26 Common SEO Mistakes which cause you a Penalty

Chirag Shah
December 7, 2017
seo checklist

Let’s review the top 26 common SEO mistakes you should avoid so your business’ website will not get penalized by search engines.

SEO is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy and without using it intelligently you cannot rank your website on the first page of search engines.
There are myriad of factors that drive your ranking on the search engines and unless you master the SEO tactics you cannot know what is going wrong and where.

To improve the website ranking, one needs to know the SEO strategies in and out and also some common mistakes that can hold one’s account back.

We are humans and we tend to make mistakes, but the wise thing is to learn from those mistakes and improvise in future. Here is a comprehensive list of common SEO mistakes that can be fatal to your website. Whether you are among the giant SEO services companies in India or running a small SEO business, you must know these mistakes and correct them in real time.

Content & Publishing Points

Content Marketing

Targeting Wrong Keywords

Your shot cannot be the best if your aim is not right. Keywords in the content are used for both the users and the search engines. Both of them use it to locate you so it is essential that you choose the right set of keywords for your website.

However, the wrong set of keywords may still bring traffic but those customers will not convert as what they found is not what they were looking for.

Using Meta Keywords

When the target keywords are put in tags, they are called Meta keywords. Although the use of Meta keywords is outdated and no one uses it today. With the help of Meta keywords, you can easily find out what keywords your competitor is using by looking at their HTML code. So if you want to keep your competitors away then do not use Meta keywords as they are not useful.

Not Optimizing Your Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are a very important part of your SEO strategy. A Meta description is a small preview of what your website has to offer the user. Hence if you want to invite good traffic to your website, a strong Meta description is required.

Not Having Enough Content

Please make sure that you are not short of content. Google likes original and in-depth content so try to provide a minimum of 300-word description for your topic.

Not Building Enough Links

Building backlinks is an important aspect of SEO. If you have strong content on your website then there are chances that you get backlinks from 3rd party websites a well.

Keyword Stuffing: Writing For The Robot

Keyword stuffing happens when a lot of keywords are placed in the content. Please avoid this and try to maintain a balance. The frequency of keywords in your content should be 1% of your total word Account.

Deleting Old Pages And Old Posts

Do not delete your old pages and posts as this step will confuse google. You can keep them as it is and just stop linking to them. After a while, those pages will automatically become archived and soon they will be forgotten.

Disregarding The Meta Description And The Title Tags

Wisely use Meta descriptions and titles to catch your consumer’s attention. Try to make sure that each webpage has a unique title and description so the search engine knows what your website is about. Try to use the main keywords in your title as well as Meta description.

Duplicating Content

Please avoid duplicate content as it will hurt your website rankings. Your web page might have duplicate links so try to keep consistent links.

Ignoring Outdated Content

You need fresh content to keep yourself updated on the search engines. Even if you are ranked first, you should not stop improvising as it will take just a few minutes to deteriorate your hard earned ranks on google. So keep going back to old content and put in fresh ideas to update it.

Bad Use Of Subheadings

See that the tags for headings are used properly like H1 tag should not be used for sub-headings, H1 tag is meant for the title. Similarly, maintain a flow using tags. Do not hop on to H3 tag skipping H2 in between. If you do not maintain the hierarchy it becomes tough for the search engines to crawl your website.

Bad Use Of Bold Formatting

Bold Formatting should be avoided as part of an SEO tactic. Bold is definitely used to highlight the words but it is harmful when associated with the keywords.

Focusing On Link Quantity Over Link Quality

Using good links to your website is considered as one of the most effective SEO tactics. Keep in mind not to stuff unwanted links. Having 1 useful link is better than 10 useless links.

Some Technical Points

SEO Technical Points

Not Telling Google that your website exists

Before starting with keyword search and applying other tactics. Please inform google that your website exists. With the help of Google Search Console, upload the robot.txt files and the sitemap. Both of these things are required to tell Google that your website exists on the web.

Setting a “Noindex” Tag

A no index tag is likely to hold your page back as a noindex tag will not let the search engines crawl through your website. This clearly means that if you even accidentally have a noindex tag on your website, visitors will not be able to click it. So keep vigilance over it.

Not Following your own URLs

You might want to hide a page for certain reason, but do not use the ‘nofollow’ tag as it will stop the search engine to index your page and ruin your overall ranking.

Not Compressing your images

The images on your website are as important as your content but the size of your images may be large so do not forget to compress them before you upload it on the web.

Not using canonicalization

The canonical tag in HTML tells the search engine that instead of the current page, the URL linked should be used as a ‘canon’ by the search engines. It should be used and used wisely to get good ranks on the search engines.

Poor use of outbound links

Outbound links are important and they do add value to our content and in turn, can help you come in search results. Although you should not rely on then completely and should concentrate on well-sourced content.

Poor internal link structure

Structure your links properly. Use a logical link structure to build your site, every page should be accessible from at least one static page.

Poor URL structure

It is often observed that poor URL structure often confuses the reader and hence it diverts the traffic to the competitors. The solution to this is, keep a strong URL architecture like try to keep everything organised in a folder, avoid junk URLs, avoid duplicity etc.

Using frames

Frames are required at many places but frames are not advisable to the content which is to be indexed. Frames create problems for search engines as they do not correspond well to the conceptual model of the web.

Using un-indexable formats

The search engines cannot be trusted to index the content in the desired formats and hence you should be ready to provide the content individually to users and search engines.

Using image alt attributes incorrectly

You should avoid using images in place of text. It becomes difficult for search engines to interpret images and hence you do not come in the search results.

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Chirag Shah CEO and Founder at Shoutnhike.com I help client to grow business online with measurable result and swift ROI. I have 10+ years of Digital Marketing Industry experience and I have helped 2000+ business to grow online. I am Google Adwords and Analytics certified professional with practical expertise.

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