4 SEO Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Search Engine Rankings

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Answered by: Jackline, An Expert in the Small Business Marketing Category
Many SEO (search engine optimization) techniques have become obsolete in recent years, as changes to search algorithms have forced businesses and marketers to alter their marketing strategies. However, some SEO techniques are becoming increasingly important for those wanting to achieve higher search engine rankings. Failure to use these important techniques can have a serious impact on your website and reduce the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. Here are four SEO mistakes that can hurt your search rankings.

Slow-Loading Pages

Search algorithms are starting to take into account page loading speeds when analyzing websites, which means that slow-loading pages can have a negative effect on your search rankings. High-resolution images, large graphics, videos, audio files, hefty PDF files and other large files types can all slow down your page loading times. Poor-quality HTML or CSS coding can also affect loading times, as can some plugins and widgets. Removing unnecessary page elements and cleaning up your site code can make a huge difference to page loading speeds.

Poorly-Targeted Keywords

Choosing the right keywords is essential for all websites and businesses wanting a steady flow of search traffic, as keywords enable search engines to correctly categorize and index your site and pages. Many businesses make the mistake of using single keywords and popular phrases, as these provide the highest search volumes. However, competition for these single keywords and popular phrases is fierce, and most businesses cannot compete with larger companies and organizations.

Answer Questions

Changes to Google algorithms have led to search results becoming more focused on interpreting and answering queries posed by users. Identifying questions that your intended audience may type into search engines will enable you to target your long-tail keywords more effectively. Performing research into keywords and phrases related to your industry or field of expertise can provide valuable insight, but try to choose specific questions to answer. Read forums to see what kind of questions users are asking, as many people turn to forums when they can't find the answers anywhere else. To achieve the best results, you need to choose well-targeted keywords and phrases with less competition. In addition, remember to use your chosen keywords in title tags, meta descriptions and page URLs.

Duplicate or Unoriginal Content

Search engines value websites with unique content that can't be found anywhere else. Never use the same article across multiple websites, blogs or other online locations. If you own several different websites, always write separate content for each site. Some businesses reuse the same articles across multiple sites, changing just a few words or sentences to make it appear unique. However, search engines are becoming increasingly clever at spotting duplicate content, even when changes are made to the wording or structure of the article.

Unnatural Flow

Content should have a conversational feel and natural flow. When placing keywords and phrases in your content, it's important to make sure they sound natural and fit in with the rest of the text. Keywords should also be relevant to the topic of the content, as well as the website. Read your content aloud or ask someone else to check the flow of your writing, as this will help to identify any problems. In addition, check the grammar- and spelling of your articles or blog posts carefully.

Good SE0 practices can make a huge difference to your search engine rankings, helping to improve your marketing efforts and increase traffic to your website. However, there are several SE0 mistakes that can have a negative impact on your search rankings. Sow-loading pages, poorly-targeted keywords, duplicate content and articles that sound unnatural can all be detrimental to your site.

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