Top 10 SEO Mistakes to Avoid As A Blogger to Get Better Search Rankings
SEO is a BIG ocean. So it’s obvious most of us make a ton of SEO mistakes. Some of them are fatal and many of them are silly.
The harsh truth about SEO is, Google won’t spare anyone if you’re making SEO mistakes. It rewards the sites that follow their rules and penalise the sites that hurt reader experience.
That being said, search engine optimization is not a rocket science, if you know what to do, more importantly what NOT to do on your blog posts, pages and links, you will notice great results from the search engines.
Here are few common SEO mistakes that will make you look dumb and you should be avoiding them at all costs to get more organic traffic to your blog posts. Stop doing those SEO mistakes if you want to get ahead of SEO.
Table of Contents
- Top 10 SEO Mistakes to Avoid to Get Higher Search Rankings
- #1. Your website speed matters A LOT
- #2. Failing to build quality backlinks
- #3. Another common SEO mistake: Stop Keyword Stuffing
- #4. Don’t sell (or buy) backlinks
- #5. Not investing in SEO tools
- #6. Not at all worrying about SEO
- #7. Forgetting the importance of old contents
- #8. Not doing keyword research
- #9. Stop creating crappy and short blog posts
- #10. Stop plagiarism
Top 10 SEO Mistakes to Avoid to Get Higher Search Rankings
#1. Your website speed matters A LOT
I’ve a quick tip for you: go to Pingdom tools and find out your website speed (by entering your URL).
Now, I’ve a question for you: is your site taking more than 3 seconds to load?
If yes, you need to give your #1 priority to optimize your site speed. Why? If your site takes more than 3 seconds to load, you’ll lose 40% of your website traffic. One of the biggest SEO mistakes most bloggers make is that they don’t focus on speeding up their site.
So why leave your website traffic and sales on the table? Start focusing on improving your website loading times and performance to start getting more traffic and sales.
So what can you do about increasing your website speed?
I’ve written a detailed guide about increasing website speed but that being said, here are some quick tips for you;
#1. Invest in a faster and secured hosting: I prefer WPX hosting. Ever since I started using WPX hosting (I was previously using Hostgator), my website speed increased rapidly, it’s now loading in under 3 seconds which is great.
Although WPX hosting is bit expensive $25 per month whereas Hostgator comes at just $6/mo but WPX makes your site faster and more secure (as they use dedicated hosting servers).
Here are some features you get;
- Free site migration
- Daily backups
- SSL certificates
- Dedicated hosting
- Super fast customer support and many more
If you want to know more about WPX hosting and their features, you can read the post from here.
#2. Optimize your images: We all know how important images are to bring more traffic to our sites. They also give visual treat to your audience. I highly recommend using at least one image for every blog post you publish.
But one of the most common SEO mistakes many people make is; they don’t optimize their images before uploading them on their sites. There are 2 types of image optimization.
- Optimize image size: Before even uploading your images within your blog posts, make sure to shrink them. You can use plugins like shrink.it or you can use so many free image optimization tools online to shrink your images. That way your blog pages will take less time to load your images, hence gives your audience faster loading times to read.
- Optimize your images with ALT tags: Always use ALT tags in your images with your primary keyword. That way, you can bring visitors from Google image search which can be so much helpful.
Another most common SEO mistakes made by many bloggers is that they don’t realise the importance of link building.
If you’re still not realising the importance of backlinks, have a quick look here.
Did you see that? 99% of all the top 50 search results had at least ONE external link pointing to the website. That tells you the importance of backlinks.
That being said, I don’t suggest that you should blind build as many links as you can but make sure to build quality links even if they are less.
For instance, you can get more SEO benefits if you can get just 1 backlink from an authority site (let’s say DA 70+ site) rather than getting 10 links from low quality sites (let’s say DA 20 sites).
Are you getting me? So stop making this SEO mistakes if you want to get more SEO benefits that can bring you more website traffic in the long run.
Create linkable content: Instead of looking for ways to build quality links, why not create content that’s worth linking to? That’s what we call linkable content which usually includes, highly informative, well researched and useful content for your audience. Make sure to link out to other bloggers while creating content and let them know after you publish your stuff so that they can reciprocate the same thing sooner or later.
I also highly recommend you to start creating 2000+ word articles over 500 word articles as massive articles always get more search traffic, backlinks and shares.
Write high quality guest posts: Guest posting is still one of the evergreen tactics to build quality backlinks. Just make sure to target top quality blogs with high quality guest posts instead of writing crappy guest posts. Also make sure to build relationships with other bloggers while guest posting so it can be much more helpful than just link building in the long run. Do a quick research about the relevant sites to write guest posts, start leaving thoughtful comments on their posts, build relationships before you start your guest posting journey.
Don’t forget the importance of blog comments: One of the most common SEO mistakes (and link building mistakes) most bloggers make is, they don’t realise the importance of blog comments. Yes, I agree that blog comments contain nofollow links but you they send you traffic and give you extra boost in search engines.
Moreover, if you’re only building dofollow links for your sites, your site might get penalised, that’s why get equal amount of dofollow and nofollow backlinks (by blog commenting) to get better search rankings.
#3. Another common SEO mistake: Stop Keyword Stuffing
Most new bloggers think that they can bring more traffic from the search engines by using the same keywords again and again on their blog posts. That’s one of the dumbest SEO mistakes anyone can make to get penalised by Google.
Do you really think keyword stuffing can bring you good results?
No, Google won’t love the blog posts that repeat the same keywords, if you have great contents on your blogs with unique keywords, Google gives top priority for your desired keywords in the search results.
Don’t keyword stuff your blog posts, spend some time on analyzing the relevant keywords that you can use to rank higher in the search engine results.
So what can you do instead?
Instead of keyword stuffing, target long tail keywords. They usually contain 4 or more keywords in it. For ex: “common SEO mistakes made in 2018” instead of “SEO mistakes”.
Are you getting me? And if you’re wondering about how to find long tail keywords, check out it. The post teaches you how you can bring at least 30k visitors a month purely from using long tail SEO.
If you are building new blogs, don’t try to sell your links to others. I have been seeing most bloggers are selling the links on their blogs to poker sites and casino sites to make MORE money.
Google will consider this as a black hat SEO techniques and linking to bad neighbourhood sites can badly affect your SERP rankings, thus lowering your search results.
Selling or buying links can be one of the dangerous SEO mistakes one can make to get penalised by Google. So don’t do that.
If you’re buying links, make sure to do it from legitimate sources to avoid getting Google penalty. Also, don’t sell your backlinks to casino, adult etc sites as they can hurt your search rankings really badly.
#5. Not investing in SEO tools
Are you making one of the most common SEO mistakes by NOT investing on any SEO tools? If yes, stop doing it and start investing some money on getting access to the right tools.
Why? There are few SEO tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, Yoast Premium etc that can help you bring a ton of traffic and sales without wasting your time. But they all cost you some money. Here’s where you need to realise that, “it takes money to make money online”.
That being said, here are 2 SEO tools I highly recommend and they are worth every single penny. You can also check out one of my blog posts on SEO tools where you can find more useful SEO tools (that are mostly free).
SEMrush: This is my favorite SEO tool, if you want to get access to just ONE SEO tool, it should be SEMrush. It takes care of everything from keyword research to backlink analysis to competitor analysis. Here’s where you can find more information about the tool and I’ve a good news for you where you can get 30 days free trial with SEMrush worth $99.
Click this link to Get 30 Days FREE Trial of SEMrush Tool
Yoast Premium: If you’re a WordPress users, Yoast is a must have plugin. Although its free version is great but I recommend you to check out their premium version (I’m using it) which has even more incredible features where you can do smart interlinking, better SEO optimization, the ability to target multiple keywords etc. One of the dumbest SEO mistakes most people make is they don’t optimize their content for search engines, here’s where this plugin comes handy.
I’ve also written a detailed comparison of Yoast premium vs free version so you can find out which one works best for you.
Quick note: I don’t recommend any products without using them on my own. The above 2 tools are my personal favorites and I’ve been using them for a long time and I recommend them because I find them so useful for bloggers who are concerned about increasing their website traffic and sales (like me!).
#6. Not at all worrying about SEO
This point seems to counter intuitive to the point which is mentioned above. But it is often true that you won’t get ANY traffic from the search engines, if you don’t focus on optimizing your posts for the search engines.
Over optimizing your blog posts and zero optimizing your posts – both are wrong. You won’t get best possible results when you do them.
You should know how to write SEO contents i.e. you must be learning how to write both for the search engines and readers to reap the best rewards.
Here are few tips to write SEO content on your blogs:
- Plan your keywords before you write anything on your posts
- Write for the readers first
- Then optimize the content for the search engines (using your keywords)
- Try to include your keywords in the meta description, title and alt tags (use relevant keywords instead of repeating the same keywords again and again)
#7. Forgetting the importance of old contents
If you ask me about the common SEO mistakes that can waste your time and SEO efforts is, most people don’t update their existing blog posts (i.e old content).
Many bloggers I know publish contents day-in and day-out without actually tracking their keyword rankings on Google. Without tracking your website metrics, how can you actually boost your search rankings?
So stop making that SEO mistakes if you want to bring more search engine traffic and start optimizing your old blog posts.
Quick note: I give #1 priority to updating my old blog posts and I normally pick one or two primary keywords to target and then write fresh and detailed content around those topics without compromising the quality. That’s how I usually bring more traffic to my old content (without writing new blog posts).
I’ve written a detailed guest post about optimizing your old content to bring more traffic from search engines really quickly, so make sure to check it out and implement the tips to avoid doing silly SEO mistakes.
#8. Not doing keyword research
I know keyword research is the painful process, not even one blogger likes to do keyword research on their blog posts but that’s one of their most common SEO mistakes that can hurt your search traffic. In general, keyword research isn’t a rocket science, anyone can do it without selling their souls.
You should use proper keyword research tools like Google AdWords Keyword Tool, SEMrush etc. to easily find and use potential keywords on your blog posts. Without doing proper keyword research, you can’t get decent traffic from the search engines. You must know your primary keywords to drive organic traffic.
Start with seed keywords (ex: “SEO mistakes”) and make sure to come up with at least 10 to 20 seed keywords when you’re starting out. Once you have a list of seed keywords, use keyword research tools like SEMrush, Google keyword planner etc and enter each of those keywords to come up with profitable keyword ideas.
While researching keywords, make sure to pick the keywords between the monthly search volume 500 to 1500. That way, you’ll be able to find keywords that are easier to rank for.
Quick tip: Make sure to find out all the keywords that you’re already rank for. That way, you can find more relevant and long tail keywords to use them in your posts to bring even more search traffic fast.
#9. Stop creating crappy and short blog posts
Are you making the most common beginner SEO mistakes by writing short blog posts? Don’t write those short blog posts that contain 300 words or even less. They don’t tend to get traffic from the search engines. That means writing nothing is better than writing an article with 300 words or less.
If you want to get better search rankings, start creating 2000+ blog posts, have a look at the below image to understand it better.
Stop creating ONLY textual content:
This is one of the dumbest SEO mistake MOST bloggers make. They ONLY create textual contents, they don’t care about being everywhere by creating videos, podcasts and/or infographics to extend their online visibility. Don’t forget that YouTube is also a search engine that sends great traffic if you create relevant videos on your blogs.
Stop writing ONLY for the search engines
Yes, we all love search engine traffic, because we can build better blogs and can make more money from PPC ads and affiliate programs when search engine traffic flowing through our blogs. But what if you solely focus on writing for the search engines?
You won’t get loyal readers, your readers won’t find it easy to digest your blog posts and they might end up unsubscribing to your blogs. This is one of those SEO mistakes which could harm the reputation of your blogs in the long run.
#10. Stop plagiarism
Another most dumbest SEO mistakes people (especially most beginners) make while blogging is they simply copy and paste articles from other sources. NEVER do that.
Not only it won’t help you in getting any extra traffic (Google crawlers are smart enough to find and penalize copied articles from search results) but also give bad impression on your audience.
Also make sure to use unique headlines while publishing your blog posts. Always copy and paste your headline (ideas) on Google search to check whether there are any similar headline ideas. You can also use free tools like Portent to come up with dozens of unique headline ideas for your posts.
One more tip is to give credits where they are required. For example, if you’re paraphrasing someone else’s content in your blog, make sure to link to the original source. Likewise, whenever you use data (infographics, charts, screenshots, images etc) from other sites, give link to their sources to avoid copyright issues (or plagiarism issues) in the long run.s
This is the cheapest SEO mistakes that you could ever make. Don’t copy from other blogs and paste on your blogs. You will get caught sooner or later, you will degrade your own online reputation in the long run by copy-pasting from others.
Take inspiration from the posts that you like, but don’t copy them. Try to make even better blog posts by adding more value by inserting images, infographics, videos or podcasts. And give a link back to those posts where you take the inspiration to write the posts. This way you can actually win your readers hearts, which will help you build a popular blog in the long run.
Final thoughts about costliest SEO mistakes to avoid
As I said above, we all make a ton of SEO mistakes and SEO is evolving a lot in the recent years. So learn from your SEO mistakes and try to avoid them as much as possible to get better search rankings and traffic.
Make sure to start evaluating your search rankings, track your keyword rankings and use proper tools to get ahead of your competition and get better at SEO.
What SEO mistakes do you make from the above? Also do you have any more common SEO mistakes to share that most people make? Share your thoughts in the comments below.