Every website wants some love from Google. A high rank on Google's SERP can mean the difference between getting organic traffic every day or never seeing a single visitor on your site for which you didn't pay.

The catch?

Google's playing hard to get – or it might be if you are making common mistakes that signal that your website isn't the authoritative, worthwhile destination you want it to be.

The good news is that these mistakes are easy to correct. Here are seven things that Google dislikes and some quick ways to stop doing them and start getting the organic traffic you need.

#1: Poor User Experience 

When Google's algorithms return a list of search results, the company's goal is always to deliver an optimal experience for any user who clicks on your website. If your page is slow to load or difficult to navigate, Google doesn't like it and will likely relegate your site to oblivion on the second or third (or lower) page of search results.

Fortunately, there's an easy fix. Start by using Google's PageSpeed Insights to ensure your page has a speed of 80 or higher. Next, you should access the Core Web Vitals Report on your Google Search Console to identify additional problems. Finally, optimize your images using the smallest file size that delivers the desired results and minimizes redirects internally and in your outgoing links.

#2: Lack of Quality Backlinks

You already know that high-quality backlinks are an essential element of SEO. If authority domains do not link to your site, it can negatively impact your rank on Google.

The solution here is not to focus on volume. A few good links will be more effective than spam links. The best way to proceed is to identify high-authority sites where your content might be relevant to visitors. Then, you can find contacts for those websites and email them to see if they would be willing to link to your content. If they agree, make sure to have a conversation about the anchor text. Anchor text that uses your company name or one of your priority keywords is preferable to anchor text that says, "click here."

#3: Shallow or Irrelevant Content 

Your content needs to be valuable and in-depth on your chosen subjects if you want Google to reward you with a place on the first page of search results. It's not enough to use keywords. You must include related terms and subtopics to build semantic relationships and rank for keyword clusters.

There are lots of tools you can use to find related subtopics to use in your content. For example, Surfer SEO and Market Muse provide lists of keywords, associated terms, subtopics, and more. They also score content, which means you can determine how your content will perform against your competitors' content.

As a final note, Google Passage Ranking is now live and allows Google to highlight passages relevant to a searcher's query. Having a highlighted selection can do a lot to get a searcher to click on your site. You're more likely to benefit if you focus on creating semantically rich and relevant content.

#4: Lack of Interactive Content

Words can do a lot in SEO, but they're not the only thing that matters. Google likes to deliver a good user experience, so the algorithm prefers sites that offer more than words.

Interactive content can include a lot of different things. Videos, audio clips, expandable content, clickable infographics, and Java Script can all go a long way toward creating an engaging and captivating experience for the people who visit your site.

The trick is to create interactive content that doesn't slow your site down. Fortunately, plenty of website templates and plugins can help you give visitors opportunities to interact with your content without compromising the user experience in terms of speed and navigability.

#5: Lack of Advanced HTML Tags 

You're probably already using basic HTML tags, but if you're not also taking advantage of some advanced HTML to help Google index your content, you might be ranked lower than you should be.

Let's start with the meta tag, which should engage readers while incorporating your most important keyword and topic. It would be best if you also were using heading tags strategically. They're an ideal place to include questions and other long-tail keywords.

There are a few other advanced tags that you might be missing.

  • Noindex and Nofollow tags are suitable for letting Google know that you don't consider a page important. They let the crawlers know that they can skip these pages.
  • The "Rel canonical" tag tells Google to skip redundant content.
  • Org markup provides structural guidance and helps Google identify your most important content to display on the SERP.

None of these additions take long, and they can significantly impact your page rank.

#6: Competing with Yourself

One of the most common mistakes I see is when companies compete with their pages by including repetitive or redundant content. For example, if you have two blog posts with similar content and target the exact keywords, they may cancel one another out.

The easiest way to fix this mistake is to optimize similar pages for different, long-tail keywords. You may also be able to differentiate similar content by updating something older to make it more relevant.

#7: You're Getting Low-Quality Traffic 

You might think that getting lots of traffic is good, but that only applies when it's high-quality traffic. If you have incoming spam links, they can hurt you instead of helping you.

To get rid of low-quality traffic, use a tool like Finteza. It will analyze your traffic and help you identify sources that might hurt you with Google, including bots. Once you know what those sources are, you can work to eliminate them.

Improving your Google rank is a priority for most companies. Using the information we've provided, you can move up on Google's SERP and get the organic traffic you deserve.