Oouch! 8 Simple SEO Mistakes Ruining Website Visibility
Several silent killers of ranking exist. The problem is even the search engine optimization (SEO) practitioners themselves failed to notice them at times.The only time they notice them is when rankings are dropping significantly or worse, when the website is already penalized by Google. Don’t waste the foundations you’ve built over time. Avoid these simple SEO mistakes.
Know more about: What is SEO and SEO Strategies to follow in 2016
SEO Mistakes to Avoid, Mark for your Campaign’s Success!
1. Slow website
If there is one SEO factor that can kill momentum and hurt conversion instantly that would be site speed. Google can detect it, and so are your users. In fact, users expect that a site should load in 2 to 3 seconds otherwise; they will abandon the site and look elsewhere. This is bad for business because, for every second of delay, conversions are reduced by up to 7%.
Thus, don’t give Google a reason to de-rank or remove your website on search results pages by speeding up your website. Give your site a speed test through Google speed testing tool and see which areas you can improve on. Also, don’t forget to run a speed test on a monthly basis especially if you are updating contents regularly.
2. Keyword cannibalization
Competition is stiff. The last thing we want is having two separate web pages that compete for the same keyword. But, it happens either through on-page optimization or internal linking. For the first, it would be difficult for Google to choose which page to display in the results page. You run the risk of choosing the wrong page or choosing no page at all.
The same goes with when a page is optimized for a particular keyword and a blog post, for instance, uses an anchor text that the first page is using. This can also cause confusion. Hence, consider merging two similar pages into a single page. If not applicable, consider un-optimizing the other page.
3. Sneaky redirects
Site authority is critical, and confusing redirects can have a bad effect on such. There are two ways redirects dilute website authority: 302 redirects and redirect chains. A 302 redirect is permanent hence, it cannot pass authority. If you need to include a redirect, make sure it is a 301 permanent redirect. Google will pass authority through 301 redirects.
A redirect chain, on the other hand, happens when the page is 301 redirected to another page that is 301 redirected to another page. It’s easy to see how this chain can disrupt the flow of authority. Regain your authority by ditching the second page and redirecting to the actual page.
4. Error pages
User experience (UX) must be built and maintained. However, a 404 page not found render definitely ruins the momentum and thereby, UX. It can be extremely bad for Google and the users when there’s a high occurrence of 404 pages. Even worse, when some of these 404 pages contain valuable links since link equity is lost along the way.
Nevertheless, redirecting the 404 pages to the homepage is not always necessary. In fact, there are many ways to address this. First, update the link. Second, create a piece of content that is relevant to the existing link. Third, find another page that is relevant to the existing link and 301 redirect the page. Fourth, bank on the traffic received by the existing link and customize the page error message including a more relevant link.
5. Broken links
Another SEO element that leaks site authority is broken outbound links. Websites, particularly those that implement a back linking strategy on a consistent manner, acquire broken links naturally. External links are helpful in building trust and goodwill. But, like bad redirects, broken links also creates a negative UX. It also robs the site of whatever trust ability it build gradually.
Check if your website has broken links. Remove them or update the link by replacing them with more relevant links that would work much better today. Check the blog comments as well. Chances are, some of them have dead links. While these links are generally no-follow, they can still hurt your ranking.
Know more about: How to Get Quality Back Links
6. Duplicate content
Even before Google rolled out its Panda algorithm, having duplicate copies on your website is already a no-no. Not only these duplicates consume bandwidth, but they also slow down your website. Nowadays, if Google crawl your website and discovers that the majority of its content is duplicate, it will push your site down the rankings. Or worse, it will de-index your website.
Check if there are duplicate contents on your website and make them as unique as possible. Make sure that the tags and descriptions are 100% original; no duplicates within the website and when compared to other websites.
7. Irrelevant anchors texts
Anchor texts are for spontaneity; clicking on it, you’d know what to expect on the page that you heading to. But, when the anchor text offers little or no value at all and cannot guide the expectation of the users, they won’t click it. This also applies, in a way, to how Google crawl your website. The search engine uses anchor texts as an indicator of the main topic of the pages and ranks them accordingly. Without proper naming, Google will skip these links.
Think of every anchor text as a link building opportunity. So, check what anchors your website is using and change them if necessary. Be reminded that an anchor text should never say ‘click here.’ The phrase is overused and irrelevant at most. Change them with something more creative. Perhaps, the keyword that the target page is optimized for.
8. Low-quality content
Even when you get all seven rights, your site’s traffic and ranking will not be guaranteed especially when you only publish contents of poor quality. Content is king, right? But, why are you publishing hurriedly made contents? Do you even double check the facts you mentioned on the copy? Do you proofread your work before publishing them?
Importantly, you must build a solid content marketing strategy. Choose topics that interest your users then, write well-researched, informative, and unique content. Always proofread your work before publishing it. There is no such thing as over-proofing.
There is always a way around these common or SEO mistakes. To avoid committing these mistakes, a website or blog owner should think proactively. Do a comprehensive review and audit of your website on a regular basis. In this way, you would be able to detect and correct any emergent issue before it escalates into an alarming state.
Article is contributed by Faye, a freelance writer works for Optimind Digital.