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You can compare bad SEO content practices to cockroaches that infest a house. Why?
They just won’t die! They’re also hard to find and easy to miss, plus, they’re indicators of dirty tactics.
Despite Google’s algorithm updates that ban or ignore websites that try to ‘hack’ their ways to the first page with poor content, bad and outdated SEO content tactics still proliferate. They continue to haunt web pages, search rankings, traffic and conversions.
What are some common SEO mistakes in digital content production? Take a look at 10 of the most outdated ones and learn how you can banish them from your marketing strategy for good.
Common SEO Mistakes in Digital Content Production
1. Targeting Wrong Keywords
We all know keywords play a vital role in SEO as they bring valuable traffic to your site. However, using the wrong keywords in your campaign is one of the most common SEO mistakes in digital content production.
When selecting keywords, remember that search engines and users prefer long-tail keywords. Generic keywords may appear safe, but they can negate your efforts by attracting a broader audience. You want to target people who will actually find your content valuable.
For example, ‘home cleaning’ is a generic keyword that may refer to products, services, or tips related to cleaning the home. But when you make it a long-tailed keyword such as ‘professional home cleaning services in Melbourne,’ it gives your audience a more accurate idea of what you’re offering.
2. Keyword Stuffing
Writing for bots rather than for people is one of the most outdated SEO content tactics. That’s why it’s essential to avoid keyword stuffing as much as possible.
Google considers keyword stuffing as spammy. The search engine even uses Latent Semantic Indexing or LSI to recognise the content of a page without the need for writers to stuff the text with keywords.
Yes, keywords are essential but mentioning the exact same ones in every paragraph, headline, subheading and anchor text will just make the content unnatural and useless for its target audience.
Instead, focus on content that’s useful and relevant without resorting to keyword stuffing. You can do this by including synonyms or variations of your primary keywords to help diversify keyword density and improve the readability of your content. Remember, at the end of the day, people visit websites for the quality of the content. Once they find it overstuffed with keywords, they’ll be quick to leave and Google won’t hesitate to penalise your site.
3. Using One Keyword without Variations
In the old days of SEO, it was common to see one keyword targeted per page. Any variations of that keyword were either spread out over multiple pieces of content or ultimately ignored.
For example, take the keyword ‘how to make a cappuccino.’ In the past, its keyword variations would have been targeted in separate pages. Today, it’s one of the common SEO mistakes in digital content production.
Separating related keywords neglects the importance of semantic search, which looks at a page’s topic (instead of the number of keywords repeated) to determine its relevancy to a search query. Search engines like Google determine a page’s topic through the primary keyword, keyword variations, synonyms and related terms all appearing in the page.
If you want to include great keyword variations in your content, there’s a quick and easy method:
- Go to Google
- Type in a keyword
- At the bottom of the search results page, you’ll find additional related keywords you can include in your content.
4. Foregoing Duplicate Content
As soon as marketers realised that duplicate content stuffed with keywords stopped ranking, they had to quickly look for alternatives. Thus another one of the SEO mistakes in digital content production was born: rewriting and paraphrasing content. This practice even allowed SEO writers to steal content from competitors without dealing with copyright infringement issues.
To ensure you deliver truly unique pages, invest in plagiarism and duplicate checkers that can easily detect slight alterations and synonyms. Even better, hire an on-page SEO services provider with an experienced team of writers who craft engaging, original content.
5. Expecting Miracle Traffic from Short Blogs
When you ask an SEO expert what are some common SEO mistakes in digital content production, for sure they’ll say this: short content.
People who still think that blog posts and articles under 1,000 words still perform well in search are living in the past. Statistically and historically speaking, high-quality long-form content easily wins over thin, underdeveloped and shallow content. Hands down!
As proof, Buzzsumo analysed over 100 million articles and found that the most-shared posts were long-form (to be specific, articles with more than 3,000 words). If you want to rank on Google, it’s best to write longer posts that dive deep into your chosen topic. With longer and more thorough content, you’ll comprehensively answer the questions of users, which is ultimately what Google prioritises.
6. Content Quantity over Quality
In relation to point number 5, just because you have a blog post with over 5,000 words doesn’t mean it’s going to instantly rank. That’s another common mistake in producing SEO digital content. Alongside content consistency, the quality of your blogs matters too.
In fact, Google has search quality raters that help determine the overall quality of a page from a user standpoint. Google then uses the data to improve its search algorithm’s function.
That’s why quantity and quality need to work together to achieve the best results. Find the balance between publishing high-quality long-form content on a consistent basis. Even posting a long-form article twice or three times a week, with the highest quality possible, is better than churning out multiple blog posts per day without substance.
7. Missing Quality Links
Internal and external links in your content are essential in SEO, but some people think that the quantity of external links in the content is more important than their quality. This is one of the outdated SEO content tactics you should avoid.
It’s still better to link to authoritative and high-ranking sites. Google will consider your site informative and relevant if you provide users with links to high-quality, related content. Linking to as many random, low-quality sites as you can find will just push you down the search results.
Apart from external links, you also want to ensure your internal links are pointing to relevant on-site content. Avoid stuffing internal links that don’t provide value to your users. Google will consider the content as spammy and it will also diminish the user experience of your visitors.
8. Erratic Posting of Content
Another common SEO mistake in digital content production is thinking one blog every now and then will do. This type of posting content erratically doesn’t help you win over search engines one bit.
You won’t be:
- Providing search engines with fresh content
- Giving your website more opportunities to rank with more targeted keywords and indexed pages
- Building your authority steadily with users
If you want more organic traffic from Google, regular posting of content is a must. A benchmark study from Hubspot illustrated that those who blogged consistently and regularly earned the highest traffic and the most leads. If you want the same for your campaign, set a regular blogging schedule and stick to it. Post high-quality content consistently to build up your content cache.
9. Exact Match Anchor Text
At one point, anchor text was a huge factor in ranking. For instance, if you wanted to rank for “handmade bags in Melbourne,” you would have tried to acquire as many links as you could using the keyword as the anchor text.
Digital marketers abused this tactic but now it’s become one of the common SEO mistakes in digital content production. This is because Google put a stop to it and dropped the rankings of websites with unnatural amounts exact match anchor text back links.
Today, you can use partial match anchor texts in your content for the keywords you’re targeting. They contribute more to your page’s rankings because they’re a more natural and a better representation of how users actually search online.
10. Skipping Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Optimising your page’s content doesn’t end at including target keywords in your articles or web copy. Title tags and meta descriptions are just as essential and should not be forgotten. They’re optimising factors considered by Google when crawling your website. If you neglect them, it would be easy to lag behind your ranking and traffic.
Additionally, don’t forget about including image tags. The alt tags of the images and other visuals you include in your content add to your ranking as search bots can read them and consider the information when indexing your pages.
Content is an essential part of any SEO strategy and to be successful, you should never dismiss the outdated SEO content tactics you should leave behind. The next time you find yourself asking what are some of the most common SEO mistakes in digital content production, just go back to this article for your reference.
Lastly, remember that success in SEO doesn’t happen overnight, even with high-quality content. You need to stay updated with the latest trends in SEO and recognise errors before you make them. Hopefully, with the list above, you’ll be able to avoid the common mistakes and work on creating a successful and effective digital marketing campaign.