The 5 SEO Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Website Traffic
February 13th, 2020 by Candis Hall
SEO is something you need to focus on when setting up your website. There are a lot of elements to a good SEO strategy that you have to implement, but there are many mistakes that you could be making. Some of these mistakes will have a larger impact on the organic traffic your website is getting than others. It is important to know which mistakes hurt your traffic the most and what you can do to fix this.
Targeting The Wrong Keywords
The foundation of any SEO strategy is keyword research. When you use the wrong keywords for your content, your website will rank poorly and you will not get any organic traffic. When it comes to this mistake, there are two types of wrong keywords that you need to be aware of.
The first is the highly competitive keywords. When you research your keywords, you will see that some have more competition than others and you should avoid the ones with high competition. Unless you are a large company with a lot of brand recognition and online authority, you will not rank well for these keywords. As a small business, you will be competing with companies that have been online for years and have built the authority needed to rank well.
It is easy to avoid these keywords when you do your research correctly. All keyword research tools tell you about the competition or difficulty of ranking for these phrases. Many of them will offer suggestions for phrases and terms that are similar, but do not have the same competition and you should use them.
The second type of wrong keyword will be those that are too general. General keywords generally have high competition, but they are also too vague for most businesses. It is better to look at targeted keywords that focus on the problem you are trying to solve for your customer.
Having Slow Loading Speeds
The content of your website is important for SEO, but the technical aspects such as loading speed are just as vital. Loading speeds are particularly important because the search engines have indicated that this is a ranking factor. Websites that load faster will rank better and you will get more traffic.
One of the most common issues is the images on your website. These should be compressed to ensure they are small and load quickly. You should also consider setting a lazy load function on the website where images not on the screen do not load and slow down your website.
In the early days of SEO, having your keyword in your content as much as possible would help you rank. Those days are long gone, but many people still make the mistake of stuffing their content. Keyword stuffing is actively penalized by the search engines and will result in your content ranking poorly, if at all.
The search engine algorithms have become more advanced and are able to determine when keywords are stuffed. To avoid this, you need to include your keywords in a natural way in the content. You should not stuff them into lists or add them in a sentence that does not make any sense. Using your keywords in context will be the way to rank.
When it comes to your content, you need to create this with human viewers in mind. Never write for the search engine bots because it will be hard for humans to read. This will result in high bounce rates and poor user experience which lowers your ranking in the search engines.
Poor User Experience
The search engines are businesses and they want to provide the best value to their customers. This is why user experience is so important for your SEO strategy. There are a few elements on your website that affect this and you need to look at them.
The navigation of your website is one of these elements. If users and search engines cannot easily navigate the website, you are going to rank poorly. To overcome this, you need a clear site structure and internal linking.
The use of pop-ups can also affect the user experience. If your pop up irritates users and they move away from your website, you have a poor user experience. The pop-ups will also need to cover only a section of the page.
Poor Mobile Responsiveness
Mobile traffic makes up more than half of all the traffic on the website and this is only set to increase. If your website is not mobile responsive, you will have a problem ranking on the search results and getting traffic. In the past year, the search engines have turned to a mobile-first ranking system which highlights the importance of this.
Most website themes are responsive, but you need to check this. There are also tools available that tell you if your website is mobile-ready. These tools provide a breakdown of the elements on your website and how they work on mobile devices. If there are any issues, you need to fix them as soon as possible.
There are many mistakes you could be making that affect your SEO strategy and website traffic. Slow loading speeds and targeting the wrong keywords are among the most common. A poor user experience, poor mobile responsiveness and keyword stuffing will also lower your traffic.