There are approximately 5.4 billion (yes, billion) search requests on Google every single day. While only 10% of those searches are considered to be transactional, that’s still 540 million daily purchase inquiries! With that information in mind, it’s no surprise that companies are looking to take advantage of advertising their product or service on popular search engines.
SEO, the practice of manipulating your website or online offering to increase your ranking on search engines, is critical to garnering the online presence and visibility every company needs to flourish in our digital society.
In this article, you'll learn how to approach SEO with confidence by understanding common factors that may be harming your SEO strategy and how to adjust your current methods to get back on the right track.
Common Reasons Your SEO May Not Be Working
Here are three crucial mistakes that can impact your chances of ranking on search engine results pages.
Your Link Quality is Lacking
Numerous factors determine the ranking of your website on search engines. One reason is the quantity and quality of referring links.
Have you ever noticed that a lot of articles online link external resources? Websites that refer back to yours create a signal that search engines interpret as having authoritative and relevant content, which in turn has a significant effect on your search rankings. An improved search ranking can increase your traffic, engagement, and even sales. What business doesn't want that?
One way to organically acquire more links to your website, often referred to as backlinks, is through content exchange and guest posting opportunities. This is a simple process that involves creating a piece of content and sharing it on another website with your link embedded in anchor text.
Marketers beware, though. If the links you receive are of low-quality, Google could penalize your site, and that could be one issue effecting your current SEO strategy. A low-quality link can be defined as one that Google deems as “spammy.” Check out this article about high-quality and low-quality links for more information.
Your Social Media Presence Needs Improvement
If you think operating your personal social media account and running a social media account for a business are similar, think again! The intricacies of planning, designing, and creating engaging content for a target audience far outweigh sharing a picture of your main course from Texas Roadhouse with your college buddies.
While the act of sharing content, engaging with users, and joining interest groups is comparable, managing a social profile for a business requires much more responsibility and focus, such as: product, service, and event promotion, client and online relationships, brand management, etc.
Although consumer trust in social media has fallen in the past year in the United States, it is still essential to utilize these platforms. Generating content varies from industry to industry. It is important to understand your goals before beginning a social media campaign – aiming to generate more leads will have an entirely different tone and style than creating brand awareness or increasing your following.
Furthermore, the value of your content is a crucial factor in determining whether members of your target audience will engage with your brand from the moment they become aware of the business.
Here are a few preliminary questions to consider prior to creating content:
- Would people use my piece as a reference in their work?
- Is the grammar correct?
- Does the content hold one's attention or does the point slip away?
If you answered no to one or more of the questions, your content quality is not as favorable as it could be in the eyes your users. But, have no fear - there are ways to improve the things you post on your site and social media, and we're here to help.
The Keywords You're Utilizing Are Poorly Implemented
Utilizing a proper keyword strategy is a critical aspect of any SEO campaign. It’s not enough to simply have high-volume, low-competition, or long-tail keywords in your site content, the frequency, placement, and structure of these keywords have a significant impact on where your business lands on the search results pages. One common mistake business owners make in regards to SEO is unknowingly implementing black-hat SEO tactics. Popular tactics that have worked in the past – or that might seem like a good idea to a novice SEO – can often do more harm than good. Methods such as keyword stuffing, keyword cloaking, duplicate content, etc. Are now enforceable by Google will more than likely lead to a penalty.
If you haven't enhanced your site’s content strategy, search engines could be overlooking your content! One important thing to consider when delving into this, is you must fully understand your target audience. It is vital to conform to their interests and language to craft content that is sure to resonate with them.
How to Enhance Your SEO
Now that you know a few reasons that might be contributing to a low SEO score, you're probably wondering how to enhance your website's SEO. One way to fix your SEO is by improving the quality and quantity of referring links.
Correct your content strategy over time by performing broken link analyses on your website. Do this by using a free tool online such as Google Search Console to determine which links need immediate attention to improve your site’s search engine optimization.
SEOptimizer recommends website owners conduct a broken link analysis regularly, whether that be every month or once a quarter. Doing so routinely is an SEO best practice for businesses.
Content should also be refreshed every so often. After performing a broken link analysis, don't just leave the broken links as is. Adding up-to-date information is both beneficial for new and returning readers, as well as your SEO score because Google will re-index updated content. It is recommended to provide a content update once every 3 to 6 months.
Additionally, you can focus on utilizing social media platforms to your advantage. Social media platforms should be used to inform consumers of your brand and, ultimately, entice them to follow the sales funnel you have created for them.
To attract an audience that could benefit from your products and services, use applicable keywords using hashtags to lead searchers to your social profiles when searching for those terms. The use of hashtags is typically based around a specific trend or the industry you’re in. Furthermore, niche hashtags are a double-edged sword: they can get you the exact audience you're looking for, but very few people will be searching for it. So, people typically search for broad hashtags, which is why they are more competitive.
There are different hashtag strategies you should abide by on each platform. For example:
- On Instagram, your hashtags should be trendy; something people would search to see something specific. (Tip: Instagram is a purely visual platform if your content isn't engaging or eye-catching, your audience will move onto something else.)
- On Facebook, you should only use a select few hashtags that are relevant or centered around your target audience.
- On Twitter, only use one or two that are incredibly trendy or relevant to your brand identity.
- On LinkedIn, you want industry-related hashtags, something that someone would type in looking for what you offer.
Once you attract the audience expected to have interest in your organization, come up with a content plan that involves tactics such as cross-promotion of content like blogs, videos, and so on.
Cross-promote by including this content on social media, with email marketing, and by adding share and visit links to your website. You must make sure this content is valuable, though.
Google prefers long-form content because it offers readers information without having to jump from page to page for information. Don't get confused though: long-form content doesn't always equate to valuable content! Never sacrifice quality for quantity, as the number of pages, blog posts, etc. is not as useful as a handful of pages and pieces of content that resonate with viewers.
One way to consider whether your content is valuable is by using analytics. Google Analytics can help you visualize the amount of traffic your website is getting and on which pages.
Your goal in writing content to improve your SEO score is to earn backlinks. Backlinks are links on a page not owned by you or your business that leads back to one of your website's pages. When an established site links to yours, the authority of your domain subsequently increases.
Businesses should also research relevant keywords. Each webpage should have a keyword phrase reflective of what a user would type into a search engine when looking for a product, service, or company like yours.
You can create a list of topics and terms that are relevant to your business as the first step in researching keywords for your SEO strategy. The process will help you learn how frequently the phrases get searched for and what searches are related to what you initially inputted.
Search.google.com is another excellent tool to use. The search console can tell you if your site has indexing issues or not. If you can't find problems yourself, your website probably isn't indexed by Google.
Now that you understand related keywords and their frequency, you can use quantitative data to determine the words and phrases that could apply to your pages. Do this by running your website's URL through a program such as SEMrush. The program helps you discover the keywords you're currently ranking for, what your competitors are ranking for, and what you can do to improve your business' keyword strategy.
A few other things to check for when creating valuable content includes the validity of information, correctness of grammar, and flow of content. This approach assists you in taking care of a variety of SEO-boosting activities all at once.
Seek SEO Assistance for Improved Performance
Improving website visibility with SEO is not an impossible feat, but it takes website and tactic analyzation, proper tag and keyword implementation, and continuous content refinement among other techniques.
Entrust search engine optimization professionals such as Code Authority to assist you in reaching organizational goals with professional SEO management. Contact our digital marketing team today for a free SEO and digital transformation consultation!