10 Terrible Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Mistakes To Avoid When Optimizing Your Website

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Mistakes to Avoid When Optimizing Your Website

SEO is an aspect of website businesses that cover a whole lot of areas. Over the years, Google has introduced updates to its algorithm to give users the best possible search experience. As such, your primary goal is to appear on the first page of Google search. 

But did you know that you could be doing some terrible search engine optimization mistakes in your blog? Although there is a ton of mistakes that you can do, we will focus on the top 10 that most bloggers do.  

These are:

  1. Targeting competitive keywords
  2. Buying backlinks
  3. Writing poor articles
  4. Keyword stuffing
  5. Poor website speed
  6. Absence of internal links
  7. Incorrect keyword use
  8. Absence of backlinks
  9. Not making your website crawlable
  10. Bad meta-description

By the end of this tutorial, you should jump into action and correct these errors if you’ve made them. Otherwise, you will continue to have poor page ranks in Google. 

1. Targeting Competitive Keywords

Competing for the most-used keywords is the worst thing you can do. You will spend years building content if you target keywords that big companies have already ranked for. 

What you have to do is to focus on long-tail keywords—these are much more effective because not a lot of websites have written specific topics about them. To write and target for long-tail keywords, you have to use keyword tools like Answer the Public.

At best, you must target long-tail keywords that have a decent search volume, which you can find out in Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner, or Answer the Public. Look for question-form keywords, and write high-quality articles that answer these questions. 

2. Buying Backlinks

There is no denying that buying backlinks is important. But it is wrong to buy them. Although Google will not exactly know if you bought them, the algorithm could make assumptions if your backlinks are abnormal. 

And if the Google search algorithm “thinks” that you bought backlinks, your website will be penalized. How so? Your pages will lose their rankings, most especially so the ones that receive link juice from other sites. 

Buying backlinks is wrong because you are gaming the system. What happens is that those who have money will rank higher, but who don’t will not receive traffic—not fair.

3. Writing Poor Articles

Google has always emphasized that it only wants users to have the best experience, and this includes the value that your blog pages offer to the users. 

Here are some examples of poor articles: 

  • Short articles
  • Long-winding articles that do not answer a question
  • Misleading titles; click bait
  • Copied articles
  • Articles that were re-written; they add no value to the community

What many bloggers do is they stuff their websites with articles without paying attention to quality. While content is king, quality is more important than quantity.  

4. Keyword Stuffing

There was a time when webmasters and bloggers did nothing but to stuff their articles with keywords. At that time, Google was young and the search algorithm has dependency on the keyword count of a web page. 

Now, keyword stuffing is going to hurt your SEO efforts. Keyword stuffing adds no value to the reader—most of the time, they are placed in the article and they are not natural.

There is no proof as to ideal keyword percentage on your page. Some say 3% and some say 4%. The only thing that should matter to you is that if the keyword does not belong naturally, take it off your blog post.

5. Poor Website Speed

About 40% of your site visitors leave if your website does not load in three to five seconds. Page load speed is a component of SEO that many people overlook.

Many people do not fix their site load speed because they do not know-how. The good news is that there are many tools now that can guide you on how to optimize your site.

You can use Google Analytics to tell you what is wrong with your page, or you can use tools like GMetrix to determine what is wrong with your page speed.  

6. Absence of Internal Links

Google loves to crawl, and it can create connections in its index if you let it do its job. The problem is, it cannot make out what your website is about, or what contents are connected to each other if you do not do interlinking. 

Internal links refer to links from one of your pages to the others. It is important for SEO because it helps search engines create a picture of what your website is about. 

But beware, too much internal linking can also be viewed as spamming. You should only use anchor texts and internal links where they matter—these links should tell your site visitor that you have more value to offer.  

7. Incorrect Keyword Use

Keywords are only effective if used in the right context. You should not stuff your blog page with keywords, but your post should be able to tell search engines what your blog post is about. 

Here are the best places to put keywords:

  • Title
  • First paragraph
  • One sub-heading
  • Summary

This, of course, is no guarantee that the post will rank. It is merely a basic expectation which tells Google what your page is about. 

8. Absence of Backlinks

Earlier, we talked about paying for backlinks. Backlinks are necessary and they work, provided that you did not pay for them (or at least appear as if you didn’t pay for them). 

Building backlinks is a slow and tiresome process. In the end, it is going to pay off. What you need to do is to reach out to bloggers, and then submit guest posts. In your guest post, you can put a link back to your website. 

When guest posting, make sure you only submit articles to top websites. One backlink from one high-ranking authority website is worth 1 million backlinks from low-ranking sites.  

9. Not Making Your Website Crawlable

While this is obvious, you will be surprised that this is one of the most common search engine optimization mistakes. Some webmasters either accidentally make their websites not crawlable, or the website builder platform had it defaulted this way. Check your website settings and make sure you are not blocking search engine robots from crawling your site. 

10. Bad Meta-Description

The meta-description is the snippet of code that appears in Google search. The mistake you should avoid is leaving this area blank. You should use this area to show readers and Google what the page is about. You should also insert your main keyword here so the search engines can index your page accordingly. 

The meta-description is something that many bloggers forget. In many cases though, they have no access to change the content. If this is the issue, just download a plug-in like Yoast or Rank Math. Both of these tools allow you to enter snippets of text not only in the meta-description—you could also change the title tag and the URL.  


The only way you can get organic traffic is through Google (Bing & Yahoo to a lesser extent). Even if you combine searches on Bing and other search engines, nothing beats the sheer size of traffic that you can get from Google.

To get traffic, you must avoid the ten search engine optimization mistakes that we discussed. It does not matter how long it takes you—just make sure you fix them. 

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John Kilmerstone

I'm an Aussie living in Japan who enjoys traveling, photography, and blogging. Please visit this website and explore the wonderful world of blogging. Discover how to turn your passions and pastimes into an online business.

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