Unless you are a digital marketing professional you probably find SEO quite confusing and at times frustrating. That's completely understandable, having in mind guidelines and practices are constantly changing. For example, you might be thinking the more keywords you use, the higher your website will rank. I'm sorry to give you the bad news, but that's no longer the case. Also, there are some other tiny technical details you may not even have noticed, which actually have a massive impact on your SEO ranking. Let's look at 5 of them.
1. Low Quality Links
What are low quality links? Every link that doesn't lead the reader to where the writer intended is a bad link, i.e inexistent page or wrong page. Links to a low credibility source are also not a smart idea. It is a bad SEO practice to leave long links right in the middle of your content. The right thing to do would be to hide the link behind a written word or phrase.
Having no links at all is, unfortunately, another reason why your website is not showing up on the first pages of Google.
Last, but not least, URLs that look weird, i.e. have unnecessary characters, won't do any justice to your search engine rankings.
Why is linking so important? Well, there's a huge competition in content marketing these days and everyone is trying to be as SEO as possible. Google had to think of a way to make the competition even more severe so that only the truly great websites get the right exposure. They introduced the Penguin Tool, which finds bad links on your site and penalises it by bringing it way down the search results. Such an evil task for such a cute animal, don't you think?
2. Poor Content
Let me elaborate more on what I said about keywords use and poor content earlier. First of all, a web page that is cramped with keywords for the sake of SEO is just a pain for any reader who may have had the bad luck to land on there. Too many keywords affect readability and ultimately that leads to higher bounce rate. If you are wondering what does that have to do with SEO, well, the answer is A LOT. Higher bounce rate will still make Google place your site on a double digit page of the search engine because it means people don't find what they are looking for in your content.
Here's the place to mention another cute animal, which has been commissioned to inspect the quality of your content and determine the level of your website's visibility in searches - the Google Panda. This tool will penalise you for any duplicated content that is not referenced appropriately. It takes you back to uni years when proper referencing on your papers was a must for staying clear of a fail and even expulsion.
That's not all. Content is king when it brings value to the reader. Every false, unclear or unhelpful information you may be posting on your website will get you a penalty by the otherwise peaceful looking Panda. In other words, don't be fake news.
3. Missing Alt Text
Have you put descriptions on all the images on your website? If not you are depriving yourself from a higher SEO ranking. The alt text of your pictures has to contain keywords, which will help you bring more traffic to your site from the Image Search.
4. Identical or Missing Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are crucial to a good SEO and this is one of the first things you learn when you start dipping your toes into the digital marketing waters. However, do you know that apart from including your relevant keywords in the meta description, you have to create a unique one for every single page on your website? Many people who don't have enough knowledge on SEO think that once they've written the meta description for their Home page, they are good to go. Sadly, not how it is in reality. Missing or duplicated meta descriptions on various pages of a website is a very bad SEO practice.
5. Missing Social Me