Common SEO mistakes killing your online visibility
Written by Tamara Stavljanin
21 March 2017
Online visibility cannot be built in a day. But, one way to remain on the outskirts of Google’s ranking system is to try and cut to the top by practicing outdated and outlawed SEO techniques. Google makes its guidelines very clear, but there are still websites out there making uninformed choices about how they should optimize their site. These choices are damaging their rankings and consequently their online visibility. So, we’re going to go through the most common SEO mistakes so that you can avoid them in the future.
You’re Giving Google Déjà Vu
What we mean by this is duplicate content. This is the most common mistake that people are making both on purpose and by accident.
You see, when Google crawls the web, it’s looking to index new information. If it has seen it before, it sees no need to republish it. There are cases where duplicate content can be valuable, such as publishing an article you’ve guest posted on another site, or a blog you’ve recycled and updated. By clicking ‘no index’ and ‘no follow’ on these pages, you can prevent them from having a negative impact on your SEO.
You’re Repeating Yourself
Have you ever had a conversation with someone who keeps saying your name after every second sentence? This behavior throws you off a little, interrupts the flow of the conversation, and can be pretty damn annoying sometimes, right? The same applies to words on your website. By all means, use keywords. Just don’t repeat keywords over and over again to try to move up the search engine rankings. It’s not only obvious to Google what you’re trying to do; it’s obvious to your readers as well. Inserting a keyword in your title, your introduction, and 2-3 times throughout the text is sufficient.
You’re Doing Guest Posts Wrong
While it’s true that guest posts will create backlinks to your site, the quality of those backlinks will be determined by the quality of the post. So, ensure that you only accept posts that are relevant to your product/service and to the demographic you are targeting. Buying links or building a mass of backlinks from poor quality sites may improve your rankings initially but will soon hamper them, leaving you to climb an even higher mountain to the top. If in doubt, always remember that you can use Google Webmaster tools to monitor your links.
You Have Too Many Ads
What you always have to remember about SEO is that Google will like what your users like. And what your users will hate, Google will punish you for. So, it stands to reason that having lots of ads cluttering up your web page will negatively affect your optimization efforts.
Your Grammar And Spelling Suck
First of all, Google will not penalize you for every spelling blunder or grammar faux pas. Even the most prestigious news sites on the Internet regularly contain spelling errors (which will be promptly corrected by the first 100 commenters). A problem arises when your site is so full of spelling and grammar errors that people can’t be bothered to read it. Bad spelling and grammar are indicative of bad quality writing, so no one’s going to hang around. If no one hangs around reading your content, Google won’t consider it eligible to rank.
You're Hanging Out With The Wrong Crowd
If you think submitting your site to link directories is a good idea, think again. Most link directories accept each and every site link. So, what you have is a ton of poor-quality sites sitting right next to yours. If you’re seen with sites like these, Google will assume you’re just like them. If you want to be associated with a high-quality site, only submit to curated directories that weed out spam and target the demographic you’re looking to engage with.
Your Meta Tags & Meta Descriptions Are Missing In Action
You’ve included the primary keyword(s) in your content, and that’s great, but your work doesn’t end here because you also need to include title tags and meta descriptions. These indispensable SEO elements are short introductions that tell people who found you on search engines what your website is all about. You need to make sure you craft unique descriptions for each page that provide more detail about your business. Titles and descriptions are not the only elements we tend to overlook - we also forget to include image alt tags. These tags describe what some image represents and as such are important to search bots, who will take this info into account when they index your website.
Your Website Isn’t Friendly To Mobile Devices
Not having a mobile-friendly website is another item on the list of common SEO mistakes.
When you know that the vast majority of your visitors will use their smartphones and tablets to visit your website, the decision to turn your attention to mobile is a no-brainer.
A bad mobile experience is detrimental to your search engine rankings, so you have to ensure your site performs well on every mobile device. You can use Google Search Console’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool to check if your website is mobile ready.
Your Anchor Text Needs Revision
If you don’t know, anchor text is the text used to describe your link. When you see click ‘here’ in blue, the anchor text is the word ‘here’. Some people mistakenly think they can trick Google into ranking them for certain search terms by using the search term as their anchor text over and over again. Google will spot this kind of manipulation a mile away and penalize you once it comes to Googlebot’s attention. It may not be instant, but it is inevitable.
Your Links Are Broken
Broken links are inevitable over time, as sites shut down or move. It’s important to keep track of your links on Webmaster tools every 6 months or so to ensure that you have no broken links on your page. When you have none, you indicate to Google that all the content on your site is valid and up to date, so taking care of this problem is worth your while.
Now that you’ve read this article thoroughly, it’s time to soak up every piece of information and improve your search engine rankings by avoiding the above-mentioned common SEO mistakes.
Good luck! :)