Search Engine Optimization can be a difficult medium for even the most-well staffed digital marketing departments. Businesses outsourcing SEO to agencies often wonder:
- Why traffic from search engines is declining or increasing
- What is actually being done to increase overall traffic
Poor SEO performance happens for a variety of reasons…
- SEO is ever-changing and contains hundreds of factors
- There is a high learning curve to fully understand best practices
- Depending on the business it can be difficult to produce consistent results
- If you’re working with an agency, that agency may not be fully transparent to help you fully understand the who, what, where and why of what they’re doing to increase your online exposure.
Even experienced marketers make these SEO mistakes
Although marketing departments wrestle with one or more of these, Point It’s clients never experience the pain resulting from these 5 SEO performance blunders:
Blunder #1: Thinking you can set SEO and forget it.
First and foremost, you should be frequently evaluating the health of your website. This includes (but not limited to):
- monitoring errors (404’s, 500’s and other server errors), and internal links to 301/302 redirects
- noting changes in site load time (your site should ideally be loading in under 1 second), or
- continually monitoring the bounce rate. Ideally you want to have less than a 60% bounce rate for the entire site
Another great indicator of site health is measuring how long visitors are on your site. These metrics are important for understanding how the search engines view your website and the potential experience your visitors will encounter.
A consistent site audit should be a crucial component of any SEO strategy.
Blunder #2: Failing to Creating a Strategic SEO Roadmap
In addition to auditing the site on a consistent basis, companies should be providing both “on-page” and “off-page” strategy. On page strategy could include suggestions on content length, content structure, internal linking, external linking and recommendations for the technical elements of the page (e.g.: header tags, alt text, image format, image size, CSS and Java Script files.) Additionally looking at Meta tags, such as ensuring proper language-locale, Open Graph tags for social media, and providing options for social sharing are all great ways to improve on-page SEO strategy.
Garnering backlinks from reputable, authoritative sites and auditing backlinks to ensure they aren’t “spammy” or from low authority domains that Google may penalize your site for are strong off-page strategy suggestions. SEO agencies should monitor for this so they can prevent against a huge spike in the number of links from just a few domains, since this can be an indicator to the engines that something fishy may be going on (when there may or may not be). This could lead to a penalty against a site’s search ranking, so it is important to always keep strategy top of mind.
The SEO Roadmap should also be based on your company’s marketing calendar. You know your business and have a plan in place for promoting your product or service and your agency needs to be leveraging your knowledge.
Blunder #3: Dismissing Social Media’s impact on SEO
Yes, social media is another tactic in digital marketing, but in today’s search world SEO and Social Media go hand-in-hand. Social Media should be an integrated component of any SEO agencies’ strategy because social media is great for back linking purposes. A truly savvy agency will know how to leverage social media channels that make sense for the brands they represent. For example: a big healthcare organization wouldn’t do well to be on Pinterest, just as an apparel brand may not benefit from LinkedIn.
Blunder #4: Incomplete Reporting & Analysis
Companies and partners (like an agency) in charge of SEO should have transparent insights into the success of their SEO strategy. Although tempting to explain away anomalies, such as a dip in traffic due to seasonality, a fully transparent agency would instead dive deeper into the performance to check for changes in the algorithms for the engines, or other issues. Even if a strategy doesn’t work out, your SEO experts should take ownership, while constantly measuring their progress, and reporting any improvements or challenges to the stakeholders. Just because SEO is ever changing doesn’t mean there can’t be actionable and measurable change.
Blunder #5: Failing to Keep up with Industry Changes
Clear communication goes beyond site audits and communicating strategic success. SEO experts should stay abreast of industry changes and relay changes and any foreseen impacts to the stakeholders they serve. Google doesn’t always divulge every upcoming change, but they’ll share months in advance if the update is going to have wide-spread impact (such as with the Doorway penalty). And there are a number of experts within the SEO industry who monitor changes that will provide insights as well. Being armed with this information allows the experts to inform the stakeholders and strategize how to work around any big changes.
Point It believes that addressing these five mistakes is crucial to the success of any SEO strategy.
Why do we feel that way? Because meticulously integrating them into your SEO strategy means:
- a higher rate of search traffic
- increased SEO strategy success
- lower cost of customer acquisition
- a happier working relationship with your agency
After all, with search often being the #1 way businesses drive traffic to their sites, can you really afford to let these mistakes go?
Interested in finding out how Point It delivers SEO success for you and your business? Let us know!