A Look At SEO Practices That Can Hurt Your Rankings

After all the effort you pour into developing your business, it would be a shame if no one can get to know your work because they cannot find anything on Google. Pleasing your target audience is one thing, but you also need to please Google to make sure it lists your website in the top results. 95% of users do not go past the first page of Google results, so SEO parameters are more crucial than you think. 

How Do Search Engines Work?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization deals with the ways of a search engine ranking a website. The higher the ranking is, the more visible your site is to viewers, which means a higher click-through rate. Although there are several search engines, the most popular one, Google, checks certain factors like these before ranking your site:


  • Content quality and amount
  • Website reputation
  • User interaction on the page
  • Expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (or EAT)

These parameters allow Google to sift through millions of websites and give the best results first. You can employ many strategies to boost your page in SEO, but some mistakes could hurt your ranking. Read on to find out more.

7 SEO Practices You Should Know

Loading Speed

No one wants to be on a website that takes forever to load, and in today’s times, anything more than 6 or 7 seconds is enough to put the viewer off. A part of Google’s algorithm looks at page-loading speed, particularly on mobile phones. If you overload your site with content and fancy formatting that takes too long to load or refresh, you lose your SEO ranking.

There are online tools available that inform you about the speed of your page, and you can modify the content accordingly to help it load faster.

Mobile Interface

People have increasingly been using mobiles over laptops and desktops to access the web, so it is necessary for the mobile version of your website to be up to the mark. When designing the front-end of your website, you need to consider the dimensions of various mobile devices and modify the appearance and functionalities appropriately.

A site with too small a font size and complicated menus that hinder navigation is a red flag for Google. Too many ads interrupting a user using your site pushes your website further down in searches.


Most of the time, “optimized” content refers to the use of keywords in the content, i.e., the words or phrases that searchers use to look for information. These words should also aptly describe the topics your website caters to. Incorrect or misleading keywords or topic headings and duplicate or plagiarized content negatively affect your ranking.

For the best results, you should use keywords with high search volume and low competition. To know which are the best keywords to use, you can employ an SEO tool. These tools (semrush vs ahrefs vs. GrowthBar, and so on) are intended to optimize SEO different parameters, and thus, you can choose the best one based on your requirement.

Another lesser-known keyword tactic is the use of latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords. LSI words are related to the main keywords, and they provide a relationship to the main terms, which helps Google understand the content better. For example, if someone searches “Leonardo,” LSI keywords will tell Google whether your page talks about Da Vinci or DiCaprio.

Length Of The Content

Given a topic, you can write a 200-word article on it or a 2000-word one. Which one do search engines prefer? As a general rule, content with a word count over 2000 tend to be more prominent in searches.

Note that this not mean you should add fluff to increase the word count, but if your content demands depth, put in as much detail as possible. Your content need not be only text; in fact, adding suitable videos in your website boosts SEO results. But for both text and videos, if the user finds it irrelevant, they will “bounce away,” as described below.

User Interaction

Users can land upon bad websites by accident, so the time one spends on a website is another critical SEO parameter. The more the click-through rate, the lower the bounce rate (number of people who quickly go back to the search results from a website), and the longer the dwell time, the better the SEO ranking.

If your content is engaging but not related to the keyword or topic the user initially searched, or if it is relevant but poorly presented, the user will bounce, indicating to Google that your site isn’t the best source of information for that topic.

Links And Backlinks

To make a user move around on your website and look at other things, add certain elements to your content. If you use material from other resources or find another related article that you would like your viewers to read, you can add those links to your content. These outbound links are proof that you have researched your content well, but too many of them will divert your viewers from your website.

Inbound links or backlinks are when other sites have links to your website in the content. If you are wondering how to get backlinks, here are a few methods you can try:

  • Have guest posts
  • Publish a whitepaper
  • Conduct an email outreach


Of all the page 1 results in Google, 30% of websites are secured using HTTPS (S for Secure). HTTPS ensures the privacy of the exchanged data and other encrypted measures to protect your website. If your URL does not contain HTTPS, your website will not necessarily be harmed, but Google will flag that site as “not secure,” which could lead to more bounces.

Converting to HTTPS is simple and can be done quickly and cheaply, so it is a worthwhile investment.


It is equally important to create content that satisfies Google’s ranking criteria and makes the audience happy. The top sites on Google are usually around three years old, so you may not see immediate results, but these optimization steps are part of the process. You can always use SEO services and other digital marketing services to help you promote the page on search engines.

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