Know the Top 5 SEO Mistakes To Avoid in 2021
SEO is a very broad subject and sometimes it can be confusing to know what you have heard is right or wrong. Especially with all of the so-called experts trying to sell you their magical snake-oil solutions.
Often these are just ineffective strategies that Google will ignore and are just a waste of time, but some of them can actually be detrimental to your website in both the short term and the long run. Even if you wish to hire SEO services, it’s best to know of the good and bad practices so that you can spot them when undertaken by a digital marketing agency.
Here are the top 5 SEO mistakes to avoid on your website today.
1. Private Blog Networks (PBNs)
If you have a moderately popular website and a contact form without a CAPTCHA, chances are that you have likely received a message from someone guaranteeing you SEO results through a PBN.
Sometimes they don’t specifically mention it, but the owners of these networks certainly take an aggressive advertising strategy. The reason for this is that anyone who is actually knowledgeable in the industry knows that this is a bad blackhat technique.
Google and other search engines target PBNs and have extreme measures of figuring them out. If your website has been associated with a PBN, Google will penalize you heavily for it.
It is a manual penalty that won’t go away with time and could completely tarnish your domain. So while these PBNs promise a ranking boost as an amazing SEO strategy, one slip, and your website might fade away into oblivion.
2. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is often well-meaning but can completely destroy your article. Often new content writers will do some basic keyword research and then when they try to incorporate it in their articles, they include it way too many times.
Whether intentional or a byproduct of making sure it is included, stuffing your keywords into an article will make it hard to read and thus cause a high bounce rate.
Search engines can also detect this and frowns heavily on this practice. Make sure that you have an SEO content strategy when going into every single article that you write.
Additionally, make sure that this SEO content strategy is a good one (i.e. built on keyword research, avoids keyword stuffing, etc). When planned out properly, you can avoid major SEO strategy mistakes.
3. Stealing Content
It can be hard and time-consuming to come up with your own content, but it is so much better than stealing content. If you tend to steal content, you will likely never rank better than wherever it is that you stole from.
Additionally, search engines don’t like duplicate materials, so your page may never rank at all. If it gets really bad, you may even receive a penalty from Google, not just for the one stolen article, but for your entire website.
Instead of risking all your hard work for the low chance of little payoff, you should create your own content or hire someone else to do it.
Uniqueness will always pay off in the long run, so do not steal anything from any other website or you may regret it.
Similar to PBNs, many people specialize in selling you backlinks. They’ll tell you that they can get you exclusive links on high Domain Authority (DA), Page Authority (PA) or Page Rank (PR).
While this may be true, the links will not help you much, if at all. Often these links will be completely unrelated to your website and search engines will recognize that and discount them.
Additionally, no one will read and click on those links, so it would not drive any traffic to your website. Furthermore, if Google and other search engines determine that you have been buying backlinks, your website can receive a manual penalty action and your rankings will plummet drastically across the board. Therefore, you should not buy backlinks because they almost certainly won’t be worth it.
Another thing that many amateurs ignore is utilizing internal links. Not only does it help clue Google in on what your other articles are about, but it will also increase user engagement and drive traffic up across your sites.
Your bounce rates will decrease as people start to visit more pages on your website. Therefore, you should link your pages with good keywords on other pages of your website.
Just as important and linking to your own content is how you organize your links. Links to articles should have part of the title in them to aid search engines.
Additionally, you should categorize your articles into folders that contain the categories and sometimes even have categories inside each category. These quick steps that you can take to work on your internal linking can greatly improve your ranking, so don’t ignore it!