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Major SEO Mistakes to Avoid

Digital Marketing
January 27, 2023
17 min

Much concerned about top SEO trends for 2023 and beyond, marketers all over the place are spotlighting major SEO pitfalls.

Most site owners are curious about not ranking #1 in Google even though they use the finest keywords. This is because Google embraces about 200 ranking metrics few businesses ever follow.

We have filled this article with trending SEO stats and figures to give you an idea of how to omit major SEO road bumps and keep your pages atop Google ranking.

A simple truth here is that SEO metrics are easy to implement, though hard to sustain.

And here at Promodo, we know that most companies do not stick to what is known as holistic SEO.

It is all about the user experience that will help you avoid major SEO mistakes.

1. Downplaying Content as a King

Quality and relevant content are at the core of Google's ranking metrics.

With too little content, Google cannot understand what your page is all about. Simple as that, if you fail to generate quality content, Google will not rank your pages at all. This means that the search engine recognizes pages with little content as low-valued ones.

To make matters worse, insufficient, automatically generated and scraped content are among the greatest SEO mistakes and reasons why websites receive a thin content penalty from Google.

We recommend filling your pages with original content. Write in the most natural way so users get the best idea of your product/service purpose.

While Google does not set the exact number of words to rank your pages in search results, make sure you have at least 300 words of quality content on every page.

Our experts have featured top Google’s ranking factors:

  • High-Quality Content
  • Relevant Content
  • Domain Authority
  • Mobile Friendliness
  • User Experience
  • Webpage Loading Speed
  • On-Page Optimization
  • Internal Linking
  • Backlinks
  • Social Media Engagement
  • Website Security

Analyze the content on your pages in terms of topic popularity and the needs of your target audience.

It goes without saying that well-built content:

  • Enhances your website SEO
  • Boosts inbound traffic
  • Enables backlinks, and
  • Inspires wider social media sharing.

SEO competition is ever-growing with over 50% of digital marketers upturning their content budgets in 2023.

Pretty soon video content will dominate across social media platforms. In SEO terms this means that content is far beyond text coverage on your web pages.

We suggest an optimal mix of textual, visual, and video content.  

Beyond high quality, be sure your content meets people’s needs.

Google Accounts For 85.55% of Desktop Searches

Make the content on your pages:

  • Topic-focused
  • Sell products or services
  • Share your social presence online
  • Let people comment and ask for more, and
  • Give users something for free

Pivotal to web marketing is that your content should benefit or entertain users.

Enrich your articles with graphics, tables, stats, figures, videos, FAQs, and calls to action (CTA).

The Case Study of Murdoch Troon Kitchens by Promodo

External optimization

1.1 Writing The Wrong Content

Our research shows that content is among the most underestimated on-page SEO mistakes.

With decent content on every page, you tell Google what users should look for on your website.

Easy-to-read content makes Google recognize you as an expert in the field.

The more quality content you generate, the more Google is likely to match your website with the trending search queries.

Just worth noting: Google is not your audience!

Another secret to share from Promodo: once you address people’s needs, be sure to provide instant solutions.

Create original content for your target audiences.

While Google provides us with the best answers possible, we value the art of copywriting that helps Google top-rank our clients.

1.2 Duplicating Content

Similar or unoriginal content lessens your chances to rank well at Google.

While the search engine will not penalize your website directly, it will decrease the ranking score of your pages.

There is no way to access the SERPs with the two versions of the same content.

Always rely on unique content that clearly tells people about your products and services. Do not repeat content across your pages or elsewhere online.

Before publishing anything, check it with Copyscape.

1.3 Overstuffing Keywords

We have spotted hundreds of web pages abundantly stuffed with keywords.

Website owners try to manipulate Google rankings with high-traffic keywords. With that, they disregard their relevance.

With its algorithm changed, Google has recently increased relevance requirements to rank high-traffic content.

Spammy target words cause poor user experience. Too many high-traffic words will not improve your content either.

Once again, the win-win here is to generate useful content naturally. That is how you will best serve your target audiences.

Google likes it when you make pages for users instead of search engines.

While keyword targeting is still in place, do not go overboard.

1.4 Targeting Wrong Keywords

If you want to rank high in Google, use the right keywords for your pages.

Page optimization for generic keywords is yet another SEO mistake.

Marketers often generalize keywords and eventually fail to achieve higher-ranking positions.

In keyword targeting, make sure that the keywords you target are relevant to your page content.

It is fine to generate traffic with generic head keywords once they match what’s on your page. Otherwise, you will fail to convert leads and get a higher bounce rate.

Once you sell a product or service online, avoid generic phrases. Instead, rely on lower traffic keywords to heat purchase intent, and increase conversions.

3 % Of Keyword Density Per Page Will Suit You Well

A well-thought keyword research is at the core of a sound SEO strategy.

Do not get seduced by the top traffic keywords. Long-tail key phrases will save you from the abundant competition.

Adding specific elements (like your business location or sub-niche) to keywords will help you get way more specific and recognizable by Google. Beyond this solution, we suggest adding long tails to the keywords.

This tip will help your business stand out from the competition and rank higher in Google searches.

The right combination of longer tail keywords is sure to bring you more traffic. You will never attain the same ranking effect if you use one main keyword.

1.5 Duplicating Title Tags

Title tags make the first impression of your content appearance.

Beware that Google does not like to see you duplicating title tags.

You will enhance your click-through rates (CTR) when you target important keywords and empower your pages with original title tag descriptions.

1.6 Overusing Keywords In Title Tags

Title tags overstuffed with keywords is another SEO mistake rather than an effective promotional strategy.

Trying to rank for more, you will rank less by putting too many keywords in the title tags.

Google wants to see topic-based title tags on your pages with a maximum of two keywords. So, write your headings honestly.

We recommend composing title tags of no more than 60 characters. Clear and concise title tags will best introduce your page to users and search engines.

Finally, make sure your content and meta titles match the targeted keywords

1.7 Misusing H1, H2, AND H3s

Google ranks every single page in terms of its relevance to popular user searches. Most websites, however, lack structural hierarchy and content sequence.

This is a rule of thumb you should stick by to make Google match your pages with popular searches.  

Foremost, Google should know what your page is all about.

The Case Study of Murdoch Troon Kitchens by Promodo

Content Optimization

It is crucial that you fill in the name of your product or service in the main Header (H1) on your page.

H2 headers should extend the product/service information you have placed in the H1 title.

H3 headers support H2 content about your products and services, and so on throughout the heading hierarchy.

This is how Google follows logical sequence on your pages. A clear hierarchy from H1 to H3 and on is the supportive structure Google needs to rank your pages high.

Logical content structure is important to make Google see what’s on your page and match the keywords in your header tags with popular searches online.

We suggest applying one H1 header, one H2 header, and as many H3, H4, and H5 headers as you may need to headline your page content.

The major takeaway here is the more your content matches popular user queries, the higher Google ranks your pages.

2. Failing to speed your site up

Google is still serious about the ‘faster is better’ effect on your website.

While site speed is among the most crucial SEO metrics, most online players are downplaying it.

Since 2018, poor page loading is among defining SEO metrics.

Site speed directly impacts page experience ranking and indicates whether Google will keep your pages among the top search results.

The Case Study of Intertop by Promodo

Page position in search results

Right at hand is always Google PageSpeed Insights to speed up your pages.

Image optimization and resizing are among the best-fit recommendations we've ever suggested.

Apparently, large-size images take extra load time and slow down website performance.

3. Uninviting people

We know that Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) rely on Metadata once your website appears in Google’s queries. Still, few website owners optimize page titles and meta descriptions which are all crucial to a higher ranking. Here is where companies make the worst SEO mistakes.

A little secret here to share with you: always fill your titles with keywords.

Also, use short page titles not to get cut off by Google.

You may ignore meta description as a top ranking factor, still, it doesn’t matter much for Click Through Rate (CTR) metrics. CTR shows how likely your potential visitors are to get on your site in the SERPs.

Сlear and attractive content descriptions will best guide users through your pages.

While users want to see what they are looking for on your pages, you will win more traffic once your pages match the most popular search queries.

4. Losing visitors from your website

Mere celebrating incoming visitors is among the major e-commerce SEO mistakes. You are to keep them. That’s your strategic milestone!

It is also bad news when visitors bounce back to Google immediately from your page once they have found what they were looking for.

Landing Visitors On Your Website Is Not Enough!

Sustain your target audience with call-to-action (CTA), Sign up, Order, or Buy buttons, so your visitors can get more from you.

One main CTA throughout your page is just enough not to go overboard.

5. Overseeing backlinks

A lack of relevant internal links is among typical SEO mistakes in digital content production.

Some 60% Of Web Pages Are Lacking Backlinks

Google emphasizes URL connections to your every page. Backlinks define how Google ranks your pages.

  • Encourage users to browse through your site with link building
  • Backlink users throughout your website to make them stay with you
  • Add internal links to let Google know that your pages are interrelated
  • Make your visitors grasp more on the topics that best match their interests  

While long-form content outnumbers short-form content by some 77 percent, the longer the content on your website is, the more backlinks you will get.

We always take internal linking as an art in itself to keep visitors on your website


6. Using non-convertable contact forms

Mere 16 percent of users complete website forms.  This means that an overwhelming majority of contact forms fail to turn into conversions.

The major SEO mistakes here are as follows:

  • You use more than five required form fields
  • Non-functional submit button
  • Wasteful options in the dropdowns
  • Absence of form alignment
  • Lack of a catchy CTA, and
  • The use of CAPTCHA

We recommend using engaging contact forms so that users can easily fill them out.

Our tip of the day: fewer form fields will bring you more conversions.

  • Always rely on A/B tests to spot what works best for your target audiences: positioning, color, size.
  • Apply Google autocomplete plugin to enable auto-fill-in for your contact forms, and
  • Optimize the forms on your website with the mobile version.

7. Ignoring mobile

Optimized mobile versions are among the biggest SEO mistakes many companies still fail to account for. That’s the way the story goes here: without making mobile-friendly pages, you are out of a mobile-first world.

Mobile views stand for more than half of Google search results and above 80 percent of website traffic. A mobile-optimized site will surely rank you higher on SERPs.

Since 2018, Google’s Mobile-First Indexing prioritizes mobile versions of websites. The secret of page ranking looks like this: the more responsive your mobile version is, the more Google is likely to rank your pages high.

We suggest taking Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check the quality of your mobile SEO. The tool will also show whether your pages are user-friendly on mobile devices.

Still, that’s not the end of the road. You should further browse through the pages on your mobile device and check whether everything is in place there.

While matching your site visibility for different devices, we also suggest focusing on website speed and design structure.

If your site is still not mobile-friendly, enable Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to align your pop-ups with mobile devices.

This trick is among the highly advised SEO techniques we advise to make our customer pages fully functional.  

Now you know the value of user experience on mobile devices! Make sure these and other omissions do not cost you high rankings.

7.1 Local SEO Mistakes

With an ever-growing mobile consumer base, local visibility of your business is crucial.

Still, many companies neglect local recognition.

Our analysis shows that most websites fail to generate locally optimized content. That is why Google does not match them as location-specific brands.

In this vein, make sure search engines recognize your local presence. This will help Google rank your pages in the local search results.

Make your pages well-optimized to location-specific search queries so that Google grows your ranking in local SERPs.

8. Lacking Google Analytics data

Be sure to use Google Analytics as the finest tool to analyze your website for traffic dynamics and user interactions.

Make sure you track:

  • Traffic channels
  • Conversion rates
  • User behaviors
  • Underperforming pages, and
  • The most visited pages.

Watch out! Without Google Analytics, you will most likely re-optimize pages that do not need SEO at all.

The Case Study of Kampas by Promodo

The case of Kampas by Promodo

9. Setting tracking code the wrong way

To collect data accurately with Google Analytics, install it correctly.

These all will lower your website ranking:

  • Adding the tracking code in the wrong place
  • Installing several tracking codes
  • Adding improper custom codes, and
  • Setting up custom filters.

To avoid these SEO mistakes, use Google’s Default Tracking Code.

10. Unanchoring

Many pages overwhelmingly rely on generic anchor text phrases like “Click here to get more.”  Along with naked hyperlinks, generic anchor text often hurts your pages.

To avoid confusion, Google and your page visitors should understand where the anchor text will lead them to.

We suggest using target keywords so that users know about what else they can get from you.

Use anchor links throughout the main text content to make users stay and act on your pages.

10.1 Overusing Inbound Anchor Links

For a while, matching anchor text served websites as a win-win. Now with Penguin 4.0 as Google’s core algorithm, there are more SEO requirements for the anchored text.

Search engines recognize a page filled with an array of inbound links as unnatural. Mind that overuse of the same keywords simply distracts Google.

Always diversify your anchor text and avoid too many internal links to the same page.

At this point, we suggest getting rid of abundant links and not compromising Google’s rankings with unnatural link building.

10.2 Compromising Broken Links

The most devastating user experience is bumping into a 404 error on your website. Or tapping the link that leads to nowhere.

Broken links are both discouraging and costly. Google does not index broken links as ranking. Eventually, your website domain authority gets a negative impact.

Google Search Console provides the crawl stats feature to detect 404-bound pages on your site. Ahrefs will also help you spot broken links.

The Case Study of Murdoch Troon Kitchens by Promodo

Internal Optimization

Be sure to recover your broken web pages by

  • Rearranging page content
  • Checking out redirects to the right pages, and
  • Replacing inactive external links.

Seeing broken pages or inactive links on your website, Google spots them as low-value, ranks them down, and slumps your crawl budget.

While 404s signal low website quality to Google, you lose your domain ranking authority.

10.3 Improper Link Building

Google highly discourages unnatural link-building approaches.

Worse than that, search engine algorithms recognize shady link-building schemes as illegitimate, and penalize website owners eventually.

Many SEO marketers use alternative ways by linking between owned websites, buying links, and garnering more backlinks through guest blogs.

We suggest writing original user-friendly content that will naturally bring you extra links.

Anyway, do not:

  • Use paid services that would link back to your pages
  • Get links from unrelated sites
  • Set up additional websites or blogs that would link back to your main site
  • Overcrowd your website content with too many internal links

Summing up

Holistic marketing is what most companies fail to maintain. Instead, website owners are good at achieving several SEO metrics required by Google to reach higher rating scores. They, nonetheless, get off-track while Google wants it all!

SEO is always about high-quality content delivery. You will achieve higher user engagement with fewer SEO mistakes.

We are here to help you with a well-optimized website by

  • Writing great content
  • Optimizing your pages for the right keywords
  • Keeping visitors to your website
  • Installing great calls-to-action
  • Linking your pages to give users more, and
  • Improving your mobile version.

To avoid common SEO mistakes in 2023 and beyond, we suggest making regular website audits to keep your website is healthy.


Written by
Taras Bereza

Content Marketing Manager at Promodo

Taras has 16 years of hands-on copywriting experience overseas with 3000+ unique copies.

Accredited with Certificate of Proficiency in English (C2 level) by Cambridge University. Studied at Writing Launch Academy (United States) and owns an Academic Writing Certificate from Oregon University. Author of 12 dictionaries with Apriori Publishers.

January 27, 2023
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