Many things may affect your search engine rankings. From duplicate content to slow page loading speed everything can affect your SERP rankings.
Please ensure that you hire professional help through an SEO services company to boost your SERP rankings.
The following post contains an overview of the most common mistakes that can hurt your rankings. If you are looking to improve your SERP rankings, make sure to avoid them.
8 Most-Common Mistakes That Can Hurt Your SERP Rankings
1. Not Using the Right Keywords
One of the biggest mistakes is not using keywords in your title tags and meta descriptions. You need to use the keywords that you want to rank for. People use search engines to look for exactly those keywords. Improve your rankings by using them intelligently in page titles and descriptions.
There is a significant difference between optimizing for a specific keyword and choosing an unrelated keyword to your business. The first thing to do is ensure that your title tag on your homepage is optimized for the keywords you want to rank for. This means using your keyword phrase but not stuffing it in there. Once you add in some other words (like the company name) and add some numbers (the product code), you will start to see your rankings improve.
2. Doing Poor Keyword Research
Keyword research is precious if you target long-tail keywords (3+ words) because they are usually less competitive. However, don’t forget about short-tail keywords (1-3 words) as they can deliver quick results.
There is a myth that Google doesn’t use short-tail keywords for search rankings. This is not true! Google may have started using long-tail keywords more for rankings, but that doesn’t mean it stopped using short-tail keywords altogether. Also, if your website content is rich with short-tail keywords, it will naturally get ranked better.
Google’s algorithm is so intelligent these days that it can recognize if your keyword addition isn’t natural. You must use relevant words for your website content or product descriptions.
3. Linking to Irrelevant Pages
External links are an essential factor in determining your webpage’s relevance to the search query.
The more relevant your web page’s content is to the search query, the easier it is to rank for that query.
Several things can damage a web page’s relevance and, therefore, usability due to poor link building practices. You don’t want to build links with keyword stuffing and over-optimization for the search engines. These will only get your website penalized in the end.
4. Competitor Improvements
Playing smart SEO is a bit like playing chess. In both cases, you have to think many moves ahead of your opponents to achieve a victory. You have to plan for the future and anticipate the possible changes that might occur in the competitive environment, but at the same time, you can’t get too detached from what you’re trying to achieve right now.
In any competitive market, the best way to stay ahead is to be better than your competition. But how can you know if your site is better?
You need a way to objectively measure how well your website stacks up against your competitors.
If you’ve been ranking on the same keyword for a while, and then one of your competitors adds some new content or improves an existing page, you might find yourself dropping down the rankings. Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing, and make sure you’re doing something similar on your site or better to stop this from happening.
5. Not Building Enough Quality Backlinks
If you aren’t receiving enough backlinks, your website could be suffering from a severe problem. You must build plenty of high-quality backlinks to your site for it to be successful in SERPs. Don’t just focus on quantity, though, as that won’t get you anywhere. Instead, concentrate on building backlinks from reputable sources that will help boost your website’s success in search engines.
The first step to take care of before starting building backlinks is to begin by understanding what these links should bring to your site:
Quality – The first thing you need to consider is the quality of backlinks. If you don’t have the right kind of backlinks, then it’s better not to build any at all.
Quantity – Link building is a process that takes time and patience. You can’t expect that you’ll build a large number of quality backlinks overnight. More Links = Better – Not all links are the same; some links will give a higher page rank than others. To boost your page rank, focus on getting higher Page Rank (PR) links from .edu and gov domains.
Internal Linking – Internal linking will help search engines index your site better, as it will help them crawl every page of your website easily. Also, internal linking helps in reducing server loads as search engine spiders won’t be visiting anymore.
6. Publishing Low-Quality Content
You should focus on writing content that is helpful to your readers, rather than writing only for the search engines. Google wants to ensure searchers find the best-quality content available online, so it might make sense for you to create high-quality content that Google rewards with a high SERP ranking.
The number one Google ranking factor is relevance. And the easiest way to do that is to create content that addresses your audience’s needs.
Using keyword phrases that are popular in your industry, but aren’t relevant to your audience, won’t help you achieve your goals. It just frustrates readers and hurts your reputation as an expert in your field.
If you have thin or weakly written content, it won’t be able to support your website’s long-term goals. Weak text is complex for users to read, but it will also fail to provide visitors with the information necessary to convert them into customers or subscribers.
7. Making Technical Errors
Technical errors such as broken links, 404 errors, and duplicate content can all hurt your rankings. Broken links and 404 errors can make it seem like you don’t care about your site, which is a huge red flag when Google determines how valuable you are to users.
It’s also a sign of spammy behaviour. Duplicate content issues can cause a penalty from Google since it takes a lot of effort to maintain your site and keep it free of duplicate content.
Alt attributes are vital for usability and SEO. The alt attributes describe images to be understood when they’re read by search engine bots and visually impaired users with screen readers. To make an image ALT attribute relate to the page’s content, add your target keyword phrase into the alt attribute. However, it should not be in your text or in bold or italics or underlined or with any other kind of weighting signal like that because it’s supposed to describe the image, not rank for something.
8. Not Monitoring Your SERP Rankings
Monitoring your SERP rankings is equally important as performing SEO. You can’t tell how well or poorly your website is performing in search results if you don’t monitor its ranking for keywords that matter to your business.
Many tools can help you monitor your site’s SERP rankings, ranging from free to paid. One of the best free tools out there is Google Search Console. Here are some of its features:
- Monitor organic search performance over time — see where the traffic is coming from and how it’s changed over time.
- Implement redirects — improve the user experience by automatically redirecting specific URLs to more relevant pages.
- Analyze your competitors’ sites — see how you stack up against your closest rivals in search results.
- Check for organic search warnings, like duplicate content, which could be lowering your ranking for specific keywords.
Google constantly changes its search algorithm and updates. It is continually refining and improving its systems to provide better and more relevant search results for users.
What does this mean for your website? As a site owner, you need to constantly monitor the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for your keywords to ensure that you are not dropping down the rankings.