If you’re serious about achieving high rankings with Google, it’s important that you’re playing by the rules because if you don’t, serious repercussions could come your way.
Even if you’re creating the best content in the world, it doesn’t mean you’re going to rank, and while links were a large ranking factor in the past, it isn’t that way anymore.
As more people come to the Internet, ranking for the right keywords could potentially send hundreds, if not thousands of new visitors your way. To help you achieve the rankings that you dream of, here are eight SEO mistakes that you will want to avoid:
Improper Keyword Research
It’s so important that you’re trying to rank for the right keywords because if you fail to do so, no one is going to come your way, even if you rank.
To find the right keywords, consider using tools like the Google Keyword Planner and Wordstream. Even though Google doesn’t list keyword data on its analytical reports, it doesn’t mean you can’t get traffic numbers from third-party resources.
Design Isn’t Optimized
Whether you’re using WordPress or designing your website by hand, it’s so important that your website is optimized for search engines. Your website should load fast, have an easy-to-access menu and a hierarchy that makes it easy for search engines to understand. Failing to optimize your website could lead to low rankings, even if you have a fantastic backlink profile.
Writing for Search Engines
In the past, writing a blob of text would work wonders, and as long as you inserted the right keywords, your rankings could shoot up overnight. However, as things have progressed, this doesn’t work anymore.
Today, with social media and other factors, Google is able to distinguish what’s bad and what’s good. While the search engines can’t read your content, it can do a good job picking up other signals. For example, if your bounce rate is too high or a user clicks away from your search result too fast, it could be a sign your content is poor.
Using Black Hat Methods
It’s probably tempting to use black hat methods to rank your website fast. While there are methods out there that still work, it isn’t going to last long; in fact, once Google or other search engines find out, there’s a good chance your domain will be removed and banned from the results. Is this something that you want? Always make sure that you avoid low-quality blog networks, cloaking, hidden text and so forth.
Ignoring Title Tag
While writing meta tags and a description is a thing of the past, many webmasters still avoid writing up a good title. If you look at any search results, the first thing that you’re going to notice is the title of the website. If this title tag isn’t filled with keywords or isn’t catchy enough, you could be missing out on clicks or a good ranking. Make sure that you focus on your keyword research and a title that visitors want to click.
Failing to Update
If you look at any successful website, there’s going to be one thing in common – consistency. A good website will constantly be updated. As the algorithm continues to improve, Google will continue to reward websites that update its content constantly. If you fail to update every week or so, it’s going to be extremely hard to achieve top rankings.
While some link buying strategies may work, it really isn’t something that you want to focus on. As you’ve probably read, the best links are going to come from resources naturally. As long as you create something that is informative, the links should come. Even though it can be tempting, it usually isn’t worth the risk.
Focusing on Quantity of Links, Not Quality
Sadly, so many webmasters focus on getting as many links as possible. Again, while the number of links could have worked in the past, it doesn’t work any more. For example, would you rather have one link from CNN or 20 links from low-quality blogs that receive no traffic? Today, Google places a large emphasis on the quality, not the quantity. It’s so important that you try your hardest to get a link that will build your brand and send traffic your way.
Even if you’re a victim of these mistakes, it doesn’t mean you can’t fix it. If you’re serious about your rankings, it’s important that you’re playing by the rules, and as long as you focus on your user, quality and a solid backlink profile, there’s no reason you won’t be ranking well for a long time.