How to avoid the rookie mistakes in your SEO strategy and benefit from driving more quality visitors to your website

by Marije Schreur, on Dec 23, 2020 4:28:06 PM

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Building a solid SEO strategy is one of the most critical aspects of the inbound methodology. However, the biggest rookie mistake that marketers are making is that they’re becoming almost obsessed with driving traffic… regardless of what that traffic looks like. 

When it comes to SEO, there are two approaches that marketers tend to take:

  1. They work to attract a very high number of any type of lead to boost web traffic
  2. They work to attract a smaller number of very high quality leads likely to convert

It’s clear to see which approach is more likely to generate the sort of results you’re looking for. Yet unfortunately many marketers are still approaching SEO from the first perspective. And this is causing them to commit a number of epic SEO no-nos. 

1. Keyword Mistakes

The majority of SEO errors being made by today’s marketers are focused on keywords. Marketers are selecting keywords that, while they may appear to boost visibility and increase ranking, can actually be detrimental to achieving search engine optimisation goals. 

  • Selecting High Volume Keywords

If you’re looking to attract digital audiences and direct users to your website, it’s natural to incorporate high volume keywords that your target audience is commonly searching for, right? Wrong. This might provide a lot of leads, but it won’t necessarily provide a lot of high quality leads. And perhaps even more worryingly, high volume keywords come with major competition, which means it can be tricky to stand out from the crowd. Lower volume keywords may not be typed into Google as often, but they can result in a higher conversion rate by creating a stronger match between search and result. 

  • Using Short Tail Keywords

Short tail keywords - such as ‘carpet cleaner’ - are certainly snappy, but they’re often too broad to really attract a ready-to-convert audience. Long tail keywords, while more specific and often quite niche, can usually better connect with the right people, especially at a time when Google is adapting its algorithm to place greater importance on context. For example, if a user has previously searched for ‘stains on Persian rug’, Google pieces the parts together, knowing that the user is looking for a specific type of cleaner. Long tail keywords such as ‘carpet cleaner for Persian rug’ would win here. 

  • Incorporating Global Keywords

Adding plenty of globally-accepted keywords into all of your content funnels is a great way to attract visitors from all over the world. But is that what you’re really trying to achieve? Perhaps you’re a retailer who ships products to specific countries, or you’re a service provider targeting regional locations. By taking a global approach to SEO, you’re generating lots of leads who may ultimately find that you don’t cater to them. To drive higher quality leads - those that are more likely to convert either right now or down the line as a result of a follow-on activity such as email marketing - to your website, local SEO is vital. Translation alone isn’t enough; you need to speak the language of your audience.

  • Focusing on Keywords

We’ve looked at three common keyword mistakes already. But the biggest keyword mistake of all is paying too much attention to an aspect of SEO that now has a lot less impact on ranking and visibility. Keywords are important, but this isn’t the year 2000; Google’s algorithm has come a long way since it relied on keywords exclusively as a ranking factor. Today, keywords are just one in a very long list of ranking factors, which include everything from page speed, user experience, and content length to image optimisation, content age, link profile, mobile usability, reading level, and more. 

2. Other SEO Mistakes

Keywords are just one part of the equation. There are a number of other big SEO mistakes that marketers are making today which is creating a significant obstacle for organisations trying to achieve their goals and derive full value from inbound efforts.

  • Failure to Use Structured Data

Any information that you add to your website is there for Google to read. However, Google struggles to read data when it’s all over the place. That’s why many marketers are now incorporating structured data into their SEO strategies; a way of organising data to make it easily digestible. Google often rewards structured sites with a ‘Featured Snippet’; an enhanced search result that includes additional information. For an article, for example, Google could pull through images to display on the SERPs. Featured Snippets answer audience questions at SERPs level, driving informed leads to your site. 

  • Only Considering On-Site SEO

On-site SEO is vital, but there’s a whole world of opportunities out there that is being missed by marketers overlooking the power of off-site SEO. It’s important to remember that traffic isn’t driven by Google alone, and that many high quality leads can be driven to your website through relevant, associated sites. You can use alternative channels such as social media networks, guest posting websites, and PR platforms to build a strong off-site SEO strategy, creating informative, keyword-rich content that engages with a ready-made pool of high quality leads and directs them to your site. 

How to Avoid Mistakes

Many marketers are building, developing, and adapting their SEO strategies without looking at what they’re already doing right, and where there could be room for improvement. Before messing around with an existing process, it’s vital to conduct an audit and analyse ways of working to understand where you may be vulnerable to making mistakes, and create a clear plan to avoid common errors. Working with a partner agency which specialises in this area can give you a fresh set of eyes to help you minimise risk and boost success.

Topics:Inbound MarketingMarketing Strategy

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