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3 SEO Mistakes to Avoid

From Google My Business mishaps to neglecting old content, here are some common SEO blunders to watch out for.

Katie Caron
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(Photo: Unsplash)

Ninety-three percent of online experiences begin with a search engine, according to research from Forrester. According to a study from Advanced Web Rankings, more than 67 percent of all clicks on search engine results pages go to the top five listings. For businesses that want to appear at the top of search results and effectively reach their local consumers online, having a strong SEO strategy is vital.

We’ve previously written about some ways to do SEO well — optimizing your Google My Business page, targeting the right keywords, checking on your page speeds, etc. With all of the components that come together to impact your SEO, it’s easy to let some things fall through the cracks. Here are three common mistakes to avoid and what you can do instead.

1. Neglecting old content

If your site has been around for a while, you might have some blogs or other pages that are pretty old at this point. Even a blog post from a year or two ago might seem old in the grand scheme of things. When’s the last time you took a look at how that content is performing? While you might think old content doesn’t need to perform well anymore, you could be missing an opportunity to boost your pages in search results.

With some fairly easy tweaks, you can update an old page and optimize it for SEO. Chances are you’re better at doing that now than when that content first published. To give old work a facelift, do some keyword research related to the content to find out what people are searching for in relation to the topic. Add a couple of the keywords that seem like a good fit. Look at the page title — is it searchable and clickable? Are any images on the page optimized for SEO, with alt-tags and the right image size? Looking at old content with fresh eyes and asking these questions can bring you an SEO boost without having to create an entirely new piece of content.

2. Adding keywords to your Google My Business name

While you might think keywords are always a good thing, that doesn’t apply when it comes to your business name in your Google My Business listing. You may be tempted to add additional terms like “lighting store” or “design service” to your listing to boost your ranking, but any added words outside of your actual business name will violate Google’s guidelines. If someone reports you for this spammy behavior, Google can hit you with a penalty.

3. Hyperlinking to weak words

In your blogs or other pages on your site, it’s good practice to hyperlink to internal and external links to keep readers engaged with your site for longer. Linking out to credible sources is also good for SEO. While it's important to prioritize linking, it’s equally crucial to hyperlink the right words. Linking to non-descriptive phrases like “click here” or “at this link” don’t tell your reader — or Google — anything about where that link is going.

This is a problem for your SEO, and it’s not accessible for web users with visual impairments. Instead, link to strong keywords and concrete nouns that describe what you’re linking to. For example, rather than writing something like “click here for more information on the [event name] in our showroom,” hyperlink to the phrase that has meaning here, which would be the event name. 


What SEO mistakes have you learned to avoid? Let us know in the comments!



Photo: Unsplash 

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