In 2021, digital marketing is a must for virtually every business. But because this area evolves so rapidly, it can be hard to keep up with the best practices.
That’s especially true when it comes to search engine optimization, or SEO.
In order for your website to be readily found online, it needs to be optimized for search engines. But if you aren’t careful, you could easily make a mistake with your SEO strategy.
To help you avoid that frustration (and potentially a Google penalty!), we’re sharing just a few of the most common mistakes business owners make with their SEO.
Expecting Immediate Results
If you’re constantly asking yourself why you aren’t seeing progress with your SEO strategy, you may need to examine your expectations first.
There are a number of reasons why your strategy may not be working. But it might also be that the strategy is working the way it’s supposed to.
In the latter scenario, the problem actually lies in your own realistic expectations.
With certain kinds of digital marketing, such as pay-per-click ads, you might start to see results within a few days.
But SEO is meant to be a long-term strategy. It’s not designed to pay off in a day, a week, or even a month.
Although some changes can help right some SEO wrongs rather quickly, you probably won’t start to see real movement with your keywords for at least a few months.
In other words, you need to stay the course. Don’t become discouraged if you don’t see improvements immediately. Keep the faith and remember that this is how SEO is intended to work.
If you let your unrealistic expectations get the best of you, you might be inclined to discontinue your SEO efforts or take steps that could undo all your hard work.
While you wait for your SEO strategy to take effect, focus on other aspects of your marketing. SEO works even better when you combine it with other promotional techniques.
As long as you put consistent effort into your SEO and are following Google’s best practices, your efforts will pay off. It just won’t happen overnight.
Targeting the Wrong Kinds of Keywords
Optimizing your site with relevant keywords can allow your brand to show up more readily in search results.
But just because a keyword accurately describes your business, products, or services, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should be targeting it as part of your strategy.
An overly broad keyword, for example, may simply be too competitive to give you the results you want. You’ll be going up against large, established companies with unlimited budgets.
What’s more, the people searching for those keywords might not even be your target audience. Despite an impressive search volume, that keyword may not result in more conversions for your business. And that’s really the end goal of SEO – to help make your business more successful!
It may be wiser for you to target long-tail keywords that align with your location or what your ideal customers are actually searching for. Be sure to conduct thorough keyword research and figure out which terms your competitors are (and aren’t!) targeting.
It’s normal to switch up the keywords you target on a semi-regular basis. But if you’re simply guessing with your keyword optimizations, it’s time to gain some real insight into the terms that will result in quality traffic and sales. Otherwise, you’ll risk wasting your time and money with nothing to show for it.
Ignoring Website Issues
Believe it or not, existing issues with your website can hurt your ability to rank in search engine results.
Since Google wants to provide a positive experience for web users, search engines use a number of technical website features as ranking signals.
Issues like slow site speed, confusing navigation, page errors, broken links, poor site security, unexpected layout shifts, lack of mobile-friendliness, interactivity delays, and intrusive interstitials can all make it harder for your site to rank, even if you put a lot of effort into on-site optimization.
You’ll need to fix any website issues that exist if you want to improve your site rankings in SERPs. It’s best to run a website audit and assess whether a redesign is necessary.
Ultimately, it won’t matter if you write awesome content and optimize with the right keywords if your website drives customers away. You’ll need to address any website problems that exist in order to provide a great experience for visitors.
Doing Your SEO Yourself
As a business owner, you probably wear a number of hats. You might even think that if you don’t take care of something yourself, it’ll never get done.
But that attitude can be dangerous when it comes to SEO. Because trends change so quickly and this area of digital marketing is so vast, it’s easy to make a mistake that can hurt your business.
DIY might sound like a good way to save time and money. But this isn’t a simple home improvement project. It’s the future of your brand and your ability to compete.
For something with such high stakes, you really can’t afford to take a do-it-yourself approach. Instead, it’s best to work with a reputable white label SEO company that can devise, execute, and monitor your marketing strategy.
That way, you can concentrate on the business operations that really matter without sacrificing your ability to promote your brand.
While there’s nothing wrong with expanding your knowledge of SEO, it’s best to leave marketing your business to the professionals. Choosing the DIY route will almost certainly result in disaster.
Avoid These SEO Mistakes For Long-Term Success
Unfortunately, it’s not hard to make an SEO mistake that can derail your marketing efforts. But once you know the most common mistakes to avoid, you can take the right preventive steps. Setting realistic expectations, targeting the right keywords, fixing website issues, and working with a professional firm can set you up for long-term success.
Author Bio: Jeff Shipman is the Director of Marketing Innovation at Semify, based in Rochester, New York. At Semify, we focus on scaling, are US-based, and offer a white label SEO solution that helps digital marketing agencies achieve their dreams through on-time delivery and SEO fulfillment. Before moving to Western New York, he earned a BA in History and a MBA at St. Bonaventure University. Go Bonnies! https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeff-shipman-155b7073/