Search engine optimization is perhaps the best digital marketing strategy—It taps you to millions worth of free traffic. Nonetheless, like any other marketing strategy, it’s delicate and ever-changing.
Not too long ago, website owners could easily make it onto Google’s first page by spamming keywords on their web pages. That’s no longer the case. Google has continuously updated its algorithms to provide searchers with the best experience. We now have hundreds of factors affecting how high a webpage can rank.
With that many factors, it’s now easier to make mistakes that can slow down and harm SEO strategy. Below are some practical SEO mistakes that can lower your Google Ranking. In addition to that, we’ve also featured some crucial SEO tools that can help you attain your marketing goals.
The benefits of executing your SEO strategy properly
The primary target of any SEO strategy is to secure high rankings on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). That alone will massively boost your brand awareness since people are more likely to come across and click on your web pages. On top of that, it builds trust. In case you didn’t know, people tend to trust pages that rank high on Google’s search results.
When you’re on the first page, you are already miles ahead of your competition. The best thing with SEO is that it can only get better. The higher you rank, the more traffic you get, your fan base grows, and the more you steadily establish your business as an authoritative brand. Additionally, as time goes by, you’ll end up spending less on other marketing strategies.
Optimization issues you have to eliminate
At first glance, SEO might appear easy. However, it’s very delicate. A slight mistake can have detrimental effects.
Indeed, there are many factors affecting SEO. In the interest of time, we’ll list the two main mistakes that millions of website owners make.
Using the wrong keywords
“Keywords” are the main words or phrases that feature on website pages. Ideally, you want to repetitively use keywords that potential visitors are going to use when seeking information, products, or services from the web.
It might seem easy, but keyword use is an art. It needs to pinpoint accuracy.
Avoid general high-search-volume keywords that already have competition. Remember, chances are, you are a new website and won’t stand a chance against established enterprise websites.
Instead, put yourself in your user’s shoes. What relevant words and terms would they use when searching the web for services or products?
While you’re at it, you have to again be careful not to be too specific and end up applying keywords that no one uses.
Neglecting webpage metadata
There’s an argument that metadata is dead. That’s not true.
Metadata indirectly affects your website’s ranking on SERPs. If you’re not careful, poor practices will negatively affect your website’s ranking.
Metadata affects how your web pages appear on Search Engine Results. Websites with good metadata have a high click-through rate and, thus, more traffic.
Below are some tips for good metadata:
- Use brief enticing titles: The title should immediately capture the searcher’s attention. On top of that, it should be short enough so that Google doesn’t cut it out when displaying results.
- Use informative and captivating meta descriptions: Just like the title, the meta description should explain what the page is all about and prompt the searcher to click through.
- Short URLs: Lengthy URLs are untidy. Keep all your web pages’ URLs brief, simple, and easy to remember.
Poor user experience (UX)
It’s possible to have high-ranking web pages with poor user experiences. However, it will only be a matter of time before you lose it all. Also, you’ll have lost a lot of money in visitors who failed to purchase your products or services out of frustration.
Beware of complicated site navigation, untidy text-heavy, and un-formatted pages, broken 404 links, and slow loading times, among other issues.
Not optimizing for mobile experience
We know it’s somewhat related to poor user experience. Nevertheless, it’s so important that it deserves special mention.
Did you know that 50 percent of web searches are done on mobile phones?
If you fail to optimize your website for mobile device experience, you end up forfeiting more than 50 percent of potential traffic and customers. Yes, it’s that serious.
There are plenty of tools you can use to check your website’s mobile compatibility. We recommend Google’s Mobile-friendly Testing Tool.
While you are it, don’t forget about the other 50 percent. Make sure your website displays well across all other devices like laptops, tablets, and desktops.
No quality backlinks
Backlinks are referrals from other websites, including social media platforms. Ideally, you want backlinks from authoritative websites in your relevant niche and industry.
Backlinks are crucial because you benefit from the traffic of other websites that are getting thousands or perhaps millions of daily visitors.
That said, the Backlinks have to be high quality. There are a lot of uncanny SEO specialists who might advise you to prioritize quantity over quality heavily.
While quantity is good, it can be detrimental if the traffic received is spammy. Google is intelligently monitoring everything online, and if it notices your website is receiving high traffic with low dwell time, it will decrease your ranking.
Not using the right tools
So far, you must have gotten an idea of how SEO is expansive, and at times, complicated. There are just too many factors to consider.
Millions of website owners make the mistake of not analyzing their websites’ metrics. Therefore, they never really know what’s wrong with their websites and why they’re performing poorly.
Luckily, we live in a technological age where we have plenty of tools at our disposal.
Below are some crucial web tools that will ease your SEO journey:
- Google Analytics: It’s perhaps the most important and used website SEO analytics tool, and it will fill you in on how users interact with your website.
- The Google Search Console: It’s an insider tool that gives you insight into how Google perceives your website. On top of that, it helps you detect and fix technical issues harming your site.
- Spokeo (Reverse phone lookup): Information is power, especially true in SEO, where customer data is key. Spokeo enables you to look up users’ data so that you can tailor your website and business to match their needs. It is a powerful tool that accesses and retrieves vital marketing information from millions of public records all over the web. That way, you have the upper hand over your competitors.
“Content is king.” It’s incredible how a cliche concept can be easily forgotten. Scores of website owners rush the content creation process and publish low-quality information on their websites.
Remember, people can tell if you’ve put work and effort into your website. Nowadays, people won’t waste time. They’ll quickly disregard your website and go to your competitors who are offering more value.
Indeed, SEO keeps getting harder as the margin for error gets smaller. That said, with the right knowledge and tools, you still stand a chance at dominating Google’s Search Engine Result Pages.