In this blog post, we will explore 15 common SEO mistakes you should avoid either having a blog or a website. These mistakes can ruin your rankings in Google and can blacklist your website or blog anytime.
Here are the 15 SEO mistakes most of the time we commit:
1. Links Purchasing:
Backlinks are one of the most important factors to rank a website. It is the strongest component of Off-Page SEO. The more you have quality backlinks for your website/blog, the more your site will be recommended as a trusted site by Google, and the more you will get traffic from search engines. Such type of traffic from search engines is called real or organic traffic.
Selling and buying links have become an online business today. Companies have made their websites only for selling links (Backlinks). They encourage website owners to purchase links from them, ensuring that these links will be 100% do-follow links. But this is 90% just fake business. They only concern with getting cash from you, after that leaving you at the mercy of God. If you pay for links, sooner or later Google will crack down on you. That’s why Google strongly discourage purchasing links for a blog or website.
- Do-Follow link:
Do-Follow link is a link in which website owner takes the responsibility that this link is genuine, and he recommends your blog or website as a trusted site.
- No-Follow link:
No-Follow link is a link in which you get a link from a website but the website owner doesn’t take your responsibility and doesn’t declare your site as a trusted website. It means that Do-Follow links are of more worth for your blog or website.
2. Broken Links:
A broken link is a hyperlink on a web page that no longer works. Broken links are also called or dead links. A link change into broken is dead link due to:
- An incorrect URL entered for the link by the site owner.
- The destination website removed the linked web page showing 404 error.
- The destination web page permanently moved or no longer exists.
Search engines look at your links and strongly discourage the broken links as it can be problematic for visitors, making them unable to access the desired information. Such users may decide to make use of another website to find the necessary information elsewhere. Broken links badly affect the SEO of your site, so you must check it from time to time. Therefore, you must constantly look at the broken links of your website or blog. You can check it by using free Broken link checker tools or if you are using WordPress, you can check it by installing the plugin Broken Link Checker.
3. Article Marketing:
Article marketing is a branch of content marketing. It is a kind of advertising in which businesses write and distribute short articles to a range of outlets such as article banks, forums, and newsletter publishers. Article marketing is one of the least costly ways to market a business.
Have you heard about Article Marketing?
If someone told you that this was a great way to build links then they are living in the past. Here Article marketing is where you write an article and spin the words to make duplicate copies hoping search engines don’t pick them as duplicates but unique. These articles are then published in different sites Article-City and E-Zine Article to get links but remember search engines like Google mainly, are getting better at catching out duplicate content, and they can also penalize your site.
Article Marketing is harmful to an SEO point of view for a website or blog. Focus on guest blogging to get quality links from higher authority sites and keep yourself away from article marketing. Creating great content that is link-worthy can produce editorial links which are the best form of links to enhance your search engine authority and rankings.
4. Unnatural Anchor Texts:
Anchor texts are the visible characters and words that are select to be hyperlinked. Anchor text hyperlinks display when linking to another document or location on a web page. It usually appears as blue and underlines sometimes. Here, if you want to rank for the keyword “blogging tips” then you would try to get incoming links using those keywords.
Hyperlinks are used to link the selected Anchor text with the content on the same website or with an external web page. It is one of the best ways to interlink your related content. It is helpful in a way for readers and best for readers who also want to explore more about the desired topic by clicking and exploring the hyperlinked content. Hyperlinks make the content users friendly and also look eye-catching. But too many hyperlinks might also be avoided and only related content must be hyperlinked.
- The hyperlinked content must be genuine.
- It must fulfill the users’ requirements.
- The hyperlinked website must have good SEO rankings, so if the owner gives backlinks to your site, it will be more beneficial.
- The selected website must not be blacklisted by Google or any search engine. Ranking and Spam scores of any website can be checked with a free SEO tool Domain Authority Checker.
- The linked website must not have spamming content.
5. Keyword Stuffing:
Keyword stuffing is the practice of loading a web page with keywords or numbers in an attempt to influence a website’s ranking in Google search results. These keywords are not as natural prose and appear in a list or out of context.
An example of keyword stuffing might be if a website is related to SEO services and the owner adds a keyword “Most affordable SEO services” line by line in the content. Here the “Most affordable SEO services” keyword will not be a natural phrase and Google will penalize the website for using Keyword stuffing.
Keyword density is just a small part of Google Algorithm. If your content is not natural, unreadable to readers, and has been stuffed with keywords then your site might even be penalized by Google. Keywords are essential and everyone must use keywords but in a natural way and the most suitable keywords must be used. If you have no idea to select keywords, here are 10 Tips to Select Best Keywords for a Website.
6. Submitting to the wrong directories:
Directory submissions perhaps the easiest way of generating links but also easy to get wrong. Never submit your website to the wrong directories and don’t try to get links from spam(y) sites.Link directories are like locality and remember that Google doesn’t like bad locality. Too many links low-quality sites may be involved in spam(y) activities or link building.
The websites that only accept good links for their content might be the best sites if they are in your niche. Accepting links from such sites might be worthy for your site and your site can get higher ranks from Google. Top 5 most important SEO Tips for Bloggers.
7. Content Length:
Content length also matters in SEO. SEO recommended content length is from 400 to 4000 words count. Content length lower than 300 words are ignored by Google because it can’t clear what the content is about. Long content has proven to be more engaging, better for SEO, and have more ability to be shared. Also, you can hardly have any keywords, similar keywords, or long-tail keywords for short content.
Long-form content gets higher rankings in Google. The average content length that ranks in the top ten results on Google for any keyword has at least 2000 words. Google prefers lengthy content greater than 2500 words in the top ten ranking of the first page.
But you should also keep in mind that nobody wants to read badly written lengthy content. People prefer quality to quantity. Quality and user-friendly content still come first. So you must write content that must be of users’ interest as well as search engines.
8. Duplicate Content:
Duplicate content is one of the worst mistakes you can make as a blogger. Duplicate content is not allowed anywhere. Not only search engines will punish you for duplicate content but the blogging community will frown upon you as well. You can make use of an Infographic but write your content. If you like someone’s idea comprehend it and write it in your own words and give them due credit with a link back.
Remember duplicate content not only discouraged by search engines but also goes through bad user experience. It might also be a cause to down your rankings in search engines because of self-competition. Duplicate content will fight with each other to get higher ranks and as a result search engines will get puzzled which of your content be ranked.
9. Poor Website Navigation:
Poor website means a website with a low bounce rate. The bounce rate is the time a user spent on your site until the exit. A low bounce rate is certainly not helpful for the search engine rankings. Don’t overcrowd the menu and reduce clutter. Make important things visible and stand out so that it can generate users’ interest. At the end of the day if you provide a good user experience with excellent content people will stay on your site and will be back for more.
Website navigation should be according to user interest and it must make content easier for the user to find. Website navigation is essential in every of your article to fulfill the eleven needs of Yoast SEO plugin. You must provide at least one external link in every of your blog post to generate search engines trust in your site. But there are also some checkpoints that should be kept in mind to navigate a website.
10. Links in Comments:
Most of the marketers and brand owners access your blog or website only to place a comment with a link. They don’t care what the site is about and what the purpose of the published content. They just place the comment having a link to their desired website and left your website. These comments are just the common types of comments which have no resemblance to the content.
Too many links in the comment section will mean that your website is a pathway to other websites. And as a result, your website spam score will be increased gradually which is bad for your SEO rankings. Allowing links in the comments is not a good option, therefore don’t allow links in the comment section. This is against SEO a recommendation, that’s why deleting such type of unrelated comments without any delay will be a good choice. You can also disable such types of comments having links in your comments section settings.
The path for not allowing links in the comment section is as follows:
Go to manage at the left side dashboard of your WordPress site, Click on Settings ==> then click on Writing ==> and then Comment moderation;
Put the value 1, so it will not allow any link to be displayed in the comment section.
11. Local Searches:
Local searching and local targeting is also a part of SEO. People often search for something locally. For example, someone in your area is searching for the best night stay hotel in Lahore, Pakistan and you are not targeting the local areas around you in your blog. Guess what if you have not optimized for local searches and not targeting local keywords, you will not get any traffic from this kind of search.
Also, Google may penalize sites not optimized for local searches. Your content must be optimized to locally be searched as it improves the trust of search engines in your content.
12. Anchor Text for Internal Links:
Anchor texts for internal are essential to use for both user experience and search engines. There are some worst internal anchor texts that must be avoided to use. These anchor texts like; “click here”, “here”, and “this”, and text that is not descriptive in nature.
You might be agreed with me that internal links is a wonderful way to keep your audience engaged as it generates interest in your content. One thing to remember that uses a descriptive link so both humans and search engine bots can understand.
13. Content Marketing:
Content Marketing might never be underestimated. Content Marketing is also necessary to outreach your content to people who are looking for it. Sometimes at initial stage you can’t get enough traffic to show your content or brand to as many people as you wish, here you need to start content marketing for your business. Content marketing is a good option to get high traffic and it is also a recommended part of SEO.
SEO can’t replace content marketing. You should use both SEO and content marketing to drive more traffic to your site. SEO can help you bring organic traffic and content marketing can increase your brand visibility.
14. Mobile Friendliness:
Two things are common and necessary to be kept in mind:
- Website Speed: Website speed is the time your site takes to upload. Higher the upload time the bad will be the user experience.
- Mobile Friendly site: Mobile friendly site will be easily readable on mobile phones and will have a good user experience.
Have you checked the responsiveness of your website?
Making your site mobile friendly is not that hard, although changing the theme can help you solve this problem. Your site must be Mobile friendly. The term responsiveness is used for the Tab and Mobile Friendliness check. Websites not having mobile-friendly themes may badly affect SEO.
Voice search is also becoming popular these days and Google also recommends it for special people unable to type for a search. Mobile-friendliness of a website can be checked anytime by using free responsiveness check tools. One can also check it with Google mobile-friendly test tool or Bing Webmaster Mobile Friendliness Test Tool.
So, if you are using WordPress as your CMS (Content Management System) and Mobile-friendliness test results fail then you have two options to make your site mobile-friendly:
- You can use JetPack to make your existing theme mobile-friendly.
- Change your current theme into a mobile-friendly theme.
15. Unreasonable SEO Expectations:
SEO is a time taking process. It can’t be done in a limited amount of time. It requires much time and effort from you. There are so many factors that might be constantly managed to get Good SEO for your website/blog. Your content and all the other factors of SEO constantly remain under observations by search engines. Getting ranks in Google takes time at the initial stage and it can’t be achieved by unfair means.
As SEO is a time taking process and requires so many efforts from you, their results are also more fruitful than your efforts. Once you get good ranks in Google you can’t imagine its benefits for your site. You can get huge and constant traffic from all search engines and especially Google as it is the widely used search engine among all.
Therefore, don’t expect too much from SEO at the beginning. As discussed earlier, your site is constantly under observation. So never adopt unfair means of getting traffic from Google otherwise you will be penalized and there is also a possibility that your site might be blacklisted. You should keep in mind that search engine algorithms change and evolve over time, and they keep identifying black hat SEO tricks that people use to get quick rankings.
While there are two SEO’s, these are White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO.
White Hat SEO:
The White Hat SEO is the legal type of SEO recommended by Google.
Black Hat SEO:
The Black Hat SEO is illegal and people do it to get ranks using unfair means.
You might be thinking that SEO is too difficult to do if you are a beginner or not a tech person. But it is not that difficult. It becomes easier with time and practice. All you need to focus on your site and content and take a short course of SEO will be handy. SEO tools have made SEO easy. Here are 15 Top SEO Tools every Blogger must Know.
In the end, I would like to say that provide unique content and do not copy content from anywhere. Ignore spam emails and offers that promise to give you higher ranks and bring you Google fame overnight.