What's the best way to prepare the health and success of your business in the long-term? How do you keep a steady (and growing) flow of new customers to your business without continuing to spend money on advertising or social media? Through the power of organic search!

Getting listed in one of the top spots on Google proves the success of your business. How do you get there? Through investing in a solid, strategic search engine optimization campaign.

Although it's easy to get started with SEO, be careful: it's also easy to make these five SEO mistakes and sabotage your site's chances of nailing down a high ranking.

1. Ignoring your on-site SEO

One of the most fundamental and detrimental SEO mistakes is failing to optimize each page on your website for target keywords. Businesses frequently use company blogs for content marketing, which is an excellent idea, as long as your writing team knows what they're doing.

Sure, you're taking the time to do your keyword research and run each post through a number of checks, and that's an excellent start. But have you created separate, targeted meta descriptions for each category page? Have you run your site through a crawler to check broken links and updated your .htaccess file accordingly? If not, you're wasting time, energy, and money.

Think of each page on your website as your child. Take care of it and raise it accordingly. You must do your best to make sure it can stand independently and contribute value, even if the rest of your website disappears.

2. Over-optimizing inbound anchor text

Link-building is a critical component of SEO, but there are far too many businesses who fail to do it correctly. Some even use outdated techniques like private blog networks to try to boost their rankings, only to be penalized by search engines.

Remember that search engines are all about user experience. They want to show the most relevant, engaging, useful content on the internet. Also remember that most people don't really know how the internet works. Over the course of day-to-day sharing, how frequently do you think the average grandmother is going to link to a blog post with anchor text that happens to match the keywords the page is trying to rank for?

When you're building links, make sure they're either branded or naked URLs under nearly all circumstances. If not, you're going to see your ranking drop.

3. Repeating keywords

It's always an excellent idea to target a specific niche, but try to avoid repeating the same keyword across multiple pages of your website. If you do, you'll be forcing search engines to debate which of your pages they would like to rank.

Remember how each page of your site needs to stand on its own? Likewise, think of keyword rankings as a small, crowded platform. If you try to rank multiple pages for the same keyword, you are ultimately going to force them to push each other further down search results pages.

Likewise, avoid duplicate content across multiple pages of your site. If you have the same product listed across multiple categories of your shop, for example, use 301 redirects to forward all traffic (and link juice) from the poorest-performing content to the highest.

4. Keyword stuffing

When I think about SEO mistakes fixes, one of the first SEO problems that comes to mind is the keyword stuffing SEO mistake.

Do not, under any circumstances, sacrifice good, valuable content for the sake of working in a related or trending keyword or bumping up your keyword density. Remember that SEO is a means to an end, not the end itself. In addition to getting your website penalized, keyword stuffing also makes it completely unusable to your customer. Even if you could rank in first place on Google with keyword stuffing, why would you want to do so if your copy is so butchered that nobody will purchase from you?

5. Choosing the wrong keywords

Finally, your search engine marketing efforts will be crippled by competing for the wrong keywords. Like keyword stuffing, ranking for irrelevant keywords won't get you any customers or sales, so make sure you're choosing to make content relevant to your niche.

Likewise, ranking for low-traffic keywords is largely a waste of time unless they are in an under-served niche with high conversion rates. Remember that good SEO is based on a solid foundation of high-traffic keywords with low (or weak) competition.

Although these SEO mistakes are sure to hurt your site's chances of ranking on search engines, they can be fixed and avoided in the future. Through careful planning and consistent monitoring, you can reap all the benefits of a solid web presence and avoid all the pitfalls.

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