SEO — it’s a term business owners hear a lot when talking about marketing. While it is no secret that this technique is important to any successful online strategy, many still don’t really know what it means or how it works.
The lack of true knowledge on the matter makes creating effective marketing plans incredibly difficult. Without a sound understanding of what SEO is (and is not), business owners are far more likely to make costly mistakes, investing resources in activities and people that will never return anything on the investment. Make sure your business doesn’t suffer from bad SEO and increase website traffic by avoiding these six major mistakes that many Webmasters make.
- MISTAKE 1: NOT UNDERSTANDINGWHAT SEO IS
- MISTAKE 2: PRACTICING OUTDATED SEO TECHINQUES
- MISTAKE 3: SETTING UNREALISTICMARKETING GOALS
- MISTAKE 4: SETTING UP &NEVER TOUCHING IT AGAIN
- MISTAKE 5: NOT TRACKING ALL WEBSITE DATA
At the simplest level, “optimized” is just a fancy term for a website that is formatted so the search engines can read what content presented on its pages. Indexing robots from Google or Yahoo comprehend information on websites differently than a human visitor; search engines can’t just read what is on a page, but instead require a series of signifiers to understand what a website is trying to say and in what order.
Websites missing crucial on-page optimization features such as unique title tags, META descriptions or content header tags are likely performing poorly in terms of organic traffic because search engines simply can’t understand what the page is trying to tell them. If Google (and the other Internet giants) can’t properly digest content on a page, they are unable to assign any sort of value to it. Since the primary goal of search engines is to deliver the most relevant and trustworthy inquiries possible, they are far less likely to display a site deemed invaluable prominently in organic results.
Those who fail to keep their SEO education current not only risk being outpaced by more informed competitors, but also are more likely to use an outdated tactic that actually hurts organic search performance. Several SEO methods that were once acceptable in the eyes of Google or Yahoo are now considered “black hat” or invaluable spam. Websites deemed to have spammy content will be penalized by the search engines, potentially removed from results pages entirely.
Staying on top of the latest rules of the trade is as easy as a Google search! Keep an eye on reputable industry websites, such as Search Engine Land or the SEO Moz Blog, to remain current with best practices and check back often.
Equally as important as defining goals is setting realistic ones. Don’t expect to achieve a strong organic search engine presence overnight — it simply won’t happen. Building and maintaining a reputation as an expert (or the “best) in a given field is something that is developed over time, for human visitors and search engines alike. Google can take from three to six months to index website content, ultimately providing the highest return to pages with fresh, beneficial content added on a regular basis.
Keeping this in mind, opt for more long-term goals that strive for gradual achievement over time. Success, even in smaller doses, will build upon itself as the campaign itself grows. The important thing is to stay patient and keep your eyes on the big picture.
Long story short is that search engine optimization will provide fruitful, residual results as long as it is maintained properly. When implemented correctly and properly matured, SEO techniques will show profitable results that business owners can count on for weeks or months to come.
To get the clearest picture of my client’s digital marketing campaigns and their overall effectiveness, I always pull website data from a variety of tracking services. Getting information from Google Analytics (GA) alone tends to paint an incomplete picture of a page’s true performance online. I also use information from Webmaster Tools, contact forms and in bound calls to determine what efforts are actually converting customers and which campaigns are falling flat.
Because after all, business websites are meant to make you money, right?