6 common SEO mistakes beginners make

Search engine optimisation is a jungle of different terms and consists of many different elements. For a beginner, SEO can seem very complex (and in some cases it is) and all the information can be overwhelming. That's exactly how I felt (and sometimes still do), and it was easy to make some mistakes at the beginning of my career. So here I'm going to list 6 common SEO mistakes that many beginners make (myself included).

Keyword Stuffing

We probably all agree that it is important to include the keyword in the website's headings, but the keyword does not have to be included in every heading. It used to be possible to trick Google by filling parts of a page with a black background and writing the keyword in black text over and over again. Many people climbed the rankings this way, but as Google's crawlers got smarter, those who cheated could get ready to say goodbye to their high rankings and look forward to a harsh punishment from Google instead. I also often see oddly shaped headlines due to trying to squeeze the keyword into exactly every headline.

Meta-title and meta-description forgotten

Basic SEO such as writing a meta title and meta description are all too often forgotten. Writing these are among the simplest tasks and only take a few seconds to write. Because these tasks are so easy, it may be assumed that they are not very important, which is not the case. Certainly there are other elements of the optimisation process that have a greater impact on rankings, but metadata is part of the whole required to do good SEO work.

Choosing quantity over quality

Google likes websites that are updated frequently, and that's been the case for a long time. But this does not mean that publishing three half-baked blog posts/articles a day is better than publishing a well-written and relevant post once a week. It's rather the opposite. The same goes for links to your website. One good, quality link is better than 1000 rubbish links. Make sure that everything published is relevant and of high quality instead of rushing content.

Not using the right keywords or search phrases

As soon as you start doing SEO work for a company in a certain industry, we take SEO as an example, it feels like a no brainer that SEO is the keyword we should try to rank on. At present, this is an enormously difficult task as the competition is incredibly high. There are some good tools to get some help with the keywords, including Google Keyword Planner. Here you enter your chosen keyword and Google will suggest related search phrases that are less difficult to rank for.

You can also simply go to Google and start typing in your chosen keyword. But never search for it, but observe the list below the search bar and you will see the most common searches in relation to your chosen keyword.

Not submitting a sitemap to Google

Submitting a sitemap to Google is not a must as Google will sooner or later index your pages anyway. However, if we submit a sitemap to Google via Google Search Console we make it easier for the crawlers by specifying the structure of the website and letting Google know which subpages are most important. This means indexing will be faster and you can start ranking for your chosen keywords more quickly.

Mobile adaptation is forgotten

Many people forget about mobile adaptation, especially at the beginning of their career as an SEO technician or web developer. I myself am no exception. You spend so much time designing the desktop version that you simply forget about mobile adaptation. Nowadays, many CMS tools take care of most of the mobile adaptation automatically, but it would be a good idea to always make sure it is responsive and mobile-friendly to 100%. You can use Google's mobile-friendliness test to see if your website is mobile-friendly.

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