Top 10 On-Page Mistakes That Will Kill Your SEO Ranking
- Slow loading speed can reduce the SEO ranking of websites even if they have brilliant content. The same goes for mobile-friendliness and overall technical performance.
- Plagiarised content will not help your SEO ranking. Neither will keyword-stuffing or poorly written blog posts with lots of grammatical or spelling errors.
- You need to ensure your content is formatted in an optimal way, which means paying attention to title tags, H-tags, URLs, and images.
When designing an effective SEO strategy, you need to pay close attention to on-page elements. While off-page factors such as backlinks still have a significant influence in the world of search engine optimization, the elements on your website are crucial for Googlebot to understand what your content is about. On-page SEO can easily make or break your SEO ranking! Find out which are the top ten most frequent on-page mistakes that could kill your SEO.
SEO ranking and the top 10 on-page SEO mistakes
#1 Choosing wrong keywords
Most keyword researches are superficial and only seemingly provide the researcher with actionable data. When deciding on focus keywords, many business owners use the Google Planner tool. While Google Planner can be a valuable tool for paid advertising, it’s probably not the best idea to rely only on insights gathered there for on-page optimization. The issue with Google Planner lies in the fact that everyone is getting the same results. There is no actual benefit from Google’s recommendations when thousands of other business owners will optimize their content for the same keywords.
The choice of keywords to optimize for is always a tough one; you can either go for popular keywords with a lot of queries, but also a lot of competition, or aim at niche keywords with low search volume but higher conversion rates. You need to think about your position on the market for your specific service or product before choosing keywords and the ability to promote your content and gain backlinks.
#2 Misunderstanding searcher intent
Predicting searcher intent (what the person behind the query is interested in) is a game that Google played the best in the early age of search engines. Google’s ability to guess the outcome is what made it a dominating power in this field of services. The same applies for today’s SEO experts, who need to guess what exactly the searcher wants and needs. This is often a very difficult job, since search terms can be very ambiguous. For example, if we see a query saying “piano music lessons”, we can’t actually tell if the searcher is looking for a music teacher or an online course on how to play the piano.
#3 Low-quality content
Many believe that the key to high SEO ranking is to create a lot of content, as Google likes content-rich websites. Unfortunately, short, poorly written or hastily produced content, even copied from other sources, can hurt your rankings more than help them. Instead of writing ten 300–500 words articles every week, you should concentrate on a single, highly useful 2500-word article each month, as this will give you far better SEO results.
#4 Non-optimized content
Writing great content is not enough. To increase SEO ranking, you need to optimize your content for users as well as search engines. When writing an article, make sure that:
- the title tag includes the main keyword
- you have the keyword in your H1 Headline
- the URL includes the main keyword
- some of the subheadings contain the keyword
- images have alt attributes
- internal links link to relevant content
- overall content is optimized for your specific keyword or keyphrase
If you release a video, make sure it has a full, detailed description, with proper keywords in its title and description body. Correct tags and other video-relevant features help you stand out more amongst your competition. Similarly for tweets, social media posts, infographics, etc. Essentially, you need to optimize every piece of content before publishing, to achieve noticeable, positive SEO effects.
#5 Not promoting your content
The most common mistake business owners make is creating content and failing to promote it. Some, in fact, are very uncomfortable about promoting something they created because they resent the “marketing part”. Ignore that feeling and promote your best content everywhere; through social media pages, both organic and paid, newsletters, YouTube, whatever channels you can use.
#6 Low text to HTML ratio
Many websites have very little textual content on pages their owners wish to rank high in SERP (Search Engine Results Page). When that is the case, Google has a hard time figuring out what the website is about. Remember that the text is the “meat” for Google, the source of information on what a specific page is about. Make sure to have enough text that quickly and precisely explains the purpose of every page you have in the index.
#7 Poor internal linking
On every significant piece of content you create, you must have internal links that lead to other relevant content. This is your chance to pass on SEO ranking to pages you would like to see higher in search engine result pages. Also, when creating internal links, try to avoid links with anchor text such as “click here” or “learn more”. This is an outdated practice, from when site owners knew little about links and how they worked. Today, you need to make sure that your link has the specific keyword you want to rank for as the title.
#8 SEO ranking and slow loading speed
This is a simple matter with a huge impact on today’s websites. To test your loading speed, you can use a tool such as PageSpeed Insights from Google. Besides loading speed, the tool will also give you a list of possible improvements and tips on how to achieve them.
#9 No mobile-friendly pages
In the past couple of years, Google has repeatedly stated that a website without a mobile-friendly version of its pages will drop down in rankings. For this reason alone, you need to optimize your website for mobile views. You can either make sure all elements on your website are responsive and optimized for mobile or use AMP. Accelerated Mobile Pages are super lightweight pages designed to load very quickly, almost instantly on mobile devices.
#10 Poor technical performance
Finally, one often overlooked aspect of on-page SEO is the overall technical performance of the website. This aspect gains more significance by the day as Google attempts to offer the best, most secure web browsing experience. Content needs to be regularly backed up, the CMS of the website tested for security vulnerabilities, the server itself tested for optimal performance and correct configuration. It is also important to know the uptime of the website, i.e. how often and for how long your website is not accessible, which indicates how stable the servers are and if you lose potential customers during downtime.
purpleplanet provides WordPress maintenance services, which include monitoring of all aspects of a website’s technical performance, and making sure your website performs as well as it can. Contact us for more information about website maintenance and how we can help you improve your business.