Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is a common term in 2021. You have probably come across it if you have been on the internet for a while. The way it works might be different from what you know, but we’ve got you covered.
More importantly, implementing SEO properly is easier said than done. So let us try to go through the top SEO mistakes to avoid in 2021.
First and foremost, let me explain what SEO actually is. The answer is not a one-liner as you might already know.
What is SEO?
SEO is the art of optimizing or making the best of search engines. The goal is to articulate, design, and develop a website so that it ranks properly in the results of searches.
This will, therefore, be able to generate more traffic for your website, which is probably something everyone wants.
Finally, it will involve the understanding of what exactly visitors might be looking for when they are visiting your website.
Search Engines are extremely complicated mechanisms, and we will not explore them in detail here. Regardless, here are some of the features of a search engine like Google or Bing.
- Search engines crawl across web pages looking for keywords
- They will index the keywords according to whatever order fits best
- Processing a search request will require a comparison between thousands of strings
- Relevancy will then be calculated by using the search string against the results
- Lastly, the results will be retrieved and put up for you to take a look at
Now that the basics are covered, I will explain the top mistakes for SEOs in detail.
SEO Mistakes to Avoid in 2021
1. Failing to Utilize Keywords
The “key” is in the name of this one. Let me explain. Keywords are the most important aspect of any search engine.
In fact, keyword research is the name of the first step that is taken whenever any legitimate SEO strategy gets involved. Finding keywords is made easier using Google Suggest.
If you start inputting a keyword into Google’s search bar, it will generate an array of suggestions.
From this, you can understand what keywords are being looked up more and what is not. I will recommend that you type specific keywords to make sure that they are relevant to your content.
I needed some time to get this concept down. In the end, the goal was to make sure that I am writing the proper keywords that are most likely to be suggested when I am searching for something.
The same will apply to the readers of whatever I write, including this one!
You can write the most meaningful and quality content, but if it fails to show up at the top or near the top of the search results, it does not really make much of a difference for you.
When you are writing something that is targeting terms of search that already have too much competition, you should do some Google searches just to check what words are relevant and what is not.
Lastly, there is the situation of primary and secondary keywords, and these will help you rank your content in search results.
All in all, utilization of keywords is extremely important in search engines, and you can read more about it here. Avoid misusing your keywords.
2. Quantity over Quality of Links
Contrary to popular belief, better backlinks do not mean your site is doing better overall. You might be able to acquire a larger number of backlinks in a short time, but in the long run, your site will be set for doom.
This might eventually ruin your site and cause it to shut down and this will be due to poor SEO choices.
When talking about SEO, links are very important and they are the main priority in many ways.
However, it is still important to maintain some control over the site that sends the links. Backlinks are more relevant now, but the relevancy is ranked according to their quality instead of quantity.
Now, Google can detect the number of backlinks and thus able to give you the results that are already pre-decided in terms of its quality.
Websites that have a far superior count of backlinks will show up lower, because not only are they already ranked, but their quality matters too.
So, you should not focus on backlink counts as much as you would before. It is an outdated concept in 2021, due to all the updates from Google.
To keep it simple, it is okay to include backlinks, but make sure that you are not overdoing it with a lot of low-DA backlinks. This is something you should strongly avoid.
3. Do Not Overdo it with Keywords
Another major mistake! Yes, keywords are essential. No, stuffing your articles and blogs with keywords as much as you can is not.
If you have done this in the past, allow me to tell you that filling your pages with keywords a lot is not going to help. On the contrary, it might actually cause your page to go down in the list.
How do you actually deal with this whole concept then? How do you know the actual balanced way to maintain keyword counts?
Even though keyword stuffing is wrong, I see too many instances when people do it. And guess what?
Usually, these results appear at the very bottom of the results, at least on the first page of Google. Adding a few keywords to your SEO is a sensible thing to do, but overdoing it will make your page lose its rank.
The right way to approach this is to add more relevant content rather than just relevant keywords. You know by now that Google uses powerful synonym searches to find out words that mean something similar.
This results in the top results for searches those that have a balanced keyword count but also contain appropriate content. It does not matter how high your keyword density is if your content is of high quality.
In today’s SEO, you should also use words that are similar in meaning to the keyword, instead of just the keyword itself. You can thus avoid overfilling your content with keywords and using the magic of well-written content instead.
4. Mediocre Content
This mistake is kind of similar to the previous one, but not completely. Writers who are on deadlines might find it difficult to do the proper research necessary.
This is going to hamper the web page that they write for in the long run. I am saying this because that is something I have done as a writer in the past. Not anymore though, since I know better now.
Thanks to a lot of better back-end mechanics of Google, it can now detect the quality of your content.
It is not worth it to copy the strategy of pages that have hundreds of thousands of backlinks and write thousands of words without actually getting to the point. If pages that fluff their content up this way focused more on detail, they would be able to rank much higher on search results.
The intricacies involved with Google’s search engine are far too complex for me to explain here. So let us consider an example. If you were to search for a tutorial on how to string up your guitar, you will get some results from a page called How.
Pages from this website have a lot of unnecessary information that readers do not like to read, and ultimately, this costs them a position in terms of ranking.
5. Keywords, Links, and Content is Just Enough
This was the situation half a decade ago, avoid this mistake at all costs if you are trying to be an SEO expert. In 2021, it is essential that you do not focus on any one aspect of the page or content.
No longer is it enough to just get the keywords right, or just the content right. If you fail to get consistent and satisfactory goals in all aspects, your page will not show up at the top.
Over the years, social media and e-commerce platforms have ended up impacting SEO by a long margin. Now, the most popular web pages can generate top results for a search. This also ends up in those web pages being linked to social media platforms and e-commerce websites.
So consider using social media to seed content and thus get the small content tractions that you want. It will impact your content positively in the long run.
This is the main reason that businesses end up opening accounts on all kinds of platforms. Not only in social media, but they end up resulting as the “sellers” in e-commerce websites.
Their names being prominently featured in results is what their main SEO strategy is, and they succeed with it.
6. Bad Links
Google and most other search engines use filters for clean SEO results. This means that you should always avoid the mistake of adding bad links to your content.
Any kind of link that leads to content against the search engine’s violations is considered a bad link. Bad links can hurt your rankings, although that does not happen unless your content is oversaturated with these.
Quality links that lead back to your website will be from poor-quality aggregator websites. You can stop this from happening by using various services, such as Cloudflare.
It’s okay to let some bad links pass, but it is a critical thing if bad links are the only way to lead back to your website.
Google is basically on its way to make sure that its algorithm does not get manipulated. This means that it will not show results that it thinks contains bad links or web pages from bad links.
The more popular your website is, the more likely it is that bad sites will link to you. Do not encourage these links.
7. Not Being Specific about Keywords
Now, this is a special one. Over my time learning SEO, I have seen a lot of people make the mistake of not being specific enough about their keywords.
Contrary to popular belief, it is actually very strict in how search engines use the keywords you provide it with. This also means something else, from now on, do not be using keywords that are just similar.
This means if the keyword is “eating”, you cannot use “eat”, “ate”, “eaten”, or any other synonym of this sort. If you do this, then you will notice that search engines actually do not show results for the particular searches.
Moreover, it is pointless to add similar words to increase your keyword density. You must contribute to the user’s experience for the best feedback, both from them and the search engine.
This also does not mean that you have to use the same keyword a hundred times for your content. As we already mentioned, using keywords as filler for your content is a poor choice to make as an SEO expert.
There are many other smaller yet significant mistakes that SEO writers make. Make sure that you avoid the ones that have been avoided here. It is essential that your keyword count stays balanced.
By no means, should you be using keywords for clutter or filler, just to fill the space up. It is also essential that you keep an eye on how you should provide your content with backlinks.
Bad links will also be an important factor as your content is likely to not be included among the top results if they have too many of those.
These are just some of the more prominent mistakes that you should avoid in SEO in 2021. We hope this was helpful for you and has given you some insight.