If you like to keep up to date with the world of SEO, you’ve probably read countless articles about what you should be doing to improve your search engine rankings. But sometimes, what you shouldn’t be doing is just as important. Spending hours of valuable time doing everything that’s recommended can be ruined if you don’t also know what to avoid.
Here, we take a look at four common SEO mistakes that are made by business owners, and consider how you can avoid them.
Focusing on quantity rather than quality of links
Because it has long been accepted that link building is a wise SEO tactic, there’s often the misconception that to boost your rankings, you should build as many links as possible. Today, especially in light of Google’s recent algorithm changes, this approach can do your website more harm than good.
To avoid accidently penalising your site, you should take a strategic approach to link building. Identify sites that are relevant to your target audience, and provide high value for readers rather than just search engines. If you take your time to develop relationships with the webmasters of sites like this, you’ll find that the results might include opportunities such as guest blogging. It’ll take longer, but the results for your site will be greatly improved.
Using the wrong metrics to measure success
You might think that the aim of your SEO strategy is to reach the top of Google for your chosen keywords. If this is what you’re using to measure your success though, you aren’t looking deep enough. The ultimate aim of the game is probably to increase your sales or enquiries. After all, what’s the point in having thousands of website visitors every day if they aren’t taking any action?
To ensure that you’re using metrics that will really tell you whether you’re making a return on your investment, link your SEO strategy to your overall business objectives. An SEO campaign can only ever be truly deemed as a success if it’s boosting your sales or bringing in a pool of qualified leads.
Treating SEO as a one-off task
SEO isn’t something that can just be â€˜done’. Many business owners will spend a small amount of time optimising their site and building back links, then forget about it as soon as they start to see the results. As Google is constantly changing the way it ranks websites, this approach will only have an impact on your business for a limited time. Coupled with the fact that search engines love fresh content, it’s obvious that SEO is an ongoing activity.
As such, you need to dedicate some time each and every week if you want to earn and maintain your rankings. For small businesses for which time is in short supply, the best option could be to use a professional SEO company to help take off the pressure.
Targeting the wrong keywords
Thorough keyword research should be the very first stage in any SEO campaign. Too often, it’s something that is overlooked and not given the appropriate amount of time or resources. The result can be that you optimise your site for keywords that your customers aren’t really searching for. Similarly, you should bear in mind that searching habits change. Now that many people are using smartphones to access the internet, there is an increasing shift towards short tail keywords.
It’s obvious for many reasons that keyword research is absolutely essential. Make sure that you use all the tools available to you, including Google’s Keyword Tool, to make the right decisions on which to base your campaign. Try to review your chosen keywords every six months to assess their performance and identify any new trends.