Top 5 SEO Mistakes that can Hurt Your Website’s Organic Rankings

5 SEO Mistakes

With Google’s ever-changing search algorithm, it is not surprising why some people inevitably make mistakes in their effort to stay ahead of their online competitors. Here is our list of the Top 5 SEO Mistakes we believe people often make.

1. Keyword Stuffing your Web Pages

Back in the early days of Google, keyword stuffing may have seemed like the magic bullet that got your website ranked.  However, those days are long gone as Google’s algorithm has continued to make strides in eliminating such manipulations by website owners and SEO professionals alike.

What is keyword stuffing?  Keyword stuffing is the practice of filling web page content with the same targeted keywords over and over again.  Should you try to keyword stuff your web pages today, expect that it will either be ignored or be penalized by Google and other search engines.

Creating content that utilizes keywords in a natural way is the best way approach.

2. Your Web Pages have Duplicate Content

There is no doubt that writing original content takes time and has a cost component associated with it.  That is why some may find it tempting to simply copy and paste content found from other websites or make minor changes to plagiarized content and then use it within their website pages.  However, using content from another website is considered “duplicate content” and can earn you a significant penalty from Google and other search engines, not to mention the legal ramifications from copyright infringement.  Google has been explicit about the fact that unique, relevant and authoritative content is what it rewards and duplicate content is what can get you penalized.  Therefore, only use unique content for your website if would like to improve your website’s ability to organically rank in the search engines.

3. Your Website is not Mobile Friendly

As of April 21, 2015, Google implemented a mobile friendly ranking signal/factor that essentially penalizes websites in their mobile search results, which are not mobile friendly.  Why did Google implement such as factor? Google wants to ensure that the end user/web visitor has an “optimal” experience when browsing websites that they search in their results.  So, if someone is using their smart phone to browse a website, in order to provide an optimal experience, images, video, navigation, text content and buttons must be easily accessible.

Therefore, in order to maximize your website’s ability to rank in Google mobile results, you must make sure that your website is mobile friendly utilizing “responsive” design.

4. Your Website takes too long to Load

Here again, as part of providing an optimal end user experience, Google wants all websites to minimize their page load times.  Why? Consider this: a slow loading web page can result in higher bounce rates and lower conversions because visitors leave before the pages load. This is a less optimal user experience which Google does not want to deliver in their top results.  Bottom line: make sure your website pages are not taking too long to load if you hope to rank more favorably in Google organic search results.

5. Too Many 404 Page Not Found Errors

Sometimes web page URLs change. When they do, you should ensure that the proper “redirects” are set up to avoid the dreaded 404 Page Not Found Error.

This is especially important when you have authoritative web pages of content for which you are ranking well organically as you do not want to lose any value from important links to it from external authoritative sources.  Additionally, if a search in Google yields a web page that when clicked, recently results in a 404 error, this provides a less than optimal user experience and therefore Google should eventually update its results to remove that missing page from its results.

Of course, there may be other factors (not using  SSL, paid low quality backlinks, etc.) which could hurt your website’s organic rankings, but these are our top 5.  You can read about SEO friendly web design here.

If you have any questions about what SEO factors might be hurting your website’s ability to rank well, contact our brilliant web design and SEO team in Scottsdale, AZ.

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