Search engine optimization is a critical part of your brand's content marketing strategy. However, the key to a successful content marketing strategy and ranking high in Google search results, is learning how to follow good SEO practices. Unfortunately, many website owners make common SEO mistakes that hurt their Google rankings.
Plagiarizing Content on Your Website
In the early years of the internet, it was very common for unscrupulous website owners to plagiarize content from (typically) popular sites. Today, if you publish content that has already been published elsewhere online, Google will penalize your site. First, your site's organic search rankings will suffer. Secondly, Google might even completely drop your site from its search engine. Therefore, you must avoid the temptation of publishing any non-original content.
Publishing Poor Quality Content
In addition to publishing original content on your site, your content must be high-quality. If your site's content is poor quality, it will suffer in Google rankings. That means avoid making spelling and/or grammar mistakes. Your content should be valuable enough that Google will want to send traffic to your site. If you struggle creating high-quality content, hire an SEO copywriter.
Forgetting to Use Title Tags, Image Tags and Meta Descriptions
A few of the most important - and often overlooked - SEO elements on your website are the title and image tags, as well as meta descriptions. Google learns about your site from its meta descriptions. Also, your site's title and image tags can appear in search engine results. Therefore, if you ignore these elements, you are missing an easy opportunity to improve your Google rankings.
Many website owners are tempted to use their target keywords in nearly every sentence. However, overusing your keywords - also known as keyword stuffing - will hurt your Google rankings. Keyword stuffing makes your content look spammy to Google and your site's visitors. A good SEO rule of thumb is that your target keywords should make up around 2 percent of your site's content.
Not Creating a Mobile-Friendly Website
Most Google searches are conducted from mobile devices. Therefore, your website must be mobile-friendly if you want to achieve high Google rankings. For example, your site should load quickly on mobile devices. Most visitors will leave your site if it takes more than five seconds to load. Google has a free mobile speed tester that you can use to test your site's speed. In addition to loading fast, all of your content should be visible and easy to browse on mobile devices.
In short, if you want to maximize your Google rankings, your site's content must be original and high-quality. Never republish anything that has already been published online. Make sure that you create SEO-friendly title and image tags, as well as good meta descriptions that accurately describe your site to search engines.
Avoid keyword stuffing so that Google doesn't register your site as spam. Your site should offer a user-friendly experience to mobile users. If you need help fixing any of these common SEO mistakes, consider hiring an SEO consultant to improve your site's Google rankings.