Common SEO Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

The Biggest SEO Mistakes: SEO What Not to Do for Beginners

✅SEO-friendly, ✅intuitive, and ✅search-focused — these are the core criteria for a successful website. 🚩Сheck common mistakes, including on-page SEO issues, and how to avoid them.

Among the top 10 SEO mistakes, you can easily find something like overlooking Google algorithm updates or forgetting about image and mobile optimization. In practice, hundreds of things can go wrong if you don’t pay enough attention to them — that’s how ten common mistakes easily transform into twenty, thirty, and more.

To present and stop this avalanche mechanism, you have to dive deeper into what widespread problems are, their roots, and how to fix SEO issues on time. Let’s boost your theoretical understanding of the case and spice it with efficient solutions. 

The 5 Most Common SEO Mistakes

When maintaining your site’s performance, you don’t purely stick to its metrics. And when you embrace a holistic SEO approach, you are not just working on your platform's technical and content facets. Although the major common SEO issues show a lack of technical knowledge, fixing methods are traditionally related to how to craft an exceptional user experience.

#1 Skipping Keyword Research

People don’t quite understand why keywords are important and treat them as stylistically and grammatically incorrect notions. In practice, this type of SEO issue makes Google think you don’t understand your audience and its needs. How can interested parties find your services or products without keyword matching with their search queries? With professional keyword research tools, you can prevent such mistakes in the future. According to numerous pieces of research, 90% of pages don’t receive organic traffic from Google, and keyword research will help you gain a competitive advantage.

At the same time, SEO does not work if you opt for the wrong keywords. One of the greatest SEO problems is using so-called “general keywords.” These are typical short-tail word combinations that first come to mind — car rental, cheap products, chef recipes, etc. Your task is checking the SEO problems, researching, and defining keyword stuffing (an attempt to manipulate a site's ranking by overloading a webpage with keywords). That will emphasize your brand identity and reduce your competition for target keywords. Otherwise, contrary to more popular automobile rental companies, cooking classes, and other theme-relevant websites, you will be forgotten and unnoticed.

#2 Ignoring Search Intent

Defining correct keywords solely on their volume or difficulty doesn’t necessarily help you build an impressive keyword list for your site. One common SEO problem is underestimating what messages are hidden in search queries.

To better meet your audience's expectations for your products or services, you must understand the following:

  • Don’t forget to align your content to the search intents. Blog pages without how-to and sections with FAQs won’t guarantee impressive user engagement.
  • Before fixing SEO issues, identify search intent types. Let’s be more straightforward about its varieties — “car rental near me” for transactional, “best vintage cameras” for commercial, “Twitter contact and login” for navigational, and “keyword research strategies” for informational user intents.
  • If you ignore search intent, you disregard Google’s needs. According to its Search Quality Guidelines, quality raters analyze the overall page quality, including its content purpose, and check whether the target audience’s expectations are met. They determine whether the provided result corresponds with a keyword anchor for a given search.

By carefully estimating your target audience and their needs, you can develop a winning strategy that sets you apart from the competition. Take the time to analyze and understand your audience; success will follow. For instance, you can simply choose a long-tail keyword you find great for your content and see what data comes up in SERPs. By typing in “joga classes,” people usually wonder about local services at low prices, different online opportunities, etc. You can also define the search intent type and coordinate your content accordingly by hints in queries — “benefits,” “instructions,” and “tips” will stand for informational search intent. At the same time, “comparison,” “review,” and “best” will represent a commercial one.

#3 Targeting High Competitive Keywords

As highlighted, biting off more than you can chew is not good. To prevent beginner SEO errors, you have to be more specific, user-oriented, and brand-focused in selecting the right keywords for your site. Instead of choosing “auto rental service,” avoid the high-competitive keyword by adding a geographical description, for example — “auto rental service in Colorado.”

Popular keywords may not work if they don't match your audience's search behavior and decision-making. While it may seem helpful to focus on popular terms, they might sufficiently influence ranking difficulties.


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#4 Not Having Enough Quality Backlinks

Introducing external links can be a great tactic. It helps you gain more organic traffic by connecting with other popular domains. However, if you choose to ignore harmful backlinks, they may harm your SEO efforts. If you are unsure what poor-quality backlinks are and how they may harm your blog, it is best to decrease their number.

Black hat link-building strategies won’t contribute to the health of your platform. Google will penalize you with bad ratings in SERPs and a lack of online visibility. Do yourself a favor — avoid mistakes of this kind by preferring white-hat SEO and sticking to Google’s guidelines. With backlinks analysis tools, you will quickly create an authoritative and reputable backlink volume.

#5 Failing to Keep People on the Site

If your bounce rate is high, it signifies your platform is prone to numerous technical SEO issues. In this case, the first step is to check your platform and see what SEO mistakes await your troubleshooting. Here are some ideas to guide your search for errors:

  • From an SEO perspective, low-quality content is one of the primary blog mistakes to take care of. Feel free to include captivating prompts to attract potential customers. These prompts can encourage them to explore your blog for additional information or subscribe to receive special loyalty rewards. Besides, it is essential to adapt your content to the level of expertise and knowledge. If most readers you have are teenagers, including too complicated and university-level text copies will be wrong.
  • Misleading descriptions and metadata are among the underestimated technical SEO issues. A huge bounce is guaranteed if you state that your page is about cooking, but you talk about casino bonuses instead. Poor targeting will decrease clicks, sales, and, respectively, return on investment.
  • Slow page loading will be your worst enemy. If your content takes more than a few seconds to download, you drastically increase the probability of a bounce. You can check how successful your platform is now with the help of PageSpeed Insights.
  • Another reason is that your website isn’t mobile-optimized — the wrong choice of typeface and size for mobile screen displays, large popping-up windows, etc.

By engaging with your customers on social media and tidying up your web design, you can drastically improve your chances of being liked by visitors and make them stay longer:

  • Enrich your content with optimized images, videos, infographics, and animations. 
  • Bulleted lists and suitable font sizes will guarantee the readability of your content.
  • Along with keeping your content precise, efficient, and tailored to end-user search intent, it is important to showcase your products in a versatile and customizable manner. 

How Do You Prevent Most SEO Mistakes?

The secret is simple — the sooner you discover any SEO problems on your website, the less damage they will cause. Neglecting monitoring and analyzing your site’s efficiency, including how your marketing campaigns work, will only increase your operational expenses. SEO issues will only accumulate and drive your position in SERPs to rock bottom.

Here are some of the best metrics to track — their perfect balance can simplify your path to understanding how to get your site ranked better and prevent mistakes in the long run:

✅ conversion rate;

✅ click-through rate;

✅ page speed;

✅ backlinks;

✅ organic traffic;

✅ bounce rate;

✅ keyword quality and ranking.

You can choose from many free and subscription-based tools to locate and fix common SEO errors immediately. Aside from popular monitoring instruments like Google Search Console and Google Analytics (GA4), you can use more specialized and SEO-focused platforms.


Although this guide doesn’t include a complete list of common mistakes people make with SEO, knowing the highlighted issues and solutions will be enough to get started. By eliminating these problems, you can skyrocket your online visibility, user engagement, position in SERPs, and ROI. 

Despite the many SEO mistakes, it won’t be wise to waste your resources on everything at once. Let your search engine optimization strategy nail it with more precise troubleshooting and content and promotion management tactics.

author photo
Ekaterina Hordiienko

Blog Editor

With the help of search analytics data and other sources, I conduct SEO research and analyze different lines of business. My content is derived from extensive data for SEO specialists and digital marketers. My past years have been filled with specialized courses in SEO, programming basics, and digital marketing. Throughout my career, I have also spoken at various conferences.