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10 Most Common Content SEO Mistakes From Industry Experts

Lizzie Midgley-Peters - June 18, 2024

Here at Dandy, we see (and fix) a lot of common SEO mistakes in website content, but we like to stay in touch with what other professional content marketers and SEOs have to say, too. 

So, we put our feelers out into a pool of professionals in the content marketing and SEO industry for their direct input. From these 75 survey responses, we have gleaned some incredible insights directly from experts in the world of SEO right now. 

Most common mistakes made in website content according to the pros

10 most common content seo mistakes from industry experts 1

Responses from 75 content marketing experts

Let’s start with some of the key statistics taken from the 75 industry respondents in this firsthand research, before we dive into more detail on 10 of the most common content marketing mistakes in 2024.

When asked about the most common content and SEO mistakes they see in website copy:

  • 36% of industry experts stated that lack of value-adding content as one of the most common mistakes made in website content
  • 24% of industry experts listed poor UX as one of the most common content mistakes made on websites
  • 21% of industry experts listed a lack of data analytics and tool utilisation as one of the most common mistakes made in website content
  • 19% of industry experts named misuse of or lack of headings and header tags as a common mistake made in website content
  • 15% of industry experts listed problems with internal or external linking as one of the biggest content marketing mistakes made on websites
  • 8% of industry experts stated that content missing the point, or not getting to the point quick enough with their content, was a key mistake made in SEO website content

10 most common website content mistakes from SEO industry professionals

While these are just some of the top mistakes listed that can harm your SEO and  content marketing efforts, our respondents also went into more detail on the common mistakes they see. 

In the sections below we’ve put together the top quotes, insights, and tips to add to your business SEO action plan this year.

Mistake 1: Missing the point

One of the most common mistakes made in web content is failing to address the user’s query directly.  This happens when content creators bury the main answer beneath irrelevant information, causing frustration and poor user experience. 

Instead of answering the question upfront, they provide unnecessary background details, which can deter users and negatively impact SEO performance.

A successful content marketing strategy should cover the pain points that your users are searching for, and great content writing should get to that point as soon as possible.

Insights from survey

SEO Consultant Phillip Stemann gives us a clear illustration of this, stating:

“Let me give an example. Let’s say you’re writing a piece of content targeting the question: How much does a 200 m2 house cost in Illinois?

Instead of getting to the point and answering the question with an estimate, then people tend to write first: What is a house? What should you be aware of when buying a house? The best area to buy a house in Illinois. And so on, you get the point.

In the intro, you should write: A 200 m2 house in Illinois cost between X and X. What I see is businesses scared people will just take that answer and leave the page, when, if they do, that’s fine. It’s a good sign for Google. But letting people spend time looking for the answer is a big no-no. 

This is a combination of bad UX and poor content quality, and both affect your website’s performance dearly. You need to deliver the answer as fast as possible.”

Mistake 2: Vague headlines & misused header tags

Headlines and header tags are crucial for both SEO and user experience. However, many websites use vague headlines that don’t clearly convey the site’s purpose, or misuse header tags for design purposes rather than informative content about your products or services.

This confuses both users and search engines, reducing the effectiveness of the content.

Insights from survey

Ashley R. Cummings, Freelance Writer and Owner of Content Connect, an online community of over 125,000 content marketers, states:

“I can’t tell you how many times I come across a home page and have no idea what the SaaS company does. I often have to click around several pages to figure out what they do. I can’t imagine how many conversions they are losing out on.

The fix? Start with the headline. The headline is the first thing a potential client sees and it should communicate exactly what they do. In 5-8 words, you can address the persona, add benefits, address problems, add a feature, and say what they do. It takes a talented copywriter.”

Additionally, Michael Sandford, Marketing Director at Big Whistle and Account Director at The SEO Works, had this to say on the misuse of header tags:

“It’s very common to see websites misuse header tags (H1, H2, and H3). Many sites use these tags for generic marketing slogans which do not reveal anything specific about a company’s products or services, which is what search engines like Google – and real-life customers – really want.

Examples I have recently seen include things like ‘we connect the dots’ or ‘driving performance and innovation.’ These tags would provide much more value to search engines, and more clarity to users, if they included keywords that describe the purpose of the site. 

For example, ‘we connect the dots between ecommerce and analytics’ or ‘accounting software that drives performance and innovation’.”

Mistake 3: Lack of unique insights & value-add in blog posts 

Simply put, generic and fluff-filled content no longer cuts it. 

Blog posts need to offer unique insights, expert quotes, original data, and authoritative references to stand out. Without these elements, content fails to meet the high standards set by search engines and loses its potential to attract and engage readers.

Insights from survey

Industry expert Michael Sandford also went on to say this:

“Gone are the days when you could get traffic to a blog post just by including the right keywords and padding them out with fluffy, generic copy. As SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) get ever more competitive, Google’s standards for content quality have steadily increased.

Your blog posts need to contain unique insights, backed up with expert quotes, with unique data, with citations and references from authoritative sources, and with evidence of the author’s professional credentials. 

These are all key ingredients for creating the EEAT content (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) that Google demands.”

Mistake 4: Inconsistency in SEO efforts

SEO is not a one-time task but an ongoing process that requires continuous attention and adjustment. Many businesses make the mistake of treating SEO as a one-time activity, leading to outdated practices and declining search rankings. 

Regularly updating old blog content and optimising web pages is essential to keep up with evolving search engine algorithms.

Insights from survey

Paige Arnof-Fenn, CEO and VP in the marketing industry who founded global branding and digital marketing firm Mavens & Moguls 22 years ago, states:

“A big mistake is to assume that SEO is a one-time activity: to set it and forget it. Search engines are constantly evolving, updating their algorithms and keywords, so SEO needs to be an ongoing commitment for content to stay on top. 

Search engines will continue to find and serve up websites that contain the best content and information to meet its users’ needs, so make it an ongoing priority.”

Mistake 5: Poor UX

User experience (UX) is a critical factor in retaining website visitors, yet many businesses overlook it. Poor UX, especially on mobile devices, can drive users away due to slow load times, complicated navigation, or non-responsive design. 

Ensuring a seamless and mobile-friendly experience is vital for both user satisfaction and search engine rankings.

Insights from survey

Paige Arnof-Fenn goes on to state: 

“Another common mistake is not ensuring the UX on your site is mobile friendly. The world is moving to mobile first or mobile only with fewer people accessing the web on big screens, so everyone is tailoring their site, message and content accordingly to improve search rankings.”

Diana Zheng, Head of Marketing at Stallion Express, builds on this common problem with UX in web copy:

“One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is not remembering UX. Your website may have excellent copy, but if it’s buried under heavy-handed navigation or slow load times, you’ll lose a lot of potential customers before you can say “checkout.” 

Remember that users want information quickly and easily, so focus on a smooth browsing experience.”

Mistake 6: No internal links

Internal linking is a powerful SEO tool that many websites fail to utilise effectively. Without internal links, users might miss out on additional relevant content, and search engines can’t easily understand the structure and importance of various pages. 

Incorporating strategic internal links can enhance user navigation and boost overall site performance.

Insights from survey

Brandon Hoe, Founder & Chief Growth Engineer at Elevating Cyber, responded to our survey stating: 

“One of the most common mistakes I see companies making is not including internal links on their content that helps direct the reader to additional, relevant content, and also not doing enough to promote their content.

One helpful strategy I encourage clients to pursue is to make sure that their content generation plans include bite-sized assets (social posts, infographics, maybe even a short video) that summarises the longer form content or parts of it.

That way, they can be used as part of a more comprehensive and deliberate distribution and promotion effort.”

Mistake 7: Neglecting data driven optimization

Guesswork over data-driven insights often leads to poorly performing content. Businesses can overlook the importance of using analytics for keyword research, auditing and improving performance. Leveraging data tools helps create content that ranks well, meets audience needs, and drives conversions.

Insights from survey

Founder and CEO of Cleartail Marketing, Magee Clegg, states:

“Early on [working with clients] it became apparent that many businesses produce content based on assumptions rather than leveraging analytics for content creation and refinement. This approach often results in content that doesn’t perform well with search engines or meet the audience’s needs.

By incorporating tools and techniques for keyword analysis, competitor content benchmarking, and performance tracking, we’ve been able to craft content that not only ranks higher in search results but also captivates and converts the target audience more effectively.”

Industry professional Will Yang, Head of Growth and Marketing at Instrumentl, backed this up, stating:

“Another issue is ignoring analytics and insights. In the era of data-driven decision-making, glossing over analytic data is a big mistake. 

Ignoring analytics can result in missed opportunities and risks underutilization of your content marketing strategy. Analytics tools offer a wealth of data that can guide your content creation and optimization strategies.”

Mistake 8: No local SEO

Ignoring local SEO can result in missed opportunities to connect with a local audience. Many businesses fail to integrate customer reviews and local events into their content, which can enhance local search rankings and help build trust with your local audience. Emphasising local SEO strategies helps attract and retain nearby customers.

Insights from survey

Ken Fortney, SEO expert and That Local Pack agency founder, highlighted the importance of local SEO in his response to our survey question:

“Another common error is overlooking the importance of reviews and local community engagement in content. Many businesses undervalue how integrating customer reviews and local events into their content can dramatically enhance local SEO and authenticity.”

Mistake 9: Spelling mistakes & grammatical errors

Errors in spelling and grammar can significantly undermine how much users trust your website. Such mistakes not only make the content appear unprofessional but also detract from the brand’s authority, potentially losing you traffic and future leads.

Insights from survey

Kartik Ahuja, Founder & CEO at GrowthScribe stated:

“One mistake that often catches my attention while checking website content is a considerable amount of editing and proofreading errors. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors can weaken the credibility of the content, and also make the brand look less professional.

Companies should pay special attention to proofreading their content before making it public and avoid overutilization of keywords or even promotional backlinks. 

One needs to remember that more is not always good. Keeping your content subtle and striking a balance between being persuasive and spreading knowledge is essential in making good, even great content.”

Mistake 10: One-size-fits-all

A one-size-fits-all approach to content marketing fails to address the diverse needs and preferences of different audiences. Effective content marketing has to target specific audiences with a diverse content strategy, yet businesses often overlook this. Tailoring content to these specific audience segments can enhance engagement and conversion rates.

Insights from survey

CEO at WebSpero, Rahul Vij, highlights why one-size-fits-all is a big mistake in content marketing in his response:

“I have a personal grudge with this one. Because no two people are the same, why are we hoping one marketing strategy will work on all of them? It’s so easy to correct yet some just skip over it. Personalization is the key to marketing success these days.”

Closing thoughts

Understanding and avoiding these SEO and content mistakes can significantly improve your website’s performance and user engagement.

At Dandy, we know the common SEO mistakes to avoid, and our SEO packages include comprehensive content marketing strategies designed to address these issues and enhance your online presence. 

To ensure your website is optimised, take advantage of our free SEO website audit. Let our dedicated content and SEO teams help you maximise your website’s potential and drive better results for your business.

Common content marketing mistakes that harm SEO FAQs

What is bad content marketing?

Bad content marketing fails to engage the target audience, lacks valuable information, and does not align with the brand’s goals. It often neglects search engine optimization (SEO) principles, resulting in low organic traffic and poor performance, which can be identified in Google Search Console.

What are the common mistakes that marketers make?

Common mistakes include neglecting SEO, producing generic content without unique insights, and failing to understand the audience’s needs. Other errors involve inconsistent marketing efforts across channels and ignoring data-driven optimization techniques.

What mistakes to look for while creating content?

When creating content, avoid vague headlines, misused header tags, and poor user experience on mobile devices. Ensure the content is free from spelling and grammatical errors, includes internal links, and is tailored to specific audience segments to enhance digital marketing effectiveness.