Search engine optimisation (SEO) is one of the most popular ways of driving traffic to your website.
With the help of SEO, anybody can improve the ranking of their website in different search engine results (SERPs) such as Google, Yahoo or Bing.
SEO also allows businesses to connect with prospective customers who are in search of their products and services.
SEO helps businesses to get discovered by customers when they are planning to make a purchase and can deliver long-term returns on investment (ROI).
By properly integrating your online marketing needs with a strong SEO strategy, businesses can use affordable digital marketing tactics to improve their sales.
The proper implementation of SEO techniques can also create a clear sales funnel for your website.
However, as digital marketing is continuously changing, it has become difficult for businesses to stay ahead of the game and avoid making mistakes.
SEO is a rapidly changing industry and the trends which worked a few months or years ago might not work today.
Thus, brands must put in continuous effort to stay informed and educated on the latest SEO innovations as well as the developments in the field of digital marketing.
One thing that businesses must remember is that although an SEO strategy can be implemented in a few weeks, it can take much longer to see the results.
Businesses must implement a strong SEO strategy and correct any technical mistakes in order to significantly improve search engine rankings.
If you are struggling to get the desired results, then here is a list of the top content mistakes that are likely to damage your website’s SEO.
Using irrelevant keywords
Keywords play a crucial role in the discovery of any content.
Initially, businesses used to optimise their content with several keywords in order to appear at the top of Google search results.
Businesses also started stuffing their content with irrelevant keywords to try and push their content towards the first page of Google.
As Google realised that websites were practising such tactics and ruining the overall experience of the users, it made changes to its search engine algorithms.
To avoid any backlash from Google, businesses need to use a limited number of relevant keywords in their content.
Start off by determining your focus keywords. Your focus keywords can be a mix of global keywords that describe your products and services well, and generic keywords to attract local customers.
You can also use popular keywords in your niche which have low competition but high search volumes, or broad keywords which are specific only to your brand’s advertisement.
Additionally, using tools such as Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs or SEMRUSH will tell you about trending phrases people are using in their searches.
After determining your keywords, you can start building highly useful content and use those keywords in a manner that will fit naturally within the context.
Building low-quality links
Another common SEO practice in the past was to create a page, add relevant keywords and then build incoming links to that page.
However, these days this technique can have a negative impact on businesses.
As Google is greatly focusing on the quality of links, businesses should follow their updated quality guidelines before building any kinds of links.
While link building is still a common SEO practice, you must ensure that your website is professionally designed and has good quality content.
Rather than linking to random websites, you must make sure that the website you are linking to is of high quality.
Aside from general SEO metrics used to determine the quality of a site such as Domain Authority, Alexa Rank and Trust flow, you should also ensure the site is authentic, related to your niche or industry, and has a good amount of genuine monthly traffic.
Ignoring branded anchor text
An anchor text plays a crucial role in the successful implementation of an SEO strategy.
It also contributes greatly towards the link building strategy of a website.
The anchor texts of backlinks generated through reputed sources are extremely important for the implementation of an efficient SEO strategy.
Several websites use anchor texts only related to their pages or content and ignore the use of branded anchor texts.
As branded anchor texts are known to improve brand recognition, including branded anchor texts can help you to improve your ranking in search engine results as well.
Additionally, branded anchors appear to be more natural as compared to anchor texts which are specifically optimised for keywords.
Thus, in addition to focusing on good quality keywords and backlinks, websites must also focus on branded anchor texts to improve their SEO efficiency.
Using low-quality content
Quite often, websites focus so much on creating a high volume of content, without paying enough attention to its quality.
Low-quality content is often created by either using duplicate content or by spinning content that already exists online.
This content is usually biased and lacks accuracy, information, perspective and any proper analysis.
With tremendous competition in the market, this kind of sloppy content is generally disregarded by the viewers and as a result, does not help websites in achieving the desired SEO results
Thus, websites must focus on creating good quality and well-written content which is useful, readable, accurate and informative.
Before you start writing, you can go through Google’s guidelines to understand what good quality content looks like.
Creating content based on these guidelines should be an essential part of your SEO strategy.
Additionally, good quality content is also useful in building trust and an authoritative relationship with your audience.
Your goal should be to gain the user’s attention through reliable content and build authority between your website and search engines by continuously publishing high-quality content.
Focusing only on text content
In nearly every digital marketing strategy, content is king.
As a result, audiences are continuously in search of unique, interesting and actionable content.
A common misconception is that all of your attention should focus on the text aspect of content, but this is incorrect.
Well-written content is incomplete without a supporting image, infographic or audiovisual content.
Viewers these days are in search of something more than just written content.
Seeing the growing demand for different types of content, Google has added videos to its SERPs as well.
So, instead of sticking to written content, try to be more creative with visual, image or video content.
For producing video content, you don’t always need to produce fresh content. Instead, you can go through any existing content and repurpose it into video format.
Compared to written content, videos take much less time to rank on Google if you’re doing it right.
Search engine users also find videos much more engaging and more informative than reading long posts or articles.
Ignoring user-generated spam
Quite often, in a bid to increase the engagement of a website, businesses ignore irrelevant guest activities on its websites.
These activities can be in the form of spam posts on a forum thread, spam accounts on free hosts or comment spam posted on blogs.
When visitors create spam or irrelevant content on a website and link it to other malicious websites, it can have a negative impact on your website’s image.
Additionally, when Google notices any such activities, it could take action against it.
To avoid any trouble from user-generated spam affecting your website you should actively monitor your site and remove any user-generated spam as and when discovered.
Moreover, if you are accepting any guest posts on your website, you should go through the content carefully before publishing it and maintain strict guidelines for all user-generated content.
You can also ensure any guest posts do not consist of content produced solely for the purpose of link building.
Instead, focus on genuine guest posts which can help improve your SEO and enhance brand awareness.
Ignoring structured data
Structured data is a standard format used to mark up the important content or information about the web page in question.
By using structured data, you can increase the possibility of getting your website featured high up in search results, including position number one.
Search engines like Google use structured data to understand what the content on the web page is about.
Once the search engine recognises the content of the web page, it then makes it available for suitable search queries.
While creating content, you must focus on improving its layout and ideally place the structured data code to make your content appear more relevant on search engine pages.
Different type of structured data can be used for different types of content on a website.
Some of the most popular content which can use structured data include address, product reviews, recipes, FAQs, how-to guides, etc.
Structured data is highly organised and should be easily understood by Googles algorithms, so pay attention to your content and add structured data where appropriate.
With structured data in mind, any content you create should have clear headings and subheadings, numbered or bullet points if you are providing instructions and clear and concise answers to particular questions.