5 SEO Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Google Rankings
What’s the most proactive thing you can do for your SEO right now?
(Nope, it’s not frantically writing a bunch of new content).
It’s making some quick tweaks to fix any SEO mistakes that you’re making so your future strategies are WAY more effective. But with Google using over 200 factors to rank your content where do you even start?!
Don’t worry, I got your back.
During my time in the SEO trenches I’ve seen the same mistakes crop up time and time again. That’s why I’ve gathered the most crucial things that you can fix right now to have a big impact on the future of your rankings.
Even though we’re talking about mistakes today, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that SEO is all about having the most perfectly optimized website.
It’s really all about incorporating more SEO friendly habits that help Google connect your content to your people (you know, the guys who are ALREADY searching for your solution!?)
Ready to put out your SEO fires? Let’s dive in.
SEO Mistake #1: Ignoring Keywords
The term ‘keyword’ is a bit misleading.
A ‘keyword’ doesn’t have to be a single word – they’re just the phrases that people type into search engines. Google, Bing etc then find content related to that keyword or “keyphrase” to show to the user.
If you want a technical break-down:
- Keyword = 1-2 words
- Keyphrase (aka long-tail keyword) = 3+ words
The goal of keyword research is to understand what your target audience is searching for online and then create useful content around those same keywords that help them get the answers they need.
IGNORING keyword research can be detrimental to your searchability because you’ll be creating content, publishing it, and then hoping that people are searching for the specific topic you wrote about.
Creating awesome & useful content around well-chosen keywords will really boost the chances of people finding you organically online (aka helping Google connect your content to the keywords people are typing in.)
But you need to be targeting the right keywords and be genuinely providing a solid solution to that searcher’s query.
You can’t just whip up some lame, keyword stuffed article and call it a day.
(More on this below in #2)
In a nutshell, keywords will help Google understand what your content is about so it can bring the relevant people to your site (so YOU can see more conversions in your business).
SEO Mistake #2: Publishing a new post every week
“Google loves content!”
“To rank for anything you need to write x453453 posts a month!”
Let’s back up for a sec…
Yes, Google likes content. But what Google likes way more is QUALITY content.
Instead of stretching yourself too thin by producing content every single week, combine your efforts and focus instead on publishing only one or two articles a month of the highest quality.
Because it isn’t just “content” that Google loves – it’s people ENJOYING your content, sharing it and getting a goldmine of awesome information from it.
All in all, Google’s main goal of existing is to give the searcher the exact solution to the problem they came to Google to help solve.
If you want to show up on page 1, you have to be a great solution for your people. (which typically means writing content that’s more in-depth & longer form.)
Focus on quality over quantity and your content will help more people solve their problems. THAT’S what Google wants.
SEO Mistake #3: Not Promoting your Content
If you’ve put in the time to produce some great content for your audience you’re doing yourself (and THEM) a huge disservice by not promoting it.
I know I know…
You don’t want to sound spammy or pushy.
But here’s the thing…
There are people out there who need your content and who are actively trying to find it to help them solve a problem. While good keyword optimization will help them discover it, you can also promote your content on other channels too.
But where should you promote your content?
Here are some ideas – don’t feel the need to do ALL of these options. Choose the ones you’d actually enjoy investing some time in.
Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn
You can create an associated social media post on your preferred platform that teases out the juicy info from your blog post.
Be sure to make it enticing enough to make them want to click the link to learn more 😉
Are you an instagram user? Remember to optimize your link in bio so people have the option of clicking on a link that takes them directly to your blog. You can create multiple links on your instagram link in bio with services like linktr.ee (or create a custom page on your own website like mine here).
Did you know that Pinterest is also a search engine? To help drive traffic to your post you can create pins for your blogs and optimize them for your chosen keywords.
Fun fact: Pinterest is the social media channel that sends the MOST amount of traffic to my website, and it’s the platform I spend the LEAST amount of time on.
Not sure where to get started when it comes to Pinterest?
Check out: How to Use Pinterest to Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Website
Your Email List
If you’re not growing an email list you should definitely start! Unlike social media, your email list is yours and you can communicate directly with them without the uncontrollable factor of an algorithm in the way. They’re also your HOTTEST leads.
Think about it…
They’ve actually given you permission to contact them about your content and offers. They’re literally ASKING you for your content – so give it to them! When you write a new post, write up an engaging email to go with it that’ll help people realize why they should click through and read.
Bonus Social Media Promotion Tip:
You should be spending about 2x longer promoting your content than you spent creating it.
SEO Mistake #4: Putting important text in an image
Sometimes we want our website to look a certain way and the easiest way to do this is by creating a cool graphic with text IN it instead of having to mess around with CSS coding.
This is GREAT if you want to create a shareable and digestible infographic, but the text needs to be in a text-format on your website as well.
It has to do with Google’s relationship to images.
You see, Google is amazing at looking through text and getting an idea about what your content is about.
But images? Not so much…
Google can’t actually READ the text on your image and if it can’t read it then it doesn’t have any clues about what the image is actually ABOUT.
Not only this, but images get shrunk for mobile – can people on mobile actually read the text on your image? If people can’t read it then it won’t create a great user experience for them.
Finally, people with sight problems may be using a screen-reader which makes the internet more accessible to them. Google relies on text associated with your images to tell these people what they’re looking at.
So, if you put all your important text within the image itself, Google can’t tell them what’s actually on your image.
Remember: images are meant to complement your content, they shouldn’t be the thing that HOLDS your content.
So to get the best of both worlds, put your helpful content in text-form on your website and then create an awesome visually appealing graphic to go with it, as a bonus.
SEO Mistake #5: Not checking your data
Data…that’s a thing for vitamin D deficient computer scientists locked away in basements, right?
The word ‘data’ can be a little intimidating, but you DON’T need to be super technical or even good at maths to understand it. Google Analytics & Google Search Console does all the heavy lifting for you, giving you ALL the data you need to understand your website visitors, rankings and what people do on your website.
Ignoring your data is one of the deadliest mistakes because if you don’t track your data you won’t know what’s WORKING and what isn’t. This means you can end up spending hours on strategies that aren’t even having the slightest impact on your SEO, website traffic, or your sales.
Befriend your data, my friend.
I promise it’s not as scary as it seems.
Not sure where to get started with SEO and checking your data? Check out my free Roadmap to Successful SEO
BONUS: Not optimizing your images
Another SEO mistake related to images is not optimizing your images. This is a two part process of making your images smaller (so they don’t slow down your website) and more readable (so Google actually knows what they’re about, increasing your chances of ranking for your chosen keywords).
Curious about image optimization for SEO? Check out my article about how to make your images more SEO friendly.
None of us are perfect when it comes to SEO, but by fixing these SEO mistakes you can already start improving your rankings and the sooner you do it, the less you’ll have to fix further down the line.
Got any questions about any of this? Drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you.