search engine visibility.

Low-Quality Content or Outdated Content

Keeping low-quality content or outdated content on your website can undermine your credibility, relevance, and search engine rankings. Users may lose trust in your website.

Why should they read your thin answers, with little to no elaboration, that they might have been able to apply two years ago when there are tools out there like ChatGPT that they can ask in less time?

High-quality, up-to-date content is useful and pleasant to read so people interact with it; this enhances search engine visibility and strengthens your website’s authority and reputation.

Make use of plagiarism checkers, grammar and spelling tools, and content analysis software to create high-quality content.

My personal favorite is Grammarly. It can help identify and correct grammatical errors, ensuring your content is polished and professional.

Focus on producing original, valuable content that meets the needs and interests of your target audience.

3. On-Page SEO Mistakes

Once you have made sure that the technical side of your website is running well and that you are creating high-quality content, consider your on-page SEO.

Let’s look at some common mistakes that you might be making with your on-page SEO.

Unoptimized Meta Tags and URLs

Unoptimized meta tags and URLs may fail to accurately convey the content’s purpose to search engines and people.

This means it will rank for the wrong prompts, and people won’t respond well, resulting in reduced click-through rates.

By optimizing meta tags and URLs to accurately reflect content relevance and user intent, you can improve search engine visibility, increase click-through rates, and enhance user engagement.

Ensure that your meta tags, including title tags and meta descriptions, and URLs contain relevant target keywords related to your content. Incorporate primary and secondary keywords naturally to optimize for both search engine algorithms and user queries.

Also, consider the underlying user intent and tailor meta tags and URLs to align with user expectations. Use persuasive language, calls-to-action, and relevant keywords to entice users to visit your page and explore further.

Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing, or excessively using target keywords in your content, can give off the impression that you are creating spammy content. Over-optimization may cause search engine penalties, reduce readability, and affect engagement.

By avoiding keyword stuffing and maintaining a balanced approach to keyword optimization, you can improve content quality, readability, and search engine visibility.

Use it in the URL, title, meta description, and intro. That’s enough to tell Google what the page is about.

SEO tools like Rank Math analyze keyword density to ensure optimal keyword usage in your content and identify opportunities for improvement without resorting to keyword stuffing.

Keep the user experience in mind when optimizing content for keywords.

Keyword Cannibalization

Keyword cannibalization occurs when multiple pages on your website target the same keyword, leading to competition between your own content in search results, ultimately hindering your SEO efforts and organic traffic.

By addressing keyword cannibalization and consolidating related content into comprehensive, authoritative pages, you can streamline your website’s structure, improve keyword targeting, and enhance search engine rankings.

Identify pages targeting the same keyword or topic and consolidate them into a single, comprehensive piece of content.

You can use 301 redirects or canonical tags to consolidate duplicate content variations and signal to search engines the preferred version of the page.

Over-Optimized Anchor Text

Over-optimized anchor text with excessive keyword usage or lack of variation can appear manipulative and spammy to search engines. Also, unnatural anchor text optimization can detract from the user experience and diminish the credibility of your links.

Natural anchor text optimization fosters trust and credibility, driving higher click-through rates and improving overall SEO performance.

Use a diverse range of anchor text variations, including branded terms, partial matches, and generic phrases, to create a natural and organic link profile.

Ensure that anchor text provides meaningful context and accurately reflects the content or destination page.

You should also maintain consistency in anchor text usage across your website, aligning anchor text with the content’s topic, intent, and user expectations.

Conduct regular audits of your website’s link profile to identify and rectify instances of over-optimized anchor text.

Not Optimizing for Mobile User Experience

In an era where mobile search dominates internet access, neglecting mobile optimization can severely undermine your website’s visibility.

With Google’s mobile-first indexing, prioritizing mobile optimization and ensuring seamless user experience across devices can improve search visibility, attract more mobile traffic, and enhance user engagement.

Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to assess your website’s mobile compatibility and identify potential issues.

Adopt a responsive web design approach to ensure that your website adapts seamlessly to various screen sizes and devices. Prioritize touch-friendly navigation elements, such as large buttons, clear calls-to-action, and intuitive gestures.

5. Local SEO Mistakes

Local SEO issues may not apply to everyone. But, for a business targeting a local customer base, it can be huge.

Not Verifying Your Google Business Profile

Neglecting to claim and verify your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) can result in outdated or inaccurate business information, leading to missed opportunities for customer engagement and impacting consumer trust.

By properly verifying your Google Business Profile, you can maintain accurate and up-to-date business information, enhancing visibility in local search results and improving overall online presence.

Access your Google My Business account and initiate the verification process to claim ownership of your business listing. Follow the instructions provided by Google to verify your business through mail, phone, or email verification methods.

Once verified, ensure that all business information

Monitor your business’s visibility on Google Maps and search results to ensure that your listing appears accurately and prominently in local search queries.

Not Creating Location-Specific Pages

Failing to create location-specific landing pages can lead to confusion among users and reduced visibility in local search results. Without dedicated landing pages for each location, you may miss opportunities to attract local customers.

By creating dedicated location-specific landing pages, you can optimize your online presence for multiple geographic areas, improving visibility in local search results and attracting relevant local traffic.

Develop separate landing pages for each target location, featuring relevant content, keywords, and contact information tailored to the specific geographic market. Optimize each location-specific landing page for local search.

Utilize descriptive headings, title tags, and URLs that reflect the geographic relevance of the page content.

Ignoring Bad Google Reviews

Ignoring or failing to address negative Google reviews can damage your business’s online reputation, leading to decreased trust. Negative reviews can deter potential customers from engaging with your business and impact overall brand perception.

Addressing negative reviews demonstrates accountability, responsiveness, and commitment to customer satisfaction, fostering trust and loyalty among existing and potential customers.

Regularly monitor and track customer reviews and feedback on your Google Business Profile to identify any negative or critical reviews promptly. Utilize review monitoring tools or notifications to stay informed about new reviews and customer comments.

Respond to negative reviews promptly and professionally, acknowledging the customer’s concerns and expressing a genuine desire to address their issues or grievances.

Also, you should encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews and feedback on your Google Business Profile to offset negative feedback and improve overall review ratings.

6. User Experience and Engagement Mistakes

We’ve already touched on this briefly when we spoke about not optimizing for the mobile experience or mobile users. One of the most common errors is not considering the overall user experience.

So, let’s look at where you might be making mistakes that are leading to a bad user experience.

Not Knowing Your Audience

Failing to understand your audience’s needs and preferences can result in ineffective keyword optimization and irrelevant content, leading to poor user engagement and diminished search ranking performance.

By gaining a deep understanding of your audience and their search intent, you can tailor your content strategy to meet their specific needs and interests effectively.

Use tools like Google Analytics or its alternatives to analyze user behavior and search queries, gaining insight into audience intent and content preferences.

Develop content that addresses the specific needs and interests of your target audience, considering their query intent and search context.

Refine your keyword optimization strategy based on audience insights, targeting relevant keywords that align with user search intent and content preferences.

Not Refining Site Navigation

Inadequate site navigation can hinder user experience and hinder the ability of visitors to navigate your website effectively, resulting in high bounce rates and decreased engagement.

By optimizing site navigation for intuitiveness and user-friendliness, you can enhance the overall user experience, facilitate easy access to content, and encourage prolonged engagement with your website.

Streamline your website’s menu structure to make navigation more intuitive for users. Organize menu categories logically and prioritize essential navigation items to facilitate easy access to key content areas.

Incorporate internal links within your content to connect related pages and guide users to relevant information. Utilize descriptive anchor text to provide context and improve navigation flow between different sections of your website.

Make navigation easier by implementing features like breadcrumbs, site maps, and search functionality to assist users in locating specific content and navigating your site more efficiently.

Not Addressing Contact Form Conversion

Complex or intimidating contact forms can deter visitors from engaging with your website and hinder conversion opportunities. Overly complicated forms may frustrate users, leading to abandonment.

By optimizing contact form design and usability, you can maximize conversion rates, encourage user engagement, and facilitate seamless communication with your audience.

Design contact forms with simplicity and usability in mind, minimizing unnecessary fields and opting for a clean and intuitive layout.

Only ask for essential information necessary to fulfill the user’s request or inquiry, avoiding unnecessary form fields that may deter users from completing the form.

Experiment with different contact form designs and layouts to identify the most effective approach for your audience.

7. Website Maintenance Mistakes

Website maintenance is the bane of most content writers‘ existence. It is exciting to create new content and always to go through old content purely to maintain your website.

However, not doing it would be a big SEO mistake. Here are some things you might have been ignoring that can be affecting your search visibility.

Not Fixing Broken Links and Images

Users encountering broken elements may perceive your site as unreliable or poorly maintained, leading to frustration and dissatisfaction. Moreover, broken links can negatively impact search engine crawling and indexing.

Regularly auditing your site for broken elements allows you to rectify issues promptly, ensuring seamless navigation and optimal presentation of content to users and search engines.

Utilize tools like Google Search Console or third-party website crawlers to automate the auditing process and identify issues efficiently.

I like to use Ahrefs’ site audit tool to gain comprehensive insights into my website’s health and identify broken links and images. These tools provide actionable recommendations for resolving issues and optimizing site performance.

Once broken links or images are identified, take immediate action. Update or remove broken links and replace or fix broken images to ensure an uninterrupted user experience and maintain search engine visibility.

Not Resolving Faulty Redirects

Users encountering faulty redirects may experience frustration and confusion, leading to negative perceptions of your site and decreased engagement. Moreover, faulty redirects can hinder search engine crawling and indexing.

By promptly resolving faulty redirects, you can enhance user experience, maintain your website’s credibility, and improve SEO ranking.

Regularly monitor your website’s redirects to identify any instances of faulty redirects. Utilize tools like Google Search Console or website audit tools to detect and analyze redirect issues efficiently.

Test all redirects to verify their functionality and ensure they accurately redirect users to the intended destination. Update or correct redirect configurations to ensure seamless navigation and uninterrupted user experience.

8. Analytics and Measurement Mistakes

Not Tracking Performance Metrics

Failing to track performance metrics can leave you in the dark about the effectiveness of your SEO efforts. Without meaningful data, you’re unable to gauge the impact of your strategies, identify areas for improvement, or measure progress toward your goals.

Monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) such as organic traffic, bounce rate, time on page, and conversion rate allows you to assess the impact of your actions and adjust your approach accordingly.

Use tools like Google Search Console, which is the best in my opinion,  and Google Analytics to gather comprehensive data and gain deeper insights into your website’s performance.

Select relevant KPIs that align with your SEO objectives and business goals. Common KPIs include organic traffic, bounce rate, time on page, conversion rate, and more.

Analyze performance metrics regularly to identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement.

For example, if you track click-through rate and notice a blog post is below 3%, then change your meta title and description to ensure it matches search intent.

Not Analyzing User Behavior

Ignoring user behavior analysis limits your understanding of how visitors interact with your website, hindering your ability to optimize content, improve user experience, and meet audience expectations effectively.

Understanding how users interact with your website enables you to identify pain points, optimize content delivery, and enhance navigation to improve overall satisfaction and drive better results.

Utilize tools like Google Analytics to gather data on user behavior, including navigation patterns, page interactions, and engagement metrics. Track metrics such as time spent on a page, bounce rate, and scroll depth.

Use these metrics to improve where you need to.

If you see your content has a low engagement rate, then see if you can add some visual elements or make it more fun to read. All this adds up to a better user experience which results in higher rankings.

9. Advanced SEO Mistakes

Once you have made sure that you are not making any common mistakes, there are certain advanced SEO strategies that you can use to help you increase your search traffic.

Although not using these strategies will not result in any penalties from search engines, many of these are so simple that ignoring them would be a mistake.

Not Implementing Schema Markup

Failing to implement schema markup is a significant SEO mistake because it limits search engines’ understanding of your content.

Without schema markup, your content may appear less attractive in search snippets, reducing click-through rates and organic traffic to your website.

Take advantage of tools like Rank Math to implement schema markup effortlessly. By providing structured data, you enhance search engines’ understanding of your content and improve its visibility in search results.

Not Leveraging Internal Linking Opportunities

Without strategic internal links, certain pages may not receive the necessary authority and visibility to rank well in search results. Additionally, poor internal linking can make it difficult for visitors to navigate your website and find relevant information.

Take the time to review your website’s content and identify opportunities to incorporate internal links strategically.

Ensure that internal links facilitate seamless navigation for users. Simplify menu structures and incorporate breadcrumbs.

Not Building Quality Backlinks

Google has stated that backlinks are not important, but we can all see that authoritative websites rank. And how do you build authority? Backlinks!

Without a high-quality backlink profile, your website may struggle to rank well in search results and attract organic traffic. Additionally, relying solely on low-quality or spammy backlinks can have a detrimental effect.

Regularly review your backlink profile and identify any low-quality or harmful backlinks that may be negatively impacting your website’s SEO performance. Tools like Semrush can help you monitor and manage your backlinks effectively.

Explore different link-building strategies to get external links, such as guest posting, collaborating with industry influencers, and participating in relevant online communities like Quora and Reddit.

Also, consider creating valuable content like blog posts that naturally attract backlinks from other websites to build your backlink profile organically.

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It can be frustrating to work on your SEO and see nothing for your efforts. But, addressing some common mistakes in SEO can get you back on the right path in no time.

Make sure that you regularly review your website and that you spend time focusing on user experience and creating quality content.

If you are interested in more SEO tips, sign up for my newsletter.


What is SEO poisoning?

SEO poisoning, also known as search engine poisoning, is a tactic to manipulate search engine results by injecting harmful content or links into web pages, often leading them to malicious websites.

How do I identify SEO issues?

Identifying SEO issues involves conducting regular audits of your website using tools like Google Search Console. You need to look for indicators such as drops in search rankings, traffic fluctuations, or warnings from search engines.

How do I find SEO errors on a website?

To find SEO errors on a website, you can use various tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to crawl your site and identify issues such as broken links, duplicate content, or missing meta tags.

What are the common SEO mistakes that beginners should avoid?

Common SEO mistakes beginners should avoid are neglecting keyword research, over-optimizing content, and ignoring technical SEO issues like page speed and mobile optimization.

Picture of Phillip Stemann
Phillip Stemann
I'm Phillip, and I've been in the SEO game since 2020, where I took it under the skin. I've grown multiple websites to thousands of clicks, and I'm sharing all my SEO knowledge through my content and YouTube channel. I started as a curious mind at 13 years old, programming and programming for many years before I discovered SEO. I then started with the technical part of SEO as it came naturally to me with my technical background, and then I took on all parts of SEO. I love helping other people grow their websites, and I help my clients do the same.

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9 Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid in 2024

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