9 Costly SEO Mistakes That Affect Your Google Rankings
21 June 2019
Are you doing your site’s SEO properly?
Have you ever been penalised by failing to comply with its rules?
Well, it is not surprising to get confused and make mistakes sometimes. We have all been there.
The techniques and strategy that you’ve been using for years might get you penalised. And those that you thought were a waste of time before can now help you increase your rankings. Think about it and review your content.
We all have to accept one simple truth. Google Algorithm changes all the time. They regularly roll out major updates that cause huge shifts in SERP rankings and pushes down what it deems to be a “spammy” content. What works today, might not work tomorrow, and the strategies you thought were serving you well might end up hurting your ranking after the next update.
That is why it is paramount to keep yourself updated on the ever-evolving art of SEO. Stay on top of new techniques that can get you high up on the search results and ditch the ones that can cause harm to your brand.
Here are the nine SEO mistakes that you should avoid if you want to be on Google’s good side:
1. Using poorly researched keywords
You might have a general idea of words and phrases that define and describe your products or services, but rather than assuming that these will be the keywords your target audience will use to find your business, you must base it on reliable metrics. Using tools like the Google AdWords KeywordPlanner, Google Trends, SEMrush and Moz Keyword Explorer can up your SEO game.
Optimise for the right keywords to use by being as specific as possible. As a start-up, prevent generic keywords like “digital marketing” and use “digital marketing services for Melbourne, Australia recruiters”. Targeting a small circle will increase your rank easier and as your business grows and gains authority, you could further optimise for more competitive keywords.
You may also be targeting keywords that are too popular or generic that you will be competing with big brands with deeper pockets. Consider using low-traffic, long-tail keywords that are relevant to your brand. It will set you apart from other websites that only focus on umbrella terms and you will have a higher chance of appearing on Google’s SERPs.
2. Neglecting Image Tags
Another technical detail that content marketers sometimes forget is including image tags. The alt tags of the visuals you include in your content are important but often neglected. Since search engines cannot see the pictures, they completely rely on the alt tags and if there’s none, the compelling images are anything but invisible for the search engines. This becomes their main source of information when they index your pages. It’s not necessary to fill your alt tags with keywords but use real image descriptions instead. So, the next time you’re thinking of skipping this vital step, you might want to think again.
3. Forgetting to Include Quality External Links
Quality over quantity always wins when it comes to external links on your blogs. Make sure that you are linking out to credible and relevant sites. You don’t want your content to be tagged as perpetuating overly sensational or fake news. Think about your audience and whether directing them to another website with your external links would benefit them.
4. Not Optimizing Your Internal Link’s Anchor Text
Don’t waste potential SEO juice by using ineffective anchor texts such as the generic “click here” link. Not only does it look spammy, but you also miss the opportunity to optimise the level of crawl rate of your website. Using well thought out anchor texts will encourage your audience to explore your site further and develops stronger paths of navigation.
5. Paying for Back Links
Buying or selling links is a clear violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and will result in a penalty if you’re caught. A backlink is created when a website links to another. This connection has been proven to improve SERP ranking because search engines see that other websites are vouching for you. Some companies saw this as an opportunity to game the system until Google started cracking down on the practice. We strongly discourage you to pay for links because a penalty from Google would invalidate all your other SEO efforts. If you have worked with an SEO company that employed this sneaky tactic in the past, it may be worth it to hire a credible SEO provider to undo the former’s SEO mistakes before it causes permanent damage to your reputation.
6. Publishing Low Quality or Generic Content
In this digital age, content truly is king. If you want to stand out and gain traction, you should be consistently conceptualizing and producing innovative quality content for your audience. If you think you can save money by getting the services of cheap content farms that scrape content from other sites or spin articles to keep your blog fresh, not only will you risk being penalised by Google, it may be harder to undo once harm has been done to your brand. According to digital marketing experts, maintaining a high level of industry relevance is key to success.
While SEO can seem very technical and complicated, it all boils down to human psychology. Knowing your audience’s motivations and pain points will allow you to develop better content. Have a deep understanding of your customers gives you a leg up on your competition.
7. Posting Duplicate Content
When content appears in more than one page or URL on your website, it is a duplicated content. If this happens, the search engine will be confused about which content it should index. And more than often, the search engine will not index both and your website has the possibility to not be listed on the search results page. The following are three duplicate issues types:
• Homepage Duplication:
• Duplicate URL: inconsistent use of upper and lower-case characters.
• Same Content, Different Webpages: copy-pasted content of another website on your website; using the same content across different type of pages.
8. Ignoring Content Marketing
SEO strategies and content marketing are like a peanut butter and jam sandwich, they just have to be present together. You may already have built thousands of backlinks, a perfect social media marketing, blog and forum commenting but those are always not enough to rank your website highly.
Maintain every aspect on good condition complying on continuous algorithmic search engine updates because your ranking position is never ensured.
9. Low Word Count Content
Optimal word count may not exist because E-A-T is what actually matters to Google but plenty SEO experts believe that content should at least consists of 300 words.
And the more text you have on a page, the easier Google will understand the context of the page. Try increasing the amount of text relevant to your brand and observe how it helps them rank higher.
No more walking blindly on the SEO game! Prevent further hurting your SEO by watching out the errors stated above consciously. Optimise your website and everything in it, set a crystal clear goal, focus on doing different forms of content relevant on your brand and all you had to do is wait and take advantage of its benefits.
Best is to always consult the best practices for your brand. Keep yourself updated with the latest trends to stay ahead and in front of the competition.
If you need help developing content, contact us for a consultation – call 041-896-7-352 or email [email protected]