With some aspects of digital marketing, winging it might – just might – get you by. For example, social media is a space for bold experimentation and can be left up to each brand’s discretion, and the same could be said for some types of email marketing. With those, driving home a compelling narrative is more important than individual word choice. However, when it comes to SEO, you are dealing with a whole different beast – Google. Google, and other major search engines, have the power to determine whether or not your site will be visible to potential users. According to Ahrefs’ recent study, 90% of sites don’t receive any visitors from Google. At all. Ensure that your site will be part of the 10% by avoiding these common SEO mistakes.
SEO Mistake #1: Using Too Many Highly Competitive Keywords
As a web user, when was the last time you did a Google search and scrolled past the first page of results? It’s probably been a while, if ever, right? The second page of results is not where you want to be as a brand, and, oftentimes, a site ends up there because there are too many high-competition keywords on the page and not enough niche ones that make your website unique.
This is not to say avoid competitive keywords like the plague – because they are competitive for a reason – but without the right balance, you risk drowning in a sea of websites that look too much like yours in terms of keyword use.
The best way to avoid this mistake is taking advantage of the many search engine optimization resources available like Google Analytics, Keywords Everywhere, SE Ranking, and more. These services often feature metrics that will tell you how difficult it is for a specific keyword to rank on the first page of Google, thus increasing your organic traffic. It will be well worth your investment, especially if you own a site with a low domain rating.
SEO Mistake #2: Overlooking Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions
Metadata is crucial in helping your web page rank high on search engines. So what exactly is it? Well, the root “meta” refers to “the self.” Essentially, metadata is data that references or describes other data. It is the text that informs the reader about what they are about to read if they click onto the site. You’ve seen it before. Here’s an example of what effective metadata looks like:
So why is it important to make sure you include and optimize metadata in your SEO strategy? The answer is user convenience. You can see how Fortress strategically uses keywords in its meta descriptions, informing interested readers about what we do. These descriptions are important because they not only build up our credibility but also introduce readers to our distinct voice, right there in the search results. The goal with these descriptions is to simultaneously answer initial questions a reader might have, such as “Who in Chicago can help me get my brand developed?” as well as invite them to peruse the site in full. Once they’re in, you’re in business.
SEO Mistake #3: Not Integrating Social Media with SEO
The year is 2022. The reality is that some of the old rules of thumb regarding search engine optimization have lost some of their relevance. Namely, brands can no longer get by without pairing their SEO strategy with social media. Building up social media profiles by creating consistent and unique content is absolutely essential to driving up traffic. It establishes your reputation. It increases visibility. Here’s proof: research was recently conducted by CognitiveSEO that revealed a link between the number of engagements on social media and site ranking.
While there is no direct link between social media and SEO, that does not mean brands can ignore the clear indirect link social media has in boosting site traffic considerably.
SEO Mistake #4: Neglecting the Mobile Experience
Search engines take into consideration how mobile-friendly your site is when determining its ranking. When we talk about SEO evolving, this is a huge part of that, because everyone knows the most common way we access sites is on our mobile devices. Whether it’s ordering a Lyft, browsing for a new apartment, or quickly perusing a restaurant’s website before deciding to dine, we are attached to the convenience of our cell phones.
The way to avoid this mistake is to constantly remind ourselves that SEO is not strictly a conversation about keywords. Staying on brand is just as important. Websites with high-quality design are engaging in more ways than simply with their written content will perform better. Unequivocally.
As you read these mistakes, make note of them and how to avoid them, but most of all remember the general rule of always keeping your user in mind: UEO – User Experience Optimization, if you will. Your customers and clients will thank you.