Optimising your website for search engines has never been easy, but there are some common mistakes that you should avoid if you want to rank well for competitive terms in your niche.

Whether you’ve been running an SEO campaign on your own and have picked up bad habits, or you simply didn’t understand the effects the following mistakes were having on your business, now is the time to read on and put right some of these SEO wrongs.

Doing so will help to increase your visibility on search engines and get more traffic through to your website.


Duplicate content

Duplicate content is one of the most common SEO mistakes – but luckily, it’s the simplest to fix.

If your website is showing the same content across multiple pages of your website, then search engines like Google and Bing won’t be able to decide on which content to index, and they might even decide not to show either web page in their search results.

Worse still, copying content from another website or having your content copied could cause your website to be penalised by Google, or even removed from rankings entirely.

It’s therefore essential that every piece of content you write is of high quality and 100% unique – and you should also have practices in place to prevent your content from being stolen by other websites.


Using inexperienced consultants

Digital marketing can be expensive, and it’s often tempting to hire the cheapest marketing help that you can get, simply because you want the most bang for your buck.

However, working with an inexperienced marketing consultant can be bad business, as they’ll no doubt be cutting corners to be able to offer their services at a fraction of the cost of other agencies.

As the saying goes, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys, so investing in a quality SEO expert makes sense.

One of the most effective options when outsourcing your SEO to another company is paying for a local SEO service.

That way, you’ll be able to meet up with them face to face and ask questions about your campaign – and if you’re a local business offering services in a particular part of the country, then you’ll know that your company will know the area well.

So, if you’re in Birmingham, then a company offering SEO Birmingham like Marketing Makeovers is a sensible solution.


Abandoned blog

As we talk about often here at Muffin Marketing, content marketing is one of the best ways to promote your small business, and posting high-quality content on a regular basis can help you stand out from the crowd, increase visitor numbers and boost your SEO exponentially.

But the key is to write super high-quality content on a regular basis – at least a few times per month.

We all get busy, and without realising, several months can pass without updating your blog.

But abandoning your blog and not keeping it populated with fresh content is bad for your business.

Not only will potential customers see a blog that hasn’t been updated and think you’re either too lazy to write content or you’re no longer in business, but search engines won’t have any new material to index, and you won’t be able to compete with businesses who publish regularly.


A separate site for mobiles

Several years ago, web developers decided that designing a separate website for their mobile visitors was the best way to properly optimise their content for smaller screens.

The internet has changed a great deal since then, though, and now responsive mobile-friendly websites are the norm.

These websites will change depending on the size of the screen, but always show the same content. Responsive web design is now an essential part of any successful SEO project.

And it’s not just responsive design that you should be implementing if you want to rank high on search engines.

Google now ranks websites through a “mobile-first index”, which, in simple terms, means they now look at websites as if they were browsing on a mobile when deciding on rankings.

So if your mobile browsing experience is poor, you’ll likely be penalised as a result.


Wrapping up

There are many more SEO mistakes that you should avoid, but the four we’ve mentioned here are a good start.

Remember that SEO takes time, so having a list of tasks based on priority is a sensible idea.

That way, you’ll be able to work through them based on which will have the biggest impact, and slowly increase your website’s ranking as a result.

Best of luck!