7 Common SEO Mistakes That Are Killing Your Rankings

By Wesley Cable

Last Updated: January 18, 2023
Reading Time: 10 minutes

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a complicated game. There are countless factors that Google considers when deciding how to rank websites for search results and what each site should be listed as.

Since there are so many intricacies to the process of ranking sites, it can be difficult for you to keep up with what works best in terms of SEO and what isn’t effective.

As a result of this, there are many companies out there like yours that are not using the most effective SEO practices. In fact, you may even be hurting your rankings if you don’t change your strategies soon.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take a degree in computer science or any other related field to understand why these SEO mistakes are hurting your SEO rankings and how you can fix them.

7 Common SEO Mistakes

What is SEO? (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO is the process of optimizing your website and content to rank better on search engines like Google. The goal of a good SEO strategy is to take advantage of the billions of searches done every day by customers looking for information or looking to solve a problem.

The higher you rank on search engine results pages (SERPS) for your target keywords, the more people will see and click on your content. Ideally, your content would land in the first three positions of a search result because those positions get the lion’s share of the search traffic.

There are many aspects of SEO including technical SEO, On-Page SEO, Off-Page SEO, and Local SEO to name a few. Let’s take a look at 7 common SEO mistakes that can damage your rankings.

7 Common SEO Mistakes

Mistake #1 – Viewing SEO as a one-time fix

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is an ongoing process that requires regular attention and maintenance. Focusing on SEO as a one-time fix is one of the biggest SEO mistakes you can make, as it will not produce lasting results.

Many people I speak to scoff at the cost involved with implementing a good SEO strategy but the truth is, you can’t afford not to make SEO a marketing priority.

Since SEO is an ever-evolving field, the best practices today may not be the best practices tomorrow and typically aren’t as Google constantly updates its algorithm. Due to this ever-changing landscape, constant attention needs to be paid to your SEO strategy.

To achieve and maintain good SEO results, you need to regularly update your website and content, monitor your keyword rankings and analytics (Using Google Analytics), and make adjustments as needed. Neglecting SEO can have serious consequences for your website’s visibility and traffic.


The first step to solving this problem or making sure it doesn’t happen in the first place is to start with a well-designed SEO strategy. A complete SEO strategy that includes Technical SEO, On Page SEO, and Off Page SEO will ensure you are starting the right way.

If you have a small website, you may want to hire a freelancer who specializes in SEO to help you put together a plan that works for your business. For larger, more complicated businesses, hiring a good SEO agency to help you can really make a big difference.

Having an outside SEO professional on your side can save you a lot of time and money because you don’t have to hire and train an SEO specialist. The SEO specialist will also give you peace of mind knowing that someone is constantly watching your SEO plan and making necessary changes when necessary.

Mistake #2 – Low-Quality Content

SEO mistakes can not only impact your organic traffic and ranking on search engines but they can also get you penalized by Google. The most common reason why sites get penalized by Google is that they have low-quality content.

Low-quality content is content that does not provide value to users, is irrelevant or inaccurate, and does not meet the expectations of search engines while duplicate content is content that can be found on other sites on the web.

Search engines use a variety of criteria to determine whether a piece of content is low-quality, including factors like keyword usage, relevance to the topic at hand, readability, and formatting, and overall user experience.

Because low-quality content can negatively impact SEO performance and search rankings, it is important for webmasters and marketers to avoid creating this type of content in order to improve their website’s visibility and visibility online.

For a site to rank well, the content needs to be high-quality, and unique content. This means that the information you provide on your site needs to be original and not plagiarized. If you copy content from other websites that rank well, your site will rank lower than those sources because it is not as high quality.

This mistake is incredibly common among businesses that want to rank quickly and don’t realize how important original and high-quality content is for SEO. You may be tempted to write a handful of articles and post them across multiple sites, but this is not an effective way to rank your site.

If you want your site to rank, you need to provide high-quality content on your site. This means that the content needs to be unique and written by you or someone you hire to write SEO-optimized content. This can be a challenge for some businesses, but it’s important to keep in mind that this is a mistake that can be fixed.


The solution to Low-Quality Content is making it a priority to create SEO-optimized content that provides value to your site visitors. This also means creating content that has proper relevant keywords without keyword stuffing.

Many businesses hire an SEO content writing service or freelancer to write their website content for them because these people are trained to write multiple pages of good quality web content that looks good to both search engines and to your customers. Hiring someone to write the content will not only make sure it’s done right but will save you money by not having to hire an employee to do this task.

Mistake #3 – Lack of Unique Content

In addition to having low-quality content, you also don’t want to have too much content on your site that is not unique. You don’t want your site to be filled with content that has been published on other sites. This sounds like a no-brainer but it happens more than you think.

While it may be tempting to cut and paste content from other sites in a hurry, you need to make sure that it is original and not taken from anywhere else. Google is very smart and its search engine bots will detect duplicate content and you will be penalized.

If you have been struggling to create new content for your site and are worried that your site is too thin, you may be tempted to take articles from other sites and post them on your own site. This is not a good idea.


If you make SEO mistakes, this is not the one you want to make. What you need to do is try to get creative and come up with your own article ideas that are unique to your site and speak specifically to your target audience. Google loves fresh, unique, content so this will end up benefiting you a lot more than using someone else’s content.

Businesses that have a hard time creating the amount of content they need for their site will hire freelancers from services like Upwork and Fiverr to write the content for them. This is a good way to get a lot of unique content for your site in a short period of time and make sure it’s optimized.

Mistake #4 – Ignoring Search Engines Move to Mobile-Friendly Content

Google has been making a big push towards mobile-friendly content over the past few years, so if you are not on board, you are making one of the biggest SEO mistakes you can make.

In March of 2016, Google released an update that would start penalizing websites that were not designed with mobile users in mind. This update was designed to give preference to websites that were designed for mobile devices. If your mobile site is not optimized, you will start to see a decrease in your traffic and search results ranking on Google.

This is a major shift in the way Google ranks websites, and it’s important to make sure that your website is ready for it. You don’t want to wait until you see a decrease in your traffic before you make sure you have a mobile-friendly site.


This is one of the easiest SEO mistakes to avoid now that most website page builders are making sure they offer mobile-friendly designs. Web developers are also aware of the importance of a mobile-friendly site so make sure you speak to one about your site to make sure you are covered.

Mistake #5 – Over-Optimization of Keywords

While it’s important to use the right keywords on your site and when you create content, you don’t want to over-optimize your site with keywords. This is one of the easiest SEO mistakes to avoid but it still happens all the time. Some people believe that if some SEO keywords in your content are a good SEO strategy, then more is better. This is not the case.

While it’s important to rank well in Google, it’s also important to keep your target customers on your site. If your site is full of keywords and not much else, readers are going to get confused and not know what you are actually selling. They may also get frustrated and leave your site without purchasing anything. This is a common SEO mistake that many businesses make when they are trying to rank well on Google.

You want to make sure that you are using keywords on your site, but you want to make sure you aren’t over-optimizing your site with keywords. Make sure you balance how many keywords you use and how many you leave out.


Using SEO content tools to help you write optimized content is a way to avoid this common SEO mistake. These SEO tools like Surfer SEO, provide you with guidelines and tell you exactly how many times you should include a particular keyword so you can avoid stuffing.

Surfer SEO also helps you with words you want to use in your headings as well as helps you create content that includes words that are related to your keywords.

If you are struggling with the correct keyword volume or just want to write better SEO-optimized content, try Surfer SEO today.

Mistake #6 – Lack of Quality Backlinks (External Links and Internal Links)

Another mistake that many businesses make is not focusing on getting quality backlinks and ignoring the importance of internal links. A backlink for SEO is a link on another website that points back to your own website.  It’s important to know that the quality of the link is much more important than the total number of links you have so make sure you focus on links from high-authority sites.

When you have quality links from high-authority web pages pointing back to your site, not only can it help your site get more traffic, but it also helps your rankings and your domain authority.


When other sites link back to your site, it’s an indication to Google that your site is trustworthy and valuable. However, if you don’t have many quality backlinks on your site, this can actually hurt your rankings. You want to make sure that you are actively trying to get backlinks to your site and that those backlinks are high quality.

You also want to make sure you are paying attention to broken links which are links that no longer link to another site. These can hurt your SEO and user experience. There are many tools out there to help you find broken links on your site and show you how to fix them.

Internal Links

Building a backlink profile is important for your website, but some experts think that internal links (links from one page on your site to another) might be even more important. Internal links help search engines like Google easily find all the pages on your website and list them in their indices (databases).

When you use internal links well, by creating accessible URL paths for users and including quality anchor text (hyperlinks near related words/phrases), it becomes much easier for search engines to find relevant results.


Increasing external links is one of the most challenging parts of Off Page SEO. The reason link building is so difficult is that links are valuable so high-authority sites are not just going to just hand out links to anyone. There are numerous link-building strategies including guest posting, broken links building, and HARO responses that you can use to increase backlinks.

For internal link building, there are numerous great resources on the internet from SEO powerhouses like Ahrefs or Moz that can help you make sure you’re doing this effectively. If you hire an SEO professional, they can help you with this too.

Mistake #7 – Not using keyword research to determine which keywords to target

Another one of the most common SEO mistakes is not using keyword research effectively to determine which relevant keywords to target on your site. Keyword research is important because it helps you understand what people are searching for online that relates to your business.

When you know which keywords people are searching for, you can target those keywords on your site and in your content. This will help you rank higher in the eyes of Google and attract more visitors to your site. However, if you don’t use keyword research to determine which keywords to target, you run the risk of using the wrong keywords which will not help your rankings.


There are several ways to approach the problem of not using keyword research to determine which keywords to target on your site. One effective solution is to use keyword research tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner or other similar tools to identify high-traffic keywords that are relevant to your business.

By doing this, you can gain a better understanding of what people are searching for online, and you can target those terms on your site in order to help boost your rankings and drive more traffic. Additionally, you can also incorporate these keywords into your content, optimizing it for search engines and making it more appealing and relevant to your target audience.

Another solution is to work with an experienced SEO professional who can provide guidance and support as you develop a keyword strategy tailored specifically to your business needs and goals. With the right approach and tools in place, you can ensure that you are targeting the most relevant keywords for your business, helping you achieve higher rankings and greater success online.


SEO is one of the most important aspects of any SEO strategy, but it can also be one of the most challenging. There are many common mistakes that businesses make when trying to optimize their website for search engines, which can hurt their rankings and cause them to miss out on potential customers.

In this blog post, we have outlined seven of the most common SEO mistakes that you should avoid if you want your website to rank higher in Google and attract more visitors. We have also provided solutions for each mistake so that you can fix them and improve your SEO. If you’re unsure about how to fix these mistakes or need help implementing an effective SEO strategy, contact an expert and let them show you how they can help increase your website traffic and boost your sales through effective SEO techniques.


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