Many bloggers think in order to rank high within the SERP’s you have to build authority external links relevant to your website. Bloggers are so caught up in this notion they forget how On-Page SEO and other factors play a huge role in their success. If you do a quick search in Google for “boost rank to page 1 in Google” you’ll notice the top “3” results all talk about keyword and external factors. I’m NOT saying these don’t matter, but it’s so easy to forget some of the smaller elements that make a huge difference. When I started blogging there were 5-6 elements that mattered and it was so easy to stay on track however SEO has taken a dramatic change over the last couple of years making it hard to stay on track. We have so many outlets to build links and generate traffic so what use to be so straight forward is now complicated.
I’ll like to go over some SEO blunders beginners are making and it’s important to check if these blunders are affecting your overall marketing strategy. Let’s get started…
Great content always starts with research and if your NOT taking time to find what people are looking for your not going to stay competitive. Online marketing is very competitive because it changes quickly with new trends developing every few months so it’s important you provide your audience with up-to-date information. It’s so easy to leave one blog and move to another so your loyalty depends on great content. However, publishing epic content is one part of the equation because much of your traffic will come from search engines. It’s important you have a handful of keywords to scatter throughout your content so search engines have an easier time indexing your content. For example,
I always gather 9-10 keywords relevant to my topic before writing content so I can add them where it matters during my On-page SEO. Focus on long-tail and LSI keywords mixed with your “targeted keyword” so your content is optimized for the search engines. Once you have your keywords and topic ready it’s time to publish, but before you do make sure the next elements are in place.
With on-page SEO factors your ensuring your website and pages are formatted correctly. With a solid on-page SEO strategy your ensuring your URL structure, title, body, meta tags are all in place. When Google bots index your page they are retrieving information from these elements getting a better understanding of what your content is about. Here’s something you should know…
It doesn’t matter how many high authority external links you have pointing to your page because WITHOUT the right on-page elements in place your external links won’t matter. External anchor text must align with on-page elements to be effective so make sure you pay close attention to these factors while optimizing your content.
On-page and Off-page factors are only effective if your content meets Google’s quality standards. There have been websites removed from the SERP’s who have 500 authority links because of poor duplicate content circulating the web. The tricky thing about duplicate content is it’s hard to find and can have a dramatic effect on your rankings. Why? Google hates duplicate content because it decreases the user experience and they are working hard at removing websites that republish and aggregate content. After the Panda update aggregation websites noticed a huge drop in their rankings and the only ones that survived have been around for years with a partner agreement in place.
Neil Patel from QuickSprout.com recommends a site audit should be done every few months ensuring content you’ve published has not been republished anywhere else online.
Through Google Webmaster Tools you can check the links pointing to your website and have control to remove the ones irrelevant. If you are NOT checking your link profile every few weeks cleaning up the low quality ones then you can be hurting your rankings. Head over to GWT and click on Search>Links to Your Site and start skimming through each one eliminating low quality links to your page. You can utilize the Google Disavow Tool to submit a .txt file with links you want Google to remove from your profile. Here’s what I do…
Write down links that raise an alarm then head over to Ahrefs.com to check their authority. If there not relevant or low quality add them to the .txt file so Google can remove them from your profile.
You can have the correct on-page elements in place and high quality content, but if you have indexing issues your NOT going to achieve what you set out to do. This is why I recommend using GWT to submit your URL and track errors along the way. For example, there’s a section labelled “Crawl” and it’ll provide you statistics like:
- xml status
- Last crawled
- txt status and errors
If there are any errors you’ll be notified and can make changes right away. A few months back GWT alerted me that my robot.txt file I had blocked Google from indexing my entire website. I’m not sure how this happen, but I think it was after an update by my hosting provider. However, GWT notified me and I was able to make changes right away without losing any indexing downtime.