Everyone wants to rank on the first page of Google and be that very first link that everyone clicks on but not many know that there certain sneaky things holding them back from doing just that. Here are 7 of the sneaky and very subtle things bringing down your SEO rankings.

1. Lack of relevant keywords
If you have a website on “dogs” then don’t take your visitors to a page about cats. This is an overly simplistic example but it’s the foundational things that are repeated that makes for good SEO practice. Give your visitors exactly what they expect to see when they click on your site, nothing more and nothing less.

2. Too many keywords
This one is perhaps the sneakiest of the 7 simply because you might think you’re practicing good SEO practices when in fact you’re lowering your ranking. A good rule of thumb is not to exceed 1% of the content for the keyword you want to rank for.

3. Duplicate content
One of the biggest mistakes is using content that already exists on other sites. Google loves original content and hates duplicate content. You can use the same topic but put your own unique spin on it. The idiom there are more than one to skin a cat holds very true in this case.

4. Slow pages
Page speed is a very important factor for SEO ranking and the Googlebot will definitely penalize you if it takes 15 seconds to load a page in your site! You can check your page speed here using Google’s free tool.

5. Comment spam
Comments are excellent ways to increase engagement and build a strong audience. It’s great to have an abundance of comments but if you have spammy contents that have bad links, then it would be in your best interest to have a comment moderator to take charge of eliminating any spammy comments.

6. Too many plugins
Plugins are great! They improve functionality of a site and provide your visitor with a greater user experience. The only problem is when you have too many that is slows down page speed so bring them down to a minimum. Though we do recommend keeping the YoastSEO plugin!

7. Page cannot be found
Everyone hates clicking on a link only to be led to a “404 error.” Not only will you be irritating visitors on your site but also the Googlebot that will drop your SEO ranking.