Search engine optimization (SEO) is becoming increasingly important in online business marketing. If you are a website owner, you need to appreciate the importance of creating an online presence not just by building a website but also through optimizing it for search engines. If your site is not ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs) for target keywords your target customers, don’t know you exist. This means you will not meet your business objectives.
Any business seeking to attain measurable levels of growth must have a strong SEO strategy. With 93% of online experiences emanating from a search engine you have to appreciate the importance of high ranking on SERPS. Research shows 75% of users don’t scroll past the first page of SERPs. This means your target audience will never find you if you are ranking lower than the first page for your target keyword.
This is where the role of an SEO expert comes in handy. There are many consultants out there who offer high quality SEO services but there are also scammers out to make a quick buck out of unsuspecting website owners. These scams leads to penalties from Google and your site can even be suspended.
Some of the SEO mistakes that could lead to penalties from search engines include:
1. DIY SEO
It is true there are immense resources available on SEO but if you don’t have the necessary technical background you will not pull off a good campaign. As an online marketer you might have the basics on SEO but then again you will not have sufficient time to deploy them. More importantly you don’t have the time to keep up with the SEO trends.
2. Link Buying
Long time ago links were the holy grail of SEO and Google was not strict on link buying. What webmasters need was high ranking on SERPs and they go this instantly through spammy links. Well, this has changes and if you are still buying links you are hurting your business. The recent Google Penguin algorithm is indexing pages real-time and you will be caught. You might enjoy some boost in ranking but eventually Google bots will notice this unusual activity. Your SEO consultant should have a solid strategy of building backlinks naturally to avoid penalties.
3. Poor Keyword Research
It is surprising how many websites are still ranking poorly due to wrong use of keywords yet there are so many tools that can help. Google Keyword tool is a good start to help you target relevant keywords. You should avoid highly competitive keywords as you will be setting yourself against established brands. More importantly, go for long tail keywords and low competition keywords as they guarantee better ranking on SERPs.
4. Duplicate Content
This is a major pitfall for most website owners. Content creation takes time and money and you might find it easier to spin content and try to cheat search engine crawlers. You will be surprised how quickly this will be detected and the consequences are immediate. Worse still you will alienate the target audience once they feel cheated.
5. Snubbing Social Media
Most marketers thought social media was a fad but how wrong they were. Social media is not an integral marketing tool and if you are not leveraging its popularity you are missing out big time. If you are not active on social media then you will not find your target audience. With millions of people on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, You Tube, WhatsApp among other social networks there is no better place to start your SEO campaign.
6. Failure to use Webmaster Tools
Google and Bing webmaster tools are supposed to help you know more about your website. The information you find on these platforms is critical in forming your SEO strategy. You will receive error reports and see what is wrong with your website in order to correct it.
7. Lack of a Blog
If you don’t have a blog then you are losing out on a very innovative marketing tool. A blog enables you to market helpful content and build yourself as an authority in your niche. Writing such helpful content boosts traffic to your site. Remember you must promote your blog extensively on social media and other platforms.
Other SEO mistakes to avoid include leaving title tags automated, failure to post new content, chasing PageRank, keyword stuffing, using black hat techniques, spammy links and poor user experience. Luckily, your SEO consultant will be at hand to guarantee you don’t make these mistakes.