7 Basic SEO Mistakes That Even Experts Make  

Whether you’re new to online marketing or a seasoned SEO expert, it’s important to realize that everyone is vulnerable to some simple, preventable mistakes — sometimes through no fault of your own. Left unchecked, these mistakes can end up wasting countless hours you’ve spent honing your SEO strategy. Here we’ll review eight basic SEO mistakes that even experts are known to make.

5. Underestimating the Importance of Page Speed

Page speed is directly related to better SERP rankings. Web users are much more likely to return to Google’s search results after clicking URLs to slow-loading pages, resulting in higher bounce rates. Google penalizes websites that deliver poor user experiences, and high bounce rates indicate exactly that.

How fast do webpages need to load? There’s no solid answer to this question. Likewise, it’s difficult to quantify good and bad bounce rates, because bounce rates vary widely based on niche and other factors. Your website should be pretty snappy, though. Research by the marketing firm KISSmetrics found that 40 percent of visitors bounce from pages that take more than three seconds to load.

6. Not Localizing Your Content

Hyper-localized SEO is increasingly important. More people search Google from smartphones than desktops, and they’re often looking for restaurants, retailers and other businesses within a short drive or walking distance. People who search using smartphones are also likely to speak their search queries, resulting in conversational, long-tailed keywords.

To take advantage of these local searches, businesses can reference the neighborhoods, districts and cities in which they are located as well as information about community events and other local (and relevant) topics of interests.

7. Not Using Meta Descriptions

Many digital marketers shrug off meta descriptions because they no longer directly influence SERP rankings. However, meta descriptions certainly play an indirect role. Web users are more likely to click on search results with well-written meta descriptions, resulting in higher clickthrough rates (CTRs). And high CTRs most definitely lead to better search rankings. Low CTRs do the opposite.

Conclusion

Whether you’re new to SEO or you’ve been doing this for years, don’t get so complacent that you end up undermining your own efforts. Make it a habit to always check all the key areas of SEO on a regular basis. As your website grows and evolves, you’ll likely find that simple edits you made have been overwritten inadvertently. You’ll never know you have all your bases covered unless you regularly audit your website.

To help you with your audit I put together a step-by-step checklist: Click here to grab your copy of our Ultimate SEO Checklist.

Author: Phil Frost

Phil is Founder and COO of Main Street ROI. Phil leads the company’s operations and is primary creator of Main Street ROI’s marketing training programs. He is an expert in search engine marketing, website analytics, and sales funnel optimization. Phil’s marketing thought leadership has been published on Forbes.com, Inc.com, MSN.com, and many other major business media outlets.

Phil earned his Master of Engineering Management degree from Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business and his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Engineering degrees from Dartmouth College. While attending Dartmouth, Phil started every game on the varsity football team as the defensive safety.

Want more SEO tips? Get your free copy of Phil’s Ultimate SEO Checklist. Want more AdWords tips? Get your free copy of Phil’s Ultimate Google AdWords Checklist.

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