SEO tactics must keep pace with evolving search engines and user behavior. Knowing this, however, does little to simplify the task of staying updated with the latest trends. To help you optimize your strategy, learn from the following eight common SEO mistakes that online marketers make.
Choosing the Wrong Keywords
For a long time and for good reason, keywords have formed the framework for the entire SEO industry. Choosing the wrong keywords can still relegate an otherwise outstanding website to the outskirts of the Internet.
Spend the necessary time and effort to research your customers and competitors to select keywords that will get your website noticed in the search engines. Of course, selecting the best keywords also involves choosing the best type of keywords.
For example, search engines prefer so-called long tail keywords that can provide precise matches to user queries. Additionally, long tail keywords tend to increase website conversion rates by bringing people to your website who are ready to buy.
Neglecting Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
In the rush to publish new content, online marketers often forget some important details that affect their SEO performance. Nevertheless, search engines always remember to look for factors such as title tags and meta-descriptions as they decide how to rank your pages. By simply spending a little extra time on your content, you can improve your results.
With this in mind, view your 160 character meta-descriptions as a unique sales pitch. Similarly, image “alt” tags can help you influence the mind of every visitor. Even if you have heard rumors that some meta information doesn’t matter anymore, making sure that you have optimized content in those fields will hedge you against future changes.
Not Using Analytics to See What Converts
Online marketers make a mistake when they engage in SEO practices without monitoring their results. Such neglect can waste hours of hard work and leave a company unable to respond to changes in search engine algorithms and consumer behavior. For the purpose of SEO, the use of analytics is necessary.
Free tools such as Google Console and Google Analytics can go a long way to keeping marketers aware of website performance. Presently, conversion rate measurement tools can also facilitate the analysis of SEO results. After all, a steady stream of website traffic might not accomplish much if none of the visitors become leads, prospects or customers.
Focusing on Link Quantity Over Link Quality
Links play a major role in SEO, but some online marketers take a simplistic view, leading to search engine penalties. Without paying careful attention to the links leading to a website, marketers risk causing their sites to become labeled as spam by automated search engine bots.
When you pay attention to the quality of links leading to and from your website, you get to increase the value of your site to a greater extent than if you won a large number of links from low-quality sites. High-quality inbound links from reputable websites can add to the value of your site, especially if you also carefully choose which sites to link to from your content.
Unnatural Internal Links
Internal links play a major role in SEO. At the least, internal links help search engine spiders discover all your valuable content. At the worst, however, your internal links may appear spammy and become a detriment to all your hard work. Other marketers have made this mistake and thereby wasted much time and opportunity.
Use natural internal links as well as keyword variations so that your anchor text appropriately matches the pages to which they lead. Of course, internal links also become more valuable when they lead to content that directly relates to their host pages. Moreover, ensure that you voice generic anchor text such as “click here” to make your internal links work for you rather than against you.
Not Optimizing for Mobile
How many times have online marketers created fantastic websites only to spectacularly fail? Failure to design for mobile represents one of the most common causes for SEO failure. The majority of online internet users and online shoppers use smartphones and tablets, so why not ensure that they can find your content? A mobile-first design philosophy ensures that every website element properly displays on small mobile screens.
Similarly, buttons and navigation elements must have sufficient isolation to make sure the fingers via touch screens can accomplish their intended actions. Other factors such as page loading speed also affect mobile SEO.
Neglecting Social Media
Despite the maturity of the social media industry, social networks still dominate online traffic. Online marketers that decide against spending time and money optimizing their brand for social media users make a mistake that can threaten their employer. Improve your results by including social media into your SEO strategy.
Search engines specifically consider “social signals” as they determine page rank. For this reason, you should do everything possible to encourage social media users to share and comment on your content. In addition to the SEO benefits of social tactics, you can expect to receive steady traffic from social media sites to your website and blog.
Publishing Low-Quality Content
Everyone knows that having fresh content on your website improves SEO, right? In pursuit of content, however, many online marketers before you have made the mistake of republishing content found elsewhere online. Also, for the purpose of expedience, some website owners have rushed to publish content without regard for quality.
You can set your website apart from those of your competitors by taking the time to create high-quality content that contributes value to readers and the online community. In fact, when search engines recognize that your site contains expert content that no other website offers, they will automatically rank your pages higher in response to relevant searches.
SEO gives online marketers like you a chance to build organic traffic streams that can produce long-term growth for your brand. In contrast with the myriad failures, make up your mind to create high-quality content, integrate social media and monitor your results. The extra time and effort will, in the long run, compensate you in the form of a popular, search-engine-friendly site that mobile users can use for shopping, research, and fun.
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