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Dont’t making these 5 complex SEO Mistakes & get higher rankings

Today, running a comprehensive and thorough SEO campaign is paramount to ranking. If you are not optimizing your website and keeping up with the trends, then surely it is your ranking competitors.

I think it is useful to think of SEO as simply the amalgamation of best practices that the search engines understand.

And much of the time it can ruin a website’s ranking by mistakenly not following a best practice.

So this article has to do with those SEO mistakes we all make from time to time.

If you find yourself making those mistakes, you’ll be able to fix them, and if you haven’t committed them yet, you’ll know how to avoid them.

Problem 1: Improper indexing of your web pages

What is it mean: We all want to see Google rank higher on our web pages But the hands of Google can not rank what its bots are not able to see.

seonm_search-engine-spiders-1

The best way to see if you have any issues with indexation is by using the Google Search Console.

In the overwhelming vast majority of cases, the indexation problem will be internal: maybe a developer working on the page did not allow the page in your robots.txt file, or a NOINDEX tag was applied to a page.

The most likely culprits for not indexing your pages are a DNS error or a 404 error and Search Console will exhibit as much in its “Error” column.

Simply removing the NOINDEX tag manually for the pages in question, or allowing them to appear in robots.txt, and giving Google bot some time to recrawle in peace, will get those pages to appear without a hitch.

When you end up in a situation where your website is patently crawlable in its entirety, with index tags, but the actual Google search only gives you only a fraction of the results you want–you may have been hit by a manual act.

Run a full website-wide audit to start the recovery process.

You will get a nice view of the SEO health of your website using an audit tool, with all the sites that are and are not indexed in there.

See which pages violate Google’s best practices, and which simply did not have the correct labeling and/or instructions for robots. It’s generally a good idea to check the website every month or so for crawling issues.

Problem 2: Keyword cannibalization

A common problem arising from the fact that some of us advertisers start “overcrowd” the same topics publishing extremely similar materials that target the very same keywords in more or less.

This ends up happening is that different pages fight for the same keywords in ranking. That, in effect, hurts the chances of ranking on all concerned pages.

The issue is complex enough for me to write a whole article about it. This is not a casual problem, and should be resolved by turning to a keyword mapping tool as soon as possible.

Your keyword map will look along the following lines (disclosure: this is a Rank Tracker screencapture , created by my team):

seonm_keyword-cannibalization-1

With the three columns, you’re targeting one for the keywords, one for the web pages related to those keywords, and another for general SEO data.

Filter your website with a map of keywords in hand, and make sure all your content targets a different set of keywords.

Consolidate the pages that address similar topics, and create a single page that includes a number of different ones.

That way you’ll make sure that you don’t have to compete with yourself to create content in your niche on top of everybody else.

Problem 3: Incorrect page structure for its target topic

Fact: Even if you have a lot more backlinks than your rivals, you could still rank below them.

This one may even seem counterintuitive to some, it certainly did to me when I started dealing with SEO issues first.

But the fact is, it’s not just about backlinks to your webpage.

Today, with all Google’s efforts to combat quid pro quo linking techniques, it’s not enough to simply amass a large catalog of backlinks.

Higher ranking is now, and has been for some time now, not just about getting things right, but also avoiding any punishing mistakes. It’s not just about the content but about the acceptable form as well.

For instance, if you’re writing an article about the best footwear, and you’re creating it as a round-about 2,000 word list, so you can’t rank you can look at your current ranking competition.

Just let’s say you have posted a beautifully written and informative article about the best cities to live in. It is a large piece of text with a few photos. City names are woven across the text, The New Yorker-style.

Then you will point out that the information is presented as an image gallery with very little text on every page in the top-5 results for “best cities to live in.” That means Google sees this as the best format that covers that particular topic.

Simply edit your own content to fit those criteria: make it a gallery of short, clear descriptions sporting images and see your page rise through the ranks!

And if we are talking about the keywords that Google has SERP features for, it’s a whole different conversation. What we are gradually seeing is that Google is trying to answer queries from users right on the SERP.

This uses tools like the featured snippets from Google, people even ask, knowledge panels and so on.

Now it is crucial to get into those, and crucially dependent on structure.

So, first, find out if you can get a SERP feature for your chosen keywords.

This is easily achieved by any rank tracking software, but also by simply searching the keywords you are looking for.

Go to Google Search Settings, and simply disable the feature Private Results. Then, look up your keywords to adjust your region as required.

If you see a panel of Knowledge or a featured snippet in it, that means it is on!

The use of structured data markup is a huge part of getting into a SERP feature

Remember: Google’s goal is to provide a fast and coherent answer to your question to its user.

Apply structured data markup, use bullet points, lists, numbers, etc. The search engine will recognize that you provide a quick and easy answer, and will use you as the source of a featured snippet.

It’s also very useful to incorporate structural elements like FAQ, because getting into any of the SERP features would increase the traffic, page views and CTR.

It’s simply not enough that you have come up with a brilliant idea of content and know how to present it in your soul in the best possible way. That piece of content should also be consistent with what Google sees fit for content.

Problem 4: Incoherent internal linking

We also learn about functional navigation setting-up.

A user must be able to return to homepage from anywhere, have an understanding of what section of the website they are currently, and hopefully be able to get from any page to anywhere on the website, following only the links.

Yet proper linking inside goes a little deeper than that.

The reality is that we all have the “essential,” the “heart” or, more broadly, the pages of “money.”

Those are the pages we consider bringing in the “real money”

So we tend to focus only on them when working on the layout of our site instead of building large “thematic clusters” that would connect a bunch of pages together.

And, well, that’s not exactly the best way to liaise internally. You have to spread the richness of the ties around you!

Look for ways to connect not only to your core pages but to your smaller, “supplementary” pages from them.

Go back and create ties between your old content and the new one.

You must conceptualize your content as pages clusters which support each other.

For instance, say you have a “core” page which describes the feature of your software. Place some links to your additional content about using these features in the real world, as well as some guides how – to’s and posts for guests

And, well, if you have no additional content–create some for your core sites, then create a pleasant web of internal links to connect your website to a coherent website.

While doing this, try to ensure that your anchors are not over-optimised.

That means you can avoid the anchors that contain the keywords you’re trying to rank for, and instead look for naturally appropriate anchors (although anchors like “read here” are obviously not the best).

A nice way to improve your internal connection is to have some kind of cool visualization tool, like the one provided in Website Auditor (disclaimer: my tool), with all of your pages shown as a web of connections.

Therefore, you see immediately where you have the most relevant “nodes” and which pages might use a bit more of a link.

seonm_visualization-website-auditor-1

Problem 5: Low page speed, especially on mobile devices

We all know page speed has been a factor in the ranking for some time now.

Almost certainly everybody deals better with that part of their SEO health than they used to.

But even today, it’s easy to forget some basics and let the pace of your web page slip, costing you some significant traffic. And it’s not just about ranking you down at Google.

Simply put, with every extra second on the time to load your page, there’s a significant number of people bouncing–never to be seen again.

Usually, slower pages rank lower, convert worse, and give a subpar user experience.

And in the case of mobile this goes double.

Less than half mobile users simply leave a website if loading takes longer than 3 seconds. If that wasn’t enough, as of July 2018, mobile app speed has been a ranking factor.

Google’s encouragement of the AMP format also speaks volumes to the fact that clean, fast experience for mobile users has been, is and will continue to be, a priority for the websites that can adopt it.

In addition to being an important factor in the Ui, as well as a ranking factor, consistently slower pages mean that the whole website can take much longer to crawl and index. If you let this aspect go unchecked, that could create an indexation issue for you itself.

Fixing the speed problem requires a bit of effort, obviously, and without a proper audit method, if you have a website of any size, it will be almost impossible.

Use the PageSpeed Insights tool from Google to get an overall idea if the speed of a webpage is starting to hurt its chances of ranking. Remember how mobile experience is the “default” setting for a grade.

seonm_pagespeed-insights

This is done because mobile optimization is a priority for Google, for better or worse, and has been for a few years now.

Google would warrant the development of a whole separate Google App to test the speed of your website specifically on mobile devices.

I recommend starting with PageSpeed Insights, because it’s just faster and easier.

There, you’ll obtain a number of insights (hence the name) about the path you can take to improve your ranking, along with a quantified grade.

There’s a million little “mistakes” that a webmaster might make to slow down their website. A million items could be improved from having too many redirects to not getting enough of a CDN.

What every webmaster can do for my money to lower the loading times of their pages instantly is to optimize the code and photos.

Get rid of all over-comments, formatting, unused bits of code, and reduce all your web-based images.

PageSpeed Insights isn’t a bad place to start looking for ideas to increase the speed of your actual web page. But obviously, if you want to get very detailed you should look into a wider pool of audit resources, or even contact a SEO expert.

The audit tool is good for leagues, because it looks at all the pages of your website at once, and then you could look up suggestions for improvements with a single click.

Conclusion

Even today, with such a variety of SEO guides, resources, and classes, it seems crazy for someone to forget, for example, to write optimal title tags.

That said, all over the website  we see the errors presented here and there again and again.

Try and use that as a handy pocket-sized guide to improve your rankings.

Safe journeys, fellow SEO traveller!

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