Great SEO Means a Solid Strategy
Solid SEO strategy simply can’t be ignored in today’s content driven marketing landscape, but putting all of your eggs in the SEO basket can be a major misstep, especially when your SEO isn’t earning its keep.
If you’re overly reliant on SEO and not seeing the success you want, you may need to diversify your marketing strategy. But how can you tell if your SEO plan is failing? Read below for ten tell-tale signs of a failing strategy.
Unique content will set your site apart from the herd, and that means each page of your website should be distinct as well. Make sure that when your visitors land on a page on your site you are giving them what they want. Additionally, if your meta tag is copy/pasted from your “About” page, you need a content update ASAP.
Legitimate links can help boost your rankings, but the days of paying for junk link backs are over. Fewer links of higher quality/authority (ie, real, verified users) are better than hundreds of garbage links. If you have a ton of “garbage links” consider losing them for a better link profile.
Trigger Happy Tagging
Blogs are great for SEO, and tagging blogs with keywords is even better! Monitor your tags so that they’re user-friendly, and be consistent. Watch out for tags that are close, but not identical (“SEO tips” and “SEO advice” are simply not the same tag). Keep your tags on topic and make sure they totally apply.
Similarly, avoid shoving keywords willy-nilly throughout your content. Nothing screams Y2K like a sentence strung together with awkward keyword phrases. A page or post will rank if it is real; keyword stuffing is not what your visitors wants to read.
Short Game Wins, Long Game Losses
Another hallmark of failed SEO is a focus on short term bumps on the SERPs that hides the long term slide. Your goal should be consistent, steady growth, not a sudden upswing followed by a drop. So make sure your strategy is to create “evergreen” content that will stand the test of time.
Leaving Out the Long Tail
When it comes to successful SEO, basic keywords just aren’t enough. You need a focus on conversion, which means you should consider more targeted, less competitive long tail keywords that will capture customers in a purchasing mindset.
Data? What Data?
The best laid SEO plans will backfire without an equally solid plan to capture and track data. Spend time analyzing the success of your efforts so you can trouble-shoot your weak spots and build on your achievements. Consider a strategy that includes A/B testing different versions of pages produced on your site. Once that data is collected there will be a clear winner and a clear loser. Go with the winner and repeat!
Design over Content
Sure, a beautifully designed website is definitely important, but beware of spending too much time on making things look great without putting in the needed work to grow your presence, increase your rankings, and net those conversions you’re looking for. Great content will rank over great design with mediocre content.
Silent Social Media
“If you build it, they will come” may have worked in the movies, but in today’s crowded field, a killer social media platform is a must to get your content in front of the eyes that matter. Making your content shareable is the first step, then you need to promote that same content and urge others to do the same. Get it in front of the public and let the following grow.
Finally, the most important indicator of success is a clear understanding of your audience. Create your persona(s) you are targeting and write to them. Be sure you have a clear sense of who you’re trying to engage, and who is looking to engage with you.
Set Goals and Get to Work
The good news? Knowing the problem is half the battle! Once you identify the chinks in your SEO armor, you can get to work and improve your flaws, set clear goals, and hold your team accountable. Staying on top of SEO isn’t impossible, but it does require close attention to your content and a commitment to understanding your audience as well as your overall marketing aims for the campaign.