May 08

SEO Mistakes : 5 Deadly Mistakes To Avoid.

SEO can be a tricky business, with Google and other search engines regularly changing their algorithms and many modifications to commonly used platforms that can confuse laypeople and experts alike. Not to mention, your customers are spoiled for options and expect the very best of the websites they visit. If your site is slow, spammy, buggy or full of content stuffed with keywords, you will lose credibility, and your customers will go elsewhere. SEO helps address a lot of these problems and helps you improve your website usability.

Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can make sure your search engine optimisation game is on point. Below, we’ve compiled the top five deadly SEO mistakes that are losing your business customers and getting you penalised by Google. You can also read our SEO checklist to ensure you have everything else covered.

Ignoring Website Speed

This mistake tops the list for a good reason. Slow websites kill businesses for a variety of reasons, and Google does not look favourably on them either! If your site is slow, unresponsive (not able to conform appropriately to different devices), or otherwise buggy you will lose customers.

What A Slow Website Tells Your Customers

  • Your business does not care about their time. Today, customers expect instant gratification- and they get it. If your website is slow, they will get frustrated and leave.
  • Your website is potentially buggy. Aforementioned is especially true if you are selling products or the have an https website. If your site is slow people will be less likely to buy your products.
  • Your business is not reputable. There are so many ways that even novices can create slick websites today, and your customers know it. A slow site looks sloppy.

Additionally, Google will not promote or elevate websites that have slow page speeds. Since around 2010, this has been part of their mandate and included in every algorithm since that time. It makes perfect sense; Google is a business, and they need to provide quality options to their customers. Also, slow websites eat up the time that Google has to crawl your pages, further hurting you in the search engine rankings. Having a slow site is doubly dangerous; you will be rapidly losing customers and being ignored or penalised by Google.

How do you fix it? You need to address your page speed. Page speed is how long a page takes to load. Back in the early days of the internet, we had sometimes wait minutes for a page with images to load. Fix your page speed, and you will solve the problem. To do this, check out Google’s PageSpeed Insights. If there is a problem, it’s time to go into the back end of your website and fix it.

Here Are Some Of The Many Ways To Increase Your Page Speed:

Ignoring Canonicalization

Ignoring Canonicalization is a crawling problem for search engines that many webmasters tend to overlook. Often you will have duplicates of pages that you can’t see, but Google can. You are not deliberately making multiple versions of your pages, but it is easy to do so inadvertently, and that could be causing you significant problems with search engine optimisation. How do you fix what you can’t see? You tell Google that your page is the master page and to ignore all of the others. This is called canonicalization.

Canonicalization is a straightforward fix. You need to pop in the following code on your pages:

< link rel=”canonical” href=””http://thewebpage.org/index.php” >

This code tells Google not to bother crawling or ranking any other invisible duplicates of your page. This tiny piece of code will help your website run a lot smoother! If you are not comfortable messing around with the back end of your website, do not worry. You can always ask your webmaster to put it in for you. It is a simple fix that pays off big time!

Ignoring Redirects Or Multiple Versions Of Your Site

Some people think that buying up a bunch of different domains is a good thing, but it’s better to have everything redirect to the website you are using. Changing domain name can also impact SEO. If you are using

  • www.mywebsite.com,
  • www.mywebsite.net

you are doing yourself a huge disservice.

Besides, a website can have multiple versions

  • www.website.com
  • website.com
  • http://www.website.com
  • https://www.website.com

Various sites confuse Google, and your overall domain authority gets distributed. With so much competition online, the last thing you want to do is alienate valuable customers by making them jump around different versions of the website including those that stem from improper ULR configuration.

To fix multiple URL problems all you need to do is redirect (301 permanent) the websites to ensure a single version of URL accrues all authority.

Website status code checker

301 redirects should be implemented sitewide. Ensure you only serve a single version of your website. An excellent site to check this is HTTP status checker.

Ignoring Schema Markups

Schema markup gives search engines background information on the data you are presenting. It helps give Google context for what you are talking about and better rank you organically. There is various type of schemas available to be integrated into your website. A full doc on schemas is available here.

If you are using a CMS like WordPress, then there are WordPress plugins that can be used to introduce schemas on your page. IThere are plugins that can help you with properly entering your schema data and you can read more about what schema entails and how to use it properly here.

An excellent WordPress plugin to use for schemas is located here.

Check the schema for your website on the google structured testing tool here.

Keyword Stuffing Or Optimising For Anchor Texts

Keyword stuffing is one of the biggest no-nos when it comes to creating your website. Keyword stuffing falls squarely between the grey hat and black hat and is severely frowned upon by search engines because you are trying to cheat the system. Keyword stuffing is when you load up your content with the same word over and over again, regardless of whether it fits in the context, to trick Google’s bots into ranking your page higher. As you can imagine, the end user experience is not great either! The conversion rates on such pages are ridiculously low. It is painfully obvious when an article has been keyword stuffed, and most customers will find the content not credible.

Extreme examples of keyword stuffing include putting invisible text onto images or solid coloured boxes. This is highly unethical and unprofessional. If your company does this, or even dips their toe into grey hat keyword stuffing, Google will find out and send you tumbling to the bottom of the search engine rankings. Organic search engine optimisation is a long game, and there are no shortcuts. Avoid keyword stuffing at all costs.

Similarly, avoid stuffing your anchor texts. Anchor texts are hyperlinks that go to internal or external links. Links are excellent, and when used correctly can boost your SEO, credibility and make your website more robust. When misused, they can make Google suspicious. If you want to rank for “apples” and you have thousands of links to that word, it looks strange. What you want to do is come up with some different variations of your anchor text that all relate back to the keyword(s) you are looking to rank. Do this as part of your standard keyword research.

If you are building anchor texts around “apples” you might want to make your anchor texts as follows:

  • Apples
  • Apple season in New York
  • Best apples to buy
  • Apple recipes

In addition to looking strange to Google, you will also alienate those all important, fickle customers who can go virtually anywhere else for products similar to yours. When building content and creating anchor texts, think about how smooth and readable the information is. You want to keep the search engines in mind, but you are also writing for human beings– not bots. Balancing the customer experience with staying competitive can seem like a tricky balance, but it is doable if you do a little keyword research. If you are uncomfortable conducting the research yourself, you can always hire an SEO marketing agency or individual to do it for you. They will explain the differences in the various keywords and talk to you about logical variations that will make your content more readable and keep Google happy.

Organic search engine optimisation, the kind where you rise in the rankings based on the quality of your content and how well your website runs, is not something you can excel in overnight. Depending on how competitive your industry is, it can take months or even years to get to the coveted first page of Google. In addition to the top five deadly SEO mistakes we’ve outlined here, there are a few other things you can do to boost your SEO. You should  ideally hire an agency and use their premium value SEO package to improve your marketing.These are regular practices that will give you a lot of credit with Google over time.

Make Sure Your Content Is Relevant And Fresh

Anyone can slap up some generic content on their website, but your customers are savvy enough to be able to distinguish between canned material that does not help them and content that is engaging, relevant and authoritative. You do not need to publish new content every day, but it is essential to keep to a regular schedule and make sure that your posts are not just there to fill up space on your website.

Metadata improvement

Whenever you post a blog, put up a page or do just about anything on your website, make sure you are filling out your metadata. There are plenty of plugins for various platforms including Yoast, All in one SEO which is free, that will give you directions on how to properly fill out your metadata. Make sure you are filling it out accurately every time to get the right search engine optimisation boost from that particular piece. As with the pointers we discussed in this article, you want to make it easy for Google to rank you higher.

Being mindful of good and evil search engine optimisation practices will help your business grow, give you credibility in the eyes of your customers and increase your sales. Smart SEO is good for your internet web presence and your bottom line!

About The Author

Ajay Chavda is the co-founder of Weboptimizers, an SEO agency in Melbourne and has been involved with SEO for over 15 years. Between the digital properties and security forums he has managed, his articles have been read by approximately 50 million unique visitors.

10 Comments

  1. None
    May 8, 2018 at 3:21 pm · Reply

    Also, accessibility for a website is good for blind people. To make sure that websites are good with screenreaders.

  2. Tarun
    May 8, 2018 at 5:17 pm · Reply

    I found this article to be pretty useful. Helps better understand SEO and explains 5 pretty handy tips on how to avoid common SEO mistakes. And how with the right search engine optimisation practices, the client’s online business can grow rapidly. I totally agree keyword stuffing is a complete no-no as search engines feel you are trying to cheat the system to rank your pages higher. One should focus on organic search engine optimisation, publishing fresh relevant content often will help build your credibility with Google and boost site’s ranking with time. Plus, making effort to fill out metadata also works out in long run. So, all in all, a very profitable ideas to benefit from.

  3. Mary
    May 8, 2018 at 6:24 pm · Reply

    When I was building my site I found extremely useful the right words as metadata. I had uploaded the page without metadata and I couldn’t even find it on Google! After metadata I was there at the first page! I have to check my sites for Canonicalization too! Very useful article, thank you for the tips!

  4. Mashar
    May 24, 2018 at 12:34 am · Reply

    I am truly learning a lot from your articles. The coveted first page ranking on Google is fast becoming as challenging as climbing Mt. Everest. There is so much to bear in mind and so much to learn. The points you have presented are useful and provide pointers on how to go about developing content that adheres to SEO standards. I would like to point out that schema markups are one of the most successful SEO tricks that anyone can utilize. Sadly, schema markups are the least-utilized technique as most laypeople do not understand what they are. Maybe you should write more about the concept of schema markups. Also, the need for instant gratification with clients presents the need to develop websites that are fast, user-friendly and contain content that is easily understandable.

  5. Bryan Adams
    May 24, 2018 at 2:33 am · Reply

    Apart from the above areas highlighted as mistakes to ranking, I would also like to add on some more two points. Publishing non-original content and missing quality links can bring the whole SEO process down the gutter. One thing I was not aware of is the impact the website speed has on SEO. It’s a grey area that still needs to be explored and I thank you for covering such an impressive piece. Although some areas were left out I feel the article was well researched and written and therefore deserves thumbs up. Website speed is truly critical in ensuring ROI and having return visitors.

  6. Sandra
    May 24, 2018 at 5:04 am · Reply

    Article is based on common mistakes that happened earlier and it is great to have something like this written so it can remind you on things that you need to pay attention. It is great for newbies, but also for those which are doing this for some time, even ages, cause you never know when you will need this. SEO is something you need to work through every day in order to minimize your chances of failure. It would be nice to have some article with explanation for some words like metadata etc. It would be helpful for all of us who don’t understand it well. Thank you again for great article.

  7. Hernan A.
    May 25, 2018 at 5:48 pm · Reply

    Website owners who are desirous of properly optimizing their websites will surely devour this article for within this article are some succinct tips and caveats on how not to optimize one’s website. Google has rolled out myriads of updates since the early years of the 21st century, and SEO experts are keen on learning the implications of these updates. Some of these experts have delineated awesome tips on how to optimize websites. On the other hand, they have also pinpointed the potential mistakes that a tyro in website building will surely commit. Take heed of these caveats, website owners, and you will surely be on a safer side of website building process.

  8. Hernan A.
    May 25, 2018 at 5:50 pm · Reply

    7. Website owners who are desirous of properly optimizing their websites will surely devour this article for within this article are some succinct tips and caveats on how not to optimize one’s website. Google has rolled out myriads of updates since the early years of the 21st century, and SEO experts are keen on learning the implications of these updates. Some of these experts have delineated awesome tips on how to optimize websites. On the other hand, they have also pinpointed the potential mistakes that a tyro in website building will surely commit. Take heed of these caveats, website owners, and you will surely be on a safer side of website building process.

  9. Dan A.
    May 25, 2018 at 9:41 pm · Reply

    Website owners who are desirous of properly optimizing their websites will surely devour this article for within this article are some succinct tips and caveats on how not to optimize one’s website. Google has rolled out myriads of updates since the early years of the 21st century, and SEO experts are keen on learning the implications of these updates. Some of these experts have delineated awesome tips on how to optimize websites. On the other hand, they have also pinpointed the potential mistakes that a tyro in website building will surely commit. Take heed of these caveats, website owners, and you will surely be on a safer side of website building process.

  10. Raquel
    May 29, 2018 at 5:48 pm · Reply

    SEO is very tricky, you should conduct researches to know how to prevent the mistakes that usually web developers encountering to provide a preventive action when you bump on those problems. This article is very useful to all website owners since it provides tricks in dealing with those common mistakes that usually happen and this one is well written and can be easily understand even those who were just staring on this business. It will be a really great help to better understand the SEO and including the tips needed to avoid common mistakes.

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