What was that blur that just went past? That was your competitor speeding ahead of you in the search rankings–the result of consistently practicing good SEO, while you insisted it was dead!
Businesses that consistently get the leads they expect from their web presence know that a well-managed SEO strategy still underpins most of the good stuff that follows. So why are so many still making basic mistakes with it?
The fundamentals of SEO remain the same. It needs consistent attention and the right action to generate traffic, but you don’t need a PhD in computer science or marketing to master it. Businesses should not be throwing good money at bad SEO campaigns and hiring the same SEO cowboys who repeat the same mistakes, which cost you leads, sales, and growth.
Why give the competition that satisfaction? Start ticking off the following five common SEO mistakes to avoid, if you are looking for better results.
- Using generic keywords for every page
Most businesses understand the need to develop a list of keywords for which they want to rank. What most businesses often get wrong is trying to optimize every page for generic phrases.
Rather than trying to cram 10 or 12 keyword phrases on one page, you’ll see far better results by optimizing every page on your site for one, or maximum two, long-tail keywords. This, by extension, means that the pages should be specific, targeted, and professionally written.
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This approach also allows you to create a logical website architecture that your audience, as well as the search engines, will appreciate.
SEO case study—A family law firm focusing on divorce cases in Calgary should optimize one page for “divorce lawyers in Calgary” rather than trying to optimize every page for “law,” “law firm,” and “divorce.” Generic terms like “divorce” will attract unnecessary traffic that simply will not convert. Searchers who are looking for information like “Divorce stats in Canada” or “Divorce counseling” will NEVER order services from you, so you are better off targeting more specifically to your potential customers.
- Overuse of industry lingo
Don’t be the guy that everyone avoids at the party because he drones on and on using overly-technical language that only he understands. The simple realization that what sounds normal to you and your team probably does NOT sound normal to your customers will improve your copy and your SEO.
How can it improve SEO? Don’t forget that the success of your SEO strategy depends, by its nature, on whether you are matching what your ideal customers are typing into Google, Bing, and the other search engines. If you’re not targeting the right keywords, how can you be matching what your customers are searching for?
So, when you choose your keywords, make sure you brainstorm with others to get their input. Use the Keyword Planner tools in Google AdWords and then Übersuggest, which uses Google Suggest to display queries that people have searched for in the past. Google Trends is another useful tool to learn about your customers’ behaviour over time, what they look for online, and what kind of keywords they use.