When it comes to optimizing your personal blog or business website, a key element of your marketing and growth strategy should be to have great SEO tactics in place. After all, while many other marketing strategies come at a financial cost, SEO is one of the few website growth tactics that is completely free. And, if done right, SEO can catapult your website or blog to higher ranks in search results.
However, given that SEO methods and Google’s search algorithms are constantly evolving, it can be easy to fall behind the times. This can lead you to consistently practice SEO tactics that do nothing for your website, or worse, cause your website to drop in search results listings. That, my friends, is no good.
The truth is, there are several major SEO mistakes that are more common than others. Some SEO strategies are evergreen (meaning that they are always good), while others can actually hurt your website’s ranking over time. To help you decipher between what’s helpful and what’s harmful, here are the top four major SEO mistakes you must avoid. By avoiding these major yet common mistakes, you’ll see greater success with your website, blog, or business.
#1: Keyword Stuffing
Since Google is a search engine that pulls results by locating matching text, you might think that using target keywords in every single sentence would cause your article to jump to the first page. However, that is completely false. The thing is, Google is really smart. It knows that people might try to beef up their articles with keywords. Therefore, if it finds an excessive amount of keywords in an article, it will mark your article or website as spam altogether.
This, of course, results in your website being pushed way down the search results list. Instead, focus on bringing value to your audience using a natural language.
#2: Buying Backlinks
Generally, backlinks are good for your website. They show credibility, and allow your website to show up in search results more often. However, the same doesn’t apply if you buy backlinks. The problem with a large majority of these backlinks is that they are purchased from sites that are flagged, which leads Google to mark your website as spam as well. In today’s SEO world, you must earn your backlinks by producing high-quality content and getting recognized on other credible websites.
#3: Copying or Republishing Content
If an article is already raking in great numbers for a website, why not copy it and bring the same results for your website? It makes sense, right? Yes, except that Google and other search engines actually penalize your site for this. In today’s world, original and authentic content is king. If Google sees that you simply copied or plagiarized content, it flags your content as spam, and your search ranking plummets.
While it’s perfectly okay to quote certain pieces of content (and giving credit of course), simply copying and pasting content will only harm your website. Focus on producing all-original content as much as possible.
#4: Irrelevant or Too Many Internal Links
It is indeed a great practice to have a few internal links in each piece of content. However, these internal links need to be relevant to the content the visitor is reading. For example, if a particular article is about yoga, don’t insert an internal link to an article about personal finance. Also, Google often treats too many internal links the same way it does keyword stuffing. Having too many internal links can make your page seem spammy, which can actually hurt your SEO.
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