Did you know your content could be hurting your SEO rankings? It’s true. You might be asking yourself, “I thought the more content the better for SEO,” or “How can content hurt SEO rankings?” Well, I’m glad you asked. Here are some ways your content hurts your SEO rankings for your website.
You Have too Many Articles
This is the one question I get all the time with clients, “How can I have too much content?” Followed up by, “How is that even a thing?”
Truth is, if you’re just posting for the sake of posting and not putting any thought or “content” into those posts, then that’s going to hurt your rankings. Not all content is the same.
Creating low quality content just to have content is not the same as creating high quality content that engages your users. If all you’re doing is posting content that the search engines deem have no value to people then it’s not going to rank. It will hurt you instead.
By creating high quality content that is optimized for search engines, you can improve your website’s SEO rankings and visibility. You need to focus on creating content that is relevant to your target audience, and use keywords naturally (which I talk about later on).
Your Content is all Over
And what I mean by your content is all over is that your content isn’t sticking to theme of the services or products you offer. If you’re a company who recovers corrupted software you shouldn’t be writing blog posts about the NHL All-Star Skills Competition. Instead you should be focusing on producing content about how to’s or tips and tricks to help ensure your software isn’t getting corrupted.
I hate to bring up TLC, but they had a point. Don’t go chasing waterfalls. Stick to the lakes and rivers you’re use to.
Same thing applies for your content. Don’t go chasing every topic hoping to rank higher. Stick to what you specialize in and be an authoritative figure and industry leader in that.
Content creation is hard. Trying to come up with new content isn’t something you can just snap your fingers and you have a new topic you never wrote about before.
That doesn’t mean you can take the easy way out and write the same content with 10 different URLs. You may think you’re trying to outsmart Google, but all you’re doing is causing more harm than good.
The same content is still the same content even if the URLs differ.
Will Google penalize you if you have a handful of duplicate content? Probably not. Now if your site is full of duplicate content, well then that is a different story.
Broken Links and Bad Redirects
Broken links or bad redirects can harm SEO by affecting the bounce rate, time on site, and as well as how you pass link juice. Broken links also harm SEO rankings by sending signals to Google and other search engines that your website is old and outdated.
Links pass link signals to search engines. Google uses links for things like PageRank and anchor text. So when search engines find links in your content, they can give you a rankings boost. And how doesn’t like a rankings boost?
You want people to spend as much time on your site as possible, especially if you’re an e-commerce business. If your links lead to a 404 page, people are going to leave your site. No one likes going through a whole shopping cart process just to get a page not found on the checkout page. You just lost a sale or multiple sales.
It’s imperative that you monitor your links weekly if not bi-weekly. And if you changed a URL of a particular page, you have to add a new redirect from the old URL to the new one.
Images aren’t Optimized
Have you ever asked yourself what image optimization is? Aren’t images already optimized to be shown anywhere?
Well here is your answer:
Image optimization refers to the process of creating and delivering high-quality images in the right format, dimension, and resolution for whatever device is accessing them, all while keeping the smallest possible file size.
If you’re using images in your content that is over 1mb in size you’re going to slow down the loading process of your website which hurts your SEO rankings. Now imagine trying to load a page with 10 images that are all over 1mb in size. Your user isn’t going to wait around for everything to load.
For print, yes the image quality has to be at it’s highest, but for web it does not. Too often people don’t take image size into consideration. They just think it’s an image what harm can it do? And little do they know it can be quite harmful, especially if you’re trying to rank high in the search results.
And another tip to help with SEO is adding ALT text to all your images. ALT text help improve accessibility by describing what an image is showing to visitors who do not have the ability to see them. And ALT text is required if you’re trying to be 508 compliant.
You Have Low Quality Backlinks
Yes, links back to your site help with rankings; however, not all backlinks are the same. You want links from sites that Google and the other search engines deem authoritative or more reputable. Having links from spammy websites isn’t going to help you at all.
A good thing to know is that Google considers backlinks one of the most important signals for ranking content. All the more reason why you need to have high quality backlinks.
Getting backlinks is no easy task. Here are a couple of things you can do that could help your get the backlinks that help your rankings
- Create high quality content people would want to link to
- Find broken links on other websites and emailing the webmaster offering them to use a link to your content instead of having a broken link
- Use HARO (Help a Reporter Out). Journalists are always looking for references and resources for their articles. By submitting your content to them and them using it in their articles you can backlinks from reputable press sources.
In the beginning days of SEO, you would be able to stuff your keywords into your pages and your pages would rank higher. People would use white text on a white background just stuff their keywords into the bottom of the page trying to game the system. Google got smart and keyword stuffing is a thing of the past.
Now if you want to try to be slick with your keyword stuffing you’ll find yourself not ranking at all after Google penalizes you.
The best way to get the most out of your keyword is to have it in your URL. Have the keyword as your title and use the keyword a couple of times in your content. And don’t forget to add it to your ALT text as well.
Every paragraph or heading doesn’t need your keyword in it. You can also use similar or related keywords as well to help with your content.
Not Mobile Friendly
Not having a mobile friendly website these days is like the kiss of death to a business. In a study, 60% of all website traffic in 2022 came via mobile devices. The same study also said that people spend over 5 hours, on average, on their phones daily.
If your website isn’t mobile friendly, don’t expect a lot of traffic or to rank high on Google. Mobile friendliness is a ranking factor for Google and it’s algorithms used for SEO and rankings can detect when a user is searching on a mobile device.
Websites that are mobile friendly, in general, will outrank non-mobile friendly sites in mobile search results.