Search engine optimization is a must if you want to rank your website’s pages on Google’s SERPS and most bloggers make mistakes when optimizing their website. But the goal is to keep the mistakes to a minimum and improve your search rankings as much as possible. It is important to cover your bases and take all the necessary steps to get as much organic traffic as possible.
Targeting the Wrong Keywords
If you don’t do enough keyword research, you will not be able to increase your search traffic. It is the most important step of creating new blogs and it can hurt your page rankings greatly. It is not difficult to find the ideal keywords for the content but few are willing to put in the right amount of research.
There are multiple keyword research tools that you can make use of like Semrush and Ubersuggest, and you can also use Google Analytics and look up relevant keywords for the content you are trying to rank for. To target the right keyword, you need to have a “seed keyword” to begin with. You can enter seed keywords and find related profitable keyword ideas using keyword planning tools. Make sure that the keywords you are trying to rank for have a high search volume as some keywords can become obsolete very quickly. Competition is also another factor that you have to keep in mind when targeting keywords. If you are a new blogger, try to rank for keywords that have low competition as new websites have a harder time ranking for keywords that are very popular.
Ignoring Page Speed
Google’s PageSpeed Insights is just one of the many tools available that you can use to analyses your website’s performance. Optimizing your page speed is very important because Google lays a lot of emphasis on user experience for SEO. If your page load speeds are high, you will not get a high ranking on Google’s SERPs.
Mobile internet users are on the rise and they take up a significant amount of website traffic for almost all modern websites. Your webpages need to be optimized for the mobile audience on all major platforms including Android and iOS. Responsive pages that load fast on all popular devices can help you achieve great performance. Investing in a fast and secure hosting service can also help you improve your page load times. If your page is too slow, it will not only hurt your SEO, it will also make users less inclined to visit your website.
If you are a new blogger, you may be tempted to directly pay services that will link to your website. While it can lead to a spike in traffic, it is not seen as an ethical thing to do. Search engines can quickly catch on to it and you will not be able to achieve your SEO goals in the long run.
Google does not like the idea of link buying and even though many SEO “experts” and online services encourage buying high-quality SEO backlinks, it does not fall in line with what Google’s SEO standards expect from websites. Getting into paid link schemes will hurt your SEO as it does not lead to organic growth for your website. The less natural your traffic is, the worse you will rank on Google’s SERPs. The best way to grow your website is to promote your content on social media and through backlinks on your own website. Guest posting is also given the green signal by Google and you should try to promote your content from other websites as these are legitimate link building strategies. However, direct purchases of links will lead to red flags for your website’s SEO.
Not Creating Link-Worthy Content
Regardless of which industry your blog is catering to, you should focus on creating link-worthy content that others will be willing to share on social media and messaging platforms. You can spend hours creating content but if it is not good and does not offer anything of value to your audience, you will not be able to generate enough clicks.
Try to understand what is trending on social media and how it can serve as a catalyst for your blog. Use catchy headlines and present your content as well as possible. Even if you have great content, bad formatting and presentation can undo your efforts. Try to keep up with the latest trends in the industry you are catering to and get ahead of the curve. Learning from your competition and adapting to their content strategies is also a great ideas as you will be able to generate unique ideas for your website by learning from the competition.
Not Focusing on Design/UX
As mentioned earlier, user experience plays a big role in determining page rankings and SEO-friendliness of websites. if your webpages are not optimized and follow poor design choices, you will not be able to get the search engine page rankings you desire for your blog.
It is important to have a website that is easy to navigate for all users. Making your page mobile friendly is also a must if you do not want to lose out on potential audience. Mobile-friendliness was made a ranking factor all the way back in 2015 by Google and mobile-first indexing by the search engine started in 2017. By designing your page for both mobile and desktop audiences, you will be able to rank your pages better. You should also use a premium theme or get a custom design that is well optimized and stands out from the rest of your competition. All of these decisions will allow you to reduce your bounce rate tremendously.
Ignoring Your Website Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the best tools to get insights on your webpages. If your have enabled indexing for your pages, Google will be able to collect information from your website and offer you important statistics about your webpage including page views, bounce rate, revenue metrics and more.
The two most important metrics of your website include organic traffic and bounce rate. The amount of organic traffic you get through search engines by searching through keywords needs to be high if you want to succeed at SEO. There are ways to optimize your SEO but if you do not regularly take a look at your metrics, you will not be able to monitor your website’s performance consistently. The second-most important metric for websites is the bounce rate. This metric shows how much your users interact and engage with your website. It is one of the metrics used by Google to determine the quality of your website. The more website engagement you can generate, the lower your bounce rate will be.
Not Focusing on On-Page Optimization
If you do not focus on on-page optimization to ensure all necessary SEO practices are being followed, your website will not be able to achieve its full potential. You can figure out if your on-page optimization techniques are working or not by using analytics tools.
On-page optimization is the process of optimizing your webpages by using keywords to improve your page rankings in Google’s SERPs. You will need to conduct thorough research to identify the right keywords and use them in prominent pages throughout your content. Some of the common practices to properly optimize webpages include the use of SEO-friendly URLs, starting titles with primary keywords, using images and appropriate ALT tags, proper keyword usage, use of headers and more. If you ae using a WordPress website, there are many plugins available that make the optimization process easier by suggesting changes to your content. You can use these high-quality SEO plugins to optimize your content and rank higher in the search engine pages.
Plagiarized content will hurt your SEO a lot and it is important that you create your own original content. Copying content from other pages might help you get initial search engine rankings but Google will quickly catch onto you and there is also the risk of facing copyright strikes from the original content creators.
Any content that appears more than once is flagged. While some text being copied like quotes is okay, substantiative blocks of text visible across domains will hurt your SEO. While it will not get you penalized, it does not mean that it is okay to copy other people’s content. By using duplicate content, it is unlikely that you will generate substantial search traffic. Use headlines that are catchy and create content that is unique to your website. It is okay to refer to other websites for inspiration but you should not blatantly copy other content and market it as your own. Copyright strikes can negatively impact your website and it can also lead to legal repercussions.
Not Using Anchor Text
Anchor text is an important factor for your overall website’s SEO health. Using anchor text helps Google differentiate spam websites from legitimate ones. It also helps you inform readers where they can find more information and what content each of your page links offer.
By using good excerpts/anchor text you can create the first point of contact between you and a potential website visitor. Your anchor text should reveal what your pagelink is all about but you should give them a reason to click on your weblink. If you have a computer repair blog and are addressing a specific issue in a blog post, you should explain how you can help your audience. If you reveal the solution in your anchor text, potential visitors will have no reason to click on your website. You should also include keywords in your anchor text but keyword stuffing needs to be avoided.
Not Having Unique Meta Descriptions/Title Tags
Your meta descriptions should not be copied directly from your article and you should explain what your content is all about in them as briefly as possible. Giving your audience an introduction to what they can expect from your content is a great way to write meta descriptions.
If you are covering news content, you should explain the issue at hand and give them important bits of information in the news article. Starting the title with your primary keyword is a great way to boost organic visibility as title tags play a major role in determining SERP rankings. In addition to including a proper meta description and title tags in each of your blogs, you also need to include appropriate keywords, subheadings and H1/H2/H3 tags in your content.
New bloggers are likely to make SEO mistakes and it is part of the learning process. SEO is constantly evolving and what you learn today might not be applicable a few months down the line. It is important to stay updated with the latest SEO practices and understand what the best SEO practices are. To get the most traffic organically you need to reduce as many SEO mistakes as possible. Make use of analytics to understand where your website is lacking and try to improve your page rankings. Comparing your website with your competitors can also help you understand where you are going wrong in your approach to SEO. Regular audits can help you analyze your website and avoid these common SEO mistakes we discussed today.