We recently spoke about the changes that come about in search rankings given the number of updates Google and other search engines consistently make. These changes make the task of SEO even more challenging and many content marketers fall ‘prey’ to common SEO pitfalls. Optimizing the company’s website and other sites for search engines is one of the prime responsibilities of a business / company / individual, in order to attract a higher number of visitors to the online ‘presence’. Incorporating SEO is possibly the best way to gain higher footfalls, which in turn enhances the possibility of increased buying and customer engagement. If you are new to the realm of SEO, sometimes even experienced content marketers err, you could cause more harm than good if you do apply incorrect search strategies.

The first step to maintaining SEO for a website well is to know the possible pitfalls / common mistakes, such they can be avoided or at least recognized when they do happen.

 Over use of keywords is a very real problem – it can actually be quite annoying and make the website appear unappealing and repetitive. Using certain keywords too often and across several contents can make all the content appear staid and monotonous. Traffic would fall over time, as people do not find anything read worthy, exciting, useful, or engaging on the website.

 Everyone seems to chant that content is king and yet even a cursory read of some websites is enough to know that quality has been compromised for quality. Top quality content arrests the attention of readers, and keeps them coming back for more, while poor and shoddy content will have the opposite reaction.

 Search engines use the website URL to ‘find’ the appropriate sites for certain keywords. To enhance the recognition of your site, it is advisable to use the top keyword in the URL of your website.

Another serious pitfall is content duplication – something, which many content marketers and companies are ‘guilty’ of and leads to lowered rankings of the site / page. In an overcrowded ‘virtual’ world, this can be highly detrimental for a business and efforts must be made to rectify this error immediately.

 If there are links in your company’s website, make sure they are constantly monitored to ensure that they work well. Broken or disconnected links can drastically reduce traffic to your website and significantly, lower the ranking of the website on SERPs.

Despite the damage these oversights cause, it is surprising to see the number of sites that continue to ‘function’ oblivious of the effect they have. The good news is that these pitfalls are easily avoidable – it just takes time, practice, training, and consistent effort. Following SEO guidelines is necessary – after all, they are there for a reason. The focus must remain on providing value, information, and engaging content to the readers. When websites are created keeping the end-users in mind, search engines ‘reward’ a company with high rankings, increased traffic, and enhanced opportunities to garner interest and business.

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