We all know that old adage that no one plans to fail they just fail to plan. This is definitely true when it comes to launching a successful SEO campaign.
Most people make three common mistakes when it comes to SEO that cost them thousands and thousands of dollars, low rankings, and a lot of stress. Let’s explore these three mistakes, and what you can do to avoid them.
- FAILURE TO RESEARCH KEYWORDS PROPERLY
The number one mistake most companies make when it comes to SEO is failing to research the keywords. Simply picking a keyword you think is good is not research. Keyword research includes many factors such as analyzing competitors, looking at keyword volume, and checking the amount of people competing for that keyword. Without recognizing each one of these, you are setting yourself up for failure.
Analyzing the competitors is the process of going through your competitors code and looking at what keywords they are targeting, what pages the keywords are on, and figuring out why they are targeting those keywords. This does not mean using the keywords they are using, but it does mean understanding why they are using those keywords.
This term is quite simple, it simply means the amount of people searching for that keyword per month. We typically look at Google’s keyword volume, and then multiply that by 30% to account for the other major search engines. While this is just a rule of thumb, it does give you a good estimate on the amount of traffic that keyword generates. Targeting a keyword that has 10 searches per month, may not be as effective as targeting a keyword that has 100 searches per month.
Knowing the amount people competing for a keyword is critical. There are 10 spots on the first page of Google that we care about. If there are 10,000 companies competing for those 10 spots your odds of getting that first page ranking are much harder then if there are a hundred companies competing for them. Knowing this can help steer which keywords to target, and which ones to avoid. When you take the keyword volume and keyword competition together it helps us determine what the keyword effective index is, or KEI. This honestly is just a fancy term to determine what your chances are of getting a ranking for that keyword.
- FAILING TO IMPLEMENT KEYWORDS ON THE WEBSITE CORRECTLY
To achieve first page rankings for Google, you must follow the rules. Google gives you a guideline on what to do, and what not to do. This guideline is made up by its algorithm, which is the process that Google uses to determine how to rank websites. Most of the time this process is quite simple, and as long as you follow the rules outlined in the algorithm than you will be considered optimized, and have the potential to show up on the first page. Your search engine optimization campaign must account for all the different variances in the algorithm, and it must be updated every time the algorithm is updated. For instance, Google gives extra points for sites that have social media, are mobile friendly, have extremely relevant back links, and sites that have a keyword density between four and 9% for each keyword you wish to rank for. If you do your homework, research the algorithm, and implement your keywords in accordance to these codes, then you can achieve first page ranking. A website owner can do great keyword research, but fail to meet Google’s algorithm guidelines, and never rank well on its search engine.
- NOT GETTING YOUR INFORMATION TO GOOGLE
After you’ve done your keyword research, and passed your optimization, you need to get that information to Google properly so that can be crawled and indexed in its database. There are three main methods to do this all which have advantages and disadvantages.
The first and primary method, is to go to Google submit your URL link https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url, and directly add your site. While this is extremely simple, most website owners skip this step. This step is one of the fastest ways to have your site crawled by Google, because it gives priority to hand submitted URLs versus crawled URLs. When adding your site using this method, your website goes to the top of the crawl list.
Most good SEO campaigns utilize a software program to help analyze and submit the website. The submission process and the software programs are more like a shotgun approach. This approach does a blast out to all the search engines, and directories for them to include the site in its database. While the direct submit typically is enough, this is a backup approach that ensures Google crawls your website and gives a report as to whether or not passed, or failed its validation.
XML Site Map
An XML site map, is basically a blueprint of your website with all of the possible entry and exit points of the website. This site map is different than the site map you would put on your website, as this one list out the URLs of your pages and your images. The site map is created within the website, and then is uploaded into Google Webmaster tools. This allows Google a blueprint on what pages to crawl and index. This approach is more thorough than a direct submit, as it ensures that all of your URLs are listed out and that Google follows each one of them. By submitting your sitemap in Google Webmaster tools, you also will have access to crawl data, crawl times, and error reporting for the site map. All of which should be taken into account to better your SEO program.
In this article we outlined the top three mistakes to avoid for a successful SEO campaign. By avoiding these mistakes, you’re increasing your chances of success. You are also better positioning your website to rank on page 1 of Google.
This article was written by Dan Stalfire, CEO of SEO ONE. Dan has over 21 years of digital marketing experience, specializing in SEO and lead generation. To learn more visit www.SEOONE.com or call Dan at 877 4MY-WEBB.