15 Deadly SEO Mistakes Hurting Your Website Ranking.
I think a lot of online marketers, bloggers, and SEO experts can identify with this problem.
You put in a lot of hard work into producing high-quality content, but no one is visiting or reading it;
The traffic hardly seems to increase despite implementing all SEO best practices;
Even though your page and content are well optimized for SEO, but you’re not seeing that result or improvement to your site.
Instead, Google keeps you at 95th position;
And you feel like punching them in the face and shouting;
What is happening to my site…?
Aaaaah… Google, I hate you…!
Well… Anyway, let’s find out.
Mistake No 1: You Don’t Know Your Target Audience.
You may be surprised to hear me say this but let me break it down;
One of the common SEO mistakes I see most companies and local businesses with websites does is;
Producing content for a global audience while they offer services to local customers.
Most sites fall into this category going after generic global keywords that only bring in visitors looking for free information with no interest in buying your product or services that you offer.
Take for example;
Your company sells CCTV products and offers installation services in your region area.
It will best fit if you’re producing content that is optimized for local queries.
Going after global keywords is great;
But the issue here is, they have lots of competition with no buyer intent.
If you’re just getting started with SEO and going after broad keywords, ask yourself, how long will it take before you get to the top?
Yes, I understand; we all need that traffic to create that exposure for our brand,
but the hard truth is;
It’s best to be specific in producing content for local audiences.
Focusing on generic keywords when starting out is a big waste of time.
Not only will it cost you time and resources, but you’re not guaranteed to be at the top spot of the search result page even in the next five (5) years (Hard Truth).
Mistake No 2: Focusing Too Much Attention Around One Keyword.
I’m pretty sure you’ve heard a lot of people say this in their blog multiple times;
If you need fast ranking or more traffic from the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), you need to find the right keywords and optimize your content around it…
Now, here is what the right keywords look like, according to keyword research tools.
Yes, I agree, keyword research is a great way to spot queries users and potential customers are searching for in your industry;
But producing content focusing around one keyword can result in keyword stuffing in your content.
Instead, you should produce content that focuses on searcher intent (the reason behind their question).
Doing this puts you in the shoes of your buyer persona and with a clear picture of their pain-point and problems they’re trying to solve.
Stop hoping on keyword research tools.
Before I write, I do a little research and produce content I know will solve the user’s problem.
My advice is before you start drafting content to publish on your blog, take a step backward to ask yourself;
Will my audience search for this topic on Google? If no;
Will other bloggers or writers search for similar topics like this to support their content or learn a specific thing about a given topic?
If non, then don’t waste your time on it.
Producing content that ranks well on Google has these two (2) elements.
- 1) Content that solves a specific problem a user is trying to solve.
- 2) Content that supports other topics or creates awareness about different subjects.
Not what keyword tools suggest because sometimes those tools can give false information that no one is searching for.
Applying these practices before producing content helps you see from the customer’s perspective from the right angle.
Mistake No 3: Content Restriction And Producing Thin Content.
In contrast to the previous point;
Another pitfall SEO expert does, is restricting themselves to a single phrase or keyword.
Why would you do that;
I believe in producing somewhat long-tail or medium keyword phrases because it helps you rank for multiple keywords.
Restricting your content for a particular phrase or keyword leads to endless repetition of the same exact keyword in your content.
Good writing should be free and fluent, and not stuffing or holding to a particular keyword;
if you’re doing that, you’re not adding value to your audience, like this one.
This strategy to your content only hurt your site ranking;
Google only wants to serve users with the most relevant content that answers their questions, even though the keyword didn’t appear on the page;
They’re able to figure out what the user is searching for and knows the content that best answers the user’s question.
You may also be thinking,
Not all pages at the top of search results have the best answer;
Yes, you are correct; sometimes, the best content doesn’t always rank 1st,
but it will surely rank to the top with time because Google is constantly testing every search a user makes.
When users are spending more time and creating more activity and engagement on the 2nd or 3rd page;
Guess what happens with time?
It will rank to the top.
Search engines like Google have gotten smarter over the years;
I mean, come on;
It’s been decades since those algorithms started indexing pages and reading different types of content.
They’re aware of all tricks and hacks you’re implementing on your site; sometimes, a website gets rewarded with ranking, not because of the schemes they’re implementing;
But because there are factors that help them rank to the top.
The search engines can identify content that helps users and content produced with minimal or no effort.
So, stop bothering too much optimizing for a particular keyword;
Instead, put your very best effort to add more value to your audience;
They will appreciate it, and in turn, it creates a good signal to the search engine.
Remember, Google’s core value…
Do the right thing; don’t be evil. Earn customer trust and respect their time.
And Mission Statement.
Our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and beneficial to everyone.
Meaning they only want to show content that users want to read.
Here are few questions to keep in mind when writing your content;
- Does my content really answer the user’s question?
- What new thing or idea am I putting out there that other blogs don’t have?
- What is the real reason for producing this content?
- Are there other ways I can add more value to their lives?
Thus, if your content does not have any of those elements, it will hardly rank well on Google.
Mistake No 4: Duplicated Content Is Hurting Your Site.
Duplicate content consists of taking already published content by someone and posting that content on your own site.
Google will penalize your site with low rankings.
Whether you copy, modify or spin the content; as far as it was not originally produced by you, or you’re not giving credit to the site owner with a canonical tag;
Google will penalize your site.
Don’t be deceived using article spinning tools to rewrite content, replacing words with synonyms;
Copying international content and translating it, and thinking it’s not a duplicate.
Google is too old enough to outsmart with such tricks.
Not only will it provide a poor user experience, but search engines will devalue your site;
Duplicate content is not misleading information;
It just means search engines don’t want the same user reading the same content repeatedly on the SERP;
It just doesn’t make any sense.
Mistake No 5: Manipulative Link Building To Achieve A High Ranking.
Backlinks ensure authority and credibility to a site and are a vital ranking factor, but manipulative link building can harm your rankings.
Links are essential, but not all links are rated equal.
Here is what I mean…
Many SEO experts have this wrong mindset about link building and thinking that;
The more links you have to your website, the better signal it gives to the search engine;
But this is not always true.
Here’s an example:
If you take a look at my backlink profile; “elvisdigital.com” using the Aherefs backlink tool.
You will notice that I have 29 referring domains (Total number of unique sites pointing to my domain) with 122 backlinks;
But compare it with this domain.
Aherefs can prove more backlinks don’t mean your site is quality.
Here’s another example:
This site has a single backlink and 1 referral domain.
but look, it has a domain rating of 39.
So as you can see from the above examples, it’s not about having millions of links;
It is about the quality and relevancy of those links that count in your ranking.
Here’s An Overview Of Manipulative Link Building.
Mistake No 6: Buying Links.
So many SEOs fall for this temptation, going the easy part, buying links to increase their ranking, and thinking Google doesn’t know about it.
Well, I can’t tell you to stop buying links;
It’s your site and responsibility to be accountable for whatever happens it.
But always keep in mind, you run a huge risk of receiving a penalty.
Mistake No 7: Misconception Between Ranking And Domain Authority.
There are myths about Search Engine Optimization on how Google ranks a website.
Many SEOs believe the more domain authority score you have, the better ranking your site will achieve;
well, this is not always true.
According to John Muller,
domain Authority is not a metric used by Google to determine how pages are ranked on the search results.
And yes, I believe that.
Building links from web pages in a similar subject area can positively affect your ranking rather than a non-subject backlink.
I often see people acquire links from unrelated sites, not because of ranking but because they want to increase their domain authority scores.
Other reasons for increasing their DA is to feel superior to other sites, sell more links, or even attract other sites to link to them.
And yes, that’s the creepy fact in the SEO world;
Websites with a high domain authority score love linking to other sites with a high DA score.
Another trick used by SEOs to increase domain authority is to redirect Google’s subdomains to their website.
Here is what it looks like;
Gaining trust and good rankings from Google requires earning links from reputable sites that think your content or page might be relevant or helpful to their reader.
But people want it easy, so they try to manipulate their domain authority and thinking it will increase their rankings.
Take a look at these link sellers on Fiverr.
It’s tempting to go for the easy part, do everything and anything to achieve fast ranking on Google but always have this in mind.
The correlation of links pointing to your site is what plays a huge role in your ranking.
Mistake No 8: Over Optimized Anchor-Text.
An often-overlooked mistake that costs you ranking in search result pages is over-optimized anchor text.
But what is Anchor text?
The anchor text is the “clickable text in a link” that leads or navigates a user to another website or page.
It helps search engines understand what your site is about and plays an essential role in your ranking.
But reusing the exact Anchor text repeatedly in all links pointing to your domain, especially when you’re buying links, can be seen as unnatural.
Of course, you’re breaking Google rules, trying to manipulate their algorithm.
It is your site that will bear the cause to whatever outcome it results to your ranking.
Learn how to create SEO-friendly Anchor texts by Cult Of Web.
Mistake No 9: Broken Links.
What are broken links…?
These are dead links that lead to a broken page or site that no longer exist.
Having so many broken links on your site or linking too much to dead pages can potentially hurt your SEO performance.
Mistake No 10: Not Investing In Site Speed Performance – (Poor Loading Speed)
A website speed performance means at which seconds it takes for your site to be accessible to users.
But why is it part of SEO mistakes?
Let’s take a look from the following perspective:
Like every company that wants to satisfy their customers;
Google wants the same for their users, to serve the best content at the best possible speed.
These technical aspects are essential to your site and impact your rankings;
While on the other hand, a slow loading site leaves visitors waiting, which can cause a high volume of bounce rate and poor user experience.
Currently now, Web Vital is Google’s latest algorithm update;
Which consists of website performances, meaning your website speed is more important now than ever before.
Tips To Improve Your Site’s Loading Speed.
- 1) Analyze your current hosting plan; if they don’t meet your needs, upgrade or move if necessary.
- 2) Compress large images on your site.
- 3) Change your website theme or template that is poorly coded.
- 4) Reduce unnecessary WordPress Plugins; they don’t help but only hurt your site performance.
- 5) Install any cache plugin like Wp rocket (Paid), Swift Performance (Free & Paid), etc.
Mistake No 11: No Robots.txt or Meta Robots Tag Used On Your Site.
A robots.txt file is used to show directives to the search engine and crawlers which areas of your website are allowed for crawling.
They’re helpful if you have paid content or private documents on your site that you don’t want the public to access.
While Robots meta tag is an Html code used to control which page on your site is allowed to be index by search engines (Pages on the search result).
If a private page or demo template on your site gets index by mistake, you can use a meta robots tag to remove them from the result page using the No-index tag.
Remember there are differences between Robots.txt and Robot meta tag.
Mistake No 12: Your Site Has No Responsive Mobile Version.
Do you know 70% of global web traffic is from mobile, and every webpage ranks differently on each device?
It’s no surprise why Google includes mobile responsiveness as an SEO factor.
Websites that are not designed for mobile tend to experience setbacks in rankings.
If the mobile version of your website is not optimized, readers might find it a bit hard to access your content.
How to Avoid this mistake?
The factor here is creating a design that fits all mobile screen devices, with readable text, resized images, and mobile loading speed.
Mistake No 13: Neglecting To Update Your Content.
Let’s face the fact, publishing more content on your site is good, but updating them is more important than posting new ones.
You’ve probably published a ton of content in the last couple of years that haven’t been updated since it was first published;
You could be leaving many opportunities on the table for a good ranking than the time it takes for a new content to rank.
If you’re not updating your content or looking for new ways to add more value to your audience, your page will suffer in ranking.
Mistake numb 14: Having The Wrong Purpose For SEO.
For most people, ranking is all that matters to them, whether having good content or not, offering the best product or services;
All they ever wanted is to be seen at the top of the search result to create that awareness or exposure for their brand;
But putting effort to achieve it the right way is what most people lack or neglect.
Which has leads most to do creepy things and applying black hat tactics to rank fast.
But as unbelievable as it sounds, SEO isn’t just about ranking.
SEO is about building a relationship, earning trust, meeting your user’s needs, aligning your content with their struggles and challenges, and delivering values to improve their lives.
Then watch your site skyrock to the top because your audience will find your content or site helpful;
Other bloggers and authors will include them in their work (backlink), etc.
Mistake No 15: Last But Not The Least.
Leaving here without a single action to correct your mistakes on your site.
If you identify any of these mistakes you’re making on your site;
Be sure to fix them on time before it’s too late, and so, that’s it.
That’s all I have for you in this article; I know there are probably tons of SEO mistakes to avoid I didn’t include here, but this is what I can crank up.
If you enjoy this article or feel you got some insights about SEO mistakes you didn’t know,
don’t be selfish to leave here without Sharing, using the Like ♡ at the top, or Comment on whatever questions you may have;
Let me know what you think about the article.
If it’s terrible, I will keep improving myself and if you think it’s good, also let me know.
It motivates me to create better content than this.
And if you have other contribution, tips to improve this article;
Please, leave them down below in the comment section.
And if you… kind of… you know 🔗 …
I won’t forget you.
Thanks for your time here.