You have created amazing content and products. You have designed and implemented a marketing campaign to communicate your goals to the public. And you have done all things right in your SEO strategy (at least you think you have)… yet your website is forever buried in the deep pages of Google.
Decoding the mysteries of search engine optimization can be incredibly frustrating.
Before you throw in the towel, let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes webmasters make that can leave gaping holes in even the best SEO plan.
Here are 8 reasons your SEO game might be weak.
1. Mediocre Content
Poor content is one of the most significant causes of a failed website. Potential consumers have landed on your site to satisfy a particular need or have a question answered. If your content is hard to decipher or you are not clear about what your services and philosophies are, they will look elsewhere for the answers.
Be specific when you write about what your company does and what makes your services unique from your competitors.
Do not write content for the sake of more content! Yes, search engines are looking for content density, but it must be thorough and to the point. You must provide an expertise. With that said, regardless of content length, it must be about quality over quantity.
Consumers are looking for fresh, high-quality, readable content that they can relate to and that caters to their needs. Search engines are looking to showcase content from the experts. If you don’t satisfy both consumers and search engines with your content you can count on traffic bouncing it’s way off your website.
2. Poor Keyword Selection
Are you conducting your keyword research effectively? If your terms are not relevant to your business or the content on your website, then they are pretty useless to you.
The right keywords are the conduit to your targeted audience. If you know your audience, put yourself in their shoes and think about the terms (the actual questions and words) they would use when typing or speaking into a search.
Are you using long-tail keywords? Basic keywords or phrases are not enough anymore. Long-tail phrases that are highly targeted and unique to your niche will ensure the reader that your content will provide the value they are looking for.
And please, no keyword stuffing! Search engines recognize when keywords are abnormally distributed throughout the text or in a website’s meta titles and descriptions. And humans are just turned off by it. Keyword stuffing is considered unethical, and your site will be penalized and suffer in the SERPs.
3. Lack of Links
If you haven’t incorporated links or backlinks to your website yet, you must!
Backlinks are a crucial part of SEO. A website containing high-quality backlinks are considered trustworthy and relevant in the eyes of Google. High-quality means links coming from authority websites in the same niche as your business.
Backlinks or inbound links must be genuine. Google’s latest algorithms are capable of detecting a glut of purchased or bogus links, which will only hurt you in the end. So again, quality as opposed to quantity.
4. Neglecting Social Media
Your website is out there, but you haven’t considered any of the social media platforms! SEO and social media work well together when it comes to driving traffic. Not only does social media activity lead to increased awareness of website content, but it will also increase linking opportunities for your site. Google uses social media signals to gauge popularity, which will provide credibility to your content.
Incorporating social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter in particular) is a great way to establish your website value and trustworthiness as an influencer and leader in your industry.
5. Not Familiar with Your Data
Do you monitor incoming traffic to your website? Do you know how much time visitors spend on the pages of your site? And how many of these visitors convert to consumers?
If your answer is “no” to some or all of these questions, you’re doing it wrong. These are all crucial elements in determining how effective your SEO strategy really is.
Consistently reviewing data allows you to understand your site and its users better. Using Google Analytics will help you track progress and provide valuable insight into what is working for you and where you need to make improvements.
6. Your Site Is Not Mobile Friendly
You haven’t updated your website to accommodate mobile users yet! With the movement from desktops to laptops and now the surge toward mobile devices, your website must be able to support users of all kinds!
Online shopping via smartphones accounted for roughly $117 billion in sales in 2018 and is expected to increase by 56% by 2022. Google is pushing mobile UX to the forefront of SEO, and you must do so, too.
7. Outdated SEO Strategy
You implemented a strategy five years ago and haven’t looked back since! With the ever-changing SEO landscape of new algorithms and trends, your strategy needs your attention and often. Adaptability is essential not only in business growth but in how you make changes in your SEO plan to reflect this growth.
Equally important to your broad strategy is that of your local SEO plan. It’s important to remember to update contact information, your business address, and other significant local information in places like Google, Yelp, Bing, and Yellow pages.
Check to make sure it is accurate and consistent across social profiles as well.
8. Is Your Website User-Friendly?
This may seem like such an obvious question, but have you used your own website?
How would you rate it? There is more to creating a website than choosing attractive logos and incorporating flashy ads. Functionality is a crucial piece of a website’s success or demise. Ask yourself these questions when testing your site:
- Does the site load quickly? Speed counts! Anything more than 3 seconds is too long.
- Is it easy to navigate from one page to another?
- Is it clear what your business is about right away?
- Is it simple and easy to read, or busy and confusing?
- Is there a call to action on every page?
- Is your website secure?
- Did you find what you were looking for?
There are many variables to ranking in the search engines; website strength, budget, skills, and research all play a part in developing an effective SEO strategy and, if done well, will naturally improve your position in the SERPs.
Recognizing where there are weaknesses in your strategy is half the battle. Once you do, you can go about making adjustments to refine and improve the quality of your site. It is advantageous to remember a good strategy does take time to settle in (experts say it takes about six months to see increased traffic), so patience is required.
Everyone likes to be number one, and it could be you if due diligence is practiced, and all of the tools available to you to are used in designing your best SEO strategy.