Many business owners hurt their search engine ranking by making simple errors. Click here to learn all about the common SEO mistakes you need to avoid.
Search engine optimisation is essential for business survival these days. For many consumers, Google is the first port of call when looking for products, services, and information. If your ranking isn't high enough, you'll struggle to attract customers.
If your ranking isn't where you'd like it to be, you could be making some simple SEO mistakes. In this post, we'll go over the most common mistakes that content creators make. Scroll down to see what they are and how to fix them.
SEO Mistakes that Hurt Your Search Engine Ranking
Are you committing SEO suicide? Read on to find out.
1. Slow Website Speed
Website speed is crucial to your SEO ranking. If your website doesn't load quickly enough, people won't wait. They'll just give up and go somewhere else. In fact, 40% of people expect a site to load fully within three seconds. Any longer, and they simply abandon it.
These days, people want instant gratification. With technology providing endless options at their fingertips, they have no reason to wait around for a slow-loading website.
Here are some ways in which you can speed up your website:
• Delete unnecessary plug-ins
• Minimise HTTP requests
• Enable browser caching
• Reduce the sizes of your images
• Host video content elsewhere and embed it on your site
• Reduce redirects to other URLs
Check your website speed before and after any changes are made using Google's PageSpeed Insights. That will show you exactly how well your site is performing.
2. Not Optimising Your Site for Mobile
Some websites look great and work smoothly on a desktop, but become much more difficult to use on a smartphone or tablet. Layouts can become simplified or distorted on smaller screens, making sites confusing to navigate.
If people have to scroll endlessly just to find the button, link, or content they're looking for, they may not come back for another visit. The same will happen if the screen is too cluttered, or if the font is too small to read.
Most internet searches are made through mobile devices. If your site doesn't work well on mobile devices, you'll alienate a huge part of your target audience. Mobile-friendly sites are ranked higher on Google. That means that as well as being more comfortable to use, they're more likely to be seen.
Make sure that no matter what device people visit your site on, they'll get the same quality user experience.
3. Having a Broad Target Audience
Targeting a wide range of people sounds like a great idea. The more people within your range, the more sales you can make, right? That's not always the case. In fact, it's one of the biggest SEO mistakes you can make.
In some cases, it's much better to narrow down your target audience as much as possible. You'll be much more likely to be successful if you have a niche. This is because you'll have less competition. Define your niche or target group as specifically as you can and shape your content around the needs and desires of that group.
Think about what specific search terms they are likely to type into Google, and how they might find your site. That way, you will be much more likely to be the first search result they see.
4. Having Broken Links
Keeping broken links on your site is one of the standard SEO mistakes that hurts user experience as well as Google ranking. If a reader clicks a link expecting to find content only to receive a 404 'page not found' error, they'll be disappointed and frustrated. Your site will immediately lose credibility and authority, and the user may even abandon your site altogether.
If this continues to happen, your search engine ranking will begin to slip, as Google sees that you're not providing useful information. Audit your site regularly to check for broken links and change them if needed. Google Chrome has an extension to check your links, which provides a quick and easy way to make sure they're up to date.
5. Poor Meta Descriptions
A meta description is the small amount of text that appears under a search result, giving a brief outline of what it contains. While it may seem insignificant, it's one of the most important ways to attract people to click on your content.
Good meta descriptions give users a reason to click. They tell them what to expect when they do and give them an idea of why it will be worth their time. They should be approached as a form of sales pitch. They also use action-oriented language. This means using words like 'discover', 'learn' and 'try' to entice readers to click.
Google only allows meta descriptions to be within a certain length, so don't write too much. Around 150 characters are enough. Keep it as concise as possible, only using specific and relevant information. Lastly, never deceive users with false or misleading information. Otherwise, you can't build the trust you need to increase your conversion rates.
6. Posting Duplicate Content
Posting the same content in more than one place may seem like a good idea at first. After all, if it's published in several places, more people will see it, right?
Duplicating content is one of the most common SEO mistakes there is. It can immediately cause you ranking to plummet. This is partly because multiple sources will present problems, essential confusing search engines.
Instead of displaying all of the different versions, Google will have to select one. This will effectively mean that your content is less visible to users. Instead of duplicating content, use individual posts and sources. For duplicates that already exist, set up 301 redirects so that they all lead to the same URL.
7. Not Updating Your Site Regularly
Sites that have been recently updated rank higher on Google than ones which haven't been touched for a while. Providing great quality content isn't enough on its own. If it simply stays up without being touched, people will eventually stop visiting. In the end, it will become lost under a mass of more recent uploads.
You need to post regularly in order to stay relevant and to keep up with your competitors. Google rankings are constantly changing, and your site should, too.
8. Using Keywords the Wrong Way
Everyone knows that keywords are important. However, improper use of keywords is one of the most common SEO mistakes that digital marketing specialists see. If you don't use keywords correctly, people won't be able to find your posts.
The first step is to determine what your keywords should be. You can select highly effective keywords by using a keyword research tool. Your chosen keywords should be a mixture of single words, along with two-word and long tail phrases. This combination will allow you to attract a wide range of web traffic.
Through mobile devices, people are increasingly using the voice function to conduct searches. Through this method, they're likely to use much more natural language. You should cater to that with your keywords.
You can't just pepper your keywords throughout a post and expect to achieve a high SEO ranking. Google's sophisticated algorithms penalise posts that do this, favouring content that is written more naturally. Plus, it will also put readers off. If they feel that the content isn't entirely genuine, they'll find another site.
You should be placing keywords strategically in the following places:
• Titles and headings
• Meta tags
• Spread throughout bodies of text
9. Using the Wrong Anchor Text for Links
The days of using 'click here', 'this post', and 'see here' as anchor text are gone. These phrases are no longer useful for getting users to click on links. These outdated SEO mistakes make specialists cringe.
Anchor text needs to be much more specific than that. Instead of using something generic, use words or phrases that are relevant to the content. This way, Google can pick up on it much more easily. Not specifying your anchor text is a wasted opportunity.
10. Not Creating Valuable Content
The last item on our list of SEO mistakes is simple. When it comes to SEO, you can't just be clinical. Even if you follow all of the above steps, you won't achieve a great ranking unless your content is valuable.
That means it has to be well-written, link-worthy and error-free.
In every title, show readers how you're creating value for them. Examples such as '10 Ways to...' and '5 Reasons Why...' always work. However, you should never post clickbait! Your content should deliver what it promises.
Users should immediately be able to see what they will get from clicking on your site. If they can, search engines will, too.
SEO Solutions for Your Site
You don't have to fix all of these SEO mistakes yourself. That would be a taxing, time-consuming task. Instead, get the professionals to do it for you.
A NEXO, we can completely optimise your website, putting it at the top of Google's search results. We can also create social media marketing campaigns for your business, boosting your content even further.
As well as correcting your SEO mistakes, we'll revamp your entire SEO strategy.
To enjoy the benefits for yourself, find out more about how to grow your business with our SEO services.