In the expansive field of digital marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) is a world of its own. It’s highly technical, rapidly evolving, and relies on behind-the-scenes management that makes it invisible to consumers.
As a result, SEO can seem deeply unfamiliar compared to other tools, such as social media marketing. This also means that, when approached without the necessary expertise, small businesses’ SEO strategies are often rife with errors.
In particular, you’ll want to beware of these three common errors that can weigh your brand down, rather than lifting it up.
Failing To Audit Your Site
Before you can take any steps towards improving your site’s search rankings, you’ll first need to undertake an audit in order to gain a clear understanding of how your website is performing right now. Look at elements including current ranking, page load time, errors that could keep search engine bots from crawling your pages, and dead links. Most importantly – and this is an area where expert help is especially beneficial – you’ll want to look for any areas where your site may be incurring penalties for failing to adhere to the underlying algorithm.
Emphasizing Quantity Over Quality
SEO novices often misunderstand how link building, a key aspect of SEO optimization, works, but they may grasp part of it, such as the idea that getting backlinks to your site distributed across the web is an important part of the process. But while that may be true, oversimplifying the process can lead to grave errors like prioritizing the quantity of links over the quality.
When developing backlinks, you need to focus first on quality content and publishers, working through the E-A-T frame: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Generating a huge number of low-quality links degrades your standing in all these areas, but steadily building high-value content will endow your brand with a strong public reputation.
Overlooking The Technical Elements
SEO can seem technical enough to the inexperienced eye, and that’s when the only elements being discussed are the writing and the basic premise of backlinks. Well, wait until you actually hear about technical SEO!
Technical SEO refers to the underlying site architecture, how structured data is used by your site, problems like 404 pages and 301 redirects, and identifying areas of thin or replicated data, and it’s purely the domain of the experts. But, while aspects of technical SEO will first be raised during a site audit, it’s important to carefully maintain these elements at every step, including when making small adjustments to your site. As such, it’s important to have at least a basic familiarity with these elements so that you can perform this type of site upkeep independently.
SEO represents an ongoing challenge to small businesses and marketing professionals alike, as a quickly evolving field. In fact, over the last decade, SEO norms have been so entirely transformed as to be unrecognizable.
While the ultimate goal continues to be developing a strong, highly visible digital presence, the path there has taken some sharp turns. You need to find a guide you can trust if you want your brand to reach its destination.