Search engines are crucial to getting more viewers for your webpage. As such, it is very important to use Search Engine Optimization to your advantage in order to maximise your page’s visibility. However, most site administrators lack the technical know-how and information required to do SEO in an efficient manner.
Here are 10 SEO content practices that can hinder your pages reach and visibility.
1. Duplicate Content
What is the most common problem in SEO? Duplicate content.
What we mean by duplicate content is that any content on your webpage is very similar or an exact copy of content found on other web pages. The problem with having duplicate content is that search engines are designed to look for pages with unique content and give preference to these when it comes to indexing. Search engines continually look for pages which have something new to offer to show at the top of any list of search results. In addition to this, having duplicate content will not allow you to choose which page you wish to rank for. If there is no way for you to avoid having duplicate content on your webpage due to the importance of that information to your customers or because of it being a necessary requirement for your business practices, then it is advisable to choose to “no index” and “no follow” such pages so they do not affect your overall SEO rankings.
2. Overuse of Keywords
While the use of keywords is important while writing blogs and articles is important to maintain uniformity of the language and topic throughout, using them repeatedly in the same piece can seriously hamper your SEO rankings. This practice can turn off your visitors and possible customers from reading and absorbing your material, and at the same time, this can alert search engines that you are attempting to fool their algorithms into giving your page a better ranking and hence more hits. So, limit the use of keywords in your pieces. Stick to just mentioning them at the beginning of the pieces such as title, first paragraph and a handful more times in the rest of the text.
3. Problems with your Title Tags
The page titles that you use are the main identifier that search engines use to understand the content of your web page. Also, since they are shown at the top of search listings, web users use them to decide what links to follow. As such if optimised correctly, title tags can increase your rankings and get you a lot of hits. There are three main mistakes that can seriously affect your rankings when it comes to optimising title tags. They are:
- Using duplicate title tags: As we talked about earlier, search engines continually look for new and unique content to display at the top of results. Using duplicate tags makes your page look unoriginal and ends up not giving the search engine enough information about what sets your content apart.
- Making title tags too long or too short: The length of your title is what will decide how much of it is visible in search results. Therefore it is best to keep your title tags between 50 to 70 characters and not any longer since they tend to get cutoff beyond 70 characters.
- Missing title tags: This is self-explanatory. Without title tags, the search engine does not know where to show your page, and subsequently, your page takes a hit in rankings.
4. Missing Alt Tags
Good content marketing requires the tasteful use of good quality images to complement the written material. However, it can easily backfire or prove redundant if used randomly. The main issues that pertain to images are missing alt tags as well as broken image links.
Search engines refer to Alt tags to understand what an image within a web page is about. They are what allows any search engine to understand the context of an image and helps with categorising them. This is what makes alt tags so important. Make sure that all your alt tags contain the main SEO keywords. Alt tags also help visually impaired people who use screen readers, since they rely on these tags to understand what images in web pages are about. Search engines also priorities user-friendliness when it comes to ranking websites, and a lack of al tags indicates that a website does not care about its users as much as it should and this can subsequently lead to a drop in rankings and visibility for your web page.
5. Broken Links
Having a handful of broken links on your website during its early days isn’t really a problem. However, as your page grows and the numbers of internal and external links multiply, having broken links can be a major problem which affects your ranking in very adverse ways.
One of the main reasons for this is that whenever a user is going your site looking for information useful to them and encounters a 404 page instead, more often than not they’ll cease to look at your site anymore thereby causing a drop in traffic. Also, you risk implanting the opinion that you cater to low standards in the mind of your users.
The other main reason why broken links are bad is that of how search engine bots crawl websites. These bots crawl only a few of the pages in your website and have a lot of broken links in it tends to divert the bots from all the pages which actually matter, which leads to your important pages not being indexed. Having a lot of broken external links will result in a reduction in the number of pages from your website that will show up in the search results.
6. Guest Posting
While guest posting is admittedly a great way to get more people to view your web page, it can do more harm than good if done in the wrong way. Guest posting on the wrong websites can lead to search engines linking your site to theirs and as a result bringing down your SEO ranking as a whole. Be very careful about what sites you choose to guest post on. Always go for high-quality websites related to your particular niche. Even so, do enough research about the website you’re going to post on beforehand. Make sure they have a good SEO rating too before posting your links on there. Instead of posting a link, you just post your content there to increase your exposure and get more recognition from users relating to your particular niche.
7. Publishing low-quality guest posts
Publishing content written by other people knowledgeable in your field is a good idea provided a strict quality mechanism is enforced. Always make sure the content you choose to upload in this way is useful and has the right information which will be appreciated by your readers. While constantly uploading new material on your website is good for your SEO, you must never compromise quality for quantity. It is better to not post at all compared to posting low-quality content on your website. Always try to maintain a standard with the quality of posts that go up on your page, no matter who writes the content.
8. Using Paid Links
Natural backlinks are the way to go if you want your web page to grow organically and expand its reach. While this might take a long time and does require a lot of hard work from you, you can always expect the results to be consistent and long-lasting.
This is not, however, the case with paid links. Google and other search engines have smart algorithms which can figure out that you are using the easy way sooner or later. Initially, you might enjoy some success with a lot of views on your page, but you stand the risk of losing your website or blog along with your credibility not much later.
So, it is always better to not choose the shortcuts and stick to organically building a good website using quality content and building it from the ground up using honest means.
9. Low Word Count
Generally, there is no minimum word count for a page when it comes to factors affecting SEO ranking. However, search engines like Google tend to rank pages which have more depth with a better score. And since a higher word count translates to more depth, pages with more content tend to get ranked higher than ones with less. Providing more context to your readers will always be appreciated by them and will invariably increase your word count.
10. Wrong Language Declaration
It is important to identify the language used in your page for a multitude of reasons, namely, for translation purposes, to enable text-to-speech converters for the visually impaired and to enable international SEO. Find the right language code and declare it when you are writing the code for your webpage as this can directly affect your SEO rankings.
There is a multitude of factors which can affect your SEO ranking. Failing to consider any of these can result in a bad ranking and ultimately reduced reach and exposure for your website. So be sure to keep in mind each of these factors when you are designing your website to ensure that you get a good SEO ranking.
Have you been practising any of these yourself?