So, you are ready to jump into the SEO world…ready to generate traffic via your website? There are a few rookie SEO mistakes that you want to be sure to steer clear of. Otherwise, the content on your website & the opportunity to generate business will go to waste.
Strategy First – Execution Second
One of the first mistakes is creating content with no SEO strategy. You may have written brilliant content for a specific audience, but it doesn’t really matter if that target audience has no idea it exists. You want to be sure to utilize SEO immediately. Remember, good content and SEO should always go together like peanut butter and jelly–one without the other is useless.
SEO Keyword Research
First, you may want to start with keyword research. Figure out how users search for your content. Once you figure this out, creating content should be a breeze. As an added bonus, doing this will save you time because you will less likely create unnecessary content that you cannot use. This article on Marketing Land talks more in depth about how you can create SEO-friendly content.
Stay in Your Lane
Another mistake is thinking you can compete with the heavyweights of the SERP world when you are a featherweight. You want to compete within your realm. That means challenging other featherweights. Use low competition keywords when first starting out. That way, your content doesn’t get lost while trying to keep up with the higher ranks. Like boxing, the more you fight, the stronger you’ll be and the more popularity you gain. Once your rankings improve, you can move up and use more competitive keywords. The logical move would then be to focus on high search volume keywords, right? Wrong. Focus on keywords that are relevant to your content. Choose keywords that are either at or below your Competitive Power. Use the Keyword Difficulty tool to find the best keywords based off of the site’s Competitive Power score. Alexa also has a Keyword Difficulty tool as well as an On-Page SEO Checker which will tell you whether or not your content is optimized for its targeted audience.
The way you find relevant content is to know your audience. Envision yourself giving a speech and using your content to relay it. Who are you speaking to? What type of people do you see? What are they passionate about? If you know your audience, you won’t have to try and trick algorithms (and you can’t, so I wouldn’t suggest trying).
You also do not want to be a keyword stuffer. This is when content has a bunch of keywords thrown in so that it can be more searchable. Stuffing keywords is not the best way to climb the ranks. In fact, search engines look down on this and you can be penalized for doing so.
Long Tails Generate Business
A misconception is to target broad and basic search terms. On the contrary, longer and more detailed terms are more beneficial. The shorter broad terms are high competitive keywords, which is something you want to avoid. Not to mention, the search engine pages that consist of broad terms have a lot more ads, which pushes the content down even further.
Track Your SEO Progress, Make Adjustments
Make sure you are tracking your progress. One of the most common mistakes is not tracking results, whether good or bad. How can you know your progress if there is no record of it?
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