Information overload is one of the biggest reasons webmaster gets confused about search engine optimization. The internet is full of SEO articles that are outdated, have bad advise, promotes unethical methods, mentioning customized solutions and etc. Following these could at best won’t give you any results and at worse can hurt your rankings. Here are some common SEO mistakes you need to fix for good search engine rankings.
It’s an important factor because if SEO spiders do not fully crawl your blog then search engines will never know about uncrawled pages in your site. A few of the common factors which can cause this issue are:
Using “no-index” tag
No-index is HTML tag placed on the header on your HTML page which asks search engines not to index this page in the search listing.
For example: Sometimes using a popular CMS such as WordPress which have huge plugins and themes repository, might set no-index tags automatically if they contain that function and if it’s not correctly configured.
Complex URL Structure
URL structure is also known as “Permalink” this naming and organizational structure of the web pages and resources in your site. Mainly due to very long, complicated, or poor URL structure.
Too much internal and external linking
Internal links are the links which link to a different resource within the root website however external links are the links which link out to the third-party content. Having many links in a single page also increase the difficulty of crawlability. Also, do not put links where they are not needed, like your sales copy, as it can compromise the quality of your content, just put links where they are necessary.
Low or No Value Proposition
Webmasters make the SEO mistake of optimizing their site for SEO before it has a value to offer. It will cause damage to it’s ranking capability, user, and online reputation. Either people do not click on their website, or even if they do, they do not go there again. So webmasters have to ask themselves; Why would a user click on my site in search results?
It is the most crucial question, because if you will not have something unique and valuable to offer, why would anyone come to your website? First, you will need to concentrate on the value proposition of your website so it can attract users.
Example: Consider your website as an offline business in Colombo. Now if your company is offering something that is not provided by other businessmen of the same niche, like free delivery within Colombo or lower prices. You will have a good odds of getting a sale. Just like that, websites also offer content to users, and the article which has more valuable information receives the traffic.
Don’t blindly follow any advice.
Almost everyone has come across some tutorial videos on Youtube or posts on different blogs. These posts or videos are like this “Guaranteed SEO results in 24 hours” or “Boost your rankings with this software or technique”.
Information available on posts like these is usually nothing but a waste of time. It is just a Clickbait. Most of the time there is nothing but false and misleading information to make profits for themselves. Unfortunately, webmasters take that information seriously. They start implementing it, without any confirmation of whether it is a legit way or not. They go ahead and apply those techniques to their websites. That careless action either result in a decrease in rankings or they end up losing the traffic they had before.
So to avoid that mistake, do not go ahead and follow whatever you see. , or understand that concepts and best practices before they teach like Neil Patel, Brian Dean, Google or our own Nishadha Silva’s SEO section or my blog. Overall don’t take our word but analyze and make a decision based on what we say.
Content flow is more critical than Exact Match Keywords.
One thing that is even more important than focusing on SEO is the user experience. Usually, webmasters use too many keywords or try to insert exact match keywords on a single page. Which breaks the flow of readability, to fit keywords in your content, You make some changes in sentences, and those changes may break the rhythm of the sentence. Once the rhythm of the sentence gets mixed up, it will sound as machine-generated content or artificially manipulated content.
Using exact match keywords and keyword stuffing worked great during 2010-2012, but current search engine algorithms do not recommend these practices. And if done extensively it can damage your site’s Search Engine reputation or even cause a penalty.
To avoid that SEO mistake, focus on user experience more than SEO. Write the content for humans rather than search engines. Use SEO to improve ranking, so that more people can visit your blog. If people are not going to be satisfied, then what is the use of that ranking?
So you need to use keywords smartly and professionally. You need to maintain the balance between keywords and content. Stop stuffing keywords if the flow of your post starts to break.
Titles and descriptions for your websites are essential
People usually do not give too much attention to the title of their web page both meta and visual. Mostly they use the same title for all the pages on their website which is one of the biggest SEO mistakes. Because if the title of the homepage (index page) is also the title of some other page which conveys some additional information, then how will it be differentiated?
Other than that, if people choose different titles for all of their pages, even then they show carelessness in the choice of the heading which perfectly depicts the content of that page.
Example 1: if someone bookmarks your website and there is no title, the page says homepage, or untitled. What do you think will happen? After some time when that user will open bookmarks and look for your page, he will be unable to find it. Because the title related to content which the user liked it, so how come the user will see your page in bookmarks?
Example 2: if your page title says homepage, or untitled. Then how the Search Engines can understand what your page is really? They will associate your page with keywords such as homepage and untitled which is not your end goal.
Besides that, you need to choose the description of your page very carefully. The meta description should be concise and should depict perfect information regarding the content on your page. The small snippets of your page, which appear in search results can make the user click on your page, or it can make the user ignore your page. So write the description which you think is relevant to the searched content.
Your snippet will usually be competing with nine other organic listing, advertisements listing and other additional unique SERP listing. So perfect title and description can improve your click-through rates.
Misuse of Backlinks
Search engines in 2018 have updated their algorithm to look closely at both ends of the backlinks. It means they consider the quality of the backlinks as well as the number of backlinks. And without keeping this factor in mind, webmasters go ahead and start building backlinks from every possible way, and to be honest, that is a clear abuse of backlinking which can cause severe damage for your website.
When it comes to backlinks there two typdes of huge mistakes:
Paying for backlinking:
Using services that charge for backlinking is a big SEO mistake. These services will not only cost you money, but you will have no idea about where your links are going to get placed, quality of the sites, practices employed by the services, search engines actively trying track it down and much more. These services might give you a small ranking boost but likely to hurt you in the long run. As usually paid backlinking service providers will put your links on the sites that are rubbish concerning quality also with SPAM sites which can hurt your site’s reputation. According to Google and other popular search engines, poor quality backlinks will not get you far.
Bad quality backlinking sites:
Even if you are not paying for backlinking, you should be careful about where you put your backlink. Because if you generate traffic from sites which contain things like poor spelling/grammar, restricted/adult content, spammy paid sites, and generally irrelevant content, thousands of internal and external links and already penalized sites. It will decrease the quality of your site too.
And Last but not the Least;
Not utilizing the power of Search Engine Webmaster tools:
Do not make one of the most common SEO mistakes that most of the webmasters make. That mistake is not getting free help from Search Engines itself.
- Google: Google Webmasters tool at google.com/webmasters
- Google Analytics: Does more than tracking google.com/analytic
- Bing / Yahoo: Bing Webmasters toolbox at bing.com/webmasters
These tools provide a ton of valuable information for optimizing your site. These are not general information but instead, information customized and gathered from your sites. Any significant problems found will immediately show up in the webmaster panel which can be a handy resource. It will also provide various vital functions and features to help your site rank higher organically.
Search Engines also have informative blogs for you to read and they have tons of valuable videos on almost every topic covering SEO from every aspect. You can go to their forum and benefit from its posts. You can post your questions and clear your misconceptions about SEO because the experts in SEO will answer your questions. So by utilizing all that information, you can improve your site.
Now that you know about most common SEO mistakes that most of the webmasters make, You should attempt to stay away from them as far as possible.
Make your site easy to navigate. Provide a quality user experience. There is no doubt that use of SEO is very vital for your website in Sri Lanka. But easy navigation, quality content and overall quality user experience are more critical for your site.
About the Author
Alston Antony is a digital marketer for over 10+ years experience. A professional BCS member and also got his Master’s degree in UK. Finally returned to Sri Lanka to offer my professional digital marketing services such as SEO, Web design, CTA optimization and etc. through my company Lanka Lion Marketing. If you want to find-out how I can help you please click here.