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SEO is one of the most elusive fields there is. And even the most seasoned experts are often completely in the dark once new updates and algorithm changes are introduced.
Fortunately, there are some tried and true practices that will always continue to work and some mistakes that could sink any of your efforts when trying to climb up the rankings.
Here are some of the most classic mistakes people commit that could ruin their SEO strategy.
Bad Internal Link Structure
This is an issue that afflicts many websites that are rapidly growing and constantly adding new content. As your sites begin to grow, you may have to deal with linking issues like 404 errors popping up out of the blue, for instance, which could have disastrous effects on your SEO.
For some reason, a lot of webmasters seem to overlook internal linking, but it serves many important functions as far as user experience and SEO goes. Internal linking is essential if you want to provide a pathway to your conversion pages, spread some authority to pages that might be buried deep in your site, organizing your web pages according to keyword related anchors, and making sure that your most important pages are seen by search engine crawlers.
One of the best ways to make sure that your new pages are noticed by web crawlers is by submitting your XML map, so you can create new crawl paths. You also have to make sure that you use your no-index tag and robots.txt files wisely, so you don’t end up blocking some of your pages from being crawled.
If you want to make sure that you have a solid internal link structure, one simple thing you should do is see how many clicks it takes to get to any page. If any page is more than two clicks away from a CTA landing page or your homepage, you may need to revise your link structure.
Not Performing Audits on your Site
It’s still surprising to see how many business owners who are trying to improve their search engine results have no idea what a site audit is. You should constantly be auditing your site, especially if you’ve just implemented a brand-new plugin or just migrated your site.
One of the things a site audit will tell you is if you have any unoptimized meta or title tags. Unoptimized tags might seem like a minor factor, but they play a huge role when it comes to SEO.
Meta and title tags are what allows search engines to better understand what your website is about exactly. Meta descriptions also allow people who conduct a search to get a quick description of your site. A poorly optimized meta description will not only affect your search engine results negatively but your click-through rates as well. So it’s essential that you understand how they work and how to optimize them correctly.
Creating Content for the Sake of it
Content is the lifeblood of the internet, and sites that are full of quality, highly responsive and relevant content will usually be boosted by search engines. Constantly releasing new content is great if you want to increase your brand’s authority and exposure, and increase indexation rates as well.
But as your site starts to grow, you may start running into issues with keyword variety and coming up with a cohesive content strategy. Too many business owners start believing that piling content up is the way to go, but they eventually end up with tons of useless and thin content, which not only leads to wasted resources but poor results as well.
Don’t start creating content before you have a clear keyword strategy and don’t build your content with the sole purpose of stuffing it with said keywords. Also, make sure that the content is formatted correctly and that you’re also using related keywords in body paragraphs and H2 tags. This will both meet user intent and give search engines a clear idea of what the content is about without going overboard with the keywords and making the content seem unnatural to both search engines and human readers.
Not Creating Link-Worthy Content
The number of unique referring domains to a single webpage is and has always been a major factor when ranking websites. Sure, many factors have been added over the years, but I doubt we’ll ever see a day when external linking will not be playing a major role in SEO.
While it was common practice not too long ago to use linking schemes, farms and linking services, these methods just don’t fly nowadays. And manual outreach, guest posting or using influencers for links can be labor extensive.
The best ways for your website to start attracting links is by releasing the type of content people will naturally want to link to. Instead of spending hours trying to find blogs to post your content and doing some manual research, you could get the same results by publishing one piece of content that will be reactive enough to get you the links you want.
The best way to do this is to produce value-adding content that is highly relevant to your audience. One of the best ways to do this is by publishing studies that would be valuable to your readers. Highly informative infographics are always big winners with readers because of how useful they are, and how easy they are to link to and share. And if you can come up with your own research that is even better since external sources will constantly have to cite or link to you whenever they’re using your data.
While SEO is ever changing, these mistakes will most likely always translate to bad results. So make sure that you do everything in your power to steer clear of them and only work with a reputable company when trying to boost your results.