Almost anyone with a website has made an attempt at some point to drive traffic to their little slice of the Internet, and many have probably even tried SEO. Unfortunately, what many beginners — and some “experts” — don’t realize is that SEO is constantly changing and evolving. That can be hard to keep up with when you are blogging or running a business, but when you fail to properly implement SEO, it can actually have the opposite effect on your traffic. If your website isn’t seeing any new visitors, despite your best efforts, you may be making one of the following outdated mistakes:
1. Ignoring old content
If you’ve been at this website thing for more than a few months, you probably have some non-evergreen content there. Find out which of your pages are performing the worst, and you’ll probably find that they’re the old ones that aren’t really relevant anymore. Look for ways to refresh and revive them.
2. Keyword stuffing
A few years ago, keyword stuffing was a trick of the trade, but these days, search engines are on to you. In an effort to make viewing your site a more pleasant experience for users, Google is constantly looking for ways to match search intent rather than relying specifically on keywords. It’s time to move on from that practice.
3. Avoiding analytics
Google Analytics is totally free to install and use, so you’ll have to come up with another excuse as to why you don’t keep up with your site’s analytics. It will provide you with a window into the mind of your user. Why is he or she exiting out of some pages quickly and staying on others for longer periods of time? This little bit of info can help you make informed changes to your content.
4. Broken links
There are few things more frustrating than clicking on a link and receiving an error message. It will drive people away. If you recently switched domains, you may not even realize that some of your links aren’t working, but that is not always the culprit. Check out all of your links at least once a month and delete or fix the ones that are broken.
5. Generic anchor text
Say you write a blog about music and post about a hot song you discovered by a new artist named Patty Petty. You want to send your readers to the website to check out more of Patty Petty’s music. So, you type out the sentence “Click here to check out more awesome Patty Petty songs.” Many people make the mistake of using the entire sentence or the “click here” part as their anchor text. Instead, you should focus on something more substantial like “Perry Petty songs.” Google favors linkage to non-generic keywords and phrases.
6. Copying content
Plagiarizing was wrong in English class, so don’t think you can get away with doing it online. Once upon a time, websites took content from other websites and used software to spin it so that it sounded slightly different but was still basically the same. These days, this can make your website look like spam and have an adverse effect on your rankings. Take the time to write or hire someone to write quality original content. The results will totally be worth it.
7. Unnatural keywords and linking
Linking back to your high-performing pages within your content is a great idea…if it makes sense. If you have content about planting flowers, don’t add a link to a page about parenting a toddler unless it fits naturally. The same goes for keywords. If you are creating content about dog training, don’t try to add off the wall keywords about gaming or real estate.
8. Not keeping up with the times
In 2008, no one cared too much about making a website mobile-friendly. These days, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re going to lose users and lose favor with search engines. The same can be said if your site doesn’t load quickly. It’s 2017. Slow-loading sites should be a thing of the past. Do you have a social media presence? Are you interacting with potential influencers? While these things aren’t necessarily about keywords and content and links, they are an important part of driving traffic to your site. If you’re doing all the right things SEO-wise but not incorporating current trends into your strategy, none of it will matter in the long run.