The #1 SEO mistake I'm making (and maybe you are too)

Last Update: August 24, 2019

As I've been on the hunt to try to figure out why Google isn't ranking my content, I'm starting to figure some things out.

I'll give you a couple of ideas of what's happening, and then I'll tell you the #1 SEO mistake that I'm making (and you might be too).

First, just a little recap:

  • I was starting to do well with rankings and traffic, but it never really took off like I had hoped
  • I got up to around 3k visitors a month
  • Then my traffic starting dropping
  • I thought it was the Google core update in June

My current analytics are not looking great:

As easy as it would be to blame Google, I realize now it's not their fault.

Here are a couple of things I've discovered / remembered:

  • I had a couple of good ranking articles in Google that brought me most of my traffic, but as those articles become less relevant, the traffic has dropped off (which is why I'm incorporating Dylan's strategy of writing about MLMs more.)
  • It takes about 35 weeks on average for a new article to rank at it's peak rank. That's almost 9 months. Patience is definitely key here. (Review posts in the MMO space might rank quickly because they're not competitive, but they also die quickly.)
  • Checking your competition for a keyword is HUGE. I know I failed to do that many times and I realize now that I wrote awesome articles that aren't going to go anywhere because there's too much competition for them.

    Jaaxy is the FIRST place you start looking at this, but it's not the last. Don't just look at the numbers. Go into Google and type your keyword and see what's there.

    For instance, I wrote an article called "How to Make Money at ClickBank". First of all, it should be "How to Make Money with ClickBank." Jay tells us all the time to use keywords that make sense when talking... this one is close, but not quite. I didn't listen to Jay. Not good.

    Secondly, I didn't check out the competition on Google for this keyword:

That's a lot to compete with! I would have been better off spending my time writing a completely different post.

    • Finally, the #1 SEO mistake I've been making...

    Relevancy

    Relevancy, relevancy, relevancy.

    This is something that Kyle hammers in his training and in his blog posts.

    For instance:

    Yet, it's still so easy to miss this. In fact, I know I do it all the time.

    Jay also talks about it a lot in his trainings and why it's important to focus on 1 keyword per blog post.

    It's so easy to think you're being relevant when really you've gone off the rails on your topic.

    Here's an example from my site. I recently created a post called FU Money Review. I already see that I went off course in my title:

    This post should be about the book F.U. Money, and here I am talking about Dan Lok and his courses.

    The content is no longer relevant to the keyword "FU Money Review".

    And here's what's happening:

    • Time on page = 0 Seconds
    • Bounce Rate = 100%

    The reason that I personally veer off course (and I'm betting the reason why it may happen to you too) is that I'm trying to fill our posts with enough words for the search engines to rank me.

    But now I discovered that if I fill my posts with irrelevant content, Google only sees the part that's relevant anyway. And they also see that people are bouncing from my site, which makes ranking even harder.

    When writing posts, make sure they're very focused. It's not always easy. This is something that I obviously have a hard time doing.

    Put Ourselves in the Shoes of the Reader

    What information would they be looking for? How can we answer their question? What's the next logical question they would have and how can we answer that too?

    Have you ever searched for something online and got frustrated because you couldn't find exactly what you're looking for? I sure have! And that's what we may be doing to our visitors.

    Kyle talks about this in is post "You Writing for People, or Writing for Rankings?", which I posted above.

    This one part that Kyle talks about really hit me over the head. (I bolded and underlined it for emphasis.) Completely logical and completely missed:

    (This is referring to an example of an article "how to make money selling t-shirts".)

    "They want a business, and a successful one within the t-shirt space. They want a business that is working for them 24/7 and they wake up to 'new orders' every morning. They want a consistent flow of traffic coming to their website, with an abundance of untapped opportunities at hand that they can use to scale and grow their business.

    THAT is what you are offering them. Not a website builder, not a keyword tool, not a hosting platform, not expert support and help "


    Going Forward

    Even though affiliate marketing can be a frustrating business, I personally love how much there is to learn about it.

    In a way, I'm glad these issues are happening with my site, because I can use them to not only learn some new stuff (or remember some stuff that we're taught here but that I have forgotten), but also share with you..

    I hope my mistakes help you see what kinds of things to avoid with your own site.

    Going forward, the #1 thing I will do when writing a bog post is to really think about the topic and the subtopics and make sure it's relevant to the user's experience. "Is this really what they're looking for, or is this going to annoy and frustrate them?"

    I thank you for reading!

    - Christina

    P.S. Do you feel like you've been making any SEO mistakes? Do you have any tips about other ways I can improve my site and make it more user friendly / relevant? Is there anything you have done that has helped you improve your rankings?

    Join the Discussion
    Write something…
    Recent messages
    CordeliaN Premium
    Thank you for writing this post, quite a bit of information which needs a second read 😁 for me this is a worthy member to my bookmark club. This will be something I should come back to when things are not going my way (again)

    Good luck for the week ahead...🤞
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    Thanks for reading! I'm glad it helped you! (Or will help you in the future. :) )

    - Christina
    Reply
    laparra1 Premium
    Good afternoon Christina,

    Thank you for this good post. So many things one has to think about. I like the focus on one keyword and weave your story around that one keyword. I see I still have a lot to learn and one is never too old to do so.

    Greetings from the south of Spain, Taetske
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    There's always something new to learn in this business. Thanks for commenting!

    - Christina
    Reply
    jlclayton1 Premium
    Do you have a lot of referral traffic that shows 0 seconds on site and 100% bounce rate? My traffic rose very significantly awhile back on one of my sites, and I couldn't understand how I could get zero time on my site from so many visitors since there should be at least a couple of seconds for them to at least glance at the title.

    I found that I was getting hit with traffic bots and had to start blocking them. Once I did, my traffic dropped dramatically, but that's ok because my numbers were just artificially high before.

    These traffic networks and exchanges can hit your site and show up on your analytics without ever actually going to your site, which is why they were showing 0 time on site and 100% bounce rate.

    Once I was able to block most of them, my bounce rate went down dramatically, and my organic traffic started increasing. Since this was actual relevant traffic, my referrals and sales started to rise as well.

    This may or may not be anything that's happening on your site, but since you mentioned the 0 time on site statistic, I thought I'd mention it!

    Janelle
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    This is really good information, thank you! I saw in another post (I think it was Kisha's) where she explained how to turn off the robot traffic, so I did that a while ago.

    But this is great for other people to see too.

    - Christina
    Reply
    dominic16 Premium
    Just to add my 2 cents here, I've had an experience with a blog post wherein the traffic data from the keyword tool is not what is showing in my Search Console stats. Instead of the usual 1,000's of searches and 100's of clicks I actually got, the KW tool displays only like 50 searches and 10 clicks.

    But when I rechecked Jaaxy and the KW tool (prior to writing this comment), I saw it updated to 700+ searches and 130+ clicks, which is more accurate than in the past.

    I guess what I'm trying to imply here is that the KW tool has a "delay" when it comes to its search data. So for those of you trying to use the KW tool, realize that you shouldn't rely on it alone. Use Google search as well as Google Trends to analyze more updated stats. I found them to work for that particular blog post.
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    Which keyword tool are you saying has a delay? Google's?

    - Christina
    Reply
    dominic16 Premium
    WA's Keyword Tool and Jaaxy
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    Oh gotcha, thanks for clarifying! Good to know too!

    - Christina
    Reply
    Stanleycmng Premium
    Thank you, Christina. We learn from both what is right and wrong too, especially online when right in the past can become wrong today whenever platform owners like Google changes the algorithm.

    You mentioned relevance, this may mean making the article more focused and narrow. How does total number of words factor? So relevance mean 4,000 words and more or 1,500 is good enough?
    Reply
    jlclayton1 Premium
    Remember that you're writing for your readers and not for the search engines. If you can thoroughly explore your topic in 1500 words, then that is what you need to write. If it takes 4000 words, then that is what you should write.

    If your readers find a well-written, thorough article that gives them the information they're looking for, they'll stay on the page and on your site longer. So don't sweat about the word count--relevance and quality are key, regardless of the length of article.

    Hope that helps!

    Janelle
    Reply
    Stanleycmng Premium
    Makes sense. Thanks.
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    I think Janelle nailed that one.

    - Christina
    Reply
    DBlanchard Premium
    One of the things you mentioned here is patience!

    "It takes about 35 weeks on average for a new article to rank at it's peak rank. That's almost 9 months. Patience is definitely key here."

    Well, you are very right about that one!

    Patience will be your best pal in the long run. 🙂 I know, I know, we all want to make money the very first day online, but unfortunately, it doesn't work that way! (I am the first to admit this one, I tried all kinds of cons and rip-offs before WA)

    And even if you do write very interesting and educational articles, it may not be what your audience is looking for exactly, hence a high bounce rate...But hey, you have most of it figured out by yourself already (with the help of WA of course), and best of all you are sharing your slip-ups so that others may benefit from them! That in itself is the best part of it all!

    Karma will reward you, it's the universal law!

    You are on the right path, just keep on pushing forward and you will continue to do great! It's just a matter of "patience" 🙂

    To our success!
    Denis
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    Thanks, Denis! I will continue trying and tweaking and figure out what works...

    - Christina
    Reply
    Belden22 Premium
    Thank you Christina. I think many of us don't want to reveal our failures and only want to talk about our successes but we all need to learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others.

    I'm sure I have much to add also.

    Thank you for being honest. It has helped me to think about several things and to re-consider others.

    Rick
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    I don't mind failures. They're a part of the learning process. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I appreciate it!

    - Christina
    Reply
    jetrbby80316 Premium
    Excellent post Christina:)!

    Great point about doing deeper research on a keyword to gauge the competition This is essential.

    I mentioned this and also hammered that "Relevancy" point home too as the #1 Mistake People make in my recent post. Relevancy, relevancy,, relevancy!

    I also invite anyone here to read my post, we are definitely in agreement on all counts:)

    Kaju
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    Yes, Kaju! I meant to mention your post because it's one I was thinking about when I was writing this.

    Thank you for posting!

    - Christina
    Reply
    SondraM Premium
    Christina, I've book marked this post. You have shared a LOT of wisdom here.

    I have a backlog of posts that I've been working on sitting in Site Content draft box. As I work through them, I need to consider each one from the perspective that you have provided in the relevancy section.

    Why is my reader here? Have I answered their question?

    Thanks!
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    Great, Sondra! I hope I don't stop anyone from taking action. It's best to keep writing and practicing instead of worrying about every little detail and then doing nothing.

    At the same time, it's good to try to keep improving as you go along...

    Thanks for reading!

    - Christina
    Reply
    SondraM Premium
    So true. There is a fine line between improving and paralysis by analysis.

    I hope that you have an awesome week.
    Reply
    Thomas2011 Premium
    I think and I believe that if we use the keyword phrase in the first paragraph of our articles explaining how we intend to answer the reader's questions or help them solve a problem they are having we will naturally have the keyword throughout our articles as we provide the results they are looking for.

    Kyle has mentioned numerous times to write our post and articles as if we were talking to a friend.

    Heck sometimes my keyword is in the H1 at the beginning of my post and I won't add it again until midway or towards the end of the post and I will still get ranked for the H1.

    I tend to forget about SERP's altogether and it has been working for me. I would rather be helpful to someone looking for a solution than give google my attention.

    When we write with Intent Google knows and we are rewarded for it.

    Fear Not my WA friends write and be happy, knowing we are helping the world one article/post at a time.
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    I like that you just write with the intent of helping to answer someone's question without even thinking of Google. That's probably the way that Google likes it.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

    - Christina
    Reply
    Thomas2011 Premium
    you're welcome, anytime
    Reply
    MazieD Premium
    Thank you for sharing. It is very important that we share our experiences as this will help someone else from making the same mistakes.

    It is very commendable that you were brave, willing and kind enough to share your experience.

    Wishing you all the best going forward and much added success in your business.

    MazieD
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    It's my pleasure! I enjoy looking at these things and I hope they are helping others.

    - Christina
    Reply
    RuthlynB Premium
    Thanks for the tips Christina, I am still trying to figure out SEO, but I saw a post the other day suggesting before we post even though Jaaxy may give us a low hanging fruit key word, to check Google and see who our competition are, if the competition is a well-established website chances are we will not be indexed very highly.
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    That's a great idea, for sure. Check in Google first and see what the competition is for the keyword. Even though Jaaxy might give a low number, what's on the first page might be too much.

    - Christina
    Reply
    APachowko1 Premium
    There are more questions than answers, the more I ask the less I know. They say things will be clearer if people knew what they were asking for. Oh to be a psychologist.
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    Well, for every question, there has to be an answer. For every problem, a solution. Psychology is fun. :)

    - Christina
    Reply
    jvranjes Premium
    I wonder if you misinterpret your statistics. Time on page 0 sec does not necessarily mean that visitors spend 0 seconds on the post. This is physically impossible.

    The reason is probably different: if visitors do not go to your another post, the time will be registered 0 even if they spend one hour reading this post. This is how Google Analytics is designed. There is no way to determine the time on the page unless the visitor goes to your another post.

    So my understanding is that visitors do not follow your internal links (do you have any there?). They leave the post after reading it and this is 100% bounce rate. So you do not have a correct info about the time on the page. Perhaps the time is not bad at all, but you cannot know it.
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    OK, yes, I think you're right about this. At the same time, I still think this is something they take into consideration. If someone is bouncing,

    Google thinks the information isn't good. (Even though you may have perfectly answered the person's question and now they don't need any more info.)

    I guess it's imperfect, but it's all we have to go on.

    - Christina
    Reply
    jvranjes Premium
    I wanted to tell you what behind the numbers is. Solve the bounce rate and the other issue will be solved automatically.
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    That makes sense. Thanks!

    - Christina
    Reply
    Joes946 Premium
    Christina, great information. Yeah, I blew it too. Not just once, but many times.
    Thanks for sharing
    Joe
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    It happens. It's a part of the learning process.

    - Christina
    Reply
    firstlearn Premium
    Thank you for pointing out these things Christina. it is something we should all look at as a matter of priority.

    Derek
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    Thanks, Derek!

    - Christina
    Reply
    FKelso Premium
    This was a great post with very relevant information. I am sure I make some other SEO mistakes, but not sure what, so won't add to the list. Looking up the keyword in Google is an excellent idea.

    Thanks.
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    I can't believe how many times I've missed going to Google and typing in my keyword. It's so easy to see if something is too competitive right away.

    - Christina
    Reply
    HowardJaros Premium
    Great reminders Christina! So, simple but we seem to forget the basics of what works and can't help but experiment.

    I have written posts with two good low hanging fruit keywords that were BOTH RELEVANT to the subject, and the post ranked for both. It does not happen often, but there are times if the content is relevant it can work.
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    That's great! You are doing it right!

    - Christina
    Reply
    Carson2 Premium
    This will be of big help for me when I progress further. Thanks so much Christina.
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    My pleasure. Thanks for reading!

    - Christina
    Reply
    BarbaraBC Premium
    Thanks! This is a great reminder and and encouragement as well. And I admire how well written it is.
    Barb
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    Thanks so much, Barb!

    - Christina
    Reply
    mmussehl Premium
    This is all wonderful and very useful information Christina. I do also get annoyed when a title drags me in and my questions do not get answers to them. We are all so busy that time is very precious and not to be wasted.
    Michelle
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    Exactly, Michelle! Thanks so much for commenting.

    - Christina
    Reply
    SmoothSolu Premium
    Thank you for sharing this post. I have recently joined WA and my site has only been up for 3 weeks. It is a definitely a learning curve.

    I can agree with you on your point that some of us may veer from focusing on a single keyword. This is something I am going to pay close attention to on my posts going forward.

    Thanks again for sharing!
    Reply
    cld111 Premium
    3 weeks is brand spanking new! Just make sure you stay patient through the time when Google is trying to figure out how / where to rank you. It takes time and lots of people give up before they've even given it a chance.

    Thanks so much for reading!

    - Christina
    Reply
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