No matter how powerful social media is today, a website is still one of the most important tools that an artist can have. The reason is that you control everything about it, while a social site can (and does) change look and design at will without you having a say in the matter. Of course, if you have a website, you want it to rank high when fans and potential fans are looking for you. That’s were SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes in. Yet there are things that we might do that could hurt your website’s search ranking without you being aware of it happening. Let’s look at some.
1. Duplicate Content
Google says “Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely matches other content or are appreciably similar.”
What that means is that you’ve copied a block or blocks of content to multiple places on your site. Sometimes it can be as simple as building a new page and forgetting to put the old one in draft mode. Or it could be you have a page that looks a little light in content and you want to beef it up with something from another page.
On the surface this doesn’t seem too serious, but Google will ding you for it with a lower search ranking as a result.
2. Violating Copyright
Google takes a dim view on copyright violations, even if you do so unknowingly. For example, you’re lucky enough to have a song placed in a TV show and you’ve embedded a clip of the show on your website. Chances are you don’t have permission to do so, and even if you do, Google will see it as a violation of copyright. The best thing is to create a link to where the clip lives (probably YouTube) and save yourself from Google’s wrath.
Remember that copyright violations can happen in the form of text, image, audio, or video, so randomly placing content that you’ve downloaded from the web is inviting trouble.
3. Your Site Is Not Mobile Friendly
Building a website can be a long and tiring experience, even if someone is doing it for you. Oftentimes you’re just happy when it’s over and finally looks good on your computer monitor. That’s not the end of it though. Google now ranks websites on how they look on a mobile device first and foremost, since the majority of people are accessing it there. Not paying attention to the user experience on mobile is a big mistake.
Most up-to-date website builders will allow you to check for that pretty easily, but the problem comes if you have an older website that’s been completely adequate for a long time so it’s not up to date and mobile-ready. It’s probably time for a refresh anyway, but you’ll also help your website’s search ranking when you finally do it.
4. Spammy Site Links
It’s great to have links to other sites and Google will reward you for it, but they must be of a certain quality. If you have a lot of what Google considers low-quality links you’ll get dinged.
What’s considered low quality? Links to sites that are irrelevant to your content and lack authority. Paid links are a good example, or some affiliate links. Just remember, all links are not good links.
5. Low Quality Content
Speaking of low quality, pages on your site with anything that Google considers low quality will cause your ranking to drop.
According to the Semrush blog, a page is of low quality if:
- Content is not original or unique.
- The page does not satisfactorily answer the user’s query.
- Information is not backed up by relevant and authoritative sources.
- Word count is too low with lots of boilerplate content.
- There are numerous grammatical errors.
- The language used is tough to understand.
- The page is just a copy of an idea already present on the internet.
Best to remove this from your site and concentrate on quality content about you.
You can read this post if you really want to go down the rabbit hole regarding your website’s search ranking, but be aware that it’s pretty in the weeds if your not an SEO pro. Just following the 5 above tips will go a long way in keeping your search ranking where it needs to be.