10 Common SEO Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Rankings

girl confused about seo

Written by White Label SEO

November 26, 2021

Avoid These 10 Common SEO Mistakes and Get Your Rankings to the Top!

We all know that search engine rankings are important for any business, but did you know how many mistakes can hurt your rankings? In this blog post, we will discuss 10 common SEO mistakes that can hurt your rankings. We’ll also share what you can do to fix these errors so that you get the results you want!

However, it’s important to get the foundation right to avoid sabotaging your tactics.

In this post, we will be discussing the 10 common mistakes in SEO that can hurt your rankings.

1) Picking the Wrong Keywords

Every business wants to rank high in the search results. Using the right keywords can be the key to success.

The first step to take is to do extensive keyword research to identify the relevant keywords for your business. Using the wrong keywords in your content can lead to a loss in rankings. Wrong keywords mean:

  • Highly competitive keywords
  • Wrong search intent

Once you’ve identified the right keywords, it’s important that they are optimised correctly in order to avoid mistakes that can hurt your rankings. Keep in mind the keyword density when adding the keywords in the content.  It typically should be between 25% to 30%. This means that for every 300-word content piece, target keywords should only be mentioned at least two to three times.

2) Not Optimising Page Titles and Meta Descriptions

Aside from rankings, one of search engine optimisation’s goals is to increase website traffic. 

A good page title and meta description can increase click-through rates. Meta descriptions can provide an overview on what the page is all about. 

It’s essential to make sure that the page title and meta description matches the content. This is where mistakes can hurt your rankings because it will mislead viewers, which in turn hurts conversion rates.

For example, if your website is selling shoes online, then the keywords in the page titles should be “shoes” or “buy shoes” rather than just “online store”. The same goes for meta descriptions as it appears on Google Search Results pages.

3) Too many 404 Errors

Having a large number of 404 errors or broken links on your site can negatively affect your rankings. 

404 errors mean that the content is not available anymore.

To avoid this, you should regularly check for broken links and update or remove them from your website so that they won’t be indexed by search engines.   

It also helps to build a clean site architecture so users can easily navigate through your pages. The easier it is to navigate through your website, the more likely people will find what they are looking for and convert into customers.

4) Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is content that appears more than once on your website, as well as on the other websites.

If you have duplicate content on your site then it will lead to a loss of rankings. It may also cause problems in terms of copyright infringement and penalties from Google for violating the guidelines that they strictly enforce.

To avoid this, you should make sure that the content is unique.

You can delete all duplicate pages from your site and create one page per topic instead of having multiple posts on the same subject. Another option would be to use canonical tags when there are already resource pages for a specific article or post in order to avoid duplicate content.

Do not forget to use 301 redirects so that visitors will be taken to the right page even when they visit a link leading to any of your old pages, instead of getting an error message or landing on 404 errors.

5) Slow Page Speed

A slow-loading website can infuriate potential customers.  They will not wait for a long time before they go to another website.

It would help if you focus on improving the loading speed of your pages so that it won’t hurt your rankings in Google and increase conversions rates.

You can improve page speeds by performing content optimisation, reducing server response times, minimizing redirects, compressing images, using caching plugins and more.

If you are looking for page speed insights on your site, you can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool which will give suggestions to ensure that your website is optimised correctly so it won’t hurt your rankings in search results.

6) Not Optimising Image Alt Tags

Image alt tags are usually the most neglected part of on-page SEO.

However, it is crucial to make sure that your images are optimised so that the search engines can identify them and not ignore them because they will be useful for those who use screen readers or other software that reads text aloud.

To optimise image alt tags, you should use descriptive text that is relevant to the image, secondly, it should be short and thirdly, there shouldn’t be any spaces or punctuation marks.

7) Forgetting Internal Links

Internal linking is one of the important factors in your UX optimisation.

If you want to improve your site’s usability, it is important that the pages of your website are easily accessible since these will send people back and forth from one page to another within your domain. Instead of hopping from one external link to a new domain which can be frustrating for users who don’t know how many clicks they need to make to reach the page they want.

Internal linking will also help you improve your site’s navigation and accessibility, as well as reduce bounce rates since these internal links can direct users to more pages of your website with relevant content that is important for them.

8) Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is bad for SEO. 

It is also considered a black hat SEO technique. In this type of on-page optimisation, you use irrelevant or unrelated keywords to the content that can be visible for search engines and may lead them to think that your site has spammy content even if it doesn’t.

To avoid keyword stuffing, make sure that you use keywords relevant to your content and do not overuse them. If a keyword sounds unnatural, it probably is, so avoid using these types of words in order to improve quality for your readers while also improving SEO ranking.

9. Adding Low-Quality Backlinks

Backlinks are equally important as your on-site SEO. 

However, you should build high quality and relevant backlinks to avoid getting penalised by Google.

If your website is linking out to unrelated sites or pages with spammy content that can be seen as a bad user experience, it will affect your site’s ranking so keep an eye on the coming links.

If you are looking for link building services, make sure that your SEO agency has the knowledge and skills to build high-quality links so your website will not be penalised by Google.

10. Using Similar Anchor Text

Google began to look more closely at keywords in anchor text. If too many of a site’s inbound links contain the exact same anchor text, it can start to appear suspicious and may be a sign that it didn’t acquire the links naturally.

To avoid this, always use unique anchor text so that you will not be penalised by Google. 

SEO Bottomline

Don’t fall into these common SEO traps that can hinder your chances of gaining higher rankings in SERPs.

Instead, work with the White Label SEO experts who have the tools and skills to help you improve your site’s performance in search engines.

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