The 4 Most Common SEO Mistakes You Should Avoid

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There’s plenty of room for things to go wrong in SEO; here are four of the most common, seemingly small yet damaging SEO mistakes that even professionals should watch out for.

SEO is not an easy thing to do, much less master… and there’s so much that can go wrong, even at the most basic level. It’s understandable. After all, SEO has only grown more and more complex in recent years. There are keywords, meta tags, and off-page optimizations to take care of, aside from more advanced tips, tools, and tricks to learn and use to get the job done well.

Additionally, we can never hide, thanks to the power of metrics and insights. The numbers will always show us that we’ve done something wrong. Therefore, stop kicking yourself for getting overwhelmed. You can be the most detail-oriented, diligent professional out there but the fact is: there’s plenty of room for things to go wrong, or for you to slip up even when you’re at the top of your field.

Here are four of the most common SEO mistakes that even professionals make:


1. Not optimising for Local Search

We haven’t written so many articles on local marketing for no reason. It’s that important.

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If you’re running a business that focuses on customers within a certain city or region, it’s important to learn more about local search. Most search engines, including Google, handle it a bit differently than keywords that are more global.

Start by including region-specific keywords in your page titles and meta descriptions. You will also want to include an address and a local phone number on your pages, such as in the header or footer, so you’ll show up in the local results. Finally, you will want to list yourself on Top4 and other local based sites and review networks.


2. Not optimising for the right keywords

This is a big one. It’s easy to fall into the trap of optimizing for:

  • Global keywords, when you only offer services to local customers
  • Generic keywords that attract visitors who have no interest in what you’re offering
  • Keywords that only bring in visitors looking for free information, not prospective customers who are interested in buying something
  • Broad keywords that have lots of competition, maybe with several SEO experts working full-time to defend the first-page ranking

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It’s best to be as specific as possible. Focusing on generic keywords might bring you a lot of traffic if you’re successful, but how long will it take you, and how realistic is it? Sometimes many times, you’re better off going for more specific phrases, which usually lead to quicker rankings and more qualified traffic. In other words, rely on long-tail keywords.

Then again, not just any long-tail keywords. Here’s where even professionals often stumble. They’ve spent so much time doing keyword research… that sometimes they forget to do it from the customer’s perspective. In this case, it’s a good idea to spend some time researching what people will search for when they’re looking for answers to their problems.

Try to find out what language they use.

It won’t always be the official terminology, so it matters what language you speak to land in front of your target audience.


3. Focusing only on traffic

What are the most common questions asked in the SEO industry?

Why am I not getting enough traffic?

How do I get enough traffic?

How do I drive traffic to my new site?

Even professionals sometimes focus too much on traffic, that they forget there’s something else way more important than that: conversions.

You can have all the traffic you want, but at the end of the day, it won’t matter if none of them converts. For example, your fashion ecommerce website can receive thousands of visitors within minutes, but none of them buys anything. That’s not why we needed more traffic in the first place, isn’t it?

It’s important to remember that you should value quality over quantity.

Lots of site traffic but low conversions mean that you’re attracting a lot of irrelevant visitors.


4. Not using Google Analytics and Google Search Console

Once again, SEO isn’t only about a massive amount of traffic. It’s also about conversion.

It’s easy to get caught up watching which phrases are sending you the most traffic, and then getting bummed when you can’t rank for those super-competitive, high-traffic keywords. But traffic isn’t all that matters. Many times, lower-traffic phrases will convert better because they’re more specific, and getting first page rankings for several of them can drive quite a few sales.

The only way to find out is to track it. Use an analytics package to set up conversion tracking for your keyword phrases, and then compare them against each other to see what’s producing the best results. Knowing will help you better optimize your site as a whole and know which efforts are worth focusing on and which ones should be let go.

Ideally, you should be using both Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

Google Analytics - Acoustca Projects - Top4 Marketing

Google Analytics gives you all the data you need to understand the performance of your website. It tells you about things like traffic, demographics, and how long your readers hang around before they bounce.

Google Search Console gives you everything you need to improve your site. It’ll tell you about who’s linking to you, whether technical errors exist, and more.


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