9 mistakes to avoid while doing Off-page SEO

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9 mistakes to avoid while doing Off-page SEO
mistakes to avoid while doing Off-page SEO

Beware of these most common off-page SEO mistakes that almost every website owner makes unknowingly. Don’t underestimate the negative impact of ignoring these top off-page SEO mistakes on the overall rating and ranking on any social media platform and search engines like Google. In this article, you will also find ways to avoid these mistakes. For some of these mistakes, you can even get penalized by Google and have a negative impact on your ranking. 

Off-page SEO includes all the activities that you do “Off of your page” to improve your site ranking. Off-page SEO plays an essential role in increasing search visibility. It has a great potential to drive organic traffic to your website. A solid Off-page SEO strategy is essential for the success of any online business.

Now let’s just dig deep and know more about these mistakes and know about every detail all off-page SEO techniques crucial to cop-up with these issues.

here is the list in the table of contents.

1. Not doing keyword research properly

One of the most common mistakes that SEO strategists make while doing off-page SEO, is not doing proper keyword research. Many content creators and website owners start making content randomly without any proper research. They use those keywords that they think will bring them search traffic. If these keywords are too difficult or are not used for searching by readers, your content will reach no one and your website won’t get any organic traffic. Such keywords even have zero search traffic. This is the major cause of many sites failing to get any traffic from the Google search engine and rank on their first page. If you target unspecific keywords that are too broad to bring you the desired local traffic. As a dentist you may use the keyword “best doctor “but it is not specific enough to attract the locally targeted audience that might want to become your customer after reading your post.

How to avoid this common off-page SEO mistake? 

Some keywords are location-based such as geo-specific and service-specific keywords. These keywords have the potential to reach the targeted audience. Instead of targeting a broad keyword like “doctor” go for “best dentist in Lahore” or “heart surgeon” which would be a much better fit. Do a little brainstorming, carry out proper research and find out the topics people are searching for. How to find people’s interests? Yes, you got it right, through “Keyword research”. Keyword research will help you understand the user intent and exact phrases that are used by customers while searching for content, services, or products. So, find out what people are looking for, and start making content around it. This will get you huge traffic. You can use any online tool for keyword research like Ahrefs or SEMrush. While doing keyword research, two things are needed to be taken care of. The first is monthly traffic volume and the second one is the competitiveness of the targeted keyword. Not all keywords weigh equal, some of them are more valuable while others don’t have much search volume. Only important keywords are worth optimizing for but at the same time, you should be looking for the keywords that are easy to rank against.  Don’t have experience? https://hashtechblog.com will take care of all your worries. Just hire a professional to do this job.


2. Not matching search intent

Users are the king of any search engine including Google. Their aim is to provide their users with the most relevant search results for their queries. As Google gives preference to user experience, you can rank higher on Google if you can provide users with relevant results for their queries. Your content is supposed to align with the user’s intent. As soon as you type your query in the Google search bar it shows you hundreds of the most relevant search results within a few seconds depending upon your internet connectivity. For example, if you search for “best laptops under 50,000 in Pakistan ”, you will see most search results are about the laptops under 50,000 in Pakistan. But how does this happen? Well, that is because these websites have been optimized against the phrase which you used for this search. People are searching online to compare rather than to buy. So, the search result might not contain an eCommerce store’s category page unless it is optimized for this specific keyword.

How to avoid this off-page SEO mistake? 

If you want to avoid this mistake align your content with the user search intent.  For this purpose, you can carry out thorough research in the market to see your competitors and buyers so that you can infer buyers’ search intent which is the key point in off-page SEO. Moreover, check SERPs to find search intent. Online softwares like Moz.com can be used for finding SERPs. You can simply type in your keyword in the Google search bar and see what type of results Google comes up with. You can easily guess from these results what seems most relevant to Google for this keyword. 

Before creating any content analyze the common 3Cs of user search intent: 

  • Content type 

(Whether it is a blog post, product, category, video, or landing page)

  • Content angle 

(It describes the main selling point of your content like how to download Facebook statues for free”) 

  • Content format 

Mostly applicable to blog posts ( how-to articles, opinionated, instructional, new articles, reviews, etc.

3. Targeting keywords that are too difficult

Keywords that are too difficult cannot be reached by readers. People trust Google so much that they don’t even bother to go beyond page 1 or 2. Most of the people prefer to stay on page 1 and they don’t even click beyond the 1st page of Google. With growing competition and SERP features, it is very difficult to grab a spot-on Google’s first page for some keywords. These keywords are highly desirable and more and more websites are trying to rank against these trending keywords. Competing for these keywords requires a lot of research and tons of resources.    Still, there are some keywords that are less competitive and have great potential. So it is effortless to rank for them. If you are supposing that you can rank for any keyword regardless of the competition, the chances of getting your site ranked might be very thin. But don’t just skip a keyword for its difficulty. If a keyword is important for your website, there is nothing wrong with optimizing your content against it. But complement it with less competitive keywords and then gradually use the difficult ones to save both time and money.

How to avoid this off-page SEO mistake?

Go to any keyword Explorer and apply a filter named keyword difficulty (KD). This SEO metric will arrange all keywords in an orderly manner according to their difficulty level and traffic potential. You can know how hard it would be to rank a keyword on Google’s first page. The KD scale goes from 0 to 100. There is no ideal KD range to be set on your website. In fact, it depends upon many factors like quality backlinks, user intent, website authority, and more.

4. Not building enough backlinks while ranking

building enough backlinks while ranking
building enough backlinks while ranking

Google algorithm also gives weight to the sites with links or backlinks. So, if your site is not as high as it should have been, see if you have placed quality backlinks in your content or not. The reason can be that you might have not placed enough links in the pages performing poorly in terms of ranking.

How to avoid this off-page SEO mistake? 

Get some quality backlinks for your website. But how would you get links? Reach out to the relevant authority websites and show them your content. Tell them how it can be beneficial for their readers. If they like your content and show some interest, ask them to mention you on their website and link to you. 

  • Open any SEO tool with a content explorer feature. 
  • Type in your Focus Keyword. 
  • Search results will show you all the top-ranking pages for that keyword. 
  • Apply filter to see desired authority websites (with website traffic 600+, live websites, domain rating score 30-90, etc.) 
  • After applying some filters you will see only authority websites on the top. 
  • Go through each page shown in the search result and see what they have missed or how your content will be helpful for them. 
  •  If you think you can add a resource to their website. Reach out to let them know about you and ask them to link back to you. 

As these might sound too technical for you, just seek help from an SEO expert like https://hashtechblog.com for your website’s SEO.

5. Breaking Google’s Terms of Service when building links

Once you start building links after realizing the importance of link building, you may encounter people asking for links in turn for links. Not just that, people also sell links and have made it their business. Link exchanges became very common till 2007 with hundreds of websites exchanging backlinks. Suddenly Google had to take an action against this method to make sure only quality content gets ranked. Google strictly monitors backlinks as well. The exchange of links is strictly forbidden. You may get your site panelized even if you are not directly sending money in order to buy a link. According to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, includes excessive link exchanging, exchanging money, services or products, or partner pages just for crosslinking.

How to avoid this off-page SEO mistake?

While asking for backlinks from authority websites don’t offer anything in return, not even products or services. Sites selling backlinks usually shout out on their platform for any website for the sake of money regardless of their quality. Google can easily trace this kind of trade which can lead to a ‘link selling’ penalty. Don’t worry, it is totally fine if you link a few of your friends and help them out a little bit. But it is a red flag if you are linking back to hundreds of websites. Go for one-way-link building and link now and then as excessive linking can also lead to suspicion. Simply put, don’t try to game the system.

6. Missing internal link opportunities. (No Internal linking)

Backlinks are important, and so are the internal links. Internal links are used by Google crawlers to discover other page content as well.  Well linked page on your site is better to rank higher than the rest. So internal linking helps with PageRank as well. Google uses this internal linking along with the surrounding text, to better understand the context of an article. It helps boost your page views along with the improvement in the onsite time.

How to avoid this off-page SEO mistake? 

Conduct site research on your own website and find out all the content relative to the new page or post that you are going to make. Too much lining can have a negative impact on your site’s ranking. It takes a lot of research and depends on your mental ability to decide which content should be linked and to where. This can be done through a complete site audit.

Here are some ideas to carry out internal linking by yourself: 

  • Divide the whole content into segments and prioritize the pages that are the most valuable for your business. 
  • Make sections and subsections on your page and website so that it is easier for everyone to reach the content that they are interested in. 
  • If your site is still in progress or growing continuously, there might be some pages that are left unnoticed. It is time to reactivate them through internal linking (driving traffic to those pages). 
  • For those pages which are not getting any traffic, you can always delete them as they are a waste of Google resources. 

Keep updating old pages and posts.

7. Not letting Google crawl your content

Google crawls the web pages to find out the context. Whenever someone types a query on Google, it crawls website pages to find out the most relevant answer to it. But if Google is unable to see what’s on your page, how will it get ranked on Google for any keyword?  For example, adding a no-index metatag/header in the HTTP response can block your site from Google crawler as Googlebot will drop your whole page from the Google search results no matter how strong your internal linking or back-linking might be. Don’t treat SEO as a one-time thing. It is an ongoing process. With this growing competition even if you are in the top rank, it can be guaranteed that you can retain this position in the near future. You need an effective SEO strategy if you want to stay on Google’s first page.

How to avoid this off-page SEO mistake?

As in the given example, website owners make such mistakes which leads to blocking Googlebot from crawling your site. Simple steps to be taken if you want to allow Google crawler to crawl your website. 

  • Just go to robots.txt and look for the snippets of codes. 
  • Type the complete address (yourdomain.com/robots.txt) 
  • Here you can easily see whether Googlebot (user agent) is disallowed or not. 
  • Remove the lines of code and let Google crawl your site. 
  • Follow the general guidelines. 
  • Use the URL inspection tool and check your URL. 

Carrying out the whole process for every post and page can be tiring. Work smarter and reach out to a team of web experts at  hashtechblog to aid you with the complete off-page and on-page SEO of your website.

8. Not letting Google index your content

Even after doing a complete SEO of your site, you can’t rank if you don’t work on its indexing. Again, this happens when you unknowingly include a non-index tag on your page or have used the wrong website URL (not having a proper domain name). Maybe you added these during website development and didn’t get a chance to remove them later. This way Google won’t be able to index your page and won’t get a chance to rank it.

How to avoid this off-page SEO mistake?

Use Google Search Console. Copy and paste the URL in the URL inspection tool to see if your web page is indexed or not. If your webpage is not indexed yet, the search result will tell you that “this URL is not on Google”. 

As we know the content is the king. So, indexing of any content is determined by Google algorithms which work according to user demand and the quality of the content. Properly managing the URL and architecture of your website you can easily improve your site’s Google indexing. Here are a few tips that might be helpful in indexing;

  • Keep your site up-to-date.
  • Update your old content.
  • Mobile-friendly web pages 
  • Submit a sitemap to Google.
  •  Make proper internal links. 
  • Keep a track of crawl status. 
  • Work on slow pages (Use Google page speed insights)

9. Not keeping track of the backlinks regularly

Don’t lose track of your backlinks: 

Initially, backlinks were built on a regular basis. Low-quality websites took advantage of Google’s basic algorithm. Hundreds of sites linked with each other to improve their ranking on the Google search engine. Google used to prefer sites with more backlinks and considered it an authority. Such pages were ranked higher on Google search result pages. 

Instead of being helpful, having a lot of backlinks can be harmful. You need to pay attention to 

  • Who is linking back to your site? 
  • What is their reputation? 
  • What is their niche/industry? 

Monitor your backlinks regularly. In 2012, Google updated its algorithm to penalize and deter these websites which use black hat SEO techniques. But you can originally have a profile of backlinks that may look suspicious or spam to the Penguin algorithm. Now as a website owner you must track your backlink profile and be careful so that you don’t get penalized by Google.

10. Treating SEO as a one-time thing

When you take SEO lightly and do not keep track of the daily activities on your website, when you do not check weather the loading speed is good enough for a visitor or when you do not keep track of backlinks you have created in the past it effects your overall position in search engines.

SEO is an ongoing process and you should always keep track of your keyword position, backlinks, loading speed and you will surly be on your track.

How to avoid this off-page SEO mistake?

Here are a few good steps that you can take to maintain your backlink’s quality for a successful SEO of your website. Using these you can keep track of all lost backlinks along with the new and updated ones. 

  1. Know who is giving you the backlinks. Penguin updates suggest that Google now prefers quality over quantity. So instead of hundreds of low-quality links, a few high-quality links can deliver more SEO juice. So always seek backlinks from some authority websites. This will greatly impact your SEO in a positive way. The higher the authority website, the greater will be the improvement in your SEO. Links from low-quality or already penalized websites can actually harm your SEO. Remove the backlinks from low-quality websites. Contact the website owners and tell them to remove the link from their forums and blogs. Many online tools are available for monitoring the backlinks and finding the authority website. 
  2. Link velocity should be kept in check. Getting too frequent links can also be harmful to the SEO of your website. It is better to monitor it as well. Steadily growing backlink profiles are considered as natural ones. If you are planning on an irregular spike in new links then be warned that this might not be a good idea. Google will recognize such unnatural back linking and you will get punished for it. To avoid this mishap, regularly post content. It is always better than posting 10 posts on the same date of each month. Similarly, make your SEO outreach a continuous process rather than an abrupt change in your SEO strategy. 
  3. Keep track of links that bring traffic or no traffic at all. If you don’t get traffic from a backlink, Google will get the signal of not assigning any SEO juice to that link. Nofollow links don’t cause any harm so you don’t need to bother with them. However, Dofollow links are the ones to pass the link juice, so remove any link from low-quality websites. Maintain a healthy ratio of dofollow and nofollow links. 
  4. Manage the pages that backlinks are pointing towards. This way you can highlight the most valuable content and drop the less valuable one. 
  5. Keep your anchor text optimized. Black hat SEO techniques include the addition of a suspicious link with the focus keyword of the article in the anchor text to gain search results. But this technique was useful in the pre-penguin period. Google has now spotted this and modified its algorithms accordingly. If your website has an excessive amount of inbound links with the same anchor text, it is likely for you to get a penalty from Google. Moreover, links within an article that make no grammatical sense can also de-rank your website. 

Make keeping track of your backlinks a part of your SEO routine. SEO is an ongoing process. You need to keep everything in check regularly. It is not a one-day story to check all the links.

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