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You already know that if you want to rank well on search engines then you need to practice SEO (Search Engine Optimization). However, there are 5 very common mistakes that can severely impact your search engine ranking, and not for the good — and it would be wise for you to make sure you aren’t making them.

Mistake #1: Forgetting About Your Mobile Users

It should come as no surprise that web users are accessing content through their mobile devices, including iPhones, iPads, smartphones, and even Amazon Kindles. While your web site and its content may look awesome on a desktop computer, how does it look on a mobile device? Don’t forget about the user experience of your mobile users, and that means more than just a quick check through your Android phone to make sure your site looks decent — check how it behaves on other types of devices. Your site should be as responsive and easy to use for mobile users as it is for your more traditional desktop browser users. 

Mistake #2: Not Including Enough Content on Every Page

Did you know that every page of your site needs at least 300 words of content? It’s easy to remember to keep your blog posts at a minimum of 300 words, but all too often the word count falls short on the other pages of your site. When Google notices that you don’t have many words on your web pages, then Google assumes that you are not an expert on that topic and you will not rank as high in search queries.

Mistake #3: Ignoring Site Speed

You may have an awesome site filled with the very value-added content that your prospective customers are looking for, but if your site loads too slowly then you may lose them to a competitor. And a slow-loading site will not be favored by Google. There are free online tools available for checking your site speed, and if you discover that your site is running too slowly then there are three major things to look at:

  • Enable browser caching, which will speed up the loading time for return visitors to your site
  • Large images take longer to load, so try optimizing your image size
  • Plugins can slow down loading time if you are using WordPress, so try minimizing the number of plugins that you are using

Mistake #4: Practicing Keyword Stuffing

You really want your site to rank high for a particular subset of keywords, so you stuff those keywords into your content as much as you possibly can. What can go wrong? Plenty! If Google detects that your content uses too many keywords, it interprets that as spam (which, if we are honest, it really is) and that will have a negative impact on your SEO ranking. Just keep your content natural — put the content needs of your visitors and the readability of your text first and the keywords will naturally fall into place.

Mistake #5: Not Focusing on Original Content

On the web, original content is king. That is what your web site visitors are looking for, and it’s what Google is also looking for. If you plagiarize or directly copy content from other sites, it will negatively impact your search ranking. And here’s something else to think about: if a visitor is really trying to research a topic then they are likely going to recognize that kind of duplicate content and will not be impressed. Even spinning someone else’s content (where you write your own content heavily based on theirs but not exactly plagiarizing it) is also a bad idea, both from the viewpoint of your site visitors and Google. It is worth it to take the time to write original content for your readers.

Conclusion

These mistakes — forgetting about mobile users, not including enough page content, never checking your page loading speed, keyword stuffing, and unoriginal content — can be bad for your site ranking. However, you can recover from these mistakes by diligently correcting them. 

And if you need think you need help, then contact Gauge Digital Media.  We can assist you with all aspects of SEO as well as web design, graphic design, and search marketing.