For almost every business out there, having strong visibility is crucial to make successful sales of your products or services. Especially since it’s 2020, you may want to make a great impression online, along with offline.
SEO is one of the most essential factors to grow your business nowadays. With the help of it, you can enhance your website’s ranking at Google SERP, which helps you to get more clicks.
However, while SEO can help you rank high on Google, doing it wrong can give you exactly the opposite result. That’s why you need to be aware of the SEO mistakes and avoid them.
SEO Mistakes You Should Avoid
SEO is a vast topic that covers a lot of sections. Any negligence in a section can ruin your effort.
Here are some of the SEO mistakes you shouldn’t make to save yourself from Google’s penalty. While some of them are fatal mistakes, others are quite silly.
Not Focusing on Branded Search
Most people consider SEO as a way of getting traffic, which is wrong. Day by day, it’s becoming more brand-centric. Instead of just attracting the customers, you need to focus on building a brand as well.
People tend to choose their products or services from a company that has a brand value. If you increase brand searches for your business, more people will start searching for your business, and you will eventually rank on top.
If you see your rank isn’t high enough even after following so many SEO strategies, then you might be missing this evergreen tactic.
Indexing Pages With Poor Performance
How you appear on the search results depends a lot on the quality of content you published on your website. If you have a lot of pages with poor quality content, it will have a negative impact on your ranking.
While you have hundreds and thousands of articles on your website, not each of them needs to be indexed. If you index all of your underperforming content, you might get penalized by one of the Google algorithms.
How can you find out? Go to Google Analytics and find the list of all your content with poor performance. If you see there’s no way to improve or update them, start removing them from Google index.
Not Going for On-Page Optimization
If you have been in content marketing for years, you may have heard about on-page optimization. It’s a process where you need to optimize each of your pages for certain keywords to rank higher on SERP.
There are so many ways of on-page optimization such as starting your title with the primary keyword, using SEO-friendly URL, optimizing the images, using H2, H3 tags, including meta description, among others.
Ignoring any of these parameters can leave your optimization process incomplete. This is a fatal mistake that will surely drop your rank in the search results.
Using Black Hat SEO Techniques
In case you’re not familiar with these terms, there are two types of SEO techniques – Black Hat & White Hat SEO.
White hat is the most preferable tactic that involves a lot of research and analysis to make your site SEO optimized. However, it lasts longer and provides a better user experience.
On the other hand, black hat is an aggressive SEO practice that people do for quick ranking. Practices involve keyword stuffing, paid links, auto-generated content, invisible links, creating doorway pages, etc.
From the above discussion, you can easily understand which one is the right path to do SEO, the white hat one. Still, some people choose to follow the black hat SEO, and as a result, get penalized by Google.
Not Updating The Technique With The Changed Algorithm
Most people write content, optimize them, and publish on the website. Then they keep the site that way for years without updating anything. This is one of the worst things you should never do if you want to rank on Google.
Google often changes its algorithm to improve the quality of searches and to fight the suspicious users who intend to manipulate the system. Some of these changes are major while others are minor updates.
No matter how big the changes are, they can change the way Google ranks a website. That’s why it’s crucial to make necessary changes for adapting to changes. If you don’t update your site according to the algorithm, chances are you will be penalized by Google for poor SEO practice.
Having a Poor Website Structure
This is, unfortunately, one of the most underrated areas of search engine optimization.
Imagine visiting a site where none of the categories, menus, and navigation isn’t properly organized. The pages aren’t linked properly and you have to struggle to find what you want. Would you consider visiting that website again?
Definitely not. Then why would your own website provide such a poor user experience?
How your website is structured can determine how much traffic you will have. If your website is poorly structured, you will never get enough traffic that will help you to achieve a higher rank on the search engines.
Not Having a Mobile-Friendly Website
Can users visit your website from their smartphones?
If your answer is no, chances are your site won’t be able to make itself visible on the first page of the search result, let alone the top position.
With the growing number of mobile users, most people are preferring to use their mobile to visit a website or to read a blog post. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, you will miss a large number of audiences.
Besides, Google loves those websites that are mobile-friendly. While ranking them on search results, it prefers to put those on top that can be browsed easily from both desktop and mobile.
So, if your website isn’t designed for mobile users, ask your developer to fix this issue as soon as possible.
Not Doing Keyword Research
This is one of the key reasons why you are struggling to increase your search traffic. Most bloggers tend to skip keyword researching processes since they are time-consuming.
No matter how much you hate to do keyword research, it’s the most crucial SEO practice that will help you to create outstanding content that can rank high on Google.
Without proper keyword research, you won’t be able to make your article visible to your target readers. Without strong visibility, it will not get any click and won’t rank on Google.
While this process is time-consuming, it’s not that difficult. With some popular keyword research tools such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, etc. you can find the right keywords that go with your niche.
Creating Low-Quality Content
One of the gravest mistakes you can do is to write or buy low-quality articles just for the sake of having content. The goal of Google is to help people find relevant and quality information quickly, and it has become more effective at filtering low-quality content from the search results.
Having badly written content won’t help you to have better search rankings, particularly if your competitors have superior content on their websites.
So, you need to work hard, invest time and money to create quality content that will educate, and even entertain your readers at the same time. In this way, you will be able to get more audiences, thus get a better position on search engines.
Having Duplicate Content
More than 50% of websites out there have the duplicate content issue. It involves the appearance of the same content in more than one page (URL) within the same or different websites (domain).
You can also have duplicate URLs if you use upper-case and lower cases inconsistently. These types of behaviors confuse Google and make it remove the entire content from the search result.
Besides, if you copy an article from someone else’s website and publish it on your site without adding extra content or giving credit, or rewrite it with an automated tool, that article will be considered as duplicate or scraped content.
Google hates duplicate content. While you won’t be highly penalized, you won’t even rank for those content.
Not Hiring an Expert
If you just start your business, you may be thinking of doing your own SEO instead of spending money on an expert. This is another mistake most people make.
Doing SEO isn’t a day’s job. It’s a full-time job that requires smart strategies and advanced knowledge of current trends and algorithm changes. As a marketer, you may have some basic knowledge, but it’s not enough.
True SEO experts have proper knowledge of all the latest trends and know from their experience what works and what doesn’t. You don’t want to experiment with your site and create issues that will take more time and money to solve.
Whether internal or external, broken links can be harmful to your website’s SEO.
But, what are broken links?
If you click on a link from the search result and it takes you to a page with the message 404 Not Found, that page is called broken. This is extremely bad for your site since it creates poor user experience.
Users will be annoyed with such experience and will eventually lose trust on your website. You will start to have less traffic and poor rank.
Besides, when Google starts crawling your website, it crawls some specific pages, not the entire site. In case you have some broken links, Google will not crawl and index those pages.
So, if you don’t want your website to vanish from the search results, find out the broken links and fix them.
Mistakes can happen anytime, even by an expert SEO professional. It’s because SEO is evolving and you can expect a ton of upgrades once a week.
While it’s okay to make some minor mistakes, a major one can ruin all your SEO efforts, thus hurting your rank on Google. That’s why you should always be careful about making such blunders.
Evaluate your site’s ranking regularly and if you find something unusual, audit your site, and fix the errors.