Optimization of our website and blog is an essential component of our content marketing strategy. SEO or Search Engine Optimization has definitely seen quite a few changes over the years, it still remains on top of most companies marketing agendas as it is an extremely useful tool to drive customers to our websites and provide a substantial boost to the sales.
SEO methods are constantly changing due to rapid development of the Search Engine and also a shift in the user perspective. It is not easy to constantly improve our SEO techniques and stay on the top of the results page. While optimization is constant and ever evolving, there are certain practices that remain effective for a longer period of time while compared to other tactics. Let us go through certain mistakes that businesses tend to make while indulging SEO so that we can avoid them and ensure that we obtain favorable results.
Picking The Wrong Keywords
SEO is all about choosing the target keywords that will determine the rank of our website. One of the most documented mistake is neglecting the preference of the popular search engines. It is easy to define our services in a certain way, but it is important to realize what keywords will our users use to refer to our products. What we might consider correct might have a completely opposite meaning for our potential customers. So we need to ensure that we have properly researched and assessed the data for the right keywords to use. Tools like Google AdWords, Google Trends, SEMrush help in finding out popular and adequate keywords.
Trying To Game The System
There always have been plenty of methods that help to “cheat” and get ahead on the search engine index by utilizing spam tactics in order to generate a larger magnitude of views. While this is helpful to short, temporary gains, in the long run, this might prove to be detrimental as search engines have started handing out penalties to the websites indulging in such shady practices. Yes, it is definitely tempting to use these tactics for a short period of time, but when we’ll realize the risk that it brings with its usage, we’re better of resorting to normal SEO methods. This will ensure that our website’s index rank does not degrade.
Publishing Plagiarized Content
Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V seems a good way to fill up that empty blog post, doesn’t it? Well, don’t even think about indulging in it, if we don’t wish to get a plagiarism strike against our website AND fall in the search engine index ranks simultaneously. Not only is the quality of our content compromised but the modern search engines severely penalize this approach. Instead of blatantly copying content or “modifying” the pre-existing content, it’s worthwhile to invest in generating fresh and engaging content and ensure that our website doesn’t fall behind in the search results.
An Overloaded Website Is A Slow Website
Ask any modern-day web developer, Images, videos, gifs, beautiful font increase the overall appeal of a website to its prospective customers. While this statement is partially true, it is extremely important to create a balance between the visual features and the functional features in order to create a website that loads fast. A slow website doesn’t have too many visitors. Why is it important to optimize our website’s loading time? Well, website loading time is a metric that Search Engines use to rank websites, so ignoring it might prove to be disastrous in the long run.
Skipping Title Tags, Forgetting About Meta Description, Forgetting the Image Tags
SEO is not about including particular keywords and deploying fresh content. Equally important are including essential tags and writing proper meta descriptions. Why so? These optimizing factors are sought out by search engines, and if done properly will help in improving the rank of our page by a pretty big magnitude.
Image tags are something that content marketers end up skipping while creating the content. This should not happen, because image tags are a sign of how we are targeting articles. The Search Engine bots cannot see the images visually, BUT they do read the alt tags, which can be a pretty big factor while determining our website’s rank.
But Where Is The Content?
Navigation is a very important feature for a website. It is an important metric for both visitors and search engines alike. Ideally, a customer on our website should find the required content/information within a span of 2-3 clicks. Labeling the important menus, creating an FAQ section that is easily available, listing the important hotlinks in a clean, formatted manner is essential to ensure that the customer doesn’t find it too hard to navigate through our website. From the standpoint of a search engine, good navigation ensures that search bots can easily scrape through the site, ensuring good readability and a better rank in the Search Engine Index.
Poor Interlinking Inside The Website
It’s common knowledge to implement keywords as anchor tags for links within the website itself. However, if we go through the metrics released by Search Engines, very few Companies actually implement this tactic. It ends up being a confusion for the Search Engine Bots which results in lowering of ranks. Using placeholder texts like “Learn More” and “Contact Us” are less preferred than using anchor text like “Click to speak with a professional”.
Is it optimized for the Local Search?
While investing in SEO, most of the companies tend to prefer doing it for better ranks in the Globally popular search engines totally forgetting about the local search engines. If our business focuses on customers form a particular region or city, say New Delhi, we should first focus on SEO for the local websites of New Delhi. This can be done by using region-specific keywords in our articles and descriptions. We might also want to include local phone numbers and a local address so that we’ll show up in the local search results.
Not Investing In A Fast And Mobile-Friendly Experience
Technology has been evolving and changing at an incredibly fast pace. The result is evident in the form that PCs and Laptops are no longer the standard devices common masses utilize to access the content on the web. The world today relies more on Smartphones and Tablets to access the content available on the internet. SEO realizes this and therefore judges our website performance particularly on mobile devices. Google, Bing, and other popular search engines can recognize if our mobile is mobile-friendly or not. If we didn’t consider a mobile-friendly experience for our target audience, our rating will be compromised. So be sure to invest some time to ensure that our content is mobile friendly.
Forgetting About Analytics
This is perhaps the step most of the content marketers overlook while working on SEO. The only way to know if our SEO optimization tactics are working or not, is by tracking their progress. Most of the marketers end up not paying attention to the data, but analysis of this data is very necessary.
Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools are well-developed tools developed by Google that we can use in order to measure and analyze our website’s overall performance. Using the data generated we can tell how well our SEO tactics are working and the ways we can improve on them.
Search Engine Optimization is an important component of any content marketing strategy in today’s world. It’s easy to type in “SEO tips and Tricks” on Google and get a bunch of advice on how to implement various SEO tactics, it’s easy to make typical SEO mistakes. The ideal approach should be to learn from others mistakes and ensure that we don’t end up repeating it in our endeavors. This list of 5 most common SEO mistakes is not exhaustive by any means, but they should be easier for us to recognize them now and rectifying should not prove difficult.