If you really want to be visible online and generate serious traffic to your website, SEO is the only way. A good SEO strategy can help you rank higher in searches and improve the user experience which should always be your priority. You will be seen as an authority in your field and it’s good for your business (or whatever you’re trying to promote with your content). However, simply deciding that you’re going to optimize your website is not enough – you have to do it right because poor SEO can only do you more harm. So what are some of the SEO mistakes that you should avoid this year?
#1 Not tracking your performance
If your organism is not doing well and you start feeling bad, you go to the doctor to know what’s wrong so that you can be treated properly. Optimizing your website should be a similar process – you need to know the cause, the gist, the root of the problem in order to find the right solutions. Then, you need to remember, that it never really ends. Even when you start ranking higher, you have to monitor your performance to be able to tell when something goes wrong, and react accordingly. Luckily, the right tools are an easy way to track your rankings.
#2 Not targeting the right keywords
If you’re not able to perform the right keyword research, none SEO techniques will work for your website. There’s no point in targeting keywords that are too broad and too competitive; even if you manage to rank higher for them, it won’t translate accordingly into sales or traffic. However, targeting long-tail and more specific keywords may take a little bit more time, but it will turn out to be much more effective, especially for new or smaller companies.
#3 Ignoring competition
Your competitors can be a great source of valuable information. You shouldn’t ignore what they’re doing because if their situation is better, they probably do something right. Don’t be afraid to comprehensively analyse their websites to see what kind of keywords they’re targeting, how their optimization looks like, where they get their links from and what they’re linking in their posts. There’s nothing wrong in that. It will also allow you to see what mistakes they make so that you can do better and outdo them in the field.
#4 Neglecting speed
This is actually one of the most important factors for search engines’ algorithms. As people are only getting more impatient, they are constantly in a rush and, what’s more, most of them search the web on their mobile phones (more than half of all Google searches comes from mobile devices), Google wants to rank high those pages that don’t take forever to load. That’s why it’s essential to run speed tests regularly and react when your website is slowing down. For example, if you upload too large image files, it will eventually lower your overall speed, so make sure you compress your photos and that you’re choosing the right file types. You can also consider switching your host if your current one is not enough.
#5 Lower quality content
It’s not only about quantity; quality is just as important, or even more. It’s not enough to publish something linked to your niche, pieces of content stuffed with keywords and links. Google is smarter than that. It’s better to write something great, well-researched and longer a little bit more rarely than publish anything just for the sake of publishing. Remember that your content has to be useful and helpful to your users. You can be the best writer, but if you don’t meet people’s expectations, it will all be for nothing. Be sure that you know what users are looking for and why they come to you – there are tools that can help you keep track of searches. It will also help you gain shareability – good content is always valuable, not only for you and search engines but also for other content writers. Additionally, it’s best to update your content from time to time to be positive that everything is still relevant for people and correct, and it will keep you in Google’s good graces.
Now that you know what you should avoid, you can be careful and get to work more safely. A good marketing strategy always has to include SEO, and you really need to give it a lot of thought and implement online and offline activities. It’s essential to realize that it’s an on-going job, but it’s really worth investing your resources in, both money and time – it pays off. And don’t think about search engines only; after all, you’re creating the content for people, you want to provide them with information or products or services, so make sure you give them the best possible experience.