In fact, the majority of consumers nowadays research online about products and services before making a final purchase decision. So, it’s clear why you need a brilliant SEO strategy in place, if you wish to rank higher in search results.
Google provides official guidelines to webmasters that explore major aspects of great design and content-creation rules. Even then, most webmasters are guilty of ignoring basic SEO rules, which hurts their rankings, and ultimately their ROI. If you want your website to be a lean, mean, revenue-generating machine, avoid these basic SEO mistakes.
1. Keyword stuffing and/or irrelevant keywords
Most SEO practitioners will tell you that using keyword-rich content will drive up your search engine rankings. This might have been true in the past, but now Google’s spam filters are exceedingly smart and will categorize your site as low quality. Keyword stuffing or the use of irrelevant keywords is against Google’s best practices.
In addition, using too many keywords makes your copy unreadable and repetitive. And users will not react well. Remember: Google tracks user satisfaction signals for websites. So, if your content is unreadable or uninformative, website visitors won’t stay long and will quickly move on. Google can see this lack of interaction on your site and will take action; these issues will impact your search engine rankings.
Tip: Reduce keyword stuffing if you have been using it as a part of your SEO strategy. Locate the Fetch as Google tool in your search console and check whether your website is violating this rule. Focus on using compelling content and user-centric marketing, which will promote the higher rankings you want.
2. The use of ‘link scheme’ tricks to improve rankings
Google recommends that you avoid using any link-manipulation techniques. The Google Webmaster Guidelines clearly state that any effort to manipulate outbound links or links leading to your site constitutes a violation of the rules.
Some of the major link-building techniques that count as link manipulation include, but are not limited to: buying links from link farms; using link wheels; using automated link-building tools; employing excessive cross-linking; hiding links in text/images; and using low-quality links and sneaky redirects.
Tip: If Google imposes a penalty on your site, it could hurt your search visibility. The result will be a crushing blow to your organic search traffic as well as a nosedive in cause-related profits.
3. Low-quality content
Content marketing has become increasingly popular. Statistics show that 76 percent of B2C and 88 percent of B2B marketers use content marketing and consider it an important part of their overall marketing and advertising efforts.
As a rule of thumb, avoid scraped or automatically generated content. Modern Google algorithms quickly pick up on machine-generated content.
It goes without saying that content must be unique in order to achieve a higher rank. Good-quality content also needs to be authoritative, trustworthy and able to reflect expertise on the content subject.
Tip: Google doesn’t look only at relevant keywords; it tries to find content that is relevant. As a result you need to optimize for topics and concepts.
4. The failure to refresh old or low-quality pages
The presence of low-quality content at various parts of your website will affect your overall ranking. Google suggests that you either remove these pages or fix them.
Tip: Here are a few trouble spots you need to fix:
- Low-quality content
- Duplicate content (within your website)
- Auto-generated text
- Content doorways (i.e.: a redirect to another page without an adequate reason)
- The primary intent is to generate ad revenue
- Dead pages that have incoming backlinks
- Broken images and malformed html tags
- Out-of-date pages
- Improper pagination
- Stub pages
4. The failure to take advantage of Analytics
The goal of SEO is to drive conversions, not just bring organic traffic to your site. And your profits depend on conversion rates. Generating massive amounts of website traffic is going to be useless if you aren’t seeing an increase in conversion rates. Since you have put so much effort into design and strategy, it’s important that you monitor traffic and take advantage of amazing analytics tools.
Tip: There are many impacting factors, but at the very least you should track conversion rates for your key phrases.
Overall, most people consider SEO strategies a bag of tricks designed to manipulate users and search engine algorithms. This couldn’t be further from the truth. This misconception gives a bad name to SEO. In reality the main goal of SEO techniques is to implement a set of rules. After all, these rules improve user experience.
So, even if your “tricks” work in the short-term, Google’s algorithms are getting smarter with every update — you are fighting a losing battle! Instead, employ good SEO practices; they’ll generate more ROI in the long-term.