12 Common SEO Mistakes That Hurts Your Site’s Growth

By: Nate Fineberg
August 12, 2021

SEO Mistakes You Should Avoid to Gain More Search Visibility and Traffic

SEO, or search engine optimization, is an ongoing process. It takes time to see gains in your organic search ranking, but your results could also be slowed down due to a few common SEO mistakes. By partnering with the right marketing agency to develop your SEO strategy, you can avoid these common pitfalls in SEO and ensure that your website is working to get your business among the top search results. Continue reading for a closer look at some of the most frequent SEO errors you should avoid to grow your website organically.

SEO Mistake 1: Having a Site That’s Not Mobile Friendly

Proest Mobile Friendly Design

Mobile devices account for more than half of all web traffic worldwide. So, if your website doesn’t display fully on mobile, you could be turning away loads of potential customers without even knowing it.

Google and other search engines recognize the importance of mobile compatibility, so pages that are mobile friendly get a boost in search rankings.

Utilizing responsive design for your website ensures that users on any device get your good site experience. Contact us if you need help with SEO-friendly web design.

SEO Error 2: Not Optimizing Your Meta-Descriptions and Title Tags

Title tags are one important aspect you should definitely take care of when it comes to SEO, as they can play a big role in helping your website show up higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Every page on your website should have a unique title tag. However, many businesses make this common SEO mistake: “using their company name as the title on every page.”

While your business name may be part of the title, you should also include a unique component in every page title that lets readers know exactly what they can expect on the page. Another SEO error most businesses make is using a very short title for their title tag which makes it difficult to understand what the page is about.

In context, meta-descriptions should be created for each page on your site. These descriptions will be viewable in search results, and when they are displayed in SERPs for certain search queries, they entice users to click on your title by offering a succinct page description that incorporates your target keywords for the page. 

How to optimize your site for search rankings

SEO Mistake 3: Targeting the Wrong Keywords

SEO is all about users and keywords help users find content that’s relevant to their search queries. To identify which queries are leading users to your site, you’ll need to do a little research. In addition to identifying broad keywords that may have lots of competition, you should dig deeper for long tail keywords that speak specifically to your audience.

For example, instead of simply targeting web design services you might target “Rutland, VT web design companies.” This level of specificity can help you stand out and better match your site to users who are interested in the exact services you offer. 

When you target broad keywords that are often not-descriptive, it makes it difficult to rank for those types of phrases. Not only that but also, users who land on your page will have mixed search intent which makes it difficult to satisfy their needs.

SEO Error 4: Not Including Internal Links

Internal linking is part of an effective SEO strategy. Strong internal linking will use relevant anchor text to guide users to other pages on your site where they can learn more about a particular subject.

For example, a page focused on kitchen remodeling may link to another page on your site about flooring. Using the phrase “flooring options” as anchor text will give users a clear idea of what they’ll see when they click on the link. This will also encourage a higher click-through rate for your site, which in turn boosts your SEO.  

External links for further reading can also be useful, especially when you link to sites with a high authority score. However, you should always set these links to open in a new tab so that they don’t draw users away from your site. 

Ultimate guide to link building

SEO Mistake 5: Ignoring Load Speed

Businesses will often load their websites with bells and whistles like images, plugins, and videos. While these features can be useful, they can also slow down your site.

Alternatively, you may have slow load times because your site isn’t hosted on a reputable server or is poorly coded. In either situation, slow load speed could be preventing users from accessing your website, causing them to turn to your competitors.

Even worse, users may never even land on your site, because long load times have buried your site in the search results.

Group6 Interactive site speed

To avoid this SEO pitfall, be sure that your digital marketing agency has plenty of experience with web design and offers their own web hosting. This way, you can feel confident knowing that your website will quickly load every time someone visits it (just like ours in the image above).  

Get in touch for SEO web design services

SEO Error 6: Failing to Pinpoint Your Target Audience

Do you know who the target audience is for your business? If not, you may need to spend time developing customer personas to round out your SEO strategy.

Every page on your website should speak to a specific audience, such as business owners, stay-at-home moms, or young adults. From the tone of your written content to the colors and images you select for your website, everything should be selected with your target audience in mind. By optimizing for your target audience, you’ll see more engagement with your site that positions your brand higher in search results. 

SEO Mistake 7: Poor Site Navigation

Poor site navigation is another SEO error that can hurt your site’s growth. A well-designed and easy-to-use site navigation will help users find the information they are looking for quickly and easily, boosting pageviews and conversion rates.

Poor site structure can also negatively affect your search engine rankings. Poorly coded pages that lack good users experience might cause Google to demote your site in search results, causing visitors to look elsewhere for relevant information. A good website layout not only makes it easy for people to navigate, but ensures that all of the important elements – such as your website’s content – are easily accessible.

Navigation best practices: Do’s and Dont’s.

SEO Error 8: Failing to Optimize Images for SEO

Images can play a big role in how successful your site is with users and search engines. By optimizing your images (adding ALT tag, compressing and lazy-loading), you can improve the visibility of your sites content and increase search traffic. Hefty and uncompressed images are the major culprits of slow webpages. And when your website’s page load speed is poor, it repels traffic going to your website.

Images that are properly tagged with ALT keyword and keyword-rich phrases performs better in image search.

One of the best SEO best practices for image SEO is to use relevant keywords on the image and add alt text to all images on your site.

Doing so will ensure that search engines know what the image is about and visitors that are vision-impaired or blind can use screen reader to read out the ALT keyword. Moreover, ALT tag tells visitors what an image is about when the image is broken; you shouldn’t make this SEO mistake when creating SEO-optimized content.

SEO Mistake 9: Not Updating Old Articles

Another mistake we make in SEO is not updating our articles. If your website has been around for a while, there’s a good chance that the majority of your traffic comes from older articles. By keeping these pages up-to-date, you are telling Google that the information on your webpage is relevant and fresh.

Make sure to regularly update your article or blogpost to make it fresh so that you retain search prominence in search engine results pages (SERPs). This will help improve click-through rates (CTRs) and boost SERP visibility.

SEO Error 10: Stuffing Keyword

Another pitfall in SEO most beginners face is following the footstep of old SEO techniques that doesn’t work anymore. Keyword stuffing had worked long time ago but it doesn’t work again as Google’s search algorithm is getting smarter and more complex every day.

Gone are the days we could spam a keyword phrase into every sentence of our website copy to manipulate search rankings. Google is now more sophisticated; they know this as an unnatural and harmful way of increasing and manipulating rankings for your website which could get your site penalized. You will want to stop this SEO mistake if you are an SEO that want sustainable search traffic.

SEO Mistake 11: Not Having an SEO Strategy

One of the most common mistakes made by small businesses when it comes to SEO is not having a comprehensive SEO strategy. Without a plan, your website will likely be treated as an afterthought when it comes to improving visibility on search engines.

A well-executed SEO strategy will provide your business with improved rankings in SERPS and more leads.

Tip: Assemble all the information you can about what works for similar businesses in your sector (competitors) and create an effective SEO plan based on those data.

SEO Mistake 12: Not Having a Content Strategy

Not having a content strategy can lead to your website being overlooked by search engines. A content strategy will outline the types of keywords, topics and formats that your site should target in order to rank higher on SERPS. Without a content plan, your website may end up ranking for irrelevant terms and not generate enough traffic to make it profitable.

SEO content strategy can hurt your website in many ways when you don’t have a plan in place. Below are reasons why you need SEO content strategy:

Reasons why SEO content strategy is important:

  • A content strategy will help you target the right keywords.
  • It can provide a guide on what topics to cover and how to cover them.
  • The strategy will tell you which formats are best suited for your site’s audience and topic.
  • Having a strategic plan will help determine where to allocate your resources, so that your website does not lose visibility in search engines over time.
  • SEO content strategy helps you avoid keyword and content cannibalization.
  • It guides you throughout your content creation journey for your website and target audiences.
  • It saves you money/time because you don’t waste money/time on things that doesn’t matter.
  • It builds your topical authority as you know what topics you need to cover to become an authority in your field (topical authority is a search algorithm that rewards websites with a high topical coverage).
  • It makes ranking for different keywords easier for your website.
  • Having no content strategy in place could mean lower traffic and missed out opportunities for growth.

We make a number of SEO errors that impede our progress. By avoiding SEO mistakes mentioned in this article, your website will improve its position in search results and attract more organic traffic without being penalized or held hostage by Google’s search algorithms.


Now that you know the most common SEO mistakes, you can develop a well-rounded strategy to avoid them. Group6 Interactive is ready to help you make the most of your website, whether you’re starting from scratch with a new website build or optimizing your existing pages. 

Visit our contact page to book a strategy call with our team so that you can start seeing your business on page one of the search results.


Which are the most costly mistakes in SEO?

There are a few costly mistakes that are often made in SEO, and they can cost you a lot of money and time. Here are the top three:
1. Not using the right keywords – Keyword research is essential for effective SEO, and neglecting to use the right keywords can lead to lower rankings and lost traffic. Make sure to target your audience carefully and use keywords that are relevant to your business and their search query.
2. Failing to optimize your website – Poorly optimized websites can affect search engine crawlers’ access to your site, which can lead to decreased traffic and loss of revenue. Ensure your website is easy to navigate, has correct title tags and meta data, and is properly using meta robot rules.
3. Paying for fake traffic – Many unscrupulous webmasters will offer artificial traffic in exchange for money, which can damage your website and reputation.
These are just a few of the costliest SEO mistakes you need to avoid as a website owner. Keep all of these tips in mind if you want your website to rank well in search engines!

How do I identify my SEO Mistakes?

Below are a few things you can do to help identify your SEO mistakes:
1. Take a look at your website’s analytics – This will give you an idea of where traffic is coming from, what keywords are generating the most traffic, and what types of content are being most popular, what’s working and what’s not.
2. Look at your competitors – If you want to improve your position in the market, you need to know where your competitors are ranking and how they’re doing it. Once you reverse-engineer your industry players, you will uncover SEO optimization opportunities.
3. Audit your website’s content – Once you have a good understanding of how traffic is flowing to your website, you can start auditing your content for errors. This will help you find opportunities to improve overall search engine visibility and ultimately drive more traffic to your site.

What are the common on page SEO mistakes in 2022?

There are a few common on page SEO mistakes that webmasters make in 2022, and they include using outdated or duplicate content, not using Schema.org markup, not implementing internal linking, and not optimizing their images with alt tags.


Read more:

Written by:
Nate Fineberg
Nate Fineberg is the owner, president and CEO of Group6 Interactive. With a long history in the creative space as a high performing web developer, he has decades of enterprise level industry experience. Before starting Group6 Interactive, Nate worked as a web developer at IDEA, a Houston Texas based creative agency before moving on to SONY, located in San Diego California, as a senior Web Developer.
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