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The Three Biggest SEO Mistakes That Cripple Organic Traffic

While there are plenty of things I see that aren’t “correct,” this list is about SEO mistakes I see made commonly and at a huge cost to many companies. With the right SEO help, these are all avoidable.

Not Doing SEO When Redesigning Their Website

I’ll start with the biggest one first. I chose this as the “worst” mistake for three reasons:

  • It’s super common; brands of all sizes make this mistake
  • It goes uncaught more than any other issue
  • It’s extremely expensive to fix

Our company has built dozens of websites and done SEO for even more. We know that website redesigns are more than just a new “look and feel.” These projects mean updating significant parts of the website, including the content, navigation, sitemaps, titles, and much more. All of these changes fundamentally impact search engine optimization.

Hiring an SEO agency — or a website design agency that has a strong understanding of technical SEO — is an absolute must when redesigning your website. A good SEO team will not only provide crucial steps and planning for how to avoid a drop in traffic when the new website launches, but they’ll also give key insights on how to maximize organic growth with the new website even before it’s finished.

When designing and launching a new website, we think of SEO at every step. We create sitemaps, ensure pages load quickly, optimize content, and ensure there is a technical SEO game plan before the launch. Approaching your website redesign with SEO in mind helps you keep and even gain more organic traffic.

Optimizing the Wrong Content

The brands winning the page-one rankings battle over and over again aren’t the ones who just insert the most keywords into a given piece of content or build the most links. They’re the ones who write each piece of content to meet their audience’s needs while also being understandable to search engines.

Knowing what to write is 80% of the battle for getting more organic traffic. Every keyword has a specific “angle” the search engine is looking for when it ranks potential content. If your content doesn’t align with these requirements, the chances of ranking are virtually none.  Too many companies focus on content output, incorrectly believing that the more they write, the more traffic they will naturally get. The fact is that without the right strategy and without concrete knowledge of what to write, many companies are just spinning their wheels.

Not Having a Content Marketing Funnel

Unless you’re a publisher selling advertising inventory, getting more eyeballs to your website is virtually meaningless if that traffic doesn’t convert to a lead or a sale. Most brands learn this the hard way after investing resources in SEO and seeing an increase in clicks and impressions with no business growth following.

Because many people use Google to start their buying journey, they may not be ready to move toward a conversion on their first visit to your website. If you’re writing content with the goal of targeted brand awareness, there must be a strategic funnel for these users to enter once they reach your website. Companies should have bite-size opportunities for users to engage with them instead of just hoping for the purchase to be made or the form to be filled out. Things like newsletter signups, lead magnets, coupons, webinars, giveaways, quizzes, downloadable resources, etc. are all perfect low-friction opportunities to get users into your funnel.

The key in SEO is having lead pieces that work for specific topics, not just one-size-fits-all lead magnets or resources. An article about painting a kitchen should have a coupon for paint brushes and supplies or a lead magnet about how to choose the right colors. This approach will lead to more leads and eventually, more sales.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of issues or mistakes, but these three are the most common ones we see, and they’re also the most costly to fix. If you’re struggling with an SEO content strategy, not seeing the increased keyword rankings, or are interested in a website redesign and want an agency that can handle both the design and optimization, please contact us for a free consultation meeting.

Picture of Austin Cline

Austin Cline

Austin Cline is the founder and principal at He is actively involved in the SEO community and frequently writes about the intersection of great content marketing and search engine optimization. You can connect with him on his LinkedIn and sign up to get his posts to your email by joining our email newsletter.

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