There can be many reasons why your page drops in rankings or traffic. Everything from content issues on your site to more technical issues and off-page SEO.
There are many ranking factors in SEO. In total, there are actually over 200 factors on Google, if you ask several of the world’s experts. So there are a lot of different things that you can address and take into account in your work with SEO.
It also means that there are a lot of mistakes you can make, which can have fatal consequences for your page’s traffic and rankings on Google.
Therefore, we have gathered the 8 most common mistakes you can make when you throw yourself into SEO yourself.
Your page has not been updated for a long time
Regular updates to your website are essential to staying competitive on Google.
If your website is not updated with content, links or the like, you will probably not be able to grow in organic traffic.
To keep your page up to date you can do something as simple as blogging regularly (in fixed format). This is especially relevant for you if you have not made the big out of your blog lately.
If you only post to your blog occasionally, there is a risk that you do not have the necessary blog content to generate the necessary inbound links to your page, which is ultimately what keeps you relevant in your niche.
You can find out what type of content your competitors are creating, to stay at the top of the SERP, by doing a competitor analysis.
Just updating your page and keeping it fresh is an important signal to send to Google. It shows that you are committed to creating relevant, new and good content for your users
Your blog posts have become irrelevant
Of course, it is also important to update your existing blog posts so that they are constantly relevant.
If you do not make any changes to your content, it may stand in the way of your ability to rank and drive traffic to your site.
It is especially important in competitive niche markets to update its content regularly to stay on top of Google, otherwise, your site will simply be considered irrelevant and outdated.
How to update your content?
When updating your content you can use the following advice:
- Write content that meets the search intent of a keyword. Make it lively, delicious and interactive
- Keep an eye on your page. Does it get more traffic? How long will your users stay on the site? Do they click on it? Use Google Analytics to measure and keep track.
- Update or delete non-traffic content. There is no need to keep old and thin content. Your users are not bothered to read it, and it is sending a negative signal to Google.
Robots.txt is set up incorrectly
As an SEO consultant, the improper setup of robots.txt is one of the most common technical errors encountered. If you are not careful, this file can have a fatal impact on your rankings on Google.
A robots.txt file tells search engine crawlers which pages or files the crawler may or may not request from your site. This is mainly used to avoid overloading a website with requests.
For example, typing “Disallow: /” at the top of a robots.txt file will stop search engines from crawling and indexing the entire site, leading to a massive drop in traffic.
Your page has lost inbound links
If you have a drop in traffic, you can check and make sure you have not lost inbound links.
Backlinks – that is, how many other pages link to yours – is one of the ultimate ranking factors. That’s because a link is a virtual recommendation. It’s another page that points to yours and says goodbye to it.
It is important to get back all the links that you lose over time so that your page does not lose the value of the inbound links.
How to work with links
When you work with link building, including recovering lost links, it’s about both quantity and quality. It requires two things:
That you have content that is worth linking to.
That you work proactively to obtain those links.
Read more about link building in our guide to link building.
Search Intent has changed
Your target audience’s search behaviour may change over time, resulting in less traffic to a page you once ranked with. This is also called a shift in search Intent.
This can happen due to many things. A global pandemic can be to blame for shifts in Search intent, but minor things like trends in products and services or shifts in the seasons can also easily do so.
Consumers are changing behaviour, and this can also be clearly seen on Google. The most important thing is that you are ready to make the necessary changes so that you match search Intent with your page.
How to work with Search Intent
When you need to update your content based on search intent, you can analyze the search results on Google, for the keyword you want to rank on, based on the 3 Cs
It is crucial to match search intent on these three parameters, otherwise, you will never rank at the top of Google.
You have had negative SEO done
Today, Google is pretty good at simply ignoring negative SEO.
However, we still see quite a few attacks with spam links that can be termed as negative SEO. It may be a good idea to run a disavow on these links.
However, there may also be situations where you may not need to disavow all new spam links you receive.
You have disavowed the wrong links
In fact, your disavow list may well be full of great links that create value for your page.
How to distinguish the good links from the bad ones and how to make sure that you do not remove links that contribute positively to your SEO?
If you reject all your good links, what do you think happens then? You lose organic traffic and your placements on page 1 may disappear.
It is important to be extra careful when running a disavow on a group of links, as if you do not perform your analysis of your links properly, it can have fatal consequences.
Which links should you disavow?
In general, one should be careful about disavowing links and one should only do so as a last resort. As a general rule, however, you can run a disavow on the following types of links:
- Paid links (based on quality)
- PBN (Private Blog Network) links
- Low-quality link directories
- Spam from comments in forums
- Chopped pages
- Link Attack (Negative SEO)
Your Google Analytics Tags are inserted incorrectly
Accurate reporting in Google Analytics is an important part of properly tracking your SEO efforts.
If you do not implement your Google Analytics or GTM tags correctly, errors in your Google Analytics reporting may affect your organic traffic data.
This can mean that you get reports showing that your traffic has dropped when your traffic has not actually dropped at all, leading to unnecessary panic and worries.
Of course, the opposite can also be the case. You may also experience overreporting if you accidentally include more than one GTM tag.
Do you think the traffic to your site has increased? If you’re about to include more than one GTM tag on your page, you can overreport and thus remove the focus from optimizing your page, to actually be at the top of Google’s SERP.
Too much to keep track of?
The above examples are just a few of the many things you can do wrong in trying to do SEO, and you can quickly feel overwhelmed when you throw yourself into it.
As an SEO agency, we at Apptians spend a lot of time keeping up. We spend time testing new solutions and seeing what works, why you can always go to us if you experience any of the above errors on your site.