Fatal SEO mistakes in 2023

Oh wonderful, interesting....and sometimes tricky SEO. It's not always easy, but sometimes SEO specialists get in over their heads when it comes to search engine optimization.

It's human to make mistakes, and even specialists who have been working in the field for decades will make mistakes at times. That being said, you should always try to avoid the typical and most catastrophic SEO mistakes. Read on as I try to educate you on the biggest SEO mistakes so you can avoid making them.

This is a test

1. Your website does not have a responsive web design

Have you ever found yourself on a website without responsive web design? The answer is most likely yes - but I'm also sure you quickly left the website again.

If there's one thing we should all have learned over the years, it's that Google prioritizes user experience. Why would the search engine reward a website with top rankings when the majority of users will have a poor experience? The answer is, they won't. So if your website isn't responsive and working, functionally and visually, on mobile or tablet, it should be on your to-do list in 2023.

In 2002, it might have been OK to have a website that wasn't responsive on mobile or tablet. Back then, Britney Spears, Pitbull and Nik and Jay were also some of the biggest names in music - what I'm trying to say is that some things (thankfully) change over the years.

2. Bland title and meta description

A major SEO mistake in 2023 is still missing - or downright bad - title and meta descriptions. Your title tags give the reader, and not least Google, an indicator of the content on your landing page. Plus, it's your chance to capture users and get them to click through to your website - rather than your competitors'.

Good titles and meta descriptions:

  • Is informative.
  • Invites the reader to click on.
  • Has the right amount of characters.
  • Contains the right SEO keywords.

Want to know more? Read our blog post and learn more about on-page SEO.

3. Useless "SEO texts" without relevant information

Have you ever heard the term "SEO text"? Unfortunately, it's what many people call text that aims to boost a website's SEO. However, Google's "helpful content update" made it clear that useless content won't get your website high up in the search results.

The first mistake you can make is to start referring to blog posts, guides or sales page texts as SEO texts, it shouldn't be part of your vocabulary at all. All texts and content on your website should be semantic, informative and well-written - and don't worry, Google will reward you for making SEO for humans rather than robots.

ChatGPT took Denmark and the rest of the world by storm back in November 2022, and today students, businesses and individuals use artificial intelligence on a daily basis. Whether AI texts will cause problems for us SEO specialists in the future is certainly a divisive issue and something we're all keeping a close eye on. Read more about the impact of CHATGPT on SEO.

4. Unnatural keyword stuffing

Some SEO specialists have taken Nephew's song "again and again and" a little too seriously when optimizing the texts on a website. SEO is not about cramming a particular keyword into a page thousands of times, and it can actually end up hurting your SEO more than it helps. This phenomenon isn't new in SEO, but it's still something that unfortunately happens in 2023.

If you follow my third tip regarding "useless SEO texts", you'll make sure you don't end up doing keyword stuffing.

5. Using keywords with wrong search intent

Keyword volume does not mean that a keyword is worth going after. On paper, your keyword analysis may show that a given keyword has high traffic potential. But if it doesn't match users' search intent, the likelihood of high Google rankings for the search is negligible.


You have a blog about sneakers and fashion and your keyword analysis shows that there are 33,000 monthly searches for 'Nike shoes' on Google UK. "Great!", you think and throw yourself headlong into writing a skyscraper of a blog post about Nike shoes, their history etc. in the hope of getting high on Google searches.

But have you researched what people search for when they Google 'Nike shoes'? What their search intent is?

Are they interested in reading about Nike shoes - or buying Nike shoes? A quick Google search clearly points to the latter.

Read more about matching search intent and content here.

6. Inadequate and inefficient internal link building

Not everyone prioritizes internal link building, and that's a big mistake in itself. Internal link building creates an internal link structure that makes it easier for visitors and Google's robots to navigate your website. In addition, you create link value to the landing pages you link to.

However, many people still don't use internal link building correctly. For example, it's pointless to create an internal link to our Google Ads subpage in this blog post. Instead, it would be relevant for me to create an internal link to our big guide to SEO, which is updated regularly.

It's also a mistake to think that anchor texts don't matter. Even if you try to rank for "carpenter" on your front page, this should not be your anchor text every time. "Professional carpenter", "carpenter", "carpentry company", "get help from a carpenter" are examples of possible anchor texts that you can use to create a natural internal link structure.

Does your landing page contain countless internal links where "click here", "read more" or "get more information" is your anchor text? Then you're making one of the biggest mistakes in internal link building in 2023.

7. Off-page SEO goes by the wayside

Many people forget the external part of SEO - well, that's not entirely true, they always remember external link building. The love for the other areas of off-page SEO, on the other hand, is as non-existent as the plot of every movie produced by Adam Sandler.

Google My Business, online reviews and social media traffic are categorized as off-page SEO. Are you one of the doubters? Then I've written a post to help you understand the importance of off-page SEO.

8. Your website lacks personality

Imagine you are looking for a carpenter to remodel your home. You click on two different websites and have to make a choice about which one to choose.

The first website has many different services, and it's clear that they are specialists and can easily do your upcoming remodel to perfection. However, they use stock images on the website, there is a short about us page, and there is no reference page.

On the other website, it's also clear to see that they can easily handle your remodel. But on this website, you can see their past projects on their reference page, they use personal photos and videos, and they have an about us page booming with smiling employees.

If the price of remodeling is the same, which company would you be more inclined to choose? I would definitely not have any doubts.

"Yes, yes, that sounds very good, but do you have data to support this?"

If you have an about us page and a reference page, you should examine your website's behavioral flow and which pages get the most page views in Google Analytics. The about us page will most likely be in the top 3 most visited pages.

9. Spam of PBN backlinks

Most people have become aware of the seriousness of spammy backlinks after Google's "December 2022 link spam update". Unfortunately, not everyone understands how important it is to be careful with your external link building.

PBN backlinks are a violation of Google's Search Essentials as these links are not natural and are only intended to get a website higher in Google rankings.

So if your website is spammed with external links from low authority websites, it can only be too slow to get them removed. Google will most likely detect it sooner or later. Read more about toxic backlinks.

10. Inappropriate URL structure

Have you ever analyzed a website's URL structure? If you do SEO on a daily basis, then I hope the answer is yes.

An inappropriate URL structure can have a negative effect on your SEO, simply because Google has difficulty understanding your URLs.

Typical URL errors:

  • Your URLs contain non-ASCII characters.
  • Your URLs contain underscores (_).
  • Your URLs contain words that are "merged" (missing hyphen).
  • Your URLs are way too long.

Are your URLs doing more harm than good? Then you have a project in 2023. A little tip: Use Screaming Frog to identify pitfalls in your URLs.

11. You are not staying up to date

If you're an SEO specialist striving to achieve the best results on Google, there's one SEO mistake that's as disastrous as leather pants in 30 degree heat.

I'm talking, of course, about keeping up to date with Google's many algorithm updates. Since January 2020, Google has rolled out many major algorithm updates, and some have had more impact than others.

There are many ways to stay up to date, including subscribing to newsletters from Marie Haynes, following interesting SEO specialists on LinkedIn and checking the Google news page weekly.

Google is constantly changing, and that's a big problem if you don't stay up-to-date in 2023.

Do you need help with SEO?

Don't feel you have the time, energy or skills to do SEO yourself? Then you can get help from an experienced digital marketing agency.

At Webamp, my skilled colleagues and I are ready to help your company become visible on your core services. Contact us today!

FAQ - SEO errors

SEO stands for 'Search Engine Optimization'. It's a time-consuming process and there are a number of disciplines that need to be mastered if you want to be visible on coveted keywords.

SEO errors are, as the name indicates, errors that can have a negative effect on your search engine optimization. They can be anything from minor errors to major and catastrophic mistakes.

There are many SEO mistakes that you see on a daily basis. One of the biggest mistakes occurs during keyword research, where many people choose to optimize certain keywords with an incorrect search intent that is not relevant to the business in question.

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