Mistakes that don’t let your content rank (and tips on how to make your content rank by fixing those mistakes)

Mistakes that don’t let your content rank (and tips on how to make your content rank by fixing those mistakes)

Have you been working on SEO for your website for ages but are still unable to make your content rank? Chances are, you are making some common mistakes. Google keeps updating its algorithm to make sure that only web pages with top quality content rank first on its result page. It also considers more than 200 factors to rank results from web pages. And the sad truth is that although there are billions of web pages out there on the web, only 5-7 rank on the first page of a search engine.

If you want to make your content rank on search engines (primarily Google), avoid making the following mistakes: 

  1. Your keywords are not answering the right questions: The way the Google algorithm works is that it uses the keywords that webpages are optimized for with the questions that users ask for in the search engines. So the keywords that your blog or website is optimized for is not answering the questions on the topic, which in turn does not make your content rank.
  • How to fix: While conducting a keyword search, look for longtail relevant keywords which have low competition. 
  1. You are not using links right: Whether it is about internal links or external links, linking is important for Google to understand the niche and category of your website content. If you are not doing it right, it is difficult for Google to make your content rank because it has very less reference. 
  • How to fix: To make your content rank, include outbound links to authority websites within your domain to establish the understanding of your industry and include inbound links to help Google understand your website.
  1. You are overusing keywords: You might think that in order to make your content rank at the top, you need to not only optimize your content with keywords but overstuff it. However, Google considers overstuffing as a way of spamming. 
  • How to fix: Find out the right keyword density for the length of your content piece and optimize your content as per the density, don’t over-optimize. 
  1. Your content length is not optimized: If you are posting short content on a website thinking that your audience does not have a good attention span, you are in for a surprise. Often when users open a webpage looking for answers, they want in-depth information on the topic from the same link. 
  • How to fix: Write content pieces with an average length of more than 2500 words. Google prefers long-form content because it offers better utility to the readers. 
  1. The loading speed of your webpage is slow: With everything available at the click of a button, a slow web page that takes too much time to load not only creates a bad user experience but also affects the ranking of your page. As per Google, the speed of the loading of the website also reflects the website’s responsiveness to multiple web requests. 
  • How to fix: Ask your developer to check plugins that slow down your website. 
  1. Your images are not optimized: If you have gotten too lost in optimizing your content that you forgot to optimize your images, this one is for you. Images also send relevant signals to Google that have an impact on the ranking of your web page. 
  • How to fix: To make your content rank, improve and optimize your on-page image descriptions while optimizing the content as well. 
  1. Your SEO elements are not in sync with each other: By SEO elements we mean the title tag, the link to the page, and the image and page descriptions. All these elements need to be in synchronization with each other and the keywords that you are targeting. If they are not, Google gets confused and doesn’t consider your page optimized. 
  • How to fix: Maintain standardization when it comes to page optimization. Keep the page title, link, image description and meta descriptions in line with each other. 
  1. Your content is not updated: For search requests like ‘Top X things’ or ‘The Latest X’, Google and many other search engines prefer content that has been recently updated. To make your content rank, you have to offer fresh content to the readers. 
  • How to fix: Constantly update your content blogs and information to keep it relevant. You can keep updating your web page with the latest and most recent information. 
  1. Your website is not optimized for mobile phones: There are more than 3 billion smartphone users worldwide. More and more people are accessing content on their smartphones and if your website is not optimized to be accessed on smartphones, your users will not be there for long. This increases the bounce rate for your website, and Google does not let your content rank. 
  • How to fix: Check for mobile-friendliness of your website and use themes that make it suitable for readers accessing your website on mobile devices. 
  1. Your business is not registered with Google: Registering on ‘Google my business’ with Google helps make your content rank because it puts you in the radar and makes Google aware of your updated existence. It is also a great way to get more traffic through a direct search on ‘Google my business’, which receives millions of visitors. 
  • How to fix: Registering on ‘Google my business is a simple process with easy steps. Do it now!
  1. You are too new in the field: If you are a very new website and have only just started with your content strategy, even when you are doing everything right, it will not make your content rank. With time, as your website builds recognition, it will increase your rankings on search engines. 
  • How to fix: There is nothing to fix but to maintain consistency and avoid making any of these mistakes. 
  1. You optimize one content piece for only one keyword: SEO is an art and not many people are able to master it in a short amount of time. However, while building your keyword strategy, if you optimize your content to only one keyword, it reduces your content ranking. Especially in cases where your targeted keyword has a very high search volume. 
  • How to fix: Always and always optimize your content for a set of keywords which are a combination of unique and frequently used keywords both. 
  1. You are not focusing on content marketing: Content creation is only one part of the process when it comes to making your content rank. Content marketing is an important part to make your content rank on Google and other search engines. Promoting your content through different channels helps you get a better ranking on search engines. 
  • How to fix: Use email marketing or social media marketing to promote your content. 
  1. Your website is not user-friendly: If your website does not offer a directed site map to the readers who land on your website, the bounce rate for your website increases. If the readers are unable to access your products, services or core value within the first few seconds of landing on the web page, they will leave. 
  • How to fix: In order to make your content rank, offer a clear map for your audience to navigate and highlight your core offering or value even before they have to scroll down.  
  1. You are creating duplicate content: Keep in mind that duplicate content doesn’t mean that you are directly copying from the internet. It could be issues like your site being available in HTTP and HTTPS both or maybe it is happening because the URL parameters are dynamic for different search engines. 
  • How to fix: This creates different webpages with the same content, which confuses Google. You can fix this mistake by using a duplicate content checker and the right plugins. 
  1. Your content is too pushy: If what you aim through content creation is to sell your products, you can not beat your competitors. You end up disappointing the visitors who land on your website in order to look for some useful content and increase your bounce rate. It does not create any user engagement and leads to lower rankings. 
  • How to fix: In order to beat your competitors and make your content rank, create genuine content that adds value to your readers and goes way ahead when compared to your competitors. 
  1. Your content is limited to one medium: These days audiences are looking for a variety of content in different mediums. That is exactly what Google is also looking to offer to them. So if you think that lengthy pages filled with keywords will get you the rankings you are looking for, think again. 
  • How to fix: Include multimedia content like videos, images, podcasts, infographics etc. in your content to make your content rank higher on Google and other search engines. 
  1. You are missing out on the power of backlinks: Even if you are doing everything else right, you can not miss out on backlinks. Good quality backlinks put you on the map. They make your content rank by increasing traffic and showing Google that your web page exists and more people are talking about it. 
  • How to fix: Contact influencers in the same industry or find quality websites that have the option of guest blogging. Get backlinks from good authoritative websites. 
  1. You are competing against huge brands: Now this is one mistake that isn’t entirely yours. When you compete against huge brands that have a well-built reputation, it difficult to make your content rank even after doing everything right. However, that does not mean you should not enter niches with high competition. 
  • How to fix: Work on a very strong content strategy and look for keywords that have a lower competition to reach out to a wider audience.
  1. Your content lacks depth and uniqueness: If you are not creating original content and only curating from whatever is available on the internet, your content will lack quality and thus, engagement value. This includes using accurate language and grammar. 
  • How to fix: Don’t just focus on the length of your content but also the quality. Make sure it adds deep value to your users and their search requests. 
  1. You are not using the right titles: Titles are more important than you think. Some titles like ‘How to’ or ‘Top 10’ tend to get more attention. Click baits are often disappointing. 
  • How to fix: Conduct proper title research and optimize your title but not just to form a clickbait. Your title should generate curiosity and interest among readers. 

Conclusion

You spend hours curating, writing, editing content with the idea of adding value to your readers. Don’t let that all go to waste just because you are making these mistakes. Make your content rank by avoiding all these mistakes in addition to doing the SEO right and you are good to go. To make your content rank is no rocket science. It is, however, a combination of several factors and in order to get them right, you have to be consistent, patient and experiment your way to the top of search engines.  You can also learn from the best by re-visiting these powerful content marketing examples.

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Pooja Bhargava

Head of Operations at italics
Pooja is the head of operations at italics, a content marketing agency based in India. She manages content development and marketing for clients belonging to a wide range of industries. She is more than 8 years of experience in SEO content writing, copywriting, thought leadership and article writing. She is also a certified psychologist and an expert in analysing consumer behaviour to generate winning content

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