Everyone makes mistakes, but what separates the winners from the losers are those who learn from their mistakes and correct them. In SEO, it seems like there’s a serious shortage of people willing to do that. Don’t be one of them. Here’s how to fix your marketing flubs in a flash and live a virtuous SEO life.
You should stuff suitcases to save money on checked luggage. You should stuff your face on Thanksgiving. If the offense is being a jerk on the basketball court, it’s probably OK to stuff them when they go for a sweet layup. But, you shouldn’t stuff keywords into your content. Bad idea. Never do it.
Keyword stuffing is, essentially, using the same keywords over and over again in an attempt to manipulate the search engines into thinking that your page is about a particular topic (which it might actually be) so that you can move up in the rankings for that particular keyword.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for a while, you know (deep down inside) that this is a bad idea. Google’s Panda algorithm has, since at least 2012, penalized sites for keyword stuffing. It also creates readability issues for users, which means you’re not going to get people to stay on your site, even if that tactic did work.
Confusing Inbound With Outbound Marketing
New webmasters often confuse outbound marketing with inbound and their respective appropriate use. Inbound marketing is also sometimes called “organic SEO” while outbound marketing generally refers to the practice of buying traffic.
In an attempt to get quick traffic, many small business owners and webmasters buy traffic from Google’s pay-per-click (PPC) platform, Adwords. While this can “field test” a new marketing idea, it’s generally a bad move for all but the largest of ecommerce websites.
Yes, some of the big brands out there are in pay-per-click, but these companies are willing to pay millions of dollars to “own” keywords. They’re not really making anything resembling a return on investment.
Plus, using pay-per-click, or any other kind of outbound marketing tactic is short-lived. Once you stop throwing money at a PPC platform, banner ad, or some other media ad, the traffic stops. It’s not a pleasant feeling to be choked off from the Internet like that.
Organic SEO, on the other hand, is the gift that keeps on giving. If done properly, it will yield never-ending traffic, both from search engines and from direct clickthroughs on popular websites.
Having Thin Content
According to MoveUp Web Marketing, a Salt Lake City SEO firm, more and more emphasis is being put on high-quality, on-page content. In other words, the content on your own website is being analyzed more deeply for quality.
There’s a term for this: “There’s strength in length.” What this means is that, all other things being equal, you want to publish longer content that is more “in-depth” in regards to the subject matter. The 500 word pieces just aren’t cutting it anymore, and are seen as being “thin.”
Ideally, content will contain relevant images (not generic stock photos), video, lengthy text with references and resources sprinkled throughout the page.
Expecting SEO To Be “Instant”
SEO isn’t “instant” in the sense that you don’t get traffic immediately. But, it also doesn’t have to take forever either. Good linkbuilding can earn you traffic within a week of publishing stellar content. Some SEO experts believe that old-school, straight-up, link-begging is the way to go.
In other words, you should be writing a quality piece of content, and then pitching it to webmasters, for backlinks.
Having No Budget For SEO
SEO costs money, especially if you outsource it (most people do). The process of writing high-quality content, and then marketing that content, is daunting. It’s also not everyone’s forte. If you aren’t a writer, you’ll have to hire one. And, web writers don’t come cheap. Good writing will cost you between $0.04-$0.15 per word or more. The best writers will charge $1 per word.
That means a 700 word article could cost you up to $700. A 1,500 word article (which is ideally where you want to be), will cost you up to $1,500. Ouch. Sounds expensive, doesn’t it? But, the research and effort put into this kind of article will blow pretty much everything else out of the water. You’ll create a permanent marketing piece for your site that will earn you revenue for years to come.
Not Doing Keyword Research
Not doing your keyword research is one of the biggest mistakes new webmasters make. They want the “money” words, but they don’t realize that these are way too competitive to go after. For example, if you’re in the insurance industry, you wont’ want to break into it by going after the search term “insurance.”
First of all, this is very competitive (lots of brands competing for this keyword), and it’s not very specific (a user could be searching for any number of types of insurance, or could be just reading about insurance policies for educational purposes).
What you want is a keyword term that’s reasonably competitive and at the same time not too difficult to rank for. And, this is where a good SEO firm can help.
Too many companies try to tackle everything on their own, which may be the biggest mistake of all. There are experts out there that already know how this game works. Use them, and save yourself years of frustration.