Hidden SEO Mistakes That Could Hurt Your Rankings

Hidden-SEO-Mistakes-That-Could-Hurt-Your-Rankings- Zeevou

Ever wondered why platforms like Airbnb, Expedia, etc. consistently dominate Google searches for generic terms like “Hotels in London”? Unravelling this mystery requires understanding the dynamic landscape of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). To grasp why, it’s crucial to recognise the hidden SEO mistakes that might be dragging down your site.

Hidden SEO Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making

Navigating the world of SEO can be tricky, and even professional digital marketers can unknowingly slip up with hidden mistakes. Whether it’s neglecting deep keyword research or mobile optimisation, these little slip-ups can put a dent in your website’s ranking. The key is to spot these subtle errors to ensure that search engines keep giving your site the attention it deserves.

Hidden SEO Mistakes: Technical SEO

Hidden SEO Mistakes: Technical SEO- Zeevou
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JavaScript Rendering Issues

Over-reliance on JavaScript for website content can be a hidden SEO pitfall, especially for single-page applications (SPAs). While search engines like Google have become adept at rendering and understanding JavaScript, challenges remain. One major issue is that not all search engine crawlers have the same capabilities. Older bots or bots from smaller search engines might simply see the initial HTML. So, they might miss the dynamically generated content loaded later by JavaScript. This leaves valuable information invisible to search engines, effectively burying your website in the depths of the internet.

Clicking a promising link only to encounter a “404” error can leave users feeling frustrated and abandoned. Their journey grinds to a halt, breaking the flow of engagement, and potentially leading them back to the search results, never to return. This high bounce rate sends negative signals to search engines, suggesting your website isn’t worth sticking around for.

Schema Markup Errors

Incorrect or missing structured data acts like a double whammy for your SEO efforts. First, it prevents you from displaying rich snippets. Rich snippets are those eye-catching enhancements to your search results, like star ratings for reviews or cooking times for recipes. These entice users to click which can boost traffic and engagement. Without accurate structured data, search engines have no way to pull this information, leaving your results bare and potentially overlooked.

Second, it hinders search engine understanding of your content. Imagine structured data as clear labels on your content boxes. Missing or faulty labels make it hard for search engines to decipher what your page is about and who it’s for. This can lead to misrepresentation in search results and push your valuable content further down the rankings.

Mobile-Friendliness Issues

Over half of all web traffic now comes from phones and tablets. And Google prioritises websites that deliver a seamless experience across all devices. So, a clunky mobile site is an important hidden SEO mistake that could send you plummeting down the results page. Additionally, poor mobile experiences lead to frustrated users who bounce quickly, affect your bounce rate, and further harm your SEO. 

Hidden SEO Mistakes: On-Page SEO

Hidden SEO MIstakes: On-Page SEO- Zeevou
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Keyword Cannibalisation

When you target similar keywords on multiple pages of your website, it’s like sending mixed signals to a search engine. Imagine asking multiple friends for directions to the same location, but each gives you slightly different routes. The search engine becomes confused, unsure which page best answers the user’s query. This scatters your SEO power and decreases the ranking potential of each individual page. 

Just like you’d choose the clearest directions, the search engine will prioritise a single page that comprehensively addresses the keyword intent. So, it leaves your other pages struggling for visibility. 

Thin Content

The web can be a bottomless pit of information, but not all information is created equal. Short, low-quality content that fails to offer value or address user intent poses several dangers. Firstly, it erodes trust and credibility. Imagine searching for medical advice and landing on a poorly-written article riddled with factual errors. This content not only fails to answer your question but also potentially misleads you with harmful consequences.

Secondly, this type of content degrades the online experience. Scrolling through pages of superficial snippets is frustrating and time-consuming. In an age where valuable information is readily available, low-quality content adds nothing but noise and clutter.

Duplicate Content

Plagiarism, be it internal within your website or external from outside sources, carries significant risks. Internally, duplicate content confuses search engines, diluting ranking power for important pages. Externally, plagiarising copyrighted material can incur legal repercussions, damage brand reputation, and trigger search engine penalties.

Meta Tag Optimisation

Crafting title tags and meta descriptions that resonate with both users and search engines requires a delicate balance. To capture attention in crowded search results, titles need to be intriguing and concise. Don’t forget relevant keywords, strategically woven in for searchability, but prioritise clarity and natural language over keyword stuffing.

Hidden SEO Mistakes: Off-Page SEO

Hidden SEO MIstakes: Off-Page SEO- Zeevou
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Google Search Console whispers in your ear about potential backlink trouble through various alerts. Sudden spikes in backlinks from unrelated or low-quality websites, especially using aggressive anchor text, could signal a negative SEO attack. Manual Actions alerts in GSC are even starker warning bells, potentially indicating Google has penalised your site due to link-related shenanigans.

Building links is like collecting votes for your website in the eyes of search engines. The more high-quality votes you have, the more trustworthy and relevant you appear. However, some website owners get seduced by the quick fix of acquiring links from shady neighbourhoods of the internet – spammy or irrelevant websites. These links might seem tempting, but they’re akin to accepting votes from bots or paid shills. In the end, they only hurt your website’s reputation and ranking.

Local SEO Issues

When it comes to local searches, seemingly minor details can trip you up and send your online visibility plummeting. One crucial element is NAP consistency. Unmatched Names, Addresses, and Phone Numbers across all online directories are some of the hidden SEO mistakes. Think of it as your digital footprint. Inconsistencies create confusion for both search engines and potential guests, making it harder for them to find and trust your business.

How to Address SEO Errors

  • Be mindful of how JavaScript interacts with search engines, and consider server-side rendering or pre-rendering techniques.
  • Find and fix incorrect or missing structured data.
  • Invest in a responsive website and watch your visibility (and bottom line) soar.
  • Focus on distinct keywords for each page to provide a clear and targeted path for both guests and search engines.
  • Use tools to scan for external plagiarism and internal duplicate content.
  • Prioritise creating unique and valuable content that stands out from the crowd as originality is key to SEO and brand success.
  • For meta descriptions, weave a compelling narrative that entices users to click. Briefly answer the “what’s in it for me?” question, highlighting unique content or valuable takeaways. 
  • Carefully analyse your backlink profile to identify the truly toxic links. Then, use Google’s Disavow Tool where you can submit a list of links you want the search engine to ignore. 
  • Focus on building high-quality backlinks naturally to strengthen your reputation and push the bad apples to the bottom of the SEO basket.
  • Ensure your Name, Address, and Phone Number match across all online directories like Google My Business and Facebook.
  • Use a PMS like Zeevou to boost your property management SEO

Further Reading

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