When it comes to doing Search Engine Optimization, their is a lot that you can do that will improve your website rankings. Conversely, if you perform certain tasks, you might accidentally hurt your site rankings in the search engines. This article will cover some of the top SEO flaws that one might commit that could have a harmful effect on your website’s rankings.
1. Keyword Over Optimization
When it comes to building websites, we tend to think about what we want our content to rank for. In doing this, we determine which keywords our content should target in order to hopefully rank in the search results for those specific keywords. A lot of the time content creators get a little too keyword happy and start to stuff keywords into articles whether they really belong or not. If you review the quality guidelines that Google provides to web masters, you will see that Google prefers you write content for your human visitors and not for the various indexing spiders who are constantly crawling the Internet. Based on Google’s recommendations, they will actually penalize websites that have over optimized their articles for specific keywords. The number of times you place your keyword in an article when it comes to SEO is typically referred to as keyword density. While you do not want your keyword density to be really low, you also don’t want that number to be excessively high. A good keyword density might be somewhere between 2-4%. Anything above 5% will start to probably trigger some red flags when spiders start crawling your site.
2. Link Diversity
Similar to keyword over optimization, you want to ensure that your links point to your site are well diversified. Having a ton of links with the same exact keyword anchor text that you are targetting would have worked really well to rank your website for that specific keyword about five years ago. Today the search engines are a lot smarter and have algorithms in place that will check your inbound link profile. If the search engines see too many inbound links with the same keywords, you can expect to get a pretty bad penalty. One might ask why this is the case, and the answer is pretty simple if you think about it. When you get natural links from legitimate webmasters across the Internet like you are supposed to, do you really think each and every person is going to use the same anchor text when linking back to your website? It would look extremely fishy if all of your links into your website were almost identical from each location that was providing a link. You can blame the use of automated tools for this big time penalty.
So you might be wondering how you can check your inbound link diversity. I spoke with Arnold Jones, with WebVantage Marketing, a leading Sacramento SEO consulting firm about what one might do to help with link diversity. Arnold stated “The first step is to do research on your inbound links. You can use services such as Open Site Explorer from Moz to obtain a quick and easy breakdown of a majority of your inbound links. Using the data collected, you can see how diverse your inbound link profile appears.” Mr. Jones, then broke down the importance of analyzing the data and how to try and improve the diversity if needed. “Our customers tend to come to us with poor link profiles. Our off page SEO group then determines a more optimized link profile and begins working on building relevant links that help improve the diversity of the anchor text of the inbound links” state Mr. Jones.
3. Slow Page Speed
This one might not always seem obvious; however it is a very important aspect of SEO. Search engines can determine how fast or slow your website loads content. If your site is loading lightning fast, you can expect a high score when it comes to the page speed metric. If on the other hand your site has tons of images or videos and is on a slower web server and takes a while to render everything on a page, you are going to get penalized by the search engines. The reason search engines prefer faster loading websites is that users prefer pages that load quickly. If someone visits your site and it loads right up, odds are they are going to stay and read your content. If your pages loads like molasses, you might annoy your visitors causing them to click back to the search results. This will hurt your site metrics by showing the search engines that people either cannot use your site or just do not like your site. Your bounce rate is a measurement of how many people come to your website, then leave without clicking anything or spending any amount of time on your site. Having a high bounce rate will practically ensure poor search engine rankings.
If you can avoid the three things covered in this article, you will most likely be doing better than 80% of the other web masters out their; hopefully increasing your changes of ranking well within the various search engines.