10 SEO Pitfalls You Must Avoid
Stop what you are doing and have a look at your website. Ask yourself, when was the last time I updated my content? When was the last time I looked at my SEO strategy and changed it to suit current trends? SEO is not a stagnant field. If you haven’t looked at your website content in a couple of years, now is the best time to rework it. Two years is a long time in internet years and half of what you did to ensure your website would rank page one two years ago is probably outdated, even detrimental. Here are 10 things you should avoid when you look at your website’s SEO.
1. Poor keyword research
It is very easy to jump into your content without thinking about which keywords will drive visitors to your site. Too often businesses will just jump on Google, find a couple of keywords that look good, ignore how many impressions the keywords receive or their ranking difficulty. Only after you have poured your heart and soul into your content do you realise that your page will rank well on keywords that get one or two impressions, or wont rank well at all because you chose difficult keywords. So, stop writing your content and go back to your keywords.
First look at what keywords your competitors are using. This is the best way to get a good head start. Then look beyond your local competitors, look to international companies that rank highly. Put all their URLs into applications like Ahrefs or Uberall and look at which keywords they are ranking with. Look at which pages draw the most visitors and rank the best. Go to those pages and find the keywords that they are using, look at how they are using them. Then steal their strategy and do it even better. A famous quote that has been stolen many times is “amateurs borrow, but professionals steal”.
Now that you have an idea on what your competitors do, and you know which strategy to use take a good look at keywords. Look at the search volume on each keyword and the ranking difficulty. You want keywords that have a relatively high search volume but a lower difficulty. Remember the higher the difficulty the more backlinks your site will need to secure, so be realistic as to what you can achieve.
If you are unsure on which keywords you should target, contact Link Pixel today for a free consultation.
2. Link Schemes and PBNs
Stop with link schemes and PBNs, they may be ruining your rankings. Every website needs some backlinks to help improve its search ranking. Backlinks are like little recommendations that tell Google that the site is good and worth ranking page one. The more of these recommendations Google receives the more it is likely to agree. Unfortunately, this is where those who engage in link schemes and PBNs stop reading. They ignore a very big “but”. But each recommendation is not equal. Some are worth more than others. If you received a recommendation say from the BBC, which has a high domain authority, that would hold a big thumbs up to Google. But say your site got three backlinks from small sites that have low domain authority, that would be three thumbs up, but they do not carry the same weight as the bigger thumbs up from the BBC. This is why link schemes and PBNs fail.
Link schemes such as purchased links, automated link generators and more tend to offer links with little relevance or low domain authority. These may look good at first, but Google has been cracking down on these schemes since 2012 and you will find that these backlinks will hold no weight on your ranking in the long term. It’s a waste of money don’t do it. PBN’s are also a waste. They look good at first, boosting your ranking, but it will inevitably all come crashing down on your head when Google realises what you are doing. More than likely they will hit you with a penalty ruining your ranking.
If you need advice on how to generate good backlinks talk to an expert Digital Marketing Agency.
3. Keyword Stuffing
High keyword density in your website content is good. Google will see that your content is relevant to the keywords that you are trying to rank with. Great! But then users come to your site and find that the content is actually just a jumble of keywords stitched together telling them no useful information. They bounce. Google sees that and realises that your content isn’t as relevant as it first thought, or your visitors would stay for longer. That is why keyword stuffing is a bad strategy. Yes, aim for a higher keyword density, but make sure your content is great to read and provides all relevant information. We will come back to this in more detail in a further point, but it is worth stating now: write for your users, not for Google!
Better yet, there are some great copywriters out there who would definitely help you create the perfect content for your website.
4. Having Very Little Content
Having almost no content is just as bad as keyword stuffing. Yeah you may have a keyword here or there and a couple of lines of text but it looks lazy and users won’t find the answers they are looking for. In SEO content is king. It has been since the beginning and that is not going away. Google looks for websites that users like. Websites that are relevant to their search, and has a lot of information for them to find their answers in. Afterall Google wants to have the answer to any problem for all of their users and have it right there on the first page.
So how do you appease Google’s grand vision with your website? It’s simple, aim to answer your users’ questions. If you are trying to sell a product, answer the question with your product. If you are trying to sell a service, answer the question with your service. Then answer all your users’ questions surrounding your product/service. Write easy to read content with a high keyword density so that Google can see that you are relevant, and your visitors will agree.
5. Trying to “trick” Google
Trying to exploit Google over earning your higher rankings is not a good practice to get into. Utilising exploitative methods that “fly under Google’s radar” doesn’t tend to last long. Eventually, Google figures it out and puts a stop to the method. Instead, aim to build your rankings by earning it. While it may take more work, it is worth it in the long term.
6. Not putting users first
This point is the culmination of each previous point. How do you rank well on Google and maintain a high visitor and conversion rate? Put your users first. Don’t write your page for Google, it won’t help your business. Write your page for your users.
Your keywords should be user focused. Pick keywords that your users will search that are relevant to your product, not just keywords that have a high search rate.
Your content should answer your users’ questions, push them to your products and provide them genuinely useful information. Content is not just a vessel for your keywords.
Focusing on your users and their experience over the entire purchase cycle is a big step towards earning a high ranking.
7. Creating one page for each keyword
An old tactic that has become irrelevant and perhaps detrimental is creating one page for each keyword. Say you are in the business of selling coffee beans online in Brisbane. You have decided that the keywords you are going to use are coffee beans online, coffee beans Brisbane, best coffee beans, green coffee beans. Great! Now with this old strategy you would have created a different page for each of these keywords, writing a bit about each one. But the problem is that most of this content is just fluff and not overly relevant to the visitor. Instead, you need to shift your focus towards the visitor. Use those keywords to attract them, use separate pages to segment information to make it easier to access and read. By focusing on the user and using these keywords to draw them instead of drawing Google you have created a website that visitors love to use, building a brand and your ranking.
8. Not interlinking
Interlinking content across your site funnels your users through your content towards their final destination, conversion. If you are using a blog to draw traffic to your site but are not interlinking to your products that you are discussing within your blog then how are readers to know that is where you want them to go next? Interlinking is perfect for funneling your visitors towards your products from your content pages.
9. Not asking for the sale
You have interlinked, your SEO is great, you have high traffic to your site, and they seem to love your content but you aren’t getting any conversions. There are many reasons why this could be, but the first question you should ask is are you asking for a sale? Are there strong call to actions across your site asking your visitors to buy now? If not maybe you should begin asking for the sale. Don’t be afraid to give your visitors a little push, it could help your conversions.
There are many more tricks to improving your conversion rate for your website. Want to find out more from the CRO experts? Click here.
Never stay stagnant. In the world of SEO everything changes constantly. New strategies emerge old strategies fade, it is important to always keep up to date. Keep a constant eye on your competitors and their strategies. If they change something, follow it, see if it succeeds or fails. Experiment yourself by trying new strategies or adjusting your site. Maybe moving the buy now button on your blogs from the bottom of your page to a window on the side that follows the user down may generate more conversions. Test it. Keep looking at new strategies and keep experimenting and tweaking you never know what you may find.
If it has been a while since you updated your website you should definitely get onto that. SEO is constantly evolving and changing so strategies that may have previously worked two years ago may no longer work. Keep in mind each of those tips when you look over your website next. You may notice some bad strategies that need adjusting. What SEO strategies have you found to work well?
If you need SEO or content advice contact the Link Pixel team today!