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

7 SEO best practices you should be doing regardless of what Google says

My Post (11).pngIt’s important to keep in mind that maintaining a good online presence goes beyond search rankings.

In many ways, organic search rankings are the lifeblood of the online business world.

As SEO specialists know all too well, Google is famously quiet about what goes into their search ranking algorithms, which they update all the time. When a new update is released, search enthusiasts are quick to make assumptions about how to tweak their SEO strategies to please the all-powerful Google bots.

From time-to-time, experts behind the scenes at Google drop huge hints about the indications of an update – “prioritize this, disregard that.”

However, regardless of what the brass at Google thinks or does, there are a handful of SEO tasks you should still be paying attention to. Here are the seven big ones.

1. Optimizing image alt text

Image alt text has long been a valuable component in SEO. Over the past few years, there have been increasing talks about Google using machine learning to understand what an image is and what it’s all about – which was the primary function of image alt text.

So does this mean that including alt text is a waste of time?

No. Definitely not.

Regardless of what the newer, AI-fueled procedures for image recognition, you aren’t going to lose anything by including good image alt texts on your website. Keep in mind, machine learning is a relatively new concept. While image alt text might be entirely obsolete in the next five to ten years (maybe sooner), optimizing your images the “old fashioned way” is a good idea to play it safe.

2. Prioritizing authority of content

Content “authority” has been this ambiguous component of SEO since the beginning. Obviously, Google wants to present users with the most credible and authoritative content based on their search queries. – Read more

How to Identify Keywords for Voice Search – 4 Trends to Follow in 2019 and Beyond

My Post (4).pngVoice search is poised to have a significant impact on marketing.

It will comprise fifty percent of all searches by 2020, according to ComScore — making this an exciting time to ‘be found’. In this article, we share how to identify and use the right keywords in your voice search optimization journey.

Google Voice search was introduced in 2013 and since then, has revolutionized the way people ask queries and look for products or services, simply because it is fast and effective. Whether you are a service provider or retailer, an upcoming business or a well-known brand, it’s time you prioritize voice search as a marketing tool.

Let’s understand why…

But first, we look at some crucial statistics to set the context:

  • According to SEOExpert Bradley Shaw’s voice search statistics for 2019, 61 percent of people used voice search when they were occupied (for example, cooking) and 30 percent used it for faster search results (as opposed to typing in queries).
  • BrightLocal reported that 58 percent of consumers used voice search to find local businesses in the last 12 months.
  • 52 percent of voice-activated speaker owners want to receive information about deals, sales, and promotions from brands, while 39 percent use their voice-activated speakers to find business information, according to Think with Google, insights on consumer behavior.
  • Microsoft’s 2019 Voice Report found that 19% of respondents use Microsoft Cortana, 36% use Siri, 36% use Google Assistant, 25% use Alexa.

Voice search is not only shaping the way people search but is also reshaping consumer behavior, making it a new battleground for marketers. Voice search queries are different from regular search queries and to feature on Google Search Results, you will need to do things unconventionally.

Let’s understand how it works.

The Voice Search Journey

From making phone calls to looking for keywords on the web using ‘Say your Search Keywords’, Google’s voice search has evolved to be elegant, relevant, and contextual. The Hummingbird update emphasized on semantics in search queries. With this, user search intent became a fundamental element of search. As a step further to enhance the user’s search experience, Google started using it’s Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning-driven RankBrain algorithm to identify searcher’s intent based on keywords, location, and personalization among many other factors.

Voice search is used for quick answers or when a user is about to take an action, making semantics and contextual relevance more important. Although voice search results are still not perfect, you can prepare your content around keywords based on how it is being used today. – Read more

SEO keywords explained

My Post (3).pngAny strategy of natural SEO requires, first of all, an important work on the keywords that best define your professional activity or the theme of your site.

And for good reason, because search engines, whether they are Google, Yahoo or Bing, rely largely on the keywords contained in a page to make it appear in their results. And for the place allocated to be the best possible, it is not enough to stuff the latter with key expressions.

Generic, brand name and long tail, what is an SEO keyword?

The keyword or key phrase is the basis of any SEO optimization of the site itself (on-site referencing).

Indeed, every day, billions of pages are published, modified or updated. These normally contain quality editorial content that allows them to appear according to the terms typed by internet users in their preferred search engine. This is called a request.

The work of specialists in SEO is to identify the terms related to your activity and able to :

  • allow visitors to find a product or service you are marketing
  • find the information they need on your site
  • find your company
  • Brand
  • Among the most relevant keywords are obviously your brand, but also all those for which you are a distributor. – Read more

Landing Page Best Practices: 10 Top Tips for Writing Copy That Converts

My Post - 2019-04-24T112813.284.jpgConversion isn’t magic. In fact, it’s very much a science of the mind, but that doesn’t mean it’s always straightforward.

Writing compelling copy that keeps the sales process moving requires deep insight into your audience – and each step of the buyer journey has a set of particular requirements.

Landing pages are essential elements of conversion because they give your users access to exclusive content or offers, yet they still have to convince the audience to fill in the lead-capture form to proceed.

Typically, these stand-alone pages capture leads that have clicked on a CTA or an ad that promotes an asset or a product, so their content should be targeted and structured accordingly.

Below you’ll find some best practices that will help you build landing pages that accelerate your buyer’s journey.

1. Keep It Clean & Easy to Navigate

Needless to say, nobody likes to read a page that requires a lot of effort for the wrong reasons.

Plus, because landing pages are typically a stepping stone in the buyer journey, they shouldn’t require leads to spend a lot of time on them.

In fact, the truth is that most readers will typically just skim the text.

Still, that doesn’t mean that the content should be lackluster – on the contrary, you should make use of the following. – Read more

5 Easy SEO Wins with Powerful Results

My Post - 2019-04-24T111725.568.jpgSearch engine optimization, when done correctly, can take a lot of work. This is why so many people are so eager to take shortcuts.

Fortunately, there are some tasks that don’t require as much effort, compared to tasks like link building, yet still yield significant gains.

I’m a big fan of efficiency, so I love tactics that deliver a greater return on my investment of time and/or money.

In this article, I’m going to explain five of these tactics which are easy to execute successfully but can deliver powerful results.

These easy SEO wins will help you get more out of your efforts and sprint past your competitors. They will also help to leverage better results out of your other SEO efforts like link building and content development.

1. Prune Outdated /Low-Quality Content
You probably created all of the content on your website with the best of intentions, but still, it’s almost a certainty that some of it is garbage.

There are a variety of reasons for this, and it happens to the best of us. The solution in many cases is to prune this content. In fact, Danny Goodwin and Loren Baker recently hosted a webinar on exactly this topic.

Some people are hesitant to get rid of any content, no matter the reason. The thinking is generally that it can’t do any harm to leave it there. And Google has reinforced this thinking time and time again.

But the reality is that despite what Google’s representatives say, outdated and/or low-quality content can negatively impact your ranking and traffic.

It probably should impact your credit score too, but apparently, I don’t have the clout necessary to make that happen. – Read more

8 Ways You’re Wasting Money on SEO Without Knowing It

My Post - 2019-04-18T161423.699SEO requires an investment of time – and usually monetary resources – to achieve results over time.

Because SEO is a longer-term investment than other digital marketing channels, it can have hidden challenges, issues, and costs.

These issues can impact performance and push the opportunity to break even and become profitable on the investment further into the future.

Unfortunately, many companies and organizations have been burned. The rime and resources invested in SEO were wasted due to specific aspects of the process, people involved, or business challenges that derail even the best-intended campaigns.

Here are eight specific ways you can waste money on SEO without even knowing it. Being aware of each and taking action can help increase your chances of success.

1. Not Defining Goals up Front

Without clear goals, a lot of money can be wasted focusing on and chasing the wrong performance metrics.

I hate it when I hear about SEO professionals talking about one set of metrics and business executives or owners talking about a different one.

It can all sound good up front. But relationships go sideways when things are left open-ended or assumed.

Make sure every stakeholder understands how “performance” is defined whenever money is being invested. – Read more

How do I get my Website on the First Page of Google Search

My Post - 2019-04-18T153932.649.jpgThere is no denying the power of Google.

The search engine has become so popular that the term “Googling” has become synonymous with the very idea of looking something up. The only problem is that while people look to Google for answers, they do not look very hard.

Most people never look past the first page of results. This means that falling to the second page is almost as bad as being on the tenth page. Given that the vast majority of people begin online by using a search engine, this is not something any successful website can afford.

Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) is the key to landing a prime position on the front page. However, competing with big businesses who have monopolised all the most popular words and phrases can be more than a little intimidating. That is not even mentioning all the other businesses and blogs out there who are fighting for the same position.

Not to worry though! There are several relatively simple tips and tricks that can give anyone the edge they need. The reason why everyone is not taking advantage of these techniques is that they are not the most intuitive since it involves working with the inherent disadvantages rather than trying to get rid of them.

The Disadvantages

In order to turn these so-called weaknesses into strengths, the first step is to understand what they are. To begin with, no-one is going to be able to compete with big industry names when it comes to popular phrases from the start.

Websites have a domain authority score rated out of 100. This score is heavily influenced by how many external links there are to that particular site. The big-name popular sites will have tens of thousands of links meaning that their domain score is often 70+.

So competing directly is very hard. Achieving that kind of domain score would require years of work and a huge monetary investment. Fortunately, there are other ways to make it on to Google’s front page. All that is required is a little creative thinking.

Long-Tail Keywords

Since no-one can fight the big names for popular phrases, the next best thing will have to be used instead. Long-tail keywords are longer and more precise phrases used to search for items.

Take this guide for example. The popular “head” keyword would be “ First Page of Google “. A long-tail search might look something like “ How do I get my Website on the First Page of Google Search “. The thing is, that the majority of Internet users search with phrases that are long-tail keywords. People want answers to their specific problems. So, if these searches can be predicted then there is no need to fight over head keywords. It is like casting ten smaller but more accurate nets instead of one larger one. – Read more