In today’s digital world, search engine optimization is regarded as an essential component of any business’ content marketing strategy. Why? It is the most powerful way to gain traffic to your website, your blog, your social media pages, and your sales funnel through the organic search results of search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. By understanding search engine optimization techniques, you can increase sales, target your intended audience better, and establish authority in the web space. The problem with search engine optimization is that it is constantly evolving, leaving even the most successful companies using faulty SEO techniques. In this article, we will explore some of the most common SEO mistakes that you should be avoiding, regardless of whether you are a content marketing strategist, a small business, or a large company.
SEO Mistake #1: Not Paying Attention to What Impacts Conversion Rates
When it comes to getting your customers to go from prospective buyers to actual paying customers, there are a lot of elements that can impact their journey from one to the other. In this section, we will take a look at a few areas that are wreaking havoc on your conversion rates.
- Your Website Site Speed is Slow. If your website doesn’t load within a few seconds, regardless of what your offer is, 40% of potential customers will actually abandon the attempt. This means that you will lose out on potential conversions because the traffic will head elsewhere. If you are looking at metrics or statistics, this is known as having a high bounce rate/exit rate. In order to speed your website up, you need to compress images into smaller files, enable browser caching so that the page loads faster for repeat visitors, and reduce server response times by using a reputable server host.
- You Are Not Linking Internally. Both search engines and website visitors rely on internal linking to get around your website and find the relevant content that they want. If you do not have internal links with proper anchor text, the search engine crawlers are not going to know what your page/content is about and as such, you lose out on a high volume of traffic because your links do not get seen.
- You Are Not Optimized for Mobile. More than half of the internet traffic these days comes from mobile devices, whether it be a smartphone or tablet. If you haven’t made your website mobile-friendly and responsive, chances are visitors are finding your website difficult to use. Use a readable typography, make CTA buttons clear and easy to use, minimize the need for scrolling and pinching, and always test the functionality if your website on mobile devices.
Other issues that impact conversion rates are having duplicate content, having a poor social media presence, failing to update SEO techniques, failing to provide high-quality content, and not utilizing interactive touch elements like surveys, buttons, and checkboxes.
SEO Mistake #2: Not Understanding Keywords and Their Descriptions
When you don’t understand how keywords work, it can be very easy to choose the wrong ones, which draw in the wrong crowd. The right keywords will be based on your target audience and should include long-phrase keywords as these convert better as they are specific to your business. Beyond this, make sure you are using titles, heading tags, and keyword descriptions properly as these will have a massive impact on your SEO results as search engines place more importance on these keywords than on those within your product descriptions or text content. Make sure to make your headings unique, short, and not overstuffed with keywords and include your brand name in your tags.
SEO Mistake #3: Not Knowing What Hurts Your Traffic.
- Not Prioritizing Link Building. Although social media offers brands and businesses an amazing network to get their products and services exposed to the mass public, it does nothing to help build links that continuously convert. Make sure that you are also focusing on link building and gaining backlinks from authoritative sources. In doing this, you will create the opportunity to have a steady feed of long-term traffic.
- Not Optimizing Link Structure. Having internal links is not enough, you have to use an internal linking strategy to ensure that your links are pointing to cornerstone content. This type of content is what you value to be the most important, educational, knowledgeable, or valuable content that you offer.
- Not Publishing Long-Form Content. To put it simply, not publishing enough long-form content that is over 2,000 words means you are probably having less of an impact on your readers. Long-form content takes a lot of time and effort to create and in turn, offers considerable value to your readers. This also means that it tends to rank higher in search engines because long-form content showcases proof that you are an authority on a particular subject.
SEO Mistake #4: Not Engaging in Value-Added Content/Products/Services
The term value-added essentially means an extra feature that goes above and beyond standard expectations and provides more to the customer. You want to stick to value-added issues only, that provide the customer with a solution that goes above and beyond their initial problem. This will make them feel good about your brand/business, it will make them feel like they are getting more out of their money, and it can provide a positive customer experience.
SEO Mistake #5: Lack of Time Management.
If you do not engage in smart time management, you will have less time for working on projects, getting more clients, and building on top of your current SEO strategies. What you want to do is track how much time is being spent where and how much of that time is actually being spent working. Then record what your biggest time sinks are and give them a profit/hour ratio. Finally, find out what your most efficient profit makers are and do more of these. This way, you can optimize your time doing what is working and outsource the tasks that are necessary for your business but bog down your own personal volume of work. How does this help with SEO? It causes you to focus more on tasks that help you convert, whether it is creating affiliate pages, writing out blog posts, or capturing backlinks.