The 5 Most Common SEO Mistakes Clients Make
There are so many elements to a sound SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy that it’s common for digital marketers to fail to see the forest for the trees. They are so focused on the more noteworthy, often complex, elements that they forget about the basics. They want to throw fancy pitches—sliders and knuckleballs—when they haven’t yet mastered the fastball. It’s a common SEO mistake.
You can argue that certain elements of an SEO strategy are more important than others, but that’s not the point. If something is helping get visitors to your website, it’s important. What’s really important is that the basics aren’t skipped. Glossing over the basics could be the most common SEO mistake we see on websites we evaluate.
The following 5 are the other most common SEO mistakes, whether committed by someone new to the world of digital marketing or by a seasoned professional.
1. No Sitemap
If your website doesn’t contain a site map, how can you expect Google to easily crawl it? A sitemap tells search engines about website pages that are ready for crawling. Sitemaps are created in a standardized XML format and include information about webpages, their titles, the last time they were updated, associated metadata, and more. You can also add images and videos to your sitemap, but if you have a lot of pages (online retailer, for instance), you should create separate XML files for each.
2. Lack of Internal Links
No question, having a solid linking strategy is important, just don’t forget the internal links. Marketers often get so focused on getting external links that internal links get short shrift. They’re both important.
Internal links help keep visitors on your site longer, which is duly noted by search engines. Internal links also help search engines better navigate your site and can augment the sitemap. If a sitemap directs visitors to a page but it doesn’t have links pointed to it, search engines may consider the page unimportant and index it accordingly.
3. Too Focused on Traffic
Yes, SEO is about getting visitors to your website, but how helpful is it if you’re attracting the wrong ones?
If you’ve invented the latest, greatest iOS golf app and are trying to attract visitors to your booth at the PGA Merchandise Show, you don’t want Android users showing up (unless, of course, they are ready to switch to an iPhone). Who cares that your briefcase is full of business cards if you’ve attracted the wrong prospects?
When creating and deploying a SEO strategy, it’s very common for marketers to focus on getting the most visitors possible to the website. All those visitors will look great in Google Analytics, but it’s not going to accomplish your ultimate goal—generating more business. Do you want 10,000 visitors that deliver 10 customers or 1,000 visitors that deliver 20?
Think CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization). CRO tells you how effectively you are getting the right visitors to your website. It answers the question, Are the visitors I’m attracting converting to customers? Calls to Action (CTAs), such as form fills to download content or watch a webinar, will help determine if you’re attracting the right visitors. If not, it’s time to create better, more compelling content and cast a smaller but more profitable net.
4. Focusing on the Wrong Keywords
Everyone thinks they know about keywords and understand their importance. It’s an important part of an SEO strategy, but it’s common for marketers, even seasoned ones, to get too hung up on the keywords they assume are important. Here’s the issue—without using valuable keyword tools available, it may be hard to focus on the right ones and think like a customer. You may be too close to the messaging and unable to see through customers’ eyes. Also, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed buying behaviors. Customers may be searching for your products or services differently now than they did prior to March 2020.
Also, you need to consider the keywords your competitors are focusing on and here’s why—if you haven’t been, they’ve been building authority related to those keywords. You need to begin filling that gap. If they’re also bidding on those words through paid ads, they have gotten an even bigger lead. You have some catching up to do.
By using SEMrush, you can easily find out the keywords your customers are focusing on. In short, you need to think both like a customer and a competitor. Use Ahrefs to see pages on competitors’ sites that are getting a lot of traffic. It’s a great way to do some detective work on content and keywords that are attracting visitors. Use this information to help craft more high-value content for your website.
5. Thinking You’re Done
SEO isn’t a set-it-and-forget it proposition. You don’t revisit it every few months. The 5 SEO tactics listed here are some of the more common techniques marketers overlook. If you want SEO to work for you, you’ve got to work at it. Whether all your competitors are focusing on SEO is irrelevant; just know that some definitely are. And they’ll be getting that traffic you want.
Contact the SEO Experts
If you need the help of a digital marketing agency with more than a decade of SEO experience and expertise, Globe Runner is the partner you’re looking for. We are here to help inject your digital marketing initiatives with rocket fuel and launch it to success. If you’re ready to blast off, call us at (972) 472-8528 for a free digital marketing consultation.