Search Engine Optimization - the three-word marketing technique is a tough discipline to master. You cannot simply ignore it, considering the fact that more than 80% of mobile traffic today originates from Internet searches.
- Further, SEO leads enjoy a close rate of 14.6%
- More than 75% of users do not go past the first search results page
- First 3 SEO results receive more than 61% of clicks
Whether you like it or not, SEO has become a cornerstone for Digital Age marketing. But, you cannot afford to overdo it either, because search engines like Google and Bing have prescribed rules for optimizing your web pages and content that cannot be violated, lest your website be penalized or ranked lower in search engine results.
With time the rules of SEO have transformed significantly. Still, veterans and experienced professionals commit mistakes that seriously undermine their ranking efficacy.
Perhaps, your website ranking might also be affected because of such mistakes. Are you aware of such mistakes? Here is a collection of some such mistakes that you have to hunt down and eliminate to keep your SEO ranking at all times high.
- Using Duplicated Content
According to this Google Support Console, Duplicate content that is “either completely matching other content or are appreciably similar”. Duplicate content will be automatically flagged off by Google crawler bots thus leaving a poor SEO ranking for your website.
Now the problem of duplicated content can happen in various ways:
- Your CMS platform might have errors which need to be fixed
- When you miss setting canonical tags for repetitive pages
- When your page is built in various languages
- If your website has multiple home pages
If the problem persists with your CMS platform, an ideal way out will be to use the Robots.txt to inform which portions of the website that the crawl bot should not index.
Similarly, for pages which have many redirections coming to it, applying the rel="canonical" link can help solve the duplicate content issues.
CMS and canonical tags are taken care of, now if multi-lingual pages are giving you trouble, try using the rel="alternate" hreflang="x" attributes to help the page identify the best suitable language based on geolocation.
2. A Poor User Experience
Ever since Google’s Panda release, low-quality web pages have been losing in search engine ranking. User experience is evaluated primarily using metrics like dwell time (which means the time spent by the user in the website) and the usage pattern.
Google can sense each and every single click that a customer makes through its Chrome browser. That data is used to estimate how well or poorly a website is performing. If a user leaves a page immediately on visiting it, it could be due to poor user experience.
Remember, the user experience is not just about using high-quality imagery and graphics, but also great content that reads and engages. Secondly, the page loading speed also matters a lot. For instance, a web page which loads in under 3 seconds will enjoy a better page ranking than a page which takes a longer duration.
The point is to reduce the number of applications or extensions that run in the background so that the page loading speed is not affected.
3. Your website is not mobile friendly
According to Smart Insights, “more than 80% of internet users own a smartphone”. In fact, this population is growing on a daily basis considering the easy availability of Internet, mobile devices, and connectivity. The Internet is literally run by mobile devices and searches.
To tap into the massive population, your website needs to be prepped for responsiveness. It must have the flexibility to snugly fit into the screen dimensions of a user device without any trouble. Moreover, a lion share of the Internet searches today stems from a mobile phone. So it is worthwhile to prep your website for mobile-friendliness to own your share of the market pie.
4. Failing to build high-quality backlinks
Links from high authority websites and established blog or guest post sources can increase traffic your website substantially. Ignoring to build high-quality backlinks is a sure recipe to lose out on traffic.
Also, violating the norms that Google has laid out on building backlinks or resorting to shady practices to increase traffic through fake backlinks can backfire. Care must be taken to avoid building wrong or fake backlinks that can hurt your ranking.
5. Security as a matter of SEO importance
Your website’s security is a major ranking signal. Google and even the most popular CMS WordPress are seen advocating for a safer web environment where customer data and exchange of data is secure and free from interception or cyber security attacks.
Most website owners take security lightly and as a result, have the SEO scale tipped against their favor. All it takes is to invest in a good SSL certificate and migrate the website to HTTPS from the erstwhile HTTP. Different types of SSL certificates are available online and you can select anyone SSL certificates and install on your server to achieving search engine ranking as well as protecting customer data from all corners.
6. Messing up the meta descriptions
Meta descriptions and SEO titles are like pointers for the search bots. It helps the bot to index the page quickly and correctly and throw up suggestions in SERPs when relevant search queries are made.
Furthermore, they are the descriptions which tell the search bot what the entire page is about and how it should be indexed. So, failing to update the meta descriptions or doing it in a wrong manner can hurt the search engine ranking of your website completely.
Summing It Up
SEO is a vast ocean. Mistakes are bound to be made even by the most experienced webmasters. However, the trick to identify your mistakes and take corrective action so that your website does not suffer for long.
In what was written until now, we have covered some major SEO mistakes that can hurt the website ranking of any website. Do bear them in mind and stay clear of them to put your site ahead of the competition and on top of search engine results.