Over the past 20 years, marketing has changed. Even the big 3 mediums of television, print, and radio have ceased to be the only major channels for communication. For the modern marketer, the internet has taken center stage.
If you are going to succeed, you need to understand everything there is to know about marketing online. However, SEO remains a realm of mystery and magic. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Today, let’s remove some of the mystery from the most common SEO pitfalls.
1. Bad Backlinks
First of all, a backlink is any link received from a website, webpage, web directory, or top level domain. You probably think that all backlinks are good, but there is such a thing as a bad backlink.
Not all links are good links.
Bad backlinks are links which come from sites such as irrelevant pages, link directories, and spammy websites. These hurt your search engine rankings.
To fix these, you need to gather your backlink data from a site like Open Site Explorer or MajesticSEO. These will show you all of your backlinks, and you can find the ones that look unnatural. From there it’s a manual process of asking webmasters to remove links on their site.
It’s imperative to uphold your rankings and credibility, even if it is a pain.
2. Cannibalizing Target Keywords
Keywords are extremely important. You have to use them in titles, title tags, and throughout your articles. But that doesn’t mean you can overuse target keywords.
For example, let’s say you have a website that sells marketing services. It’s important that you have only one page that owns marketing services. If you have pages targeting close keywords derivations (i.e. “marketing services data” or “digital marketing services”), your pages are competing for ranking on the same keyword.
This is what cannibalizing keywords looks like.
To fix this, you need a canonical SEO strategy, which clearly assigns a keyword to a sole canonical page. This will help you send clear signals to search engines and visitors which page is the authority.
Title tags shouldn’t just be focused around keywords. They should also entice people to actually click your article. Keywords are important, but you still need to drive traffic to your website.
3. Page-Load Time
Page-load time has been confirmed as one of the 200 ranking factors that Google uses in its ranking algorithm. It is also a huge factor in visitor usability. If the page takes too long to load, users won’t stick around.
There are many ways to optimize page-load time. These include:
- Only use appropriate image sizes and formats.
- Avoid unnecessary plug-ins, CSS, and HTML.
- Reduce the number of redirects.
4. Indexing Issues
This is simple, if your page can’t be indexed, it won’t be included in the search engine results page. In other words, it’s completely useless.
Everything from blocked and missing pages to broken links and redirects can cause indexing issues. It’s crucial that you consistently monitor each page. If a search engine cannot get to your page, neither can your users.
As a result, you can also increase bounce rate and decrease in traffic.
5. Poor Content
Poor content, or no content, is one of the most common mistakes made by marketers. Not only do you need to be creating regular content, but it also needs to be useful to your audience. The answer: write more.
Since the first Panda update, Google has been doing its best to disregard results that aren’t useful to users. According to many SEO experts, Google ranks better for businesses that produce relevant, authoritative content about their industry, not just their niche audience. It can also be beneficial to connect with authorities within your industry to get backlinks and social media mentions.
Answering your audiences’ questions through useful data, tips, and visuals is a great way to improve your relevance.
Each of these 5 SEO pitfalls can result in lower website rankings, as well as a poor user experience. However, each pitfall can be fixed by investing a little time into your SEO strategy. Without these mistakes holding you back, your website will be on its way to the top of the rankings.