On-page SEO can have a big impact on your SEO results. It is important to implement on-page SEO correctly because this is what shows relevancy in the search results for your target keywords. I put together the five biggest on-page SEO mistakes that can negatively impact your rankings.
- Keyword stuffing
Keyword stuffing is probably the most common on-page SEO mistake. The reason this mistake is so common is because people want to make sure that search engines know what their content is about.
They think that the more time they use their target keywords, the better their content will rank. The problem is that this isn’t true, and keyword stuffing will actually hurt your rankings more than it will help your rankings. You want to avoid being penalized by Google as much as possible.
Google has gotten good at understanding when pages are over optimized. When content is over optimized and target keywords are used too much, Google understand this as not being high-quality content.
You only need to use your target keywords a few times naturally in the content, for search engines to pick up the relevancy signals. Search engines can understand what your content is about and don’t need to see your target keywords more than a few times.
- Not optimizing images
If you’re not optimizing your images, you are missing out on a big opportunity to rank higher. The nice thing about optimizing your images is that it is something that is entirely in your control.
Search engines can’t read images the same way they can read text. This means that they will need to rely on the information that is given by the website owner.
The two main things that effect rankings are the name of the image file and the alt text. This is a good opportunity for you to include your keyword to show more relevance towards your target keyword.
I wouldn’t recommend using exact match keyword in every image, because you can still be negatively impacted by keyword stuffing your images. I would however include your target keywords and variations in your images, if they make sense and if you can use them naturally
It’s important to take advantage on aspects of SEO that are in your control, because this will give you the best chance of ranking for your target keywords.
- Only using exact match keywords
Using exact match keywords is definitely help in some cases, but this shouldn’t be your only focus. I would only recommend using your exact match keyword a few times in your content. Those few times that you use it should be simply because it was natural to use your keyword that way.
It’s important to focus on your topic as a whole, and the quality of content that you are producing. Not only can search engines understand when you are forcing keywords, but users can too. It’s easy to spot an article when they are trying to rank for a specific keyword.
You should use variations of your keyword throughout your content. This helps search engines better determine what your content is about. Not only for that reason alone, but also because using variations of your keyword is more natural than only using exact match keyword.
Don’t worry, using those variations over your exact keyword will not be a missed opportunity. If this is something you currently do, it can be hard to get over, but it will only help you in the long run.
- Focusing on keyword density
Keyword density used to be a big focus years ago. When website owners would implement SEO, they would go for a specific keyword density. Five percent was a common keyword density that people would try to hit. This means that their keyword is 5 percent of all of their words.
Firstly, this is a very high percentage. If you are at five percent keyword density, that means there is a good chance you are forcing your keyword into the content as much as possible. Secondly, Google has mentioned that they do not use keyword density as a ranking factor.
When creating content, you should focus on how you are going to provide value for your readers. You should certainly have your target keywords in mind, but don’t worry about how many times you are using it in your content.
If you are counting how many times you are using your keyword, then that means you are writing your content for search engines and not for users. This will almost always cause the quality of your content to suffer, and your rankings will go with it.
If you are writing about your topic in depth and providing real value, your content will show relevancy to your target keywords and you will have an easier time ranking than if your focus is on keyword density.
- Only focusing on one keyword
Another big mistake that I see often is trying to rank for just one keyword in your content. Many people think that they can only rank for a single keyword in each post because they need to have that keyword in the title, headings, and content.
When you only focus on one keyword, you are missing out on many other keyword opportunities. While its helpful to have your keyword in the headings and title, it isn’t necessary to rank.
As a matter of fact, Google recently announced that having keywords in H1’s are not anymore important than having your keyword in your content. They look at your content as a whole to get an idea of what the content is about.
It used to be very important to have your keyword in the H1, which limited you in the number of keywords you could target. With that not being the case, this opens the door to targeting many other keywords. When you focus on other keywords as well, this will help your content sound more natural, since you’re not only focused in on one specific keyword.
On-page SEO is important because these are all the indicators and ranking factors that you do have some control over. Keyword usage and image optimization are the biggest on-page SEO mistakes that I typically see.
Be sure that you are using keywords naturally and you are writing your content for users first, and search engines second. If you provide value in your content and occasionally use your keywords and keyword variations, you will give yourself the best chance to rank high in the search results. Consider looking into local SEO packages for help improving your on-page SEO.