Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one of the key parts in digital marketing which helps to keep your website at the top of popular search engines for your targeted keywords.
People know how important SEO is for any website to a get good amount of organic traffic and drive more conversion.
However, it’s almost impossible to rank higher in search engine results without using the best SEO techniques. It doesn’t matter how great your website is or how much content you fill it with; if your SEO techniques are weak, you won’t get your expected result.
Even though there are plenty of detailed articles on SEO best practices on the Internet, still many marketers continue to make the mistakes that hurt their search engine rankings.
Therefore, it is important to know what these major mistakes and pitfalls are that SEO experts make. In this post, I will walk you through top 9 SEO mistakes you must avoid to help boost your website’s ranking.
Let’s get started!
1. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is a method by which you overload your keywords in your site content in the hopes to get top ranking in search engine result page.
This technique widely used and have worked well back in old days, but not anymore with the recent search engines ranking algorithms.
For example, you want to rank for ‘mobile phones’. This is what keyword stuffing would look like for that particular keyword.
It’s nice to have a few, strategically placed, relevant keywords in your copy; but excessive use of keywords will make your site look spammy, and annoy not only your site’s human visitors but also the search engine crawlers.
This technique won’t fetch any visible results and rather run the risks of bringing penalties to your website.
2. Poor Quality Content
I believe we have all heard the phrase “Content is King”. Yes, content is king when the quality of the content is high. Search engines like relevant, high quality and long content. High-quality content convinces visitors to be your potential customers.
If your site has poor-quality content, then ranking will for sure go down as the search engines want to see unique and high quality content.
To avoid such mistakes, you need to hire quality writers who can write well-researched, effective, engaging and interactive content on your niche. Be sure that your copy is compelling and brings value to online visitors, and search engines will definitely reward you with higher rankings in the search results.
3. Broken Links
Having broken links is one of the common SEO mistakes that can hurt your website ranking. This can happen for a number of reasons: website down for maintenance, closed website, changed URL’s, etc.
If you are going to link to internal pages or other external sites, make sure you check those links periodically. Broken links are not only annoying for the online visitors but also for the search engines.
To fix the problem of broken links you need to regularly audit your website’s health, and check all the links you have on your website to ensure that they all lead to their intended destinations.
4. Poor Internal Linking
Internal linking is important for on page optimisation so your users know how to reach other related and important pages on your site. It also helps search engine spiders to understand more about your pages and distributes ‘SEO juice’ from the homepage to the rest of the pages.
I came across many websites don’t implement this technique, which is a shame. Remember, if you do a poor job with internal linking, then you are missing a big opportunity.
Google has a guide on proper link architecture. When you configure the link architecture of your site, use the top down approach (e.g link to your category pages from the home page, then link to sub categories from the category pages and so on).
Also use descriptive anchor text so that people can easily understand what the page you are linking to is about.
5. Ignoring Alt Tags
An alt tag describes what an image is about. You must use alt tag for your images. Search engine bots do not see images the same way you or I do.
Search engine bots do not read images; they read only text which is why it is important to include the alt tag with all images in your website. What is the point of having attractive images in your site, if those images are not found by the search engines?
Moreover, having alt tags for images in your site allows your images to show up on search result when people search on Google’s image and this gives your site added search visibility.
The best alt tag can be a brief description of your image and can include your keyword phrase.
6. Duplicate Content
Duplicate content means you copy others writing and publish it on your website. Search engines only index the original content.
If your website has duplicate content means the content has already been published somewhere and indexed by search engines. So, there is absolutely no reason to index the same content again as it has nothing new to offer. In fact, all such duplicate content goes to waste.
Therefore, you should focus on creating original and unique website content only as duplicate content can hamper your reputation and ranking.
7. Not Being Responsive
“The number of people using mobile devices outstripped people on desktop computers in 2014.” – Jim Edwards, Business Insider, April 2014.
In the end of 2016, you can’t afford to ignore the responsive design as more than half of all searches happen on mobile devices. Search Engines give preference for ranking to sites that pass mobile friendliness standards.
If your website isn’t responsive, then more than half of your audience will find your website broken and they will leave your site with bad user experience.
Creating a responsive may be costly for the small business owner, but at this point there is no choice. You can’t really ignore more than half of your visitors.
8. Generic Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Having repetitive Title and Meta Description text in every page is another big SEO mistake that can minimise your chance of getting a high rank in search engine results.
Every page of your website should have unique Title. The Title should reflect what title is on the page, not just the same title for all pages.
You also have to ensure that the Meta Description for every page is unique. Using the targeted keywords in the Meta Description is essential as it ensures good ranking for your site.
You can hire a good writer who can write persuasive as well as descriptive Meta Descriptions within 160-character limit.
9. Not Using Analytics
Failing to use Analytics in your SEO strategy can be a severe SEO mistake. Analytics lets you measure how you are performing.
If you are not performing well, then you will know where you need to make some changes. Without assessing your website traffic, you will never be able to measure the impact of your SEO practice.
Even, if things are going well, you will know what you should keep doing with your SEO.
To fix this SEO mistake, you need to configure tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console to your site that will allow you to stay updated with the analytical results.
On the concluding note, my recommendation is to go through your site and check if you are making any of the above mistakes. If yes, just find and fix them.
By avoiding thees SEO mistakes listed above you’ll be well on your way to creating a winning SEO campaign that will keep you ahead of the competition.
Also, following the SEO best practices and utilising top SEO tools is essential to ensure better ranking in the search engines.
If you’d like some more SEO tips, check out these other Marketing.com.au articles:
- 11 SEO Tips for Beginners to Boost Website Traffic
- 5 Simple Tips to Optimise Your WordPress Website for SEO and Increase Conversions
- How To Maintain Your SEO Results When Your Website Goes Live
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