SEO (search engine optimization) is one of the most important elements to include in any business marketing. When done right, SEO will boost your search engine rankings, making it easier for potential customers and clients to find you, and therefore giving you the opportunity to become more well-known and make more sales.
Yet as helpful as SEO is, if you get it wrong it can be detrimental to your business, even to the extent where you lose money and customers. So it pays to be aware of the biggest SEO mistakes you might accidentally make, and ensure you put safeguards in place to avoid them. Here are 4 tips you cannot afford to miss, courtesy of a Des Moines SEO agency.
Not Staying Up-to-Date
SEO techniques are always changing and updating, and it’s easy to fall behind if you’re not careful. The problem is that, although those old SEO techniques might have worked in the past, and may even have helped you to rank highly in search engine results pages, at some point they will stop working quite so well, or even stop working altogether, as new ideas and algorithms are introduced.
When you are responsible for the SEO on your website, you must stay as up to date as you can with all the new techniques and modern practices. Although this will be time-consuming, it’s worth the effort if you want to continue to be noticed when people are searching for your product or services.
Black Hat SEO
Although it’s possible to use black hat SEO techniques to boost your website’s ranking, it’s not a good idea to do so because, as the name might suggest, these are the bad guys of SEO. Black hat SEO goes against the terms and conditions of the search engines you’re trying to optimize for, essentially violating their policies. If you’re found out, your site will be heavily penalized, and no matter how good you are in the future, the trust will effectively be lost and you won’t be able to rank well again.
The best thing to do is to use white label SEO, which you might have guessed is SEO that works with the search engine rather than against it. This kind of SEO will follow Google’s guidelines and procedures, giving you the same result (that is, ahigh ranking result), but with no penalty potential involved.
Not Knowing Your Audience
If you want to utilize SEO in the best way and make it work for you, you need to know your audience. Not knowing your audience is a big mistake that can cause you a lot of problems and at the very least can mean that everything you’re doing in terms of SEO is essentially pointing in the wrong direction.
The reason you need to know your audience, and know them well, is that you need to choose the correct keywords. Researching the keywords is a good start, but unless you know your audience you won’t know exactly which keywords and long-tail keywords they are most likely to use in their search inquiries. This means you could be missing out on a large area of untapped potential just because you’re using the wrong keywords in your content.
Market research is a good way to start when it comes to knowing your audience. Not only can you find out what it is they want in terms of the product or service you sell, but you can dig deeper and discover exactly what they would search for. Use this information to create the right keywords for your content and the results will be much better.
Not Including Meta Descriptions
Your content is not the only thing that needs to be optimized for SEO, and when you’ve written it into your blog, that’s not the end of the task. Before you can publish the blog or piece of content, you will need to include a meta description as well. Although the content by itself may rank reasonably well, without the meta description being updated and having keywords included in it, you are missing out on a much better result.
The meta description is a short summary of the contents of your blog post or webpage. It includes the keywords you want to rank for, and it’s an added element that search engine bots will crawl over to determine whether you are relevant and where you will rank. If this meta description is complete, includes keywords or keyphrases, and is the right length, you will rank better than a similar page without these elements, so you must always remember to include them.