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As you know by now, SEO is a critical component of your business. Without SEO, you are shooting blanks and groping in the dark. You are essentially trying to rank on search engines based on luck.
SEO is your ally if you are operating a website, most especially so if you are running an e-commerce store.
But what are the top SEO mistakes that webmasters do? Today, I will present to you the top 10 that I know based on experience.
1. Using keywords that are difficult to rank for
Let us face it—some companies have used keywords that they have published before. As such, they are years ahead of you. If you use keywords that are highly competitive, chances are it would take you years before you can rank for them.
The solution is to target keywords that have low to zero keyword difficulty percentage. You have to avoid the most-used keywords if you want to rank.
See example below:
As you can see, it is best to target that have N/A or KW% score that is low. Typically, this is what people do:
Despite this, you may be wasting time. There are already huge companies thanking for it, and you do not stand a chance.
My suggestion is to use long-tail keywords as shown on the screenshot above.
The two free tools that you can use to look for low-competition keywords are Answer the Public and UberSuggest. I used these tools before I moved to a paid subscription with SEMRush.
For ease of reference, and to refrain from targeting the wrong and most competitive keywords, it’s best to create a sheet for your target keywords. Study them one by one and take the time to analyze their current rankings.
2. Buying backlinks from anybody
I cannot blame you. You want to rank, and you decide to pay others so they can link back to your site. This is one of the biggest SEO mistakes you could possibly do.
Buying backlinks is convenient, and it is the easiest way to acquire SEO juice from the internet. However, it is a terrible mistake.
Even if Google won’t figure out that it is purchased, it has an intelligent algorithm that can detect if these backlinks are abnormal.
And if they are flagged, your website will be penalized. On top of that, your web pages will lose their current standing on Google search. You can say goodbye to ranking.
Remember that nothing good comes out of rushing things and gaming the system. You may see some benefits for the first few months, but you’ll definitely hit rock bottom soon.
Never buy backlinks. It is okay to guest post, but never buy backlink from people. It is going to look abnormal to Google, and you will get penalized.
3. Poor content quality
You’ve probably heard this a lot of times, that content is king.
It still is.
There was a time when a lot of websites ranked simply because the webmasters and writers just dumped keywords into them.
This does not work anymore.
Google has updated its algorithm several times, and your page ranking is now influenced by many things. Quality of content is one of these things.
If we look at a Google Analytics report, we can see that there are metrics that impact how a website ranks such as:
- Bounce rate
- Pages per session
- Session duration
And there are many more.
Here are some of the most SEO mistakes in digital content production:
- Creating short articles – some bloggers and store owners write articles for the sake of placing a keyword in the website.
- Creating long-winding articles that in the end, do not provide concise answers or information.
- Misleading titles (i.e. click baits) – bloggers would use misleading or irrelevant titles just so users would visit their website or page. However, they’ve forgotten that while they are able to drive traffic to their website, they have done a disservice to heir audience.
- Copying content from another website -did you know that your website will be penalized if found that you are copying content from another website? This is due to the advancement of the algorithm Google implemented. Thus, no matter how much you copy high ranking contents, it won’t help you achieve high ranking as well.
- Re-writing article from another source -aside from Google algorithm detecting the authenticity of your contents, there are also software such as Copyscape that are able to identify if the content you’ve posted, whether re-written, came from another source.
The only way to write good content is to work hard for it. You need to put yourself in the position of your readers—then deliver what would add value to them.
Or, you can hire an expert yet affordable copywriter to do your blog posts for you.
Most importantly, always value quality over quantity. This is similar to creating backlinks—no matter how many backlinks you’ve accumulated, it all boils down to the quality of websites linked to yours.
4. Keyword stuffing
Aaah, people think this is the secret sauce to SEO.
As I said earlier, there was a time when stuffing your website with keywords like a turkey on thanksgiving worked wonders.
It does not work now.
Before, when the algorithm was still dependent on the number of keywords, bloggers would stuff their articles with chunks of keywords. This led to poorly written articles that have incoherent thoughts.
Google realized this—the blog posts were not doing any good service to the readers. And then you got the Panda update in 2011, then Penguin in 2012.
The list goes on. Every year, Google updates its algorithm, the latest of which is the YMYL or EAT.
However, as time passed by, the updates of the current algorithm are now able to detect when keywords are used inappropriately.
At the same time, Users have become smart in browsing the internet. Stuffing your content with keywords can affect your site’s performance. Readers will hate your written pieces,
As such, you are going to have high bounce rates. And Google is not going to like that.
5. Poor website speed
A typical user will leave a website in about three to five seconds. Thus, the load speed of your website is a vital factor in determining the quality of experience you are giving to your users.
You can use Google Analytics to determine your site speed, and then figure out what is wrong. Below is an example analysis of site speed as reported by Google Analytics:
GMetrix also offers its users the same service. With this tool, you can get:
You can also check recommendations from this tool on how to fix your site.
What I personally use is Google Analytics plus SG Optimizer. This is why I love building websites on SiteGround. It has a free plug-in on WordPress called SG Optimizer, which shows me the health of my website speed.
If you have not built your website yet, I strongly suggest that you build it on SiteGround. It is a web hosting company where you can build your blog or e-commerce store. This website runs on SiteGround.
If you want, you can read my full review of SiteGround.
6. No internal links
Internal linking is like your website’s blood circulation. It will die without it.
Internal linking refers to the linking your blog post and product pages. If there’s no interconnection inside your website, it’ll be hard for Google to make out what the website is about.
Making use of internal links aides search engine to create a bigger picture of what is your website all about.
However, avoid creating too many internal links as it can be tagged as spam. Always stay wary of your anchor text and internal links. Bear in mind that overdoing it would hurt your site.
7. Not using keywords the right way
Always remember that keywords are only effective when they are relevant to your topic. Why would you use the keyword “appliances or sale when your topic is “how to make money online?”
You must also use the keywords in the right places.
Here are some tips for proper keyword placement:
As you can see, four times should be enough. What I use to ensure that I have done this correctly is Rank Math.
As you can see from the screenshot above, it provides me with a guide on how to use the keywords in the right places. For as long as the keyword score n top is green, then I am good to go.
8. No backlinks to your site
Creating backlinks can be tedious—from acquiring links to assessing its Domain and Page Authority to creating content.
Jesus. This is a lot of work!
However, successful acquisition of backlink is a message to Google that you have the vote of confidence if the internet community.
Lots of backlinks from authority websites mean that you are credible. Yey! Bonus points for you!
However, you must refrain from building links from websites that are called backlink farms.
This is why I told you earlier that buying backlinks is bad. You surely get backlinks, but these backlinks are placed on websites that have a bad reputation in the eyes of Google.
Backlinks with low DA and PA scores are just terrible.
On the flipside, not backlinks are one of the worse SEO mistakes. Tread this ground with are. Always go for quality over quantity. It doesn’t matter if you’ve only built a few links. What matters is quality.
To create an effective link building strategy, do this:
This is a tedious process. Some site owners would agree to publish your work, and some may not.
9. Your website is shut off from crawlers or has crawl issues
While this s not one of the most SEO mistakes, it happens.
Crawlers or bots follow the links of a website and save its HTML version before storing it on a database known as an index. Usually, a crawlable website has the following features:
- It has a clear layout and able to provide a superb user experience
- It has a concise sitemap; and
- It has easy to access internal links
On the other hand, these are the features of a website that can be difficult to crawl, so you might want to check if your website possesses any of these traits:
- It has a lot of broken links
- It has a lot of dead-end website pages
- It has a lot of 404 errors
- It has an incomprehensible sitemap
10. Your meta-description is poorly written
A meta description is a short paragraph or snippet that appears in Google search.
It is the content that is shown under your page’s URL. You may use this to quickly let users know what the page is all about.
However, many website owners fall short in creating an effective meta description—some don’t bother creating one and others fail to understand its value.
Through meta description, you can insert your main keywords to help Google index your web page accordingly. This small detail can create significant improvement on your website ranking, as meta description is an indicator of what your page is about.
- It serves as an organic ad text for your website
- A compelling snippet increases the click-through rate (CTR)
To write an effective meta description, it’s best to identify your target keywords. Next, write a compelling description about what the reader can expect from your article or page.
If you don’t have access to the meta description, you may download plug-ins such as Yoast and Rank Math. They will allow you to enter your desired snippet.
Summary: Common SEO Mistakes
It’s inevitable to commit mistakes in the journey of creating a user-friendly and quality website.
Whether we admit it or not, we often fall to the trappings of black hat SEO.
Nonetheless, you can do the right thing, and you can start now. My best SEO tool is SEMRush. It is affordable, and there are tons of services I can use.
And you know what is great about it? It has a free trial.
It’s safe to always play by the rules as it’ll leave you with long-term benefits. Make use of free (or paid) SEO tools that can help you determine what aspects of your website requires attention and improvement.
Moreover, remember that there’s no shortcut in ranking your website—it takes patience and time.
WATCH: 5 Beginner SEO Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Website Traffic And What You Should Do Instead
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