SEO is a critical part of achieving success with your online marketing, but the rules for winning at SEO are always in flux. That means that the strategies you are using now could be outdated, or perhaps, they never really worked at all. If there are mistakes in your SEO strategy, it’s important to correct them as soon as possible, since every day of an SEO misstep could send your site spiraling further and further down the search results rankings.
To avoid making mistakes in your SEO strategy, you need someone who is constantly tracking performance and trends and making adjustments as needed, but how do you know if you have some of these errors lurking in your plans? Keep an eye out for these common mistakes, and make sure they’re not part of your content marketing plans.
Going Optimization Crazy
Yes, optimizing content is key to getting traffic to your site. Yes, SEO stands for search engine optimization. However, counter-intuitive though it may sound, the best way to succeed at optimizing your content is not to optimize all of it.
You may be surprised to learn how many successful websites don’t let optimization lead their content marketing plans. There was a time when stuffing websites with keywords was all that it took to drive traffic—hence the days of keyword spinning and content that put SEO before grammatical sense. Those days are long gone, however. Search engines are continually getting better at delivering results that web users actually want, and it turns out that what they want is readable content that solves their problems.
Let good content take the lead on your site. Of course, you should pay attention to optimization, but always make your content do the talking for you. Never compromise quality to stuff in some ill-placed keywords or awkward phrasing. Readers will leave your site, and the search engines will treat you accordingly.
Forgetting to Link to Yourself
External links help to bring people to your site, and they help to show search engines that other sites see your content as valuable. As you seek out those external links, don’t forget to return the favor and link to yourself. Internal links direct your readers to other content on your site, which in turn helps you increase traffic and also helps to boost your search engine rank. Internal links also help search engines determine what pages on your site are most important. This can help those pages achieve higher search engine rankings.
For every piece of content, link to one or two older pieces of content on your site. This helps new and old content alike and helps you continue to shine a light on pieces of content that show off your best work.
Waiting Too Long Between New Content Pieces
Do you hold back on publishing content because you have a lot of rules for how long you want it to be or what features you want to have? Publishing frequently is more important than publishing long-form content, so don’t let too long go between new pieces, just in the hope of cramming more words onto the page.
There are a few reasons that quantity of publishing matters. One is that long tail searches count for well over half of search engine traffic. To take advantage of those long tail searches, you need the content to capture them—which means you simply need to keep building on the amount of content you have on your site.
Another reason is that sites that publish more get more traffic. People are more apt to spend time on your site and visit it frequently if it always looks new, fresh, and engaging. Search engines will also notice that you’ve been putting in overtime on creating content and reward you with better rankings.
Getting Laser-Focused on Length
On a related point, most content marketers know that long-form content has been shown to get more traffic. The reality is actually a lot more complicated than that. First, long-form content won’t perform well simply because it’s long. It also has to be quality content. Not every topic is well-suited to long-form style, and many marketers fluff out pieces to meet arbitrary word lengths instead of focusing on providing the content in its most readable form available.
The other side of the picture is that while long-form content may get more traffic than short-form in some studies, that doesn’t mean that people are actually reading it. Other research shows that people surfing the web spend just over 30 seconds reading a piece, on average. They are looking for something to consume quickly and move on. Targeted, short-form content satisfies these needs, which keeps readers on your site.
Lastly, short-form content is faster to write, which lets you keep up an SEO-friendly publishing schedule. Mix up your content styles instead of counting every word because you think that only long-form content performs.
Letting Your Evergreen Content Languish
Do you work on a piece of content, put it up on your site, and then move on to the next thing? If so, you’re letting a wealth of material go to waste, and compromising your SEO success at the same time. Evergreen content is essentially free content at your fingertips that you can use again and again to drive traffic.
After you’re done promoting a piece of evergreen content on your site, schedule social media promotion of the piece, schedule it to send automatically to new subscribers, and mention the pieces when you do guest posts. Updating older articles is also a good way to increase traffic and get more mileage out of an evergreen piece, without having to start from scratch.
Don’t let an outdated SEO strategy stand between you and your potential customers. Let the experienced digital marketing team at Pennington Creative make sure your SEO approach is always up to date and working for your brand. Our online marketing team in Tucson can build a customized strategy just for you. Find out how we can help your digital marketing efforts by calling (520) 344-4672.