You see your top three competitors ranking well above you on Google when you type in keywords relevant to your business or niche. But you’ve had your website longer, generate more sales, and know more about the business. This is an issue that countless business owners face. However, what’s true in the real world often doesn’t resonate online. That’s why optimizing your site for target keywords is as important as continuing to be a good salesperson and providing top quality service to your clients.
Whether you have the budget or not, SEO should fall somewhere closer to the top of your marketing priorities list. Even if you think that your shoestring marketing budget doesn’t allow you to hire a professional, you can take a few steps to help your website rank higher on Google. However, if you don’t know what you’re doing, making the wrong moves will hurt more than help. To be on the safe side, here are the top mistakes people make when doing their own SEO and how to avoid them.
No Local Search Optimization
For those who run a business that relies on local customers, local search is an integral part of your online presence. For example, if you run a hair salon, chances are that the majority of your customers will be from within a 10 to 15-mile radius. So when they type “hair salon near me”, and your business shows up in the top 3, there’s a strong likelihood that they’ll click on it. Conversely, if you’re not in the top few results, you’re missing the opportunity to land more business.
To remedy this, you can begin including region-specific keywords throughout your site, in a natural and organic manner. Say that you live in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, you can use “Bucktown hair salon” for some page titles and “Chicago hair salon” on others. Your meta descriptions should also contain these keywords, as it’ll help search engines better identify your business location and in return, spit your listing back to people searching for similar services.
Not Understanding Google Analytics Conversion Metrics
So you have hundreds of thousands of visitors streaming onto your website daily. You’re satisfied because you think people love your business and are therefore on your site. However, how many visitors are actually converting = buying or making a purchase decision on your site? Traffic means little when you have a low conversion rate. This stands especially true for an online business that sells products or services.
Track traffic on your site by setting up an analytics package that monitors conversion for your target keywords. A website owner can see what search phrases perform better than others and modify their strategy accordingly. Sometimes generic keywords may bring tons of traffic to your site, but user intent is missing. Therefore, it makes more sense to use specific and targeted keywords because while they may drive less traffic, user intent is stronger.
Lack of Quality Content on Your Site
As Google and other search engines continue to roll out new algorithms, content has become increasingly important. Search for any “how to article” on Google, chances are that the top 5 results will be long-form articles that go anywhere from 750 to 2500+ words.
You also want to write awesome blog content and of course, your services pages and landing pages must have solid content. You should come off as a professional and knowledgeable in your niche.
If you’re unable to impress visitors on your site, chances are that Google is not going to look at you as an expert either. Remember to write for a human audience, not Google. Needless to say, whatever you write should be unique and not plagiarized. Any content copied from another source will result in being penalized by search engines, therefore, it will not rank for any of your target keywords.
A good habit to get into is creating a comprehensive outline of the article or blog you intend to write. This will help you follow a direct path to your conclusion. Ensure that you use relevant keywords throughout the piece so search engines know what it is about.
Keeping these tips in mind will help you rank better and higher on search engines for your target keywords. The next time you’re looking to get more people to walk through your front door or visit your site, keep these common mistakes and their remedies in mind. While you don’t need to be a SEO professional to do this, some aspects of the provided tips may be technical, which is why you should get the best SEO services to optimize your online presence.
Author Bio: Asad Kausar is a search engine marketing expert who has been in the industry since 2009. He runs a Chicago-based marketing agency, Dabaran, that provides link building, technical SEO, and copy writing services.