Digital marketing is a lot like playing poker. The first-timers always find some luck, the beginners keep struggling and only those who know the game win by the end. Just like in a game of cards, everyone, even the experts, make mistakes in SEO. Search engine optimization is not as complicated as most people deem it to be. It is the art of achieving the perfect balance of usability, information, and visibility. Well, there are over 200 ranking signals, and that is what leaves room for errors.
So, if you have a sub-par SEO strategy that is not performing as well as it should, then you need to think about the probable mistakes you have made. Here are the five search engine optimization mistakes that almost everyone has made at least once –
1. Underdeveloped link structure
As a website grows, the volume of content also increases in size. Producing duplicate content, incurring redirects and developing 404 errors are common for a ballooning site. External links and internal links keep a website on Google’s radar. While external links carry more weight than other links, you cannot ignore your internal links altogether.
Here’s why you should pay attention to internal linking –
- They are the flyovers to conversion pages
- They can direct the bots to pages deep inside the domain
- They keep the users on your site for extended periods
- Internal links help in the organization of the keyword optimized pages according to categories.
Apart from updating your link structure, you need to submit the XML sitemaps to Google. It is a lot like a physical map that gives the search engine directions to your website.
2. Creating meaningless and valueless content
The content of a website has infinite purposes. Two of which is to inform the users and attract the search engine crawlers. The development of website content should take the purpose of your site into consideration. Sometimes, webmasters believe that they need to produce content mechanically to contribute to the bulk. The more volume they add, the more visible their site will become. However, that is a dangerous fallacy.
Producing worthless content, re-spinning words from old articles, stuffing keywords into whatever is already there and wasting resources to develop meaningless content is not the way you get into the good books of the search engine king. All forms of website content have specific nuances, technicalities, and quality requirements.
Here's what good content looks like –
- It is lucid. The descriptions are accurate and informative.
- It is an interesting read with generous distribution (but not overstuffing) of keywords.
- Blogs should have header tags, title tags, SEO titles, meta descriptions, and slugs.
- The header tag, SEO title, Title tag, URL and meta description should have the primary keyword or its variants.
- The content should have different forms of the keyword including the various verb forms and synonyms.
- It should attract high authority external links.
Optimization of content can take days, if not weeks since Google keeps updating its search algorithm. You must have the talent and resources to keep at it until the optimization starts showing results.
3. Not paying enough attention to paid campaigns
We know some of the best digital marketing companies that are guilty of this crime. Organic traffic may be the most relevant and rewarding, but that does not give you the reason to ignore paid promotions altogether. In the world of search engine marketing and social media marketing, you need your stakes in the paid campaigns.
2018 is the time to break the silos in which paid marketing, and organic reach work. There is no longer a way to tell the difference between the quality of the crowd's search engines to send, and those paid campaigns send. It is undoubtedly due to the presence of targeted advertising that allows the web users to find links to products or services they have been searching in the recent times. The latest update of algorithms allows the brands to find potential buyers efficiently.
4. Ignoring the importance of local SEO
Local SEO is pertinent when you are catering to a crowd that is buying directly from your site, or you are delivering within a finite radius. Local SEO is imperative for those with a brick-and-mortar store. While a lot of people believe it is complicated like rocket science and just as costly, it is possible for you to ace local strategies by leveraging the right set of keywords.
What are the shoppers in your locality searching right now? If you are a salon, you might want to check out the latest salon related searches in your area. You can also take help from Google Autocomplete for this step. Use the keyword tools to find actionable keywords. Again, content is an important key that can open the doors of the local market. It helps most when you take help from an experienced SEO provider to optimize your regional SEO game.
5. Not auditing your website regularly
Google updates their algorithms multiple times per week. Search trends change depending on the season, brand launches and fashion. Several new sites come into existence each hour, and several more go down. It would be foolish to expect a complete stasis of visibility and traffic for months, with such upheavals in the vicinity.
What your website needs right away is a complete audit. Any website audit checks the present outbound and inbound links, checks for 301 and 302 redirects, broken links, missing links, 404 errors and other faults that can lead to either penalties or a loss of ranking signals. Doing a complete audit takes time and effort. However, running a partial audit of the most important ranking factors can take only a couple of minutes. Several tools like those from Ahrefs, Moz and SEMRush, can help you run an exhaustive auditing session of your site.
SEO is not complex. It is just a number of coordinated tasks that increase the usability of your site for the humans, and accessibility of the content for the bots. A strong SEO strategy helps you find the perfect balance between the UX and the search engine friendliness based on the latest search engine algorithm updates.
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