These Bad Habits Are Harming Your SEO
Crafting an effective search engine optimization strategy takes time, dedication and careful planning. Through trial and error, many strategies can be refined and perfected, alongside diligent research and discussion within relevant SEO circles. While everybody is in pursuit of a more effective SEO strategy that requires minimal work, it is hard to uncover anything in this day and age that delivers instant results.
Nevertheless, sometimes improving your SEO strategy long-term isn’t about discovering new positive indicators, but removing elements that could be causing damage. After all, SEO continues to change and morph: some of the strategies you’re using may be out-of-date and even damaging.
Today, we’ll look at some bad habits that are potentially harming your SEO efforts.
Search engines obviously look at the content of your content, using it to determine intent and meaning. In the past, keywords were one of the only ways search engines could tell what your posts and pages described, but since then, the algorithms have become much more sophisticated. While pinging servers with keywords remains necessary and viable, there is a fine line between implying intent and overdoing it.
If your content is constantly aiming for certain percentages with respect to keywords comprising a share of your posts and/or you’re attempting to cram in a variety of different keywords and phrases, then there is a strong chance search engines are noticing it. This, when done consistently, can actually harm your website’s credibility and rankings.
As more people than ever are using mobile devices to peruse websites of all sorts, it is essential that your SEO strategy incorporates these audiences. Chances are that a majority of visitors to your website are using mobile devices to view its pages: if you’re optimizing your content and design for traditional desktop devices alone, then you are hurting yourself substantially.
While your pages may still be ranking well in desktop searches, Google and other search engines have completely nerfed pages that don’t provide mobile-responsive design solutions in mobile results. The result: your overall traffic could be cut in half from this one mistake alone.
Believe it or not, page speed has a huge impact on overall rankings in search engines. Much like above, optimizing for mobile users also requires ensuring pages load as quickly as possible. If people on the go come to your website but find it takes numerous seconds for pages to load, they will likely leave before seeing anything. This, in turn, impacts bounce rates and can lower your visibility in SERPS.
Additionally, search engines can directly assess page speed and will make adjustments in rankings based on this metric. Because of this, you absolutely must prioritize page speed when pursuing any SEO gains. Thankfully, there are a number of easy ways to improve page speed on unoptimized websites (though sometimes, the prime culprit is your hosting provider).
Ultimately, SEO isn’t just about pinging servers with fresh content. While you absolutely need a strong content game, the reality is that many websites are making basic mistakes that hamper their otherwise great efforts. By improving page speed, tailoring your offerings to mobile users and avoiding the keyword stuffing policies of the 2000s, you can eliminate some of the most common causes of SEO losses beginning today.