Website ranking questions are a constant in any SEO consultants working day.
Since SEO can be quite complicated in its ever-changing nature. It’s easy for brands, blogs and websites to make mistakes. In this blog we have highlighted a number of easily-avoidable mistakes, that will be affecting your website ranking along with solutions on how to correct them. Some of them can catch out even the best of us…
Keywords are the step that comes before content and even more crucially, at the planning stage of your website. Are the keywords or phrases you hope to rank for relevant to your offering or target audience? It’s all well and good choosing search terms that you ‘believe’ are popular but who will you be competing against? Are they over complicated, or too broad? It’s not always about getting lots of visitors to your site, it’s about getting the right type of visitors and converting them.
Using keywords that are specific with the low competition so that your site can be found while gaining Domain Authority is the way to do it.
Scrapping one keyword per page
Having only one keyword on a page is no longer the way to optimise. A themed page is a way forward. Create a list of terms relevant to the content on the page; these keywords should take your page from comprehensive to more specific.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t focus on having a main keyword or phrase. Just make sure that they are supplemented with other search terms to give your pages a competitive edge.
Now that your website is optimised, it is time to think about content! It is no secret that the more often you post quality unique content, the more regularly Google comes back to crawl your site to re-rank accordingly.
Regular keyword analysis should be done to see what questions or topics, based on your offering, are being searched. Note down a mixture of short and long tail keywords for a great content strategy.
Once you have made a note of these words/phrases it is time to link them to topics that you can provide content on that your customers will want to read.
Out of ideas? Have a writer’s block? Take a look at your competitors and take a look at their content and what you could do better or differently. Check out National Days that are coming up or, if you are a seasonal business, make sure your blogs are in line with the industry trends. Blogs don’t always have to be words, view our ‘blogging for business’ series for more ideas!
Quality over quantity
Similar to most things in the marketing world, producing lots of poorly written content can be damaging not only to your website ranking but your brand as a whole. You should only be creating well-executed content that is relevant to your audience. This can be articles or videos that help visitors as well as adding value to the internet. Quality over quantity is key to a high website ranking and convinces visitors to come back. Take a look at our blog on ‘Phantom 2‘ to learn more about this core Google algorithm.
Creating quality content is one thing, making sure all of your content is fresh and current is another story. For now, you can still use duplicate content for local SEO sites and rank, but believe us when we say there is just no place for it in your SEO strategy anymore. Having hidden pages on your site with the same content or buying up 100’s of URLS and replicating your website over and over again is a sure-fire way to get yourself penalised. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
People often add or change images to their website without optimising them. If you have a website that showcases your work in imagery, then this could be why you are losing rankings.
Firstly, add an optimised file name helps Google to ‘read’ what the image is. Their spiders will not know what IMAGE39144 is, nor deem it relevant to your business.
Secondly, alt tag EVERY image. This is a ‘meta description’ of sorts for an image. Google doesn’t see pictures, only words, so this is a great way to get more optimised information in front of the search engine. It also acts as a description when content is saved to Pinterest and to explain to the visually impaired what is on the screen. Always add a CTA.
Auditing your website
A website is not something you can create and then later forget about. You need to check for updates and keep track of these on a regular basis to prevent issues on your site. An SEO audit can look after everything, from unresponsive pages to that missing alt tag. You can’t get everything right all the time, so by carrying these out (at least) quarterly can mean that anything that has been broken or missed during the last round of website updates is picked up and rectified before it affects your website further.
A big mistake a lot of businesses make is not bothering with internal linking. A link to an internal page tells search engines that the page is important for your site and helps visitors find out more about a subject they may have an interest in.
You should aim to have 2-10 internal links per page, depending on the amount of content you have. Link relevant pages together both within the text and via calls to actions throughout. For bloggers or e-commerce sites, having related products or posts within in can increase the chances of a website user staying and browse as well as Google.
Out & Inbound linking
Out and inbound linking is a hot topic. After the link farms and massive clean up by Google people are fearful to be connected with other sites, or don’t have the insight to know what is going to be damaging to their website ranking. Inbound links are ideal for your ranking if done correctly. You must check whether the site you’re linking from is relevant to your site, whether it is popular and up to date (e.g. recent activity, shares, comments.) and does it have a good Domain Authority.
Anchor text refers to the text inside of a link. When Google is looking at which terms to rank your pages for if people are linking to your posts with a particular term, that will become the anchor text. Not everyone is going to use the same anchor text when they link to you. Some of the links you get might have a shorter anchor text, related phrases or even just your URL with no anchor text at all. You can check which websites are linking to you and the anchor text they are using through Search Console. If someone is linking to you from a poor quality site with the wrong anchor text, it is time to get in touch with their website administrator to ask to remove the link, or change the wording politely of course!
Over optimising anchor text is the most common problem repeated by many marketers. They believe that to rank highly, you have to get hundreds of backlinks using the same anchor text. If your website has backlinks with a lot of rich anchor texts, your traffic will most likely drop. You have to mix up the keywords and phrases to make it look more natural. Most people will link to your website using your company name. Google is intelligent enough to understand the different between your business name and keywords.
So there you have it. We have only covered a few reason why your website ranking is not as high as you had hoped. Others we haven’t covered include duplicate meta descriptions, slow, unresponsive websites and lack of content, but for now, this should be enough to get back in favour with the search engines.