SEO mistakes will not only cost you time, but they can also cost you a ton of money. Over the last few years thousands of websites have found themselves getting slapped by Google. This basically means you see a dramatic drop in search engine rankings and have to do a lot of work to get back in the good graces of Google.
To ensure your website doesn’t find itself in the Google sandbox, here are 5 common SEO mistakes that can kill your rankings.
Posting Low Quality Content
Long gone are the days when you could post low quality content and get ranked in the search results. These days Google expects your content to be well written, easy to read and accurate.
The length of your content is important too. These days it’s all about long form content. And when we say long form we are referring to content that is a minimum of 2000 words. Can you write shorter content and get results?
Just look at Seth Godin. Most of his blog posts are less than 300 words and yet they still get a ton of engagement. But guess what? You aren’t Seth Godin and you therefore can’t do what he does.
If you want your content to rise to the top of the search results and generate more leads for your business, focus on writing long form content. One high quality article will outperform 10 low quality articles every time.
Stuffing Keywords In Your Content
Keyword stuffing is a concept that was extremely popular in the early days of SEO. It is actually one of the reasons Google came out with the Panda and Penguin updates.
In an effort to game the search results writers would produce low quality content and stuff it with as many keywords as they could. And while their content was moving up the search rankings, the user experience was being destroyed as the content was horrible.
Google quickly caught on to this method and started making updates to ensure content that utilized keyword stuffing would not get ranked on page one.
And don’t try to use synonyms to get over.
Google is too smart for that and they are now using latent semantic indexing to quickly identify related words that are being repeated over and over again throughout a piece of content.
Instead of stuffing as many keywords as you can in your content, focus on creating content that is readable and relevant.
Forgetting About The Meta Descriptions
While meta descriptions don’t directly affect how you rank in the search results, they do help your content get noticed.
A meta description is basically a short excerpt that people will see when they are scrolling through the search results. If the keyword being search for is included in the meta description it will show up in bold.
This will draw more attention to your link and increase the likelihood it will get clicked on. In some cases Google will use the meta description to decide which site to show a featured snippet from.
A relevant meta description can increase the chances of your website showing up on the first page of the search results.
Paying For Backlinks
When it comes to SEO and getting good rankings in the search results backlinks still do and will always matter. The problem is building backlinks naturally is not easy. It can take several hours a day for many months before you start seeing any traction.
Because of this a whole new industry was created around selling links to businesses. And while any business could easily purchase thousands of links, most of those links were low quality.
As with most black hat techniques, Google eventually caught on and put measures in place that help them better identify and penalize websites that use paid links.
To get the best results you should focus all of your attention on white hat link building strategies. While these strategies will take longer to implement, in the long run it will be well worth as you will never have to worry about getting penalized by Google.
Not Utilizing Internal Linking
Internal link building is one of the most powerful SEO tactics that most website owners completely overlook.
The great thing about internal links is you have complete control over the anchor text. That means you get to determine what terms or keywords Google associates with certain pages on your website.
Internal links can also help you get more out of the most popular pages on your website. When a page gets a ton of traffic it can be used as a gateway to get visitors to visit other pages on your website.
Finding the most popular pages on your website is easy with Google Analytics. Once you have identified those pages you should look for opportunities to include links to other pages on your website.
Be sure you only link to relevant pages. Doing so will increase the amount of time visitors spend on your website as they will be exploring and discovering new content.
While internal links are a great way to improve search engine optimization, you want to be careful not to overdo it.
If you have a ton of internal links that aren’t relevant and seem spammy, your website will suffer as a result. The more links you have on a page the less value each one will have.
The key is to be strategic with every internal link you include in a post. Make sure it has a clear purpose and is absolutely necessary to help the reader better understand the concept you are trying to explain.
These are just a few of the many SEO mistakes that can kill your rankings. By implementing these 5 things you will start to see your website slowly move up the rankings.
Just remember SEO takes time. There are no shortcuts. But if you put in the work you will get the results.
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