Warning: These Mistakes Can Ruin Your SEO
Whether you are just starting out with SEO or are a veteran at it, you ought to know that SEO is very dynamic. Nothing ever stays the same. The tactics that may have worked a few years ago won’t give you the same success today. Search engine algorithms keep changing in a bid to improve user experience by returning better search results. It is therefore no wonder that people keep making mistakes when trying to optimize their websites.
The problem with some mistakes however, is that they will destroy your SEO and are often difficult to recover from. Fixing some of these mistakes can be costly especially where penalties are involved. Falling in the rankings can also drastically affect your bottom line. It is therefore best to avoid these errors rather than risk having to recover from them.
Costly SEO mistakes
1. Using duplicate content
Duplicate content is one of the biggest SEO killers in the eyes of Google. You may find it difficult to come up with original content and decide to use content that you have found on other websites. This will most definitely result in a hefty penalty from Google.
It is important to create your own original content or at least hire an agency to help you with it. This will ensure that you avoid penalties and losing rankings. It also ensures that your content is relevant to your audience.
2. Wrong Keywords
Keywords are vital for the success of any SEO campaign. However, targeting the wrong keywords means that your entire SEO campaign is an exercise in futility because your website will not appear for searches related to your products and services.
Targeting the wrong keywords will mean that you will not drive users interested in your products or services to your website which will affect your bottom line negatively.
It is therefore important to first search for the right keywords. They should be specific to your industry. You should then check the keywords in respect to your competition. Three important factors to consider when doing keyword research are search volume, level of competition and commercial value (buyer intent) of each keyword. A tool like Google Keyword Planner is a good tool to start with and it is free to use.
3. Not paying attention to the title tags and Meta descriptions
The words you use in your titles and Meta descriptions are what will encourage users to click on the links and visit your website. Title tags and Meta descriptions is the information that appears in search engine results pages. There is nothing else that distinguishes you from other websites visually. You therefore have to make the most of the opportunity. Use attention grabbing title tags that will cause users to be interested in your content. Also ensure that your Meta descriptions provide adequate information about what the reader will find on your webpage.
In addition, it is important to ensure that you include keywords in the title tags and Meta descriptions because title tags contribute greatly to how well your website ranks in SERPs.
4. Slow page loading speeds
If your webpage takes a long time to load, then you’re rankings in search engines are likely to suffer. Faster sites make for happy users. Many internet users are not patient enough to wait for your website to load. They are likely to give up after a few seconds and go to your competitors’ websites.
It is therefore important to ensure that your site speed is at optimum. Your goal should be to ensure that your page loads in under 4 seconds.
In addition, a website’s bounce rate is one of the factors that affect its rankings in SERPs especially on Google.
There are various online tools that can help you identify bottlenecks that are causing your website to load much slower than it ought to including PingDom and W3 Total Cache plugin. These tools will help you test the speed of your website and refine various elements to ensure that your website loads faster.