The 5 Most Common SEO Mistakes That Kill Your Rankings
Not getting any search engine traffic to your websites? You may only be missing a few key pieces that could lead to your success. In this guide I’ve outlined the 5 most common reasons why and how to fix the problem.
Besides social media, one of the other best ways to get targeted traffic to a website for free is by optimizing your site to get search engine rankings. A single #1 ranking on Google can potentially deliver thousands of monthly visitors or more. Many top 10 positions on search engines can easily provide you with a full-time income with your website.
To take advantage of this free traffic, you just need to make sure your website has high quality content. You also need to take a look at the five rules below that will help ensure you’re on the right track to success. This is by no means a complete list of all ranking factors in search engine algorithms, but these are the most common mistakes that beginners will make building a website that prevents them from getting good search placement.
#1. New Websites
If your site is less than one year old, search engines like Google won’t show it as much respect. Keep doing what you’re doing and don’t get discouraged without seeing immediate results. Continue posting new content on a regular basis.
Success with search rankings takes patience while still moving forward. DO NOT wait to see results before you continue working. Also be sure to examine the tips below in the meantime to make sure your site isn’t violating any of these rules and conditions.
#2. Niche Too Broad
If the overall topic of your website (your niche) is too broad, you may simply have too much competition to get easy search rankings. For example, think about a website that is about cars. Within that niche subject, there are potentially millions of individual and unique topics that you could talk about. On the entire internet, there are also very likely millions of websites that are about cars, which means the competition will be very high.
If you can build a larger and better website than most of your competition, you may be able to compete. When your website targets a subject that is too broad to be able to beat your competition, the solution is to narrow your focus. Continuing with the example about cars, if the website was only about working on and restoring Ford Mustangs from the 1960s, you would instantly have much less competition. There simply won’t be nearly as many websites about restoring Mustangs from the 60s compared with the number of websites that have anything to do with cars.
You need to make sure you target a niche that is narrow enough to avoid a lot of competition but also large enough to be able to attract enough traffic. One of the best ways to research competition is to simply search on Google – see how many sites you can find about your topic. You want to compete against hundreds of other sites or maybe thousands, but you want to avoid a competition with millions of websites.
#3. Pages Too Short
The pages that you’re creating on your site may also be the problem. In general, the more content you can add to each page of your site, the better. At a bare minimum, try not to publish pages with less than 500 words, although I personally shoot for a minimum of 1,000. There’s nothing wrong with publishing a page that is 5,000 or 10,000 words or even longer.
Search engines like Google want to deliver the best possible results for each search phrase. Your goal is to create that page for them. Cover the topic as extensively as you can manage. The most in-depth resource about a particular topic is almost guarantee to get a great search ranking if you wait enough time.
#4. No Keyword Targeting
The largest website in the world would still not receive much search engine traffic if it didn’t build pages to target specific subjects. Think about a really big site such as Wikipedia. All of their content is broken down into pages of individual topics. Each page covers a specific topic and doesn’t stray outside of those bounds.
Google Ads offers a keyword tool that you can use to find out how many people search for specific phrases each month. Your goal is to make each page of your site have a primary topic, and the rest of the content on the page is all about that topic. Without this focus and organization on your site, it will be hard for visitors to find the information they want. Search engines will also have a hard time identifying what your pages are about if they don’t have a clear focus, which means they won’t get good search rankings.
On the other end of the spectrum, overusing a keyword phrase that you’re trying to target can also have a negative effect. Instead of repeating a keyword phrase over and over again in your writing, try to talk about that keyword phrase without using the words more than a few times in a 1,000 word article.
#5. No External Links
One final reason why your site may not have great search engine rankings is something that is out of your control. I’m talking about other websites linking to your site, also called backlinks. This is something that will happen naturally over time, especially if you create high-quality content.
While it is just one ranking factor, a site that doesn’t have any backlinks will have a very difficult time getting traffic in a high competition niche. When your site is new, you just need to wait until it happens naturally. Trying to cheat the system by creating your own backlinks or buying them from other websites can do more harm than good.
Ultimately, time is a major factor with search engine rankings that you can’t really do much about. While you wait, make sure you are building a high-quality site that provides in-depth information about keyword topics. This will help you reach your goals faster and ensure that Google does respect your website after it has gained enough age and links from other sites.