Despite the vast amount of information online about how to rank a website safely using Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it’s amazing just how many websites are still making silly mistakes.
There are over 200 different factors that go into how Google ranks a website, some are more heavily weighted than others, and while you can focus on as many of those factors as you want, if you make any of the mistakes listed here in our top 10 countdown it won’t matter, because if there’s any competition at all your SEO campaign will disappear without a trace.
10. Copying someone else
Plagiarism is totally unacceptable, admittedly not everyone can be a creative genius, but it doesn’t take much to come up with an original idea. By copying other people’s content on your website not only are you not being true to your brand or service, but it’s also a sure-fire way of making certain none of the pages rank for any of their targeted keywords.
9. Linking out to bad communities
Receiving links from “bad communities” such as gambling websites, adult websites, spam websites, etc. Is a commonly known way to get downgraded in the search engine rankings, likewise, it’s the same if your website links out to any websites that are in those categories, or even connects (links out) to many websites in the same field, this is an area that you need to pay attention to as it works going in both directions.
8. Keyword stuffing
Shoving as many SEO keywords on to a page as physically possible to try and manipulate a page’s ranking is such a common mistake because, while it might have some positive short term effects, it is one of the dumbest ways to ensure that you don’t rank for the keywords you want to rank for, rule of thumb – keep it below 2% and use a lot of synonyms instead if you want to see good results.
7. Failing to link internally
Linking blog posts and web pages to one another within your website is such a huge benefit to SEO practices and helps search engines know what you think each page should be ranking for. As long as your website is in good standing, internal linking is extremely powerful, failing to do so is probably about as passively a self-destructive SEO strategy as you can get.
6. Not claiming your online listings
This is such an effective way to make sure a small business website never ever gets found. Local SEO has different ranking factors, and by not letting any of the search engines know a local business exists is the perfect way to make sure that a website listing stays buried.
5. Don’t bother to create a mobile-friendly website
Don’t want to rank, then don’t create a mobile-friendly website, it couldn’t be simpler. Today, aside from the fact that well over half of all searches are now online, Google has made it abundantly clear that they expect every website that makes front-page rankings to have a mobile version.
However, this can be a separate mobile-specific version of a website or a responsive theme that automatically changes what the website looks like depending on the device being used. Ignoring this part of the ranking is by far the perfect way to make sure that your website never ranks.
4. Use poorly written content
Google has said content is king for years, even before that was 100% true. If this is their mantra, and they want it to be true, then the best way to screw up your website is to do the opposite.
Using poorly written content is one of the most sure-fire ways to sabotage all other SEO efforts. There are loads of FREE, easy to use online tools available to help you. There is no excuse for poor use of grammar or English as a second language syntax, likewise using copied content or boring “puffery” that doesn’t really mean anything.
3. Have the same meta tags for every page
While meta tags don’t help you get ranked, don’t fall into the trap of having the same ones copy and pasted on every page as not only will this get you penalised, by using minimal effort it’s also a great way to nullify all of your other SEO endeavours.
2. Use keywords anchored backlinks
One or two of these showing up is fine and with a much larger website in a niche market, it might even be expected. However, don’t think Google isn’t smart enough to know what your website is about and by using a lot of keyword anchored backlinks it is seen as gaming the system, and gaming the system is going to get your website rankings hammered down.
1. Spam with massive backlinks
There was a time not long ago where the sheer number of backlinks you managed to get pointing to your website was the single biggest overriding factor in whether or not you were at the top of the search engine rankings.
But, my friend those days are long gone. Today, if you get caught mass-producing keyword anchored backlinks to your website you might get a big ratings boost for one or two weeks, but then your website is going to be penalised big time and possibly even blacklisted.
We all know that a resilient SEO Strategy is by far the best way to appear at the top of the search engine results page – the more search visibility you have, the more qualified traffic you can direct to your website. But, if you make or continue to make any of the mistakes we’ve listed in our top 10 countdown you can be guaranteed that your website will begin to sink like a stone.
It doesn’t matter what other techniques you are using, these 10 mistakes are absolute SEO killers and if you want to rank, you need to avoid them with a passion.