Top 7 SEO Mistakes Even SEO Experts Make that are Costing You Traffic
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If you are a new blogger, you have probably begun investing a significant amount of your time and energy into optimizing your website using Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You are probably hoping that SEO will bring tens of thousands of visitors to your website and help you rank higher in popular search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
SEO is a smart strategy to help any website rank higher in search engines. However, if SEO isn’t done right, it can do more harm than good to the ranking of your website. Search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, so it is not easy to stay on top of the latest optimization strategies. For this reason, many bloggers fall into the trap of doing SEO incorrectly.
There are many terrible SEO mistakes even SEO experts make. If these SEO experts can make these mistakes, there is no doubt that many bloggers make the same mistakes. These mistakes may force search engines to downgrade the ranking of your website. So, if you want your website to rank higher in search engines, be sure to avoid these mistakes.
Mistake #1: Buying Low Quality Backlinks
After doing some initial SEO research, you might have figured out that backlinks are the key to making SEO work. Getting high quality backlinks is going to require a ton of work. Instead of putting in the effort to get these high quality backlinks, it might be tempting to go to a website like fiverr and buy hundreds of backlinks for $5.
While this is the easier solution, low quality backlinks will do more harm than good to the ranking of your website. Low quality backlinks are links that come from untrusted websites and websites that are completely unrelated to the niche of your website. It doesn’t make much sense to get backlinks from money blogs if you’re in the health niche, does it?
Of course not. This strategy may have worked years ago, but Google has begun to penalize websites caught buying backlinks for SEO purposes. You might have been able to fool Google once, but times have changed. And with the ever-changing Google algorithm, your SEO strategy must change as well.
The easiest way to get backlinks is to submit your blog to blog directories. There are still plenty of blog directories that rank very well in search engines, such as the Blog Flux Blog Directory. Remember that when it comes to backlinks, it is quality over quantity.
Mistake #2: Writing Short Articles
With a decreasing attention span in the general population, you might think that short articles are better than long articles. You might also think that long articles have the tendency to scare away your readers. After all, who wants to spend their valuable time reading an article that’s 3,000+ words long?
For this reason, you might have concluded that shorter articles are better. However, this is not the case if you want your website to rank higher in search engines. Google prefers longer articles. If you see the top results in Google, you’ll notice that most of those articles are at least 2,000 words or longer.
This is not to say that short content can’t get high rankings. Some bloggers might be able to pull this off, but you shouldn’t write an article that is repetitive just because you want to reach a certain word count. You want the article that you write to add value to your readers. Don’t write an article that is short and pointless. How much valuable information can you put into a 300-word article?
Let’s be real. You can’t put much information into a short article. If you’re new to blogging, it is recommended that you start off with 1,500 word articles. As you become more experienced, you can gradually increase the length of your articles. The ideal length of an article is 2,500 words, but should be no more than 3,000 words.
Mistake #3: Optimizing for the wrong keywords
SEO is all about choosing the right keywords that you want your website to rank for in search engines. But, how do you know which keywords are the right words to rank for?
More common than not, bloggers choose to rank their websites using generic (short-tail) keywords. Short-tail keywords are keywords that are 3 words or less. Short-tail keywords tend to have high competition so ranking for these types of keywords is not ideal for a new blogger.
Let me give you an example of a short-tail keyword. For this article, I could use “SEO mistakes” as my keyword. However, everybody in the SEO niche might be trying to rank for this same exact keyword.
If you are a new blogger, you should try to rank for low competition keywords that convert well. These keywords won’t be as broad as short-tail keywords. However, these keywords will be more targeted towards the kind of people you want to bring to your website. These low competition keywords are known as long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are keywords that are more than 3 words long.
An example of a long-tail keyword is “Top 7 SEO Mistakes Bloggers Make.” This keyword is very specific and the competition for this type of keyword will be on the low side.
If you have a well-established business, then short-tail keywords may work in your favor. However, if you are just starting out with a web business, you might want to consider using keywords that start producing immediate results.
Mistake #4: Using Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is when you overuse your target keyword within an article. It’s a good idea to use your target keyword throughout your article, but don’t overdo it. You don’t need to have your target keyword in every sentence you write. Not only is this considered terrible writing, but it won’t help your website rank any higher in search engines.
It is generally considered good practice to keep the keyword density at about 2%. This means that if you have an article that is 1,500 words long, you should use your chosen keyword about 30 times. The maximum limit set by Google is 3%, which means that you can use your chosen keyword 45 times in a 1,500 word article. If you cross this limit, your article can be banned from Google for keyword stuffing,
Search engines consider articles with keyword stuffing to be spam, which means that it will harm the performance of your website. Instead of moving up the page ranks, you might as well end up on the 10th page of Google, where nobody will find your website.
Mistake #5: Not Downloading an SEO Plugin for WordPress
If you are using the WordPress platform to build your website, downloading an SEO plugin is essential to the success of your website. The SEO plugin that I recommend is Yoast SEO.
The Yoast SEO plugin will help you determine just how good the readability and the SEO of your article or webpage is. This plugin will also help you determine if there are any problems with the readability or the SEO of your article or webpage.
The Yoast SEO plugin will analyze the following:
- Whether a meta description has been specified or not.
- The number of nofollowed links and outbound links.
- The number of subheadings the focus keyword appears in.
- Whether the images on the page contain alt attributes with the focus keyword.
- The number of times the focus keyword has been used on the page and the keyword density.
- The number of words in your article.
- Whether the focus keyword appears in the SEO title, the URL of the page, and the first paragraph of the article.
- Whether the focus keyword has been used before on another page of your website.
The Yoast SEO plugin isn’t as simple as installing it and forgetting about it. There is no WordPress plugin that can cover all aspects of SEO. Downloading this plugin is a step in the right direction, but it’s only the initial step. There’s many more steps to take before you start seeing the fruits of your labor.
Mistake #6: Having a Slow Loading Website
Believe it or not, the speed limit of your website plays a significant role in the ranking of your website. Search engines, such as Google, have been trying to make the web better and faster. For this reason, search engines give higher rankings to fast loading websites.
Improving the speed of your website is not an easy task, but it’s a task that cannot be ignored. One way to improve the speed of your website is to download the WP Fastest Cache plugin.
The WP Fastest Cache plugin will allow you to decrease the size of HTML files, CSS files, and JS files. This plugin will also allow you to combine CSS files and JS files. As a result, your webpage will load faster.
Mistake #7: Not Registering your Website with Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools
Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools are great resources to use to monitor the performance of your website.
Not taking advantage of these tools is like starting an online business with a blindfold on. These tools help you determine which direction your website is headed in as well as how to improve your website.
Conclusion and Final Words
The list of SEO mistakes above is not 100% complete. I’m sure there’s plenty of other SEO mistakes that I haven’t listed above. However, if you are able to correct the above mistakes with your SEO campaign, you will be one step closer to ranking on the first page of Google.