What am I doing wrong?
This is a perennial question that all of us ask in a lot of things that we do in life.
In the world of SEO, this is also a common question that many business owners often have when it comes to Google search rankings.
Usually, it’s when you think you’re doing everything right but your SEO efforts are still not gaining any results.
Or worse, maybe you’ve already spent a lot of time and money, but you’ve never even breached the top 100 in your target keyword.
Don’t worry. It happens to a lot of us!
With how dynamic SEO best practices are changing, it’s not easy to keep up especially if you’re doing everything on your own.
While I can’t really tell you exactly what you’re doing wrong with your SEO strategy, I’ll give you some useful tips that can help your performance in Google search rankings.
In this post, we’re going to talk about five common SEO mistakes.
If you want to improve your Google search rankings, make sure you’re avoiding these missteps!
- Inconsistent NAP Citations
Let’s start with the basics.
If you’ve done basic SEO before, you probably know what citations are.
But I’ll be happy to just repeat what these are just to make sure we are all on the same page.
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number.
NAP Citations, therefore, are listings of your business name, address, and phone number in different websites, online directories, pages, and etcetera.
These citations are important because Google uses these to verify whether your business info is accurate.
It’s like when you go for a job interview and the employer asks you for personal references.
These references are requested in order for the company to learn more about you, if you are who you say you are, and if your job history is accurate.
If you don’t have credible references who can vouch for you, this could affect your chances of being hired.
In Google search rankings, NAP citations serve like these references.
They vouch for the accuracy and credibility of your business.
It is then important that the information listed in these citations are consistent.
You can’t have different addresses or phone numbers.
This will confuse Google and make it think that you’re running a shady operation.
You don’t want that!
While it may seem easy enough to keep everything the same, many business owners still make the awful mistake of having inconsistent business info all around the web.
A lot of times, this is caused by not updating business info whenever there is a change and not being on top of your brand’s presence online.
To avoid this, it’s important that you always monitor and update your citations regularly.
- Keyword Stuffing
Next on our list is what I consider a “mortal sin” when it comes to SEO.
What does this mean?
It means filling your web copy and articles with the same keywords over and over again to the point that the overall content does not make sense anymore.
In the early days of SEO, this sorta worked.
That’s because having the target keywords in your content multiple times used to fool Google that you are the most relevant search result.
But now, Google is much much smarter.
If your target keyword is “pizza delivery”, you cannot just put that 500 times in a 1,000 word blog post.
Obviously, whoever reads that post will immediately see that it does not make any logical sense.
Searchers will immediately go back to the search results to look for more relevant content.
Worse, Google can penalize you which could lower your search ranking or remove you from the results altogether!
And believe me, you don’t want to permanently disappear from Google search results!
Google has dominated and is still dominating the search engine market with over 92% market share as of the first quarter of 2021!
So getting yourself kicked out from Google rankings is a definite no-no!
To avoid being penalized, it is then very critical to make sure that you avoid overusing keywords or placing them in awkward parts of your content.
Is there a rule on how many times you can use a certain keyword?
This is where keyword density comes in.
Keyword density is the number of times a keyword appears relative to the word count.
Many experts recommend a keyword density of 1% to 2%.
This means your target keyword should only appear 1 to 2 times every 100 words.
If you’re writing a 1,000 word article, your target keyword should only appear 10 to 20 times.
Of course, there is an exception to the rule.
Before you become too conscious about the number of times a keyword appears on the text, you have to focus on the quality of the content first.
Is the content providing value?
Is it well-written?
Does it flow naturally?
Once you’ve considered all of these things, you can proceed to count how many times you’ve used the keywords.
If you’re only using it once or twice, consider increasing it a few more times.
But avoid adding it in if it makes the sentence less coherent.
If you have too many keywords, then try to lessen them.
How do you do that?
You can use similar terms, related words, or synonyms as replacements.
Don’t worry, lessening the number of keywords will not hurt you, instead, it can even help.
That’s because using these related terms actually helps Google have an idea that your content is relevant to what the searcher needs.
- Low-Quality Filler Articles
Another common mistake is publishing low-quality content.
These are badly written articles or blog posts with incorrect grammar, spelling mistakes, wrong keyword use, no headings, and low in accuracy.
You can find gazillions of these articles on the internet.
And let’s be honest, the reason why this is happening is because this kind of content is dirt cheap.
So why not?
As long as the keywords are crammed in there somewhere, it’s better than nothing right?
Here’s the thing:
If you keep publishing low-quality content, you can’t get readers spending time on your website in the long-term.
This will affect your bounce rate, meaning once searchers find your site, they’ll just quickly hit the BACK button to find something more useful.
A high bounce rate affects your “Prominence”, which is rated depending how well-known, credible and trust-worthy your site is.
And prominence is one of the criteria Google uses to rank search results.
If Google notices that users don’t seem to find your content credible due to your high bounce rate, this will affect your search rankings.
This is why it’s important that you only publish high-quality content that is SEO-optimized.
No, we’re not talking about Pulitzer prize-winning articles here.
High-quality content means articles containing relevant information, having the right keywords, coherent, accurate, and well-structured.
- Outdated Content
Keeping your content fresh is a no brainer.
It’s common sense that people will gravitate towards newer content compared to older ones.
No matter how credible and authoritative your content is, if it was written in 2005, a similar content written in 2021 will potentially outperform it.
Unless of course we’re talking about history or ancient stuff, fresh content always wins hands down.
So if you have outdated content then it’s definitely time to publish newer ones.
But what about evergreen content?
That doesn’t get old, does it?
Well, if there’s one type of content many clients love, that’s evergreen content.
As the term suggests, evergreen means always fresh.
So the information in an article that’s evergreen stays relevant even over a longer period of time.
Why do clients love this?
Because it means that they can get their money’s worth!
A piece of content can work hard for them for a long, long time.
That’s why including evergreen content in your content strategy is therefore a great thing.
However, there’s also a risk…
You might fall into the trap of being complacent and just sticking with evergreen content forever, not updating any of your content with newer ones.
The thing is:
Even if your content is evergreen, that does not mean you just forget about it!
You still have to constantly update it to make sure that it stays fresh and relevant.
Just like plants, for example,
You still have to water it and put it under the sun to keep it healthy and green.
Otherwise, it will die!
That applies to evergreen content too!
We all know that nothing is permanent in this world so you have to still update your content regularly with whatever latest information is relevant.
And better still, it’s advisable to produce new content to increase keyword opportunities and to have more web pages for Google to index.
- Not Promoting Your Content
So you finally have a series of high-quality written blog posts.
You hit publish and they’re live online.
You’re sure that they’re so amazing there’s no way they won’t get any clicks or page views.
But after several days… weeks… or months, nobody seems to be noticing your posts!
How did that happen?
Well, in this day and age, you can’t just expect to publish content and people will easily find it.
Unless you already have a huge and loyal following, you’re not going to get eyeballs unless you do some promo work.
Yup, you have to get the word out that you have this incredible content that’s already on your website!
How do you do that?
You can use social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
You can also join Facebook Groups where you think members can benefit from your content.
Put an excerpt of your post and direct them to your website.
Another method is using email newsletters to tell your target customers to check out your blog or website.
Remember that you have a lot of competition out there.
When you’re campaigning for users to check out your site, you’re not just competing with your direct competitors in the same industry or business segment.
You’re competing with everyone and everything that they can spend their time on while they’re online.
That means even funny cat videos and internet memes are your competition!
That’s why you have to put yourself out there and promote your content as best as you can.
Avoid the Common SEO Mistakes by Hiring Professionals
If you’re committing one or more of these SEO mistakes, that’s okay.
It’s not the end of the world.
You can still pick yourself up and you can definitely do better.
By recognizing these mistakes, you’re actually closer to improving your SEO strategy.
If you’re a local business and you need help to boost your Google search rankings, we can definitely help.
You don’t need to spend your own time and effort doing it all by yourself, and at the end not knowing whether you’ll get any results.
Overtake the competition by taking advantage of how the SEO experts do it.
Schedule a call with us right now and we will be happy to walk you through our tried and tested process!
Your results are our results.
That’s why our goal is to help you achieve your goals on time and on budget.