Having a strong online presence is the main form of lead generation for many industries. While paid ads work well in the short term, the only way to secure your market positioning, in the long run, is to have a strong SEO strategy in place.
However, good SEO can be challenging, especially for beginners. It doesn’t help that all results are delayed for months at the very least. Because of that, we’ve put together a list of mistakes you should avoid at all costs, as they can cost you a lot of time and money. Let’s get to it!
Lack of Strategy
Long gone are the days when you could get away with following simple SEO rules and outranking all of your competitors within weeks. This is no longer possible even for low competition niches as businesses have begun to understand the importance of having a strong online presence.
Because of that, the first and most lethal mistake new SEOs make is starting any work without having a strong strategy in place. You need to figure where you want to be in a year, or two years and how you’re going to get there. To know these things, you have to know your competitors.
Competition analysis will give you a strong insight into which keywords are worth fighting for, and which ones are too difficult to rank for as a new site. Without this knowledge you’re risking attacking keywords your competitors are dominating at the moment. Just like it is the case with many other things in life, prep work is a massive part of proper SEO.
Not Doing Keyword Research
Keyword research is important for building a successful SEO campaign as mentioned above. However, the importance of keyword research goes far beyond recognizing the main keywords that are relevant for your niche.
One of the more popular SEO methods used right now is finding low competition keywords within a niche, that can help you build a presence in the said niche. SEO technicians over at SEO Jet argue that such keywords are often either too irrelevant for the top companies to even notice, but are more than enough to give you a seat at the big league table. The only way to find these keywords is to do proper keyword research using specialized tools.
Ignoring Site Speed
Google is becoming more strict with its algorithms in the recent times. As updates keep stacking up, we’re reminded again and again that there’s no room for sloppy web design in the current SEO game. Site speed was always an important metric in Google’s eyes. However, as mobile devices became increasingly popular, having a website load within a second became the norm.
Although SEO specialists are rarely the same people who build websites, they are the ones who need to spot a slow-loading site. Checking for speed is easy these days. Google even has a tool of its own that will tell you exactly how your site fares.
The only way to ensure fast site speed is to forego bloated web design. In other words, custom websites that are resource-heavy might look good, but there is a good chance they’ll take forever to load. The same goes for bloated WP themes.
Forgetting to Optimize Images
Image optimization ties into the whole site speed thing, but it’s also a major standalone part of search engine optimization. Images have to meet three main criteria:
- They have to be high-resolution to meet the needs of the site
- They have to be properly labeled to boost image SEO
- They need to be small enough as not to hinder site speed
One of the most common mistakes SEO specialists make is to use large image files. This is generally an issue with those who use their own photos for products or similar items. Some people have this idea that using the uncompressed image is somehow going to make their site look better. That’s not the case.
The same applies to using the source, uncompressed version of stock photos that are available all over the internet.
Small file size, a proper image title that is keyword sensitive, and decent enough resolution are all you need to get the ball rolling.
Poor and Poorly Optimized Content
Content is still king. Google has shown this multiple times as its bots are constantly looking for quality content in all niches. Writing quality content isn’t easy. Current Google algorithms show that the author has to be familiar with the topic they’re writing about, which is something Google can actually tell using Latent Semantic Indexing and other cool methods.
In simple terms, Google is looking for certain words that are often used in conjecture with your chosen main keywords. The presence of such words tells Google that the author is well-informed on the subject they’re writing about.
Content also needs to be optimized. Several content SEO rules have to be followed. Failing to do so could hinder your efforts to rank for a specific keyword. Most importantly, don’t forget to submit URLs to Google Search Console to quickly index on the Google Search.
Disregarding Off-Site SEO
Search engine optimization has two components – on-site SEO and off-site SEO. The former relates to technical SEO, content SEO, image optimization, keyword research, and everything else that you can perform directly on the website. Off-site SEO is a whole different beast.
As it turns out, Google ranks sites not only based on how well they are optimized to meet Google’s algorithms, but also based on how many inbound links are pointing at your site, and from where those links are coming.
The idea being off-site SEO is to build links through networking with other site owners and SEO specialists who run high-authority websites. Since this part of the job can be extremely grueling, most newbie SEOs decide to completely ignore it. Naturally, that’s not good for SEO.
Lastly, the worst thing new SEOs can do is give up. If you’re lifting a site off the ground, it will be months before it leaves Google’s sandbox. That means you’ll need to wait a long time before you see any results of your efforts. Those who give up thinking that nothing they do is working are usually weeks away from getting the first feedback. Perseverance is key in SEO.
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