In this SEO guide, I tried to explain the strategies to counter my committed SEO mistakes to avoid poor Google ranking and how I improved site traffic by 50 times.
If you own a website or a blog, your most and the primary concern is the traffic. In fact, the survival of the site rests on that. As a site owner, I have experienced some turbulent situation when we (my team) were striving for traffic but all ended in a depression.
Here’s why I thought of writing this article especially for those who are struggling to get traffic for their websites or blogs in an organic way by improved Google Ranking. In this post, I will be sharing the SEO mistakes to avoid that I have committed during my budding days as a blogger and how I improved my site’s search engine ranking.
The Reality and the Situation Turn Around
In most of the cases, people don’t share their insights (as I experienced). As a result, you remain in darkness, fumbling the best possible way to reach the top of Google search results.
I personally experienced that most of the successful site owners turn away from sharing their SEO secrets, may be out of the business rivalry. Here’s I dare to share some of my website traffic insights so that you can understand how our site has progressed.
You may like:
Back in January 2017 when I started blogging on a regular basis, I hardly have any clues to reach the Google search list. I was writing directionless. I talked with lots of people in this regard but hardly found a person who can show us the way.
The site visits at that time were merely 20-30 per day. Out of frustration, we committed a lot of mistakes like going for Facebook ads without prior optimisation of our site etc.
I was ignorant about the term ‘Keyword Research’ on which the entire SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is based upon even after six months of staying into the business until I joined a workshop on WordPress.
Then after I started following certain SEO principles and tried practising them in my blogs consistently which resulted in a great jump in my website traffic over a period of time. The daily views improved multiple times to more than 2000 views daily from 20-30 views earlier. And our 85% traffic comes organically. See the Google Analytics chart below:
I must say this is a case of a counter strategy of our earlier committed SEO mistakes to avoid poor search engine rankings or to be more specific Google ranking.
Terms You Should Know
While working on website SEO it is certainly important to understand a few key terms, so that you are in a position to analyse your traffic. If you are a newbie, you should know the implications of the terms else you may jump to the next section of the article.
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword Research is a practice applied by the SEO professionals to find out the possible set of words or phrases that people use while searching in search engines about a particular topic/subject.
It involves an analysis for marketers to understand how demanding a certain term/phrase is and how hard it would be to compete with such term in organic search results.
What is Bounce Rate?
Bounce Rate is an internet analytical term used to understand a website visitors behaviour that how he/she has interacted with the site and how quickly they left the site after landing on a page.
A high bounce rate occurs when a visitor lands on a page and leaves the site without visiting any other pages.
Bounce Rate and search ranking are inversely connected. High bounce rate means lower ranking in the search engine result page.
[bctt tweet=”Make your site mobile friendly to avoid a poor bounce rate.” username=”FlyingBihog”]
What is Readability?
Readability depicts how easy for a visitor to read the written text. It is often measured in terms of Flesch’s Reading Ease test. A higher score in the test means the text is readable by a larger number of people.
In search engine rankings readability plays a vital role as it shows those websites on the top of the list that has better readability than the other.
What is Session Duration?
Session duration is used to analytically understand how long a visitor stays in the website or a maximum duration whichever is earlier.
For Google Analytics the maximum session duration by default is 30 mins. That means, if the same user comes back after 30 mins of inactivity it would be counted as a new session.
A higher session duration is appreciable for a higher ranking in the search engines.
What is Keyword Difficulty?
Keyword difficulty is the competitiveness of the keyword. That means how easy it would be to get a higher rank with such a keyword considering the strength of the websites competing for. This is a part of the broader keyword research strategy.
A lower level of competition means higher ranking opportunity for a particular keyword.
What is SEO Meta Tags?
Meta Tags or SEO Meta Tags/description are text snippets that appear below the SEO title. This portion describes the pages’ content and usually, a reader draws an idea about the page from those few lines. You have to write a few codes on the header of the page so that the search engine can pick it.
Now, Google has developed its algorithm in such a way, that it can pick up the suitable portion from the pages as Meta description based on the search query.
SEO Mistakes We Committed In Our Earlier Days
Men learn from their mistakes and we were no different. Still, we are in a germinating process, learning most of our trials, yet we accumulated a fair amount of experience for higher search engine rankings. As you can see from the graphs in Google Analytics how we have pushed our site visits from zero to hero.
I would definitely help those who are struggling hard to make it to Google’s top search results. Here are some of the mistakes that we committed in our budding days and want you to learn the lessons out of it. If you take this as an SEO guide, you would definitely see some astonishing results.
Let’s learn the SEO mistakes to avoid poor search engine ranking that cost us huge.
1. No Keyword Research
As I told you earlier, it’s the most hurtful blunder we have committed. It is the ignorance that affects us most. Keyword Research is the core of a search engine optimisation success. You cannot even forward a single step without it.
So, remember while working on SEO of a site do the keyword research first. Well, for that you have some really helpful free tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest etc. They give you some great keyword suggestions while doing research along with the traffic volume and competition level.
Use long-term keyword comprising more than two words. It may narrow down your search volume but your conversion rate would certainly be higher.
2. Non-use of Headings and Sub-headings
Website structure plays a pivotal role in search rankings. Search engines like Google find it more convenient to top-rank the web pages that are structurally well written.
Structural details comprise proper use of title tags, heading tags, paragraphs, bold words etc. Google creates search snippets depending on the structural tags of your web page.
If you are running a WordPress website, you may also use some of the structural plug-ins so that your site can be structured as per the data-formats conducive to the searching environment.
Use only one H1 tag in the page while H2 tags for sub-heading and H3 tags for sub-sub-heading. Try to use keywords in the sub-headings as well as in the related paragraphs for better search rankings. Also, remember that overusing of heading tags often confuse the search engines.
3. Ignoring Keyword Compatibility Check
After doing some extensive research in this I realised that merely finding keywords with search volume with low competition level won’t help me out of the situation. We have to think beyond.
Earlier the SEO job used to be the ‘Keyword’ centric. But now, the focus switched to ‘Competitor’ centric. No matter how great your keyword is but won’t click if you have a high level of competition with other sites (who has better site authority than you).
In a competition basis keyword research analysis, you would be in a position to understand how strong your competitors are and what credentials work behind such a Google ranking.
Mostly this is a premium feature offered by some of the service providers like SEMRush. It helps you to analyse a keyword difficulty to score in search engines in a comparative manner.
4. Poor Back-links Generation
This is one of the core areas we were lacking behind. Although still, we are exploiting new sources for link generation, at the moment we managed to get some. Back-links or inbound links are essentially important for improving your site’s DA (Domain Authority) score.
It has been observed on many occasions that even if you have written a thorough and compelling article, you may not make out to the Google first search result page. The primary reason is your competitors have better DA score than you. Backlinks are the reference created for the web pages from another website.
Remember creating backlinks abruptly won’t help you either. Search engines like Google are very particular about the quality and relevance of the link. So, while creating inbound links for your site be careful about choosing the site. It shouldn’t be the dark websites (even though they have high DA scores) and from a relevant to your niche.
There are a number of website directories that may help you get the backlinks, but don’t overemphasise on them as they may degrade your spam score creating a bad reputation in the eyes of Google.
5. Use of Unnecessary Plugins
This point is meant for those who are using WordPress on their site. WordPress sites become extremely powerful with the optimised use of plug-ins but sometimes you may fall prey to slow page loading. In my initial days, I never missed a chance to use a plugin whenever required.
Certainly, they add flair to my website, but at the cost of what? Time? Seriously, you can’t even make to the top 10 list of Google. Google hates slow websites. Every plugin comes with a bundle of jquery and CSS code files. So, whenever you install it, all the files load at the time of webpage loading consequently slows down your website. Improving the site speed was one of our strategies to refrain from committing SEO mistakes to avoid poor google ranking.
Use Theme and plugins for the website such judiciously that it covers maximum operations/services singly. Uninstall the plugins that you don’t require. This would free up your server resources resulting in a speedier loading.
Use such a theme that covers your maximum works be it styling or execution and reduces your plugin usages. Just like I am using DIVI theme that gives me ultimate freedom to work with least use of plugins.
Search engines especially Google keeps on rolling out their algorithm updates on a regular basis. People often try some Blackhat techniques to counter such updates and draw more organic traffics, but they hardly work in long-run. Rather it penalises such sites and even delists from the repositories.
Rectifying the SEO mistakes is the first step in improving your site statistics. They are equally important for machines as well as human beings for better viewership and readability.