SEO can be compared to playing in a huge field full of competitors. There is a huge audience made up of fans whom you need to please. Only that, depending on your goal, this time, you may actually need them to convert.
Despite the fact that the field is big enough for the competitors to play and appeal to their audiences, success is not assured for everyone. Success, which in this case should be achieving your SEO goals is only achieved by those who play according to the rules of the game.
In SEO, the rules may not be stipulated, but like principles, their effect can be felt. Violating these rules is akin to disqualification from the game.
You will not have set the rules since you are only a player, but you need to ensure that you play by the rules. Below we look at some of the mistakes that will result in your SEO efforts going down the drain:
1. Wasting time, money and effort registering with search engines
A long time ago, when the digital world had not yet evolved, submitting your website to search engines was not only standard practice but also a competitive advantage. In today’s more advanced world, search engines are more complex. You need not directly inform them that you have created a new website or page.
As a small one man or woman agency, you should not bill your clients for submission of their sites to Google or any other search engine. In essence, this service is unnecessary, it is simply a waste of time and money. A site will show up in search engine result pages if, among others, it is well optimized, has good quality backlinks and relevant, fresh, and authoritative content. If you have a domain name, and it is more than a week old, your audience will find your site, no worries.
2. Leaving your title tags to fate
Another mistake that will turn your S.E.O. outreach into a nightmare is leaving Google to choose your title tags for you.
Title tags define document titles. On search engines, they allow users to see a part of the page, depending on what they keyed in on the user query. Title tags are supposed to be accurate descriptions of the content on the page.
On Google, title tags are usually 50 to 60 characters long. Sometimes they are longer, as the measure is usually a 512-pixel display. The best move is to keep your title tags below 55 characters. This way, at least 95% of the title will appear in search results.
If a different title tag is displayed by the search engine, you need to change it to reflect your brand or anything else that you feel will communicate best to your intended audience while helping you rank higher.
Using a title emulator tool is allows you to see what your title tags would look like on search results. You will enter your full title text, and a possible search query or keyword. The tool will then generate your probable title tag on search engines.
For instance, if your company’s name is “Colorado Advocates LLC” and your intended description is “we are a family owned law firm that is now in its third generation. Throughout the years, we have become better at our craft…” you will enter your company name, followed by a dash and your intended description. You could enter a keyword or user query like “law firms in Colorado”.
The tool will give you the following result in your title tag: “Colorado Advocates LLC – we are a family owned law firm that i…”
3. Always trying to catch up with Google’s algorithms
Webmasters and SEO experts are always striving to find out what Google’s latest algorithms are and to ensure that their sites and web pages meet the requirements of the latest algorithms. Unfortunately, by the time you come to understand the algorithm and try to tailor your content to meet its demands, it is already quite late.
A better approach is to actually be ahead of Google. But how do you do this yet you do not work for Google? Well, it is easier than it actually seems. Below are some strategies that you could go for:
Base your SEO efforts on Google’s mission statement. After all, isn’t this the best way to know what any company or brand intends to achieve? Just like in any other company, Google’s algorithms will have to be in line with their mission statement. So, their mission statement is actually to organize information in the world, making it useful and accessible universally (paraphrased).
What does that tell you about the algorithms that they will come up with? That they will work towards making it easier to:
– Organize information
– Make it more accessible
– Make it more useful (universally)
So, as you plan your SEO strategy, you need to include the other stakeholders’ wins, if you want a win-win with regards to SEO. When creating content, for instance, you will aim at making it useful. You could, for instance, bring several experts together and publish their views on a high-quality blog post, or record a YouTube video.
So, if Google releases an algorithm that prioritizes websites with useful content, do you see that you will already be on the safe side?
Another way to get ahead of Google is to again, based on their mission statement, dig deeper. If Google aims at making information useful, and relevant, then the consumers of the information are internet users. The implication is that we must study user behavior. Doing this will lead to conclusions like less robotic content full of keywords to try and rank higher in search results.
All in all
There is cutthroat competition in the online space. After all, everybody’s goals are almost the same: ranking high in search results, increasing your site’s traffic, or even conversion. However, remember that you only get to win if you play according to the rules of the game. Avoid the 3 above discussed mistakes and you will be on your way to achieving your SEO goals.