7 SEO mistakes that could be ruining your rankings

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7 SEO mistakes that could be ruining your rankings

SEO is the fickle mistress of online marketers because she changes her mind all the time and we have to cower in fear and hope we don't get penalized.

But there are a few things that you may be doing that are actually hurting your rankings, and they are as follows.

  1. Slow Websites - Most people expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less. This is because we're all impatient and use to big billion dollar companies running super servers which load in a fraction of a second. Waiting longer than 3 seconds is never good for your website. Not only are slower websites knocked in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) but they have a 7% reduction in conversions compared to faster websites. Just think of it this way, if users don't like a slow website they most likely Google doesn't either. You can speed up your website by optimizing your code, images and putting your website on a bigger hosting plan or server.
  2. Keyword Cannibalization (on page) - This happens when you have multiple pages trying to rank for the exact same keywords. Google will see you have multiple pages with the same keywords and they will have to pick one they want to put in the SERPs. Hell, they may not pick any and you're down 2+ pages because you are cannibalizing your own keywords lol.
  3. Keyword cannibalization (internal linking) - This is where you use the anchor text that is for one topic you want to rank for and link it to a page which is similar, but not quite. An example of this would be if you used an anchor text that was "Stunt Drivers" and link it to one of your pages that is for "Stunt Driving Classes". It's not quite the same because one is about the drivers and one is about safety, see? A lot of people are doing this and it's an easy way to lose a little bit of your rankings.
  4. Broken outbound links - This is when you link to a page on a website that is not yours and it eventually is deleted. Your outbound link now goes to a URL that has been deleted and now you see a 404 page or get redirected to the homepage. These kinds of links happen a lot when you're linking to blog posts on a random website. It's due to the blogger or website owner deleting the page, or website entirely, and now you're linking to something that does not exist 7 SEO mistakes that could be ruining your rankings
  5. The dreaded duplicate content - I've seen a lot of ecommerce websites get hit with duplicate content penalties because they will be a reseller of a product and they'll just copy the titles and descriptions from a different website and paste it onto theirs. It's not difficult to write your own titles along with a brief descriptions. You can target the same keywords, just make it unique 7 SEO mistakes that could be ruining your rankings

Does anyone else have anything they can add?

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Yes I do! lol 7 SEO mistakes that could be ruining your rankings

6. Mobile Friendly Responsiveness
This really goes without saying these days! By now everyone knows that mobile searches out perform desktop searches. And there are so many different sized screens out there. Small mobiles, large mobiles, small tablets, large tablets, small/large laptops/netbooks and desktop computers, monitors, TV's (4K/8K) and more. Have you tested how your site looks and behaves for all these different devices, screen sizes, resolutions and even browsers? Firefox, Chrome, IE, Edge etc etc? Do they look and work properly in all of them for everyone and all variations? Unless you've tested your site for all of them you wont know. You can use sites like & BrowserStack to do some slight testing. People are 5 times more likely to leave a site if it isn't mobile-friendly. If it doesn't look right and elements are overlapping, or not working properly or glitching out for some people on some variable of setup, you will loose customers and revenue.

7. Site Structure
Without a doubt, your websites structure, the layout, navigation and menu usage, placement and control is one of the most important parts in not just a websites ease of use and accessibility but also also anesthetically as well. And goes hand-in-hand with mobile friendless. But if people find it hard to navigate your site, or jump to other locations quickly and easily without having to dig deep, they likely wont! If people can't get control over using your site, accessing and reading your content and having control over that content and your sites features like forms etc quickly and easily they wont. They'll go elsewhere that does.

8. No sitemap
I can't stand big sites that I'm on and using that don't have a sitemap I can easily reach at any time. Whether on the homepage or in the footer of any page I'm currently on. It's annoying having to kind of find my way around, unless there is a text link or something to what I'm looking for which isn't always easy with today's modern and often cluttered websites. And not just any old simple sitemap either. Actual good looking and fully comprehensive and correctly formatted and structured sitemap that links to all posts, pages, categories, everything. So you want to have an HTML sitemap for people which is good looking and has everything. And an XML sitemap for search engines too. It's a must from that perspective actually because not a lot of people know this but Google only crawls some sites so many levels deep. If you have many many deep pages. Unless I can click to open page 1000 from your homepage or sitemap it ain't getting crawled/indexed! 7 SEO mistakes that could be ruining your rankings

That's now 8! Can we keep going until we get to 10?

And then again until a 100?

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Very well taken into consideration. thank you very much for the addition idealmike.. nice tutorials. i have surely gained a lot. one thing to add also is the issue of backlinks. it is strongly advised to always go for QUALITY in place of QUANTITY. Going for backlinks in forums, high domain sites, social bookmarks etc is far better that creating thousands of backlinks with a software.

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Yes I totally agree with you, so many people think buying a huge amount of low quality links over a short period of time will do something for their websites... yeah well we all know what that really means right?

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You can add the frequency of posting new and original content on your list. You might have the most incredible website with perfect SEO done but if you write only once or twice a month be sure that you will lose your dominant position to a website or blog or ecommerce shop who is constant adding content, tweaking it and so on.

I've seen this mistake on a lot of websites. Owners believe that if they "fix" their website once their are set for life. This is a continuous process that have to be attended all the time.
I believe that the more activity is detected on your site, the better.

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Yes I know what you mean and I have seen this. I often find that I can't get to posting on one of my websites for a while and in that time my rankings do drop which really sucks.

I find that posting almost daily has an incredible effect on SEO and if I could post every single day on all my websites that would be just amazing but I can't do it, I just can't get to it.

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Actually, that's not the case anymore. Writing twice a month can get your high rankings if you publish big, quality articles targeting multiple secondary keywords and generally providing a very helpful piece of information for the user. Google will not ignore you.

Also, this "activity" used to work only for blogs and as far as I can see Google won't really mix ranking keywords that are designated for online shops with ranking blogs that offer information.

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Hey Cristian, I am planning on writing monthly for my recovery from addiction website because that is just a hobby and my goal there is not to make money, then weekly for my online marketing blog and 3-4 times a week on my mommy blog.

That should do it right?

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Thanks Razzy, this is just the sort of thing I am needing to learn about now.

I have recently just had my website jazzed up for me, and I am so pleased with the results! My website was so slow and I was so frustrated until I got one of the freelancers here to sort it out for me. It is now super duper fast and fresh. I am seeing such a difference in how my website visitors are interacting with me and it has only been two days!

Now I need to start looking at other things that may be affecting my rankings. Your other points I don't think are a problem as I was already aware of them except for Keyword Cannibalization with internal linking. I knew not to just use anchor text like "click here" and to be descriptive but I never realized that it should be so specific. I don't think that this is a problem but I am glad I aware of it now moving forward.

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With keyword cannibalization internal linking are you saying the anchor text should match the page title?

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That is correct. You don't want an internal link to be aimed at a page that isn't optimized for that keyword. It's similar to off page optimization, you use the same anchor text on 3rd party websites which is the same as the page you're linking to 7 SEO mistakes that could be ruining your rankings

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I may add the following:
  • Not having a problem heading structure that contains keywords
  • Not having unique title tags and meta descriptions that aren't optimized for their designated keywords.

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I am familiar with most of these things and I always avoid doing this SEO mistakes. usually, I do not use outbound links because by doing this I am giving away my traffic. I do sometimes site sources at the end of the article, however, I avoid having links. I always try to give the entire information on content so that the visitors do not have to check other websites.
I will add one important SEO mistake that you might be doing. The site not having a good design.

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The slow display of the web page will always be an issue because I have noticed that internet users are always in a hurry. I am speaking for myself. When I check on a website and it takes time to fully display the page, I have the tendency to leave unless that website is very important to me. But when I am searching for something, I will not be patient enough to wait for 5 seconds. There are so many other sites in the search list.

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