SEO is not dead in 2017. In fact, it is still one of the most cost effective inbound marketing methods to employ for online businesses. If you are not already seen on search engines, this is the time to develop your search engine optimization strategy for your brand. For local businesses, SEO is important too because many local customers search for businesses on their desktop and mobile-with 30% making a store visit on the very same day.
Avoid These SEO Mistakes For Your Website
Whether you are using an inhouse SEO team for your website or outsourcing SEO services to digital agencies, here are the SEO mistakes to avoid. By doing regular SEO audits, you can evaluate the effectiveness of your strategy.
1.No KPI for your SEO
It is connect SEO outcomes to your business objectives. That is the entire point of formulating a SEO strategy! With so many variables in SEO, it is vital to identify what is effective and define your SEO Key Performance Indicators. Do you want to measure organic keyword rankings, increase in traffic, leads, conversions or links? To answer that, you need to know what are your website objectives and what metrics will demonstrate that you have reached them.
Developing a strategic understanding of the things you need to do for SEO will help; are you targeting more leads to increase conversions? If leads and conversions are not increasing as a result of your SEO, then this means the SEO is not helping you to reach your business objectives. If you are looking at a different SEO KPI, such as increasing the reputation and awareness of your brand, then you need to measure the metrics accordingly. Knowing your SEO KPIs will make your strategy more focused.
Here are just some of the most used SEO KPIs-of course, they can vary depending on your business objectives:
- Increase in volume of organic trafic
- Increase in organic conversions
- Increase in geographically specific traffic
- Increase in organic click through rate
- Increase in brand mentions
- Increase in branded search
- Increase in conversion goals such as downloads and signups/subscriptions
- Increase in links from authoritative websites
Duplicate content is really bad news for SEO; search spiders expect unique content for unique URLs. When different URLs lead to the same content-this is duplicate content or content theft. It is impossible to avoid content being plagiarized-imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. However, it can downgrade your SEO (you will miss out on link equity and authority) and search engines will not know what content to include in their indices. It makes sense to identify duplicate content quickly.
To deal with duplicate content, you can do a 301 redirect to the original content page. This makes sure that your link equity is not diluted from several duplicates of your content. Another common way to deal with duplicate content is rel=canonical attribute which tells search engines to credit a specific URL as opposed to several. Lastly, you can exclude pages from being indexed by the Meta Noindex. Just by adding the values “noindex, follow” this meta tag can be added in the page HTML head section.
3.Low quality content
It is essential to write for a human audience and optimize your content for search engines. To satisfy the criteria for high quality content-your content needs to be relevant, grammatically correct, visually engaging, optimized for keyword phrases, long form, linked to relevant websites and original (non-plagiarized). Putting content into a spin writing tool and expecting your human audience to be amazed is too hopeful. Search engines are becoming more sophisticated about the readability of a piece of content; it must be engaging for human readers. You cannot impress the search engines with volumes of incoherent content any more.
4.Too much keyword optimization
Optimized content means evenly distributed keywords, a natural flow in the writing style and discernment in using anchor texts. In addition to the seemingly natural integration of keywords, the content must be relevant, engaging and created for human audiences. It is easy for search engines such as Google to spot low quality content with too many keywords. Over optimization of keywords disrupts the flow and readability of content. It may have worked a decade ago but it is no longer good practice in 2017.
5.Optimizing the wrong keywords
An entire SEO strategy can fail if the wrong keywords are selected. Depending on your SEO KPIs-it is strategic to develop content around the right keywords. The right keywords are simply the ones that will help you reach your business objectives: more organic traffic, targeted leads, conversions, engagement, sales, profit maximization. This is why keyword planning is so important. By using tools such as Adwords Keyword Planner and SEMRush, you can identify low hanging fruit keywords (keywords and phrases that will require minimum effort to climb the SERPs) and untapped opportunities as well as organic keyword analysis for competitors. In particular, study competitor’s organic keywords, keyword phrases, keyword volumes and search queries related to your relevant keywords.
6.Bad link building practices
Deliberately building your link profile through link baits, buying links and exchanging links are considered ‘black hat SEO,’ but we will go a step further in discussing link practices that will get you a Google penalty faster. These are low quality spam links (usually bought in bulk), PBNs (Private Blog Networks) and abusing anchor text ratios. Quality over quantity is the key in link building. Note that all of the bad link building practices use low quality websites with low trust flow, flagged for spam and questionable ‘private’ blog networks. Usually, the price of these link building services reflect the quality of the links you will get.
High quality link building should look like you earned the link through high value content. This includes high quality guest blogs, article submissions to authoritative websites, and high quality PBNs. Use a tool such as Free Link Checker to make sure that your links are not broken.
7.Not optimized for mobile search
Mobile search is surpassing desktop search by the day as Internet users look for content on the move. Mobile SEO means optimizing for mobile search; Google’s mobile first index will rank search listings based on the mobile version of websites. Make sure that you have adapted pages for Google AMP and the loading speed of your website is up to par. For mobile friendly websites, image loading speeds, caching, compression and UX are all important in a mobile first age.
8.Not correcting technical SEO errors
Technical SEO errors such as “robots.txt” when you do want pages to be indexed, incorrect use of “noindex” tag, redirects and too may H1 title tags will sabotage your SEO efforts. Technical SEO is important for your longer term strategy; run audits regularly to ensure that technicalities are not preventing your site from being indexed, crawled and loaded proper.
9.Not updating your website frequently
Fresh content is one of the biggest ranking factors for SEO; creating high quality content regularly should be a priority for every website owner. Visitors want up to date information and this will keep your content relevant for digital consumption. Search engines like to crawl sites with fresh content-you can ping new content and use social media integration to draw attention to any updates.
10.Not keeping up to date with Search Engine updates
SEO is dynamic and changing all the time; it is best to keep yourself informed about SEO ranking factors. In SEO, it pays to be diligent about your competitors and the search engines because you do not want to slip up over something you can rectify quickly. It is easier to change your strategy than to recover from a search engine penalty! Although it makes life simpler to hire SEO consultants, you should question their methodology and review your progress against benchmarks. High quality resources such as Search Engine Journal and Moz should help you along the way.