11 Common Mistakes SEO Consultants Make


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11 Common Mistakes SEO Consultants Make

To help you identify and avoid common SEO pitfalls, we asked 11 industry experts, including SEO consultants, founders, and CEOs, to share their insights. From balancing SEO tools with expertise to optimizing for voice search queries, discover the top mistakes and solutions these professionals recommend for a successful SEO strategy.

  • Balance SEO Tools with Expertise
  • Focus on Content Quality, Not Density
  • Avoid Vanity Keywords, Target Strategically
  • Involve Clients, Communicate Regularly
  • Address Customer Concerns in Content
  • Prioritize User Experience Over Optimization
  • Optimize for Local Search Results
  • Build a Strong SEO Foundation
  • Verify and Update Google My Business
  • Avoid Link Purchasing, Use White-Hat Strategies
  • Optimize for Voice Search Queries

Balance SEO Tools With Expertise

While SEO tools are essential for SEO professionals, relying too heavily on them can be a mistake.

A balanced approach that combines the use of tools with human expertise, creativity, and critical thinking is essential for effective SEO. Here’s why:

SEO tools lack context:

Sometimes there are reasons outside of SEO that a website contains certain features. Tools will flag things as an issue when they are not.

An example would be low text/html ratios, 404s, and certain redirects. An SEO working on a website will understand the WHY behind these things; tools won’t.

SEO tools provide a limited perspective:

Using a keyword research tool such as SEMrush or Ahrefs should not be the only part of your keyword research process.

Look at Google Search Console data, Google My Business data, internal site search data. These things need a manual approach and will provide insights SEO tools do not.

Always add extra value only you yourself can provide.

Ben PoultonBen Poulton
SEO Consultant and Founder, Intellar

Focus on Content Quality, Not Density

One typical error made by SEO experts is placing too much emphasis on keyword density and not enough on producing high-quality, user-friendly content. Creating content that satisfies user demands and offers helpful information should take precedence over stressing over how many times a term appears on a page.

The target audience and their search intent may be thoroughly researched to achieve this. Websites may raise their search engine results and increase their organic traffic by producing content that is both educational and pertinent to their audience.

Nicholas AltimoreNicholas Altimore
CEO and Co-founder, SirLinksalot

Avoid Vanity Keywords, Target Strategically

So often, I see SEO consultants trying to get sites to rank for vanity keywords that are actually a distraction from their actual work. I get this. As the owner of a digital marketing company, I often have clients who really want their sites to rank well for certain keywords that are difficult to get and not directly related to their core business. I try to explain to clients why chasing after vanity keywords can be an expensive and foolish proposition. Most of the time, after being presented with the facts (and the significant potential costs), my clients are happy to follow my expert advice and pursue a more targeted strategy.

Temmo KinoshitaTemmo Kinoshita
Co-founder, Lindenwood Marketing

Involve Clients, Communicate Regularly

One common mistake that SEO consultants make is not getting their clients involved. When this happens, it can be difficult for the consultant to convey a unified message and meet customer expectations.

To fix or avoid this issue, they should speak with the client regularly to get feedback on existing strategies and ideas. This will help keep both parties on track while allowing the consultant to develop custom-tailored solutions that best suit their client’s needs.

Further, an organized tracking system helps ensure tasks are correctly completed and progress is made efficiently – which can significantly improve efficiency overall by reducing miscommunications due to confusion over responsibilities or expectations between team members and stakeholders.

Stewart DunlopStewart Dunlop
Founder and Chief Strategist, LinkBuilder.io

Address Customer Concerns in Content

Creating content that addresses common questions and concerns your customers have can help establish your brand as a trusted authority in your industry. Use tools like Semrush and Ahrefs and search for key phrases, “Review Related Searches,” and “People Also Ask” triggers for relevant keywords and create content that is optimized for user experience, which can improve the visibility and relevance of your website while also providing value to your customers. By understanding the search intent behind customer queries, you can create content that is more likely to rank and provide value to your customers.

Ajay PrasadAjay Prasad
President and CEO, GMR Web Team

Prioritize User Experience Over Optimization

Over-optimizing for search engines at the expense of user experience is something that I run into a lot as the CEO of an SEO company. Keyword stuffing, using manipulative link schemes, and creating low-quality content solely for the purpose of ranking higher in search results are all pretty common offenses. While these tactics may lead to short-term gains in search rankings, they often result in a poor user experience and can even lead to penalties or deindexing by search engines. Avoiding this mistake isn’t tricky; you just need to shift your value system a bit. Prioritize optimizing for UX by improving website speed, mobile-friendliness, and site navigation as a priority.

Kate KandeferKate Kandefer
CEO, SEOwind

Optimize for Local Search Results

One common mistake SEO consultants make is forgetting about local searches. Many businesses rely on local customers to drive revenue, and optimizing for local search can be a crucial aspect of their SEO strategy. To avoid this mistake, SEO consultants should ensure that their clients have claimed and verified their Google My Business listing and are regularly updating it with accurate information. They should also optimize their website for local keywords, create location-specific landing pages, and build local citations and backlinks. By prioritizing local search, businesses can improve their visibility in local search results and attract more local customers.

Ryan Flannangan, CEO / Founder, Nuanced Media

Build a Strong SEO Foundation

One mistake that many SEO consultants make is prioritizing short-term results over long-term success. While some tactics may lead to quick improvements in rankings, they are often unsustainable and can even result in penalties. While this is a common mistake, there is a simple solution to avoid it. You build a long-term road-map and patiently follow it.

It’s crucial to focus on building a strong foundation for SEO. This includes creating high-quality content, optimizing your website for speed and user experience, and building links to your site from reputable sources. By doing so, you can establish a website that ranks well in search engines for years to come.

As an SEO consultant, you must have a long-term focus. A good consultant will understand that building a strong foundation for SEO takes time and effort. They’ll be patient and work with the client to develop a sound strategy. SEO is a marathon, not a sprint.

Richard KennedyRichard Kennedy
Managing Director, Arken Digital

Verify and Update Google My Business

One common mistake SEO consultants make is not properly verifying their clients’ Google My Business listing. When the verification process fails, it can lead to a faulty verification code, which can cause problems with the listing’s visibility in local search results. To avoid this mistake, SEO consultants should ensure that the business’s address and phone number are accurate and consistent across all online directories and their websites. They should also make sure that the verification code is being sent to the correct address and that the listing is claimed and verified by the business owner. Regularly checking and updating the Google My Business listing can help ensure that it is visible and accurate and that any issues with the verification process can be promptly addressed.

simon briskSimon Brisk
Director, Click Intelligence Ltd

Avoid Link Purchasing, Use White-Hat Strategies

A common mistake I’ve seen with SEO consultants is purchasing and exchanging links with websites that seem spammy. The reason why this is an issue is that:

– Purchasing links is against Google’s guidelines, and you’re risking a lot. If you get penalized by Google, you’ll have to spend a lot of time and resources to retrieve your rankings and lift the penalty.

– If a website is selling links to you, they’re doing the same for a lot of other websites, including some very sketchy ones. If the websites you’re getting links from get penalized, you’ll lose a lot of your backlinks, which can harm your rankings and your authority.

– The same goes for exchanging.

You can fix this by educating yourself and your team on white-hat link building strategies and focusing on them.

Aleksandra JovicicAleksandra Jovicic
Freelance SEO Specialist, Aleksandra Beka

Optimize for Voice Search Queries

One mistake SEO consultants make is failing to optimize for voice search or conversational search queries. To avoid it, they should first research the latest voice and conversational search trends. It’s crucial to understand how users typically interact with voice assistants such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or Apple Siri and what language and phrasing they use when speaking. When it comes to voice search, natural language and conversational tone in content work way better than technical jargon or formal phrases. SEO consultants should also check if the website content is structured in a way that is easily crawlable by voice search assistants.

Last but not least, using tools such as Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test or PageSpeed Insights can help ensure that the website is optimized for mobile devices and has fast load times, which factors are essential for voice search.

Agata SzczepanekAgata Szczepanek
Community Manager, MyPerfectResume

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