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10 Common Mistakes That Will Tank Your SEO Rankings

13 min read

SEO is a toolkit of strategies that have become synonymous with digital marketing. SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is how businesses get noticed by search engines and build visibility online. Google and other search engines look at every single web page and compare it against a massive list of ranking factors in order to put the best results in front of their users.

SEO is all about knowing how to leverage those ranking factors to boost digital success. SEO includes everything from the quality of web design to content, keywords, backlinks and more. In fact, there is a lot that goes into SEO and getting the most out of it is a complex process for any business.

To know more about how to level up your SEO rankings you can consider taking a SEO training course which can provide you will the necessary skills.

How SEO Drives Better Organic Results

Most movement on the internet is coming from organic traffic – meaning that search engine users are typing in queries and searches rather than seeking out a specific website. SEO helps businesses make it to the top of the digital heap and appear on page one where they’re most likely to be found.

SEO is critical for improving organic visibility and connecting with the right audience. In fact, 57% of marketers say SEO generates more leads than any other type of marketing approach, and earning a top spot is important since 75% of internet users never make it past the first page of results.

There are plenty of things you can do to boost SEO performance, and few things that you can do that will tank it fast. To make sure this doesn’t happen, here are 10 common mistakes that businesses should avoid if they want better Google rankings.

Thinking Your Site Is Fast Enough

 This past summer, Google announced that while desktop load speed had been a ranking factor for a while, that they also included it as a key ranking factor for mobile sites as well. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, especially considering more than half of search engine users will abandon a site once load time starts to climb past 2 seconds.

The mistake that many businesses make is thinking that their site is “fast enough.” We don’t really have a clear definition of how fast is fast enough, but we do know that the longer a person has to wait past the 2-second mark, the likelier they are to bounce. If you haven’t yet, now is the time to check your site speed with a tool like Google’s Site Speed Test.

Not Considering the User Experience

The look and functionality of your web design both play a part in your site’s overall user experience (UX). The more someone enjoys visiting your site, the more likely they are to return. However, they’re not the only ones that matter – Google cares about UX too.

Many of Google’s ranking factors are directly related to the UX a site provides. Make sure your own web design is focused on mobile optimization, speed and key usability factors that are important to the modern consumer.

Making It Hard to Be Found

Local SEO is crucial for community-based businesses. While many elements play a part in local SEO, hands down one of the most important is a Google map. If you haven’t included a Google map on your site, you’re not only missing out on foot traffic, but you’re also missing out on the extra opportunity for Google to find you easier and connect you with the right audience.

Being Too General with CTAs

You should be looking for every way possible to optimize SEO across every page of your site. Of course, you don’t want to overdo it, but frequently some opportunities get missed – like being more purposeful with the clickable anchor text in your call to actions.

For instance, instead of saying click “here,” choose a word that more directly corresponds to the content or page you’re linking to.

You’re Making the Trifecta of Content Errors

Your content should be created with a purposeful intent that provides value for your audience and is capable of earning the backlinks you need to boost visibility. A poor content strategy is one that doesn’t consider value, isn’t created for link building and is put out there just because someone told you that you needed more of it.

Take a look at your content strategy with an objective eye to see if you’re really hitting the mark on all three targets.

Having an Unsecured Site

If you haven’t yet purchased an SSL Certificate, it should be priority number one to ensure that you have a secure site that visitors and search engines trust. If you haven’t taken this step, visitors to your site will be met with a blaring “Not Secure” notification in the search bar.

Given the prevalence of cyber crimes and the risk to security, many visitors are likely to back away from non-secure sites rather than take the risk.

Not Fully Optimizing Your Images

Images make your web pages and content more appealing to visitors, so why not get maximum SEO impact when you include them on your site. If you don’t include alt text with your images, then you’re not making it as easy as it could be for search engines to pick up your high-quality content.

There is a simple fix for this. Include a brief snippet of alt text to each image, making sure it’s keyword relevant but not oversaturated or misleading in any way. Also, make sure any image file names are descriptive rather than general.

Not Paying Enough Attention to Lower Ranking Pages

If your website is like most others, you have pages that are your star performers and those that always fall short. It’s easy to put all your energy into the top performing pages, or even create new pages with the hopes of getting more traffic.

You would be doing yourself a favor by putting a little more energy into optimizing your existing, lower ranking pages to give them a performance boost. This is especially true for pages that are getting some attention but might need a little help making it to page one.

You Have Too Many Low Ranking Pages

Another reason you want to pay more attention to your existing low ranking pages, rather than shove more pages and content into your site, is that too many poorly performing pages will damage your website authority.

Now is an excellent time to go through your site, scrutinize the value and purpose of every page and piece of content. Then give the ax to whatever just isn’t going to work. More isn’t necessarily better when it comes to web pages and content.

Not Performing Regular Audits

No matter how perfectly optimized your website is, errors are inevitable, and they’re going to pop up from time to time. The only chance you have at catching these errors before they cause your SEO to take a hit is to perform a regular site audit to find them before they turn into bigger problems.

During your site audit, be on the lookout for slow speed, unoptimized meta tags, duplicate content, and broken links.

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