Search engine optimization may be a well-known strategy, but many businesses still make mistakes that hamper their efforts to create a strong online presence. The good news for you is those mistakes can be avoided with a little knowledge and effort.
Here are 9 of the mistakes most businesses are likely to make when enacting SEO:
1. Not Developing Content
Content remains an integral part of any search engine optimization strategy. Most businesses understand that but settle for low-quality content. Poorly written content will rarely rank well and may even get search engines to mark your site as untrustworthy. Your business needs to find quality writers and give them great topics to work with. Evergreen content or content that will always be relevant is a good start. Timely content can give you a burst of relevance but will degrade in value over time. A mix of the two is best.
2. Not Focusing Your Defined Audience
Even in search engine optimization, you need to define your audience. That is because your keyword research will be based on that audience. Cast too large a net, and you will end up not only with a list of keywords that is likely too large, but you will also probably attract the wrong people. You are not interested in getting every potential customer – you want the right customers, the ones who are genuinely motivated to purchase your product, to see your website. Keep the net focused, and you will get them.
3. Ignoring Social Media
Many parts of marketing are intertwined. For example, your social media presence can directly impact your SEO performance. That is because websites are no longer viewed in a vacuum. Search engines such as Bing or Google now also take a look at how your brand presents itself in social media. If you get a lot of interactions, they will take that as a form of social proof showing that your brand and its content are trustworthy. That will result in higher rankings and a more effective campaign.
4. Poor Keyword Research
The key to any effective search engine optimization effort is the use of the right keywords. Use the wrong keywords, and your campaign will fall apart. Your content may rank well, but you will not get the users you want. They will come there looking for one thing, see another, and likely immediately leave. Do your keyword research. Narrow down your target audience, and find out what search strings they use. Get the right keywords, and you will generate solid leads for your sales team.
5. Failing to Optimize for Mobile
Your content is far from the only thing search engines examine. They will also look at how the user experience works. After all, to the average user, it will not matter how informative the content is if the content is not presented in an accessible manner. For your company, that means developing your website with mobile devices in mind. That is because many people use their phones or tablets to look at sites or to do quick searches. If your site does not work well on those devices, your site will rank poorly.
6. Having a Broken Site
One of the worst mistakes your business can make is to simply have a site riddled with errors. Search engines are quick to punish any sites that present issues to the user, as every poor website given to a user reflects poorly on the engine. You need to get your team to regularly review your site. Every time you update something, run the site through its paces. Make sure everything is in order, and your SEO will work better.
7. Having a Site That Loads Slowly
There is nothing that ruins the user experience quite like a site that is slow to load. Every second it takes for images to pop in is a second a user can decide to leave without giving your company a second thought. Additionally, faster websites tend to rank better on Google’s rankings. Test your site not just at the office but out of it as well. Ask your employees to visit your site and to tell you whether or not it works well. Use the feedback to improve the site and keep it running smoothly.
Those are far from the only mistakes you need to avoid, but they are the most common ones businesses commit. Avoid them, and your company will already be a step ahead – and that advantage may be all you need to secure a place on the first page of a search engine results page.
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