With SEO services often hidden behind a ‘smoke and mirrors’ façade, it’s no surprise that brands, bloggers and even writers often don’t know where to begin. Search marketing has drastically changed over the past five years alone, and yet the myths surrounding it are still – ironically – easily accessible online. Reaching the top has become a dream for small organisations and big brands. However, in a desperate attempt to reach the stars, how your strategy is actually impacting your search visibility can often be forgotten.
In this blog, I’ll be revealing several common SEO mistakes – that are easily avoidable.
1. Being a keyword know-it-all
Keywords aren’t about deciding what search terms you want to rank for and what terms you think your customers ask search engines. Yes, you know your audience, but do you know their online behaviours? Luckily, there are plenty of nifty tools out there that highlight the search volume for each keyword, using search data. This means you can use keywords relating to your industry, product or service that are actually searched. Then you just need to insert them into your copy!
So, get researching!
2. Ignoring the long-tail
Long-tail keywords are specific keyword phrases that are longer than more commonly searched terms. The beauty of long-term phrases is that, although they’re highly specific and usually with less search volume, those that do search will be further down the sales funnel.
The idea is simple – your client has searched ‘technical SEO’ to begin their research. After finding out what they need to know, their next search might be ‘SEO agency Manchester.’ You know they’re looking for an SEO agency based in Manchester, and therefore, ranking for that term rather than ‘technical SEO’ – which will be highly competitive - means you’ll have a higher conversion rate.
Duplicate content causes a whole host of confusion for search engines. First of all, unique content should be hosted in one place (URL). This is because, after crawling your site, search engines won’t know which version to include in their indices if there are more than one, nor will they be able to decide which version to rank for those search terms. This confusion can cause a drop in rankings. Therefore, you want to make your site, format and copy easy for crawling.
4. Never-ending copy!
Providing large chunks of text isn’t good for user experience, nor is it great for SEO. Formatting is important as it makes your content easy to crawl. Break up your copy with H2 and H3 headings, and include your keywords in these for even more search visibility.
5. Presuming it’ll be instantaneous
Yes, you’ve made your content keyword rich, you’ve included several content varieties and your formatting is on point – how are you doing? Well, the worst thing you can do right now is presume your site has already upped its ranking. Or will do at the click of refresh. Google needs to crawl the site, which can take anything between four days to four weeks. Be patient. And track your success.
What to remember: SEO isn’t a one-time thing
SEO shouldn’t be a short-term consideration - a long-term strategy needs to be implemented. You might be on the first page today, but what about tomorrow? SEO is continuously changing, so keeping up to date with the latest algorithm updates is crucial. You also need to monitor your keywords and regularly examine your copy; remember, your customers’ search habits can change. As can your competitors’ search status.
SEO is an important part of your digital marketing strategy. You need to plan, implement and track. Then, you’ll be on top.