7 Major SEO Mistakes You Are Making Right Now

My Post (23).pngEvery day, there are tons of websites being birthed. This means that the demand for proper SEO keeps increasing by the day. That said, it is no simple task to keep up-to-date with SEO trends year after year.

A single Google update can render a lot of your SEO efforts ineffective. As an online digital marketing model for most business owners, continual improvements in practicing SEO is what can set apart a successful brand from another.

Luckily, the internet harbors a lot of information on some of the best SEO practices you should be executing for better ranking results and avoiding some major SEO mistakes.

Even with best practices in SEO, you still could keep lagging on SERP. Surprisingly, it could have nothing to do with algorithmic changes by Google, but rather some mistakes you are making.

The challenge is usually in identifying the errors you are making. Given that SEO is a series of many different activities, a mistake may easily go unnoticed. While you may be aware of all the necessary steps of SEO’s best practices, some errors are fatal.

The one thing that makes you an expert in SEO is your willingness to change and improve, based on the constant advances that happen in this field. Find below some of the seven rookies, yet major mistakes you are making right now:

1. Publishing poor quality content

After practicing SEO for a while, you know for sure that great content is vital for successful optimization. Still, you may start losing your grip on producing great content. The problem is never in publishing poor quality content, but when you become consistent with substandard material. Over time, you will realize fewer and fewer people are visiting your site, few return visitors, fewer shares, less comments and likes on your copy, among others.

To know whether your content is of poor quality, you need to analyze it based on the following pointers:

  1. Does it resonate with the needs of your target audience? Your audience should always come first with SEO. What do they want to know? What do their conversations look like online? What kinds of questions are they asking on your timeline? Understanding the needs of your audience is the first step to creating material that meets their needs.
  2. Is it up-to-date with the current issues in your industry? Professionalism is about keeping up with the trends in your industry and offering a unique approach to issues for the benefit of your target market.
  3. Is the piece you are sharing duplicated content? Can you find a similar article anywhere online or on your website? Duplicated content takes away your capability to choose which page you want to rank for, which means that two pieces of work might be competing against each other. The result is a low-rank position.
  4. Does it have a purpose? Either to inform, persuade, entertain or all of them. Why else would people consume your content when there is a ton of information being offered by so many other sites online?
  5. Are your pieces engaging? How many people are sharing, liking or commenting on your content?
  6. What is the word count of your content? The most recommended word count for a high-quality copy ranges between 1000 and 2000 words. Below that, your content can fail to articulate the major issues properly. Above that may become monotonous or too wordy for a reader.

While all these signs may point you toward something, you should already be aware of, the kind of quality you are producing. The best way is to contrast your pieces with the searches on Google’s SERP. Ideally, once you type in your target keyword, the top results should give you a benchmark on the quality you need to be writing on. With content, you may need to hire a content creator so you can ensure all your material remains fresh and relevant, withstanding the test of time.

2. Not optimizing for mobile first

This tech-savvy generation has brought with it some new demands in the way SEO should be done. Mobile-first optimization is a key ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. What this means is that the mobile version of your website becomes the first result that Google uses to display on SERP for targeted keywords.

It is however not to imply that only your mobile site results are considered for indexing, but instead that they are considered first. This means that you stand a better chance at ranking higher on SERP if you have a mobile site that Google bots can crawl first before they get to your desktop results.

While you may have a dedicated site for your mobile users, mobile-first optimization asks for so much more. Technically, before you do anything regarding SEO, it must first be tailored for the mobile audience before the desktop audience. This makes sense if you want to drive more traffic, since mobile traffic is way more than desktop traffic today.

As you would configure your site for the audience first before search engines, do the same with the mobile audience. For the most part, this will require choosing keywords that favor mobile searches more than desktop searches. It is at this point that you must learn more about voice search. To ensure your mobile site is fully accounted for, there are a few rules to stick to – Read more

Desktop vs. Mobile: The Difference Between SERPs

My Post (22).pngWe took 50,000 random keywords in the US database to find out just how different the SERPs are for the same search query on different platforms.

Spoiler alert: Not exactly chalk and cheese, but the big picture is disturbing.

There are a lot of deviations between platforms: not too many extremes, but only 13% of websites get to retain the exact same position across devices. SERPs on different devices are distinct due to different SERP features and, obviously, the screen space, which drastically changes the user experience and your website’s visibility.

With the share of mobile traffic eating up more and more global bandwidth, this becomes a point of great concern.

Our Research Methodology

In our study, we used the SEMrush Organic Research tool to look into URL Deviations and Domain Position Deviations for the 50,000 random keywords in the US database.

Picture it like this — we took snapshots of desktop SERPs and compared them to snapshots of mobile SERPs for the same query. Data on the URL Deviations shows an overall picture of how many pages lose their positions in mobile search.

For a more precise and detailed presentation of the difference between desktop and mobile SERPs, we have used the Domain Positions Deviations. By tracking domains and not specific pages, we have ensured that we are taking into account mobile versions of pages with different URLs.  – Read more

Comparing SEO to PPC

My Post (19).pngSearch engine optimization is different than pay-per-click advertising. While they share the goal of driving searchers to a website, you can’t expect the immediate results in SEO that paid search often produces.

Likewise, approaching PPC with an SEO orientation misses opportunities.

The Right to Rank

With SEO, you earn the right to rank in search results. You pay for that right in PPC.

Content relevance is critical in SEO. There’s very little chance that you could rank on page one for any term that wasn’t relevant to the content on your site. No site has the right to rank, no matter how big the brand or how much it spends on content.

Organic rankings are largely based on searchers’ intent. For example, an ecommerce site is less likely to rank for an informational phrase, such as “how to polish boots.” The sites that rank for that phrase are military and fashion blogs, or instructional.

Google has determined, in 20 years of analyzing data, that searchers have expectations based on the keywords they use. When an organic listing doesn’t meet that need, searchers are more likely to bounce back to choose another result. In turn, that contributes less satisfaction with search results overall (and the search engine).

In paid search, lower relevance impacts your Quality Score — Google’s measurement of page quality and the relevance between your ads and your content — which impacts the cost per click. But if you’re willing to increase the bid, you can still rank in paid search when the content couldn’t rank in organic search.

Links

Beyond relevance, the authority conveyed upon a site by the links from others still plays a central role in organic search algorithms. If your site lacks the quality and quantity of links required to outrank the competition for a search phrase, then it’s less likely that it will rank.

Linkless landing pages, on the other hand, typically perform well in paid search — landing pages are the preferred approach when specific messages might not be appropriate for the broader site audience.

Internal links are important as well for SEO, but not for PPC. The hierarchy of your site’s internal linking and navigation demonstrates to search engines which pages are more valuable. More link authority flows to pages that are linked from the home page or the header and footer navigation, giving them a stronger chance to rank and drive revenue.

Conversely, landing pages could be orphaned from the rest of the site and still perform well in PPC. – Read more

What is a Keyword Analysis? What is Keyword Research?

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A keyword analysis (or keyword research) is the art and science of uncovering which keyword phrases your prospects are likely to use at Google or other search engines.

Why is this important?

Because search engines are looking to return relevant results when someone performs a search. The closer the words on your web page, blog post or online video are to the search that was just performed, the more likely you are to rank higher for that search.

Higher rankings mean more qualified traffic. In fact, a recent study showed that the number one result averaged a 36.4% click-through rate (CTR.) The second place result only managed 12.1% CTR, and the CTR declined with every subsequent result. – Read

Will the rise of voice search kill off screen-based search marketing?

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Half of all searches will be voice searches by 2020 according to comscore while 30% of web browsing sessions will take place without a screen by that time according to Gartner. And smart speakers are set to be the fastest growing consumer technology this year. – Read

5 Capabilities Your Next Hospitality Marketing Agency Must Possess

Marketing technology (Martech) is constantly evolving and the capabilities of Marketing Agencies must evolve as well if they are wanting to stay at the forefront of their industry. They need to be offering their clients the latest marketing services and executing successful and measurable digital marketing strategies in 2017 and beyond.

Does your marketing agency tick all the boxes when it comes to growing your hospitality business?

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Hospitality Marketing Agency Checklist – Data Analysis, Web Design, Marketing Automation, Content Marketing, SEO and SEM

Below are the top 5 marketing expertise, we believe, any hospitality marketing agency must possess to deliver successful marketing campaigns for their clients.

1. Data Analysis

Arguably the most important aspect of any marketing effort in 2017 and beyond is data analysis.

“Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed” Dan Zarrella

Data is everywhere and in everything we do! By now, you should be aware of data and how it can be captured in every digital interaction we make. With the ever growing importance and abundance of customer data (which is only going to increase further with the development of the Internet of Things), every marketing agency must have the capability, knowledge and passion to measure, analyse and interpret data.

Data enables you to;

  • Create more effective and targeted marketing campaigns
  • Create comprehensive customer personas
  • Improve marketing personalisation
  • Reduce bounce rates
  • Improve customer experience
  • Attract more and higher qualified leads
  • Increase customer retention

Ultimately, data is the driving force to increased revenues.

If your marketing agency doesn’t analyse data, how can they decipher what marketing initiatives are working for your resort, restaurant or events venue? If they don’t know what’s working, how can they develop strategies that achieve your marketing goals?

2. Web Design

While “web design” includes the aesthetic design of your website, there is a lot more to it than this. There are too many websites that look visually stunning, but don’t actually work.

Websites MUST work on a technical level, aligning to your business goals and supporting you in achieving them. Website design must include all the backend processes that enable your site to track and generate leads before converting them to customers. This includes but not limited to; data tracking, landing pages, forms, CTAs, and integrating payment processing and booking systems.

Without this capability, your web presence is just for show and is not working for you. If your website isn’t working for you, it’s working against you, generating more demand on resources and if not optimised properly, wasting your resources. A good hospitality marketing agency knows how to deliver your visuals and make them work for you, converting visitors into customers.

3. Marketing Automation Tool Mastery

The marketing platform landscape is vast. Social media alone presents at least 5 major platforms for the Hospitality Industry (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Pinterest) for posting and sharing content.

With the growing network of communication platforms, for various types of content, marketing automation tools such as Hubspot, Mailchimp, Buffer, Salesforce Pardot and Marketo have become a necessity. However, it is important you have an expert in these automation tools, that can guide you on best-practices and efficiency.

Automated emails, social media and content marketing campaigns deliver more and better qualified leads, culminating in more sales. Marketing automation tools allow for more marketing efforts to be achieved in less time, generating better ROI, let alone the opportunity for greater personalisation.

To get the best out of these tools, you need a marketing agency that has tried and tested the tools, learnt how to get the most out of them and only works with the best. They can either manage your in-house marketing team efforts or manage your automated marketing efforts for you.

4. Content Marketing

Content Marketing has evolved in the last decade, largely due to the development of data enabling it to be measurable, and become the foundation to any marketing strategy.

Nobody likes receiving unsolicited emails or advertising pop-ups that fight for your attention over what you’re actually looking for. These are the intrusive tactics of Outbound Marketing. Content Marketing on the other hand, is the foundation of the non-intrusive, Inbound Marketing methodology, first coined by Hubspot.

Inbound Marketing is the practice of creating content that is informative and useful for your target audience – Content that directly answers the questions you know your potential customers will be typing into search engines. By addressing their questions you will attract your potential customers (earlier in the buyer’s journey) directly to your website. It is from here that you use your landing pages as tools for converting visitors into customers.

For example, say you run a Hotel in London. Creating a piece of content on the ‘Top 10 Things to do in London’ answers questions your potential customers are researching before booking their trip. Clicking through to this content will subject them to your brand and you can use this opportunity to convert them from a stranger into a lead – Link them to why your hotel is the perfect choice for a trip to London or place a CTA (Call-To-Action) to the latest offers that are available.

Content has become one of the strongest methods for lead generation. Working with a marketing agency that understands Content Marketing and the Inbound methodology is incredibly important for the success of your marketing strategies moving forward.

5. SEO & SEM

Last but by no means least, Search Engine Optimisation and Marketing. To get your website, content and services in front of your existing and potential customers you need to get them ranking highly on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Search engines are constantly developing and becoming smarter with their algorithms frequently being updated. It requires an expert with their fingers on the pulse of Google and it’s competitors to keep you appearing at the top of the results pages.

A lot of businesses try to take this in-house, unaware of the skills, knowledge and resources it takes to be successful in this area. It is important to work with a marketing agency that lives and breathes SEO and SEM, advising and optimising your keyword strategies, to ensure you consistently rank highly.

Achieving higher rankings for your website content generates more traffic, which coupled with your content marketing strategy develops better qualified leads and more sales.

Summary

Proficiency in data analysis, marketing automation tools, website development, content marketing and SEO & SEM are the top requisites for your marketing success in 2017 and beyond.

Marketing agencies that boast these services are going to be the ones with the most successful marketing strategies for your hospitality venue. Be sure to review your current marketing agency and check that they offer you all of the above, or risk being surpassed by your competitors in partnerships with those that do.

 

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