Positive Search-Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential to building a successful and well-trafficked site, blog, or brand.
There are plenty of ways that you can improve your SEO; however, many people don’t recognize how their current content may be harming their ratings.
What are some of the issues that can harm your SEO ranking?
How can you recognize these problems within your own site?
And how can you repair these problems to boost your SEO ranking?
1. Too Many (Or Too Few) Keywords
Keywords are essential to master as a 21st-century blogger. They are a critical tool when it comes to optimizing your site in a sea of millions.
If you don’t use keywords properly, your SEO will suffer. This is especially true if you don’t utilize long-tail keywords.
These help to specify vague keywords to narrow down search results (i.e. “psychology careers in the military” rather than “psychology”).
Long-tail keywords should help you enjoy organic traffic on your site. Leaving these out of your prose may result in a lower ranking for your site.
Overusing keywords can hurt you, as well.
“Keyword stuffing” is the practice of filling your prose with a mass amount of keywords with the hopes that your site will be optimized on Google.
This manipulative practice is incredibly damaging to your SEO.
Google is no-nonsense when it comes to keyword stuffing. You will be penalized if you try to use or overuse irrelevant keywords to improve your traffic.
2. A Lack of Mobile-Friendly Access
In an era of smartphones, a ton of consumers do web searches, research, and reading on their mobile devices. With instant access to the web, smartphones have invented a whole new way to browse so it’s important as ever to be thinking about the readability of your content.
What does this mean for you?
Your site needs to be mobile-friendly. If you only cater your site to computer users, this will turn away potential customers who struggle to navigate your site via their phones and tablets.
Since Google is concerned with providing their customers with content that is both informative and easy to access, they tend to bump mobile-friendly sites up in terms of SEO.
3. Unoriginal or Irrelevant Content
If your webpage does nothing more than regurgitate information found elsewhere online, you won’t enjoy significant SEO.
Common-sense, thin, or widely accessible content isn’t enriching to a consumer.
If you are unable to produce unique content on a topic, the quality of your site will suffer. This is true for your site’s traffic, as well.
Google doesn’t favor the repetition of basic information, weak writing, or unoriginal content. As a result, these qualities will all impact your ranking in a negative way.
Irrelevant content is just as unhelpful, even when it is distinctive.
How is “irrelevant content” defined?
This would be any content that isn’t related to the core purpose of your site, blog, or brand. For instance, if a consumer clicks on a link advertising a site about personal finances that leads to an article about home renovation, this would be considered irrelevant content.
This will both turn away potential consumers and raise red flags for Google. Google prioritizes articles that are straightforward and relevant to consumers’ searches.
The relevancy of your content in relation to what consumers are searching for is important for boosting (or stabilizing) your SEO rating.
4. Issues With Copyright
As we approach 2020, incorporating forms of media into your site, blog or brand is more important than ever. Visual media has been shown to help users remember the information and content they view, as well as compelling them to spend more time on any given site or article.
Still, navigating fair-use media online can be tricky. The internet is full of images, songs, videos, and other content that is sometimes ambiguous in terms of who is to be credited for it.
However, violations of copyright—even accidental—can have a major impact on your rankings.
How can you know if you’re violating copyright?
Use Google’s free Transparency Report tool. If you plug in your URL, it will show you any complaints that individuals/companies have made against you for copyright violations.
Fortunately, this is an easy fix: get rid of the content that is violating copyright. Moving forward, be more mindful about the status of your media (fair use, public domain, requires attribution, copyrighted, etc.).
If you want to avoid any chance of being bumped down the SEO ladder for copyright, sticking to fair-use media is a good option.
(Don’t forget: Textual plagiarism is also a form of copyright violation!)
5. Poor Engagement From Consumers
If consumers who engage with your site show low engagement, your SEO will be affected. This may seem obvious, but understanding the causes of low engagement is important.
Why might turn consumers away from your site?
Slow site speed. If your site is slow, this will cause consumers to seek information elsewhere. The fast internet speeds of the 21st century have created an expectation that information should not only be accessible but also quick and easy to acquire.
Zippy site speed is crucial for Google (who caters to the fast-paced consumer) to optimize your site.
An excess of advertisements. Sites that are overstocked with advertisements aren’t friendly on the eyes. Consumers dislike tons of ads, and Google will consequence you for overusing them.
Their AdSense rules will demote you if you have more advertisements than content on your page.
These are only a couple of the reasons that your site engagement may be low.
Whether the issues are visual or content-related, pinpointing barriers between the modern consumer and engagement with your website may be able to help you improve your traffic (and, in the process, your SEO).
A lack/influx of keywords, non-mobile-friendly access, unoriginal content, copyright violations, and poor user engagement can all harm your SEO.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to fix these problems. Utilize long-tail keywords. Make your site smartphone-friendly.
Produce unique content. Delete any media/content violating copyright. Pinpoint issues limiting your user engagement. These steps can all help you get your site back on track for better SEO rankings.
Do you have insight into other issues that can hurt your ranking? Any of your own solutions?
Let us know in the comments below!