Can’t seem to achieve a top search ranking for your target keyword no matter how much time and resources you invest into SEO? The problem could be associated with one or more of the following mistakes…
Overuse of Anchor Text
In the past, it was relatively easy to rank virtually any website for any keyword using anchor text. If you want to rank for the keyword “top campgrounds in Minnesota,” for instance, you would create as many links as possible using the anchor text “top campgrounds in Minnesota.” Google has since caught onto this tactic, diminishing its potential benefits. In fact, overuse of anchor text may now have the opposite effect by actually lowering your site’s ranking.
Don’t succumb to the temptation of purchasing links for your website. There are literally hundreds of SEO “firms” and webmasters that continue to sell links, even though it’s a blatant violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. In some cases, offenders can sneak by Google’s radar undetected, but you have to ask yourself if it’s really worth rising your site’s integrity (hint: it’s not). To remain compliant with the search engines, it’s recommended that you do NOT buy links, regardless of the price and PageRank.
Overlooking On-Page SEO
There are two components to an effective SEO strategy: on-page and off-page SEO, both of which are equally as important. Unfortunately, many webmasters turn a blind eye to on-page optimization, focusing their efforts strictly on building links instead. If you want to achieve, and maintain, a top search ranking, you need to optimize every page on your site. This means using relevant, unique titles, along with meaningful Meta descriptions, SEO-friendly URLs, etc.
Not Researching Keywords
You can’t expect to achieve a top search ranking without performing some basic keyword research beforehand. Ask yourself, for which keywords do I want to rank? You may already have a general idea of your target keywords, but you need to narrow them down to a smaller, more defined list. Google offers a helpful, free-to-use keyword research tool at https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner. Using this tool, you can uncover new keyword ideas, along with their respective competition and average Adwords’ bid prices.
Matt Cutts, former Webspam team leader at Google, recently said that duplicate content will not harm a website’s search ranking. After all, it’s estimated that 20-30% of the entire Internet’s content is duplicate. However, publishing the same content in two or more locations on your website can lead to confusion when search engines attempt to crawl and index it. If you publish an article on two different locations, how will the search engines know which one to index? They may choose the best URL to index, or they may not.
Rather than crossing your fingers and hoping the search engines index the appropriate URL, it’s best to avoid duplicate content issues by publishing content in a single location. Alternatively, you can set up your website to noindex and/or block robots from crawling pages on which duplicate content is posted.
Are you guilty of making these SEO mistakes? Let us know in the comments section below!
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