If you’re going to run a successful business of any kind, a good website is vital, everybody knows that. But your site isn’t doing you any favors if nobody is visiting it, which is where search engine optimization comes in. The easiest way to increase traffic to your website and see some tangible returns on that is to increase your position in search engine rankings by implementing a good SEO strategy. Google has a lot of complex algorithms which decide who gets pushed to the top of the list and, more importantly, who gets moved down. If they think that you’re trying to boost your site in unethical ways, they’ll punish you for it and it’s incredibly difficult to work your way back up. Sometimes this happens because people are deliberately using underhanded tactics, but more often than not, it happens because of genuine mistakes. These are the biggest SEO mistakes that you should avoid at all costs.
Not Seeking Help
If you’re an SEO expert, you don’t need to be reading this article because you’ll already know all of this stuff. But you are reading it, which means you aren’t an expert. Even if you’ve done a little research online, you’re still in danger of making a lot of mistakes if you try to do it all on your own. You can seek help from a professional and outsource all of your SEO to an outside company. You’ll see better results and it won’t take as long, but it’s also going to cost you quite a bit. If you don’t think you can afford that right now, there is software like Ahrefs that can help you out quite a bit. It will help you to audit your current standings so you know where the gaps are in your strategy then help you to find places where you can get valuable backlinks that help boost your SEO.
The algorithms that Google uses to decide on the search rankings are always changing and some of those changes are quite drastic. That means that something that would have worked in your favor yesterday might work against you today. Google isn’t trying to deliberately catch you out with these changes so they will announce any major updates before they happen, giving you enough time to update anything that you need to so you can avoid being penalized. But it’s up to you to keep up to date with these changes and make sure you’re aware of them and when they’ll take effect. If you miss out on one, you could suddenly see your ratings plummet and you might never get back to where you were.
If your company has a lot of local customers, you need to alter your strategy to account for that. If you’re using keywords that get you a lot of hits on general searches, that’s great, unless all of your customers are local. They’ll be more likely to search for local, geographical terms so you need to be including those keywords in your articles. The algorithms also deal with local searches in a slightly different way so make sure you read up and familiarize yourself with the differences.
Choosing the right keywords is a lot harder than people realize and if you don’t get them right, you won’t see any traffic. The biggest mistake people make is using keywords that are too general. It makes logical sense because if you’re a web design company, for example, using the keywords ‘web design’ will bring all those customers to you. But in reality, there are thousands of other companies out there that are using the exact same keywords and if they’ve been around longer than you, they’ll likely pop up above you. You need to start being more specific with your keywords if you’re going to see an increase in traffic. For example, if you do a lot of website designs for graphic design companies, you’ll get better ratings using the keywords, ‘web design for graphic design companies.’ By using more specific keywords, you get more customers who are looking for exactly what you offer, rather than people looking for something else similar, making it more likely that you’ll actually see valuable interaction on your site.
Quantity Over Quality Links
Link building is a fundamental aspect of SEO and one that a lot of people get wrong. People often fall into the trap of thinking that more links mean higher rankings but it isn’t as simple as that. The most important thing is having valuable links rather than having lots of links. For example, you can quickly build links by posting in comment sections on other sites, but those links aren’t worth much. They’ll push you up the rankings a little bit, but not in a meaningful way. Whereas natural links in articles on other people’s websites will be far more beneficial. That doesn’t mean you should write off the lower value links entirely, just don’t expect them to do all of the work for you.
There are also some links that actively damage your ratings. Google has stated outright that buying links will result in you being penalized. If you buy links on a directory that just lists them all, Google will pick up in that quickly and your rating will plummet. However, you can get away with buying links if they’re placed in a good quality article on a relevant website. Buying links does work but you need to be very careful about where you get them from.
If you want to build natural links, which is the best way to improve your rating, you need to have good quality content. That’s the only way you’re going to do it. Make sure that you’re posting regularly and the articles are filled with valuable information that other people are likely to link back to in their own articles.
SEO is one of the best ways to increase traffic to your site and see more sales but if you’re making these mistakes, you’re doing yourself more harm than good.
Featured Image: Shutterstock