How to Avoid Some of the Most Common SEO Mistakes and Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy
Having great website content ensures higher profits and a growing audience, but this is only the first step in a long journey. Content marketing is still king, marketing-wise, and having insightful content ideas is more than important. Another thing marketers should focus on is improving their SEO approach. Without a well-established SEO strategy, they are prone to making common, rookie mistakes. Besides finding talent and the right tools and mechanisms, make sure to use the following pieces of advice to improve both your SEO strategy and content marketing approach.
Poorly-Optimized Content Loading Speed
One of the most common mistakes marketers seem to do is not paying enough attention to the loading speed of their content. You know it already; humans have really short attention spans. Having web content with slow loading speeds will most likely deter visitors and will make your amazing content unreadable.
With endless resources on the Internet, you should already know that if your content doesn’t load in a matter of milliseconds, your visitors will look for the information you have on other websites. There are two things that might slow down your load speed.
A poorly-chosen web host;
Each clickable element is another HTTP request. While web developers and owners aim to create websites as interactive as possible, this is a pitfall you might not get out of, as easy as you expect.
Focus on improving the load speed of your content, and you will be able to get out of your website more than you have ever thought. Look for other faults in terms of loading speed: your images. Images that fail to load at full resolution are just as dangerous as slow-loading content.
You Fail to Identify Broken Links Immediately
One of the biggest SEO mistakes you might encounter is failing to identify and fix broken links as soon as they appear. This is one of the reasons behind high bounce rates. This happens due to two reasons.
These links look bad for your audience and make your website look amateurish;
They look bad for search engines, and this will lower your SEO rank.
Although this issue might be a pain to fix, it does have a fix, and yet an easy one. Find a broken link checker and perform this task on a regular basis. Although this is a time-consuming task, you have to take care of it. No matter how good your website content is, if no one can reach it, it’s useless.
You Create All Content In-House
One of the best ways to create SEO-friendly content is outsourcing. Although you might have a great team of marketers and content writers, not all might be as trained and knowledgeable in creating SEO-friendly content. Professional SEO agencies specialize in different content types:
Photo content, etc.
Having a professional that can help you in perfecting the type of content you aim for is an amazing addition to your marketing efforts. Sure, in-house content creation has some benefits but finding a professional agency able to ensure the success of your content marketing strategy and link building efforts, is worth it. Don’t worry, even reputable marketing agencies outsource content creation, in most of the cases.
You Stuff Your Content with Keywords
Sure, you want to have SEO-friendly content, but too many keywords can have the opposite effect. For content creators, this can be only good news. Not only keyword stuffing is only making content rigid and unnatural, but it is also penalized by search engines. To prevent keyword stuffing and make your content more SEO-friendly, follow the pieces of advice below.
Use dedicated tools like LSO keywords and search terms.
Ditch aged content marketing behavior and focus on creating informational and insightful content, rather than focusing on keywords. Follow the example of websites like The Guardian, Forbes, and The Daily Mail when planning your keyword distribution.
And more than this, professional writers like the ones at MOZ, Trust My Paper or Search Engine Journal advise offering your writers only the content topic, without keywords, for more natural and easy-flowing content.
This is a rookie mistake, but a big one, nonetheless. Marketers are familiar with this practice: posting the same content on multiple pages, within the same website. The main problem in this scenario is search engines being unable to decide which page to index and not showing either page, ultimately. While duplicate content can hide under various forms, below are some of the most frequent scenarios encountered by specialists.
Homepage duplicates - To check if a website has homepage duplicates, check and see if one of the following examples appear to be the case of your domain: http://www.website.com; http://website.com, http://www.website.com/index.html; http://website.com/home; http://website.com/default.aspx. If your website provides two or more versions in web engine search results, you have big problems, since search engines will be unable to decide which one to index. And they won’t index any of the existing duplicate homepages.
Duplicate URL – In this case, the upper case and lower case URL text are used inconsistently. This also confuses search engines and so, it decreases your URL’s ranking. If you have internal or external links directing to pages in the following way, try to fix the issue: http://website.com/Product, http://website.com/product. In this case, you are splitting the ranking between the two and neither of them will have a satisfactory ranking.
Different pages have nearly identical content – This is a content issue most marketers struggle with. Many websites have a similar piece of content on different pages, which will lower its ranking, ultimately. While content writers might not pay extra attention to this detail, a team of SEO specialists will most likely point out this issue immediately.
To reduce duplicate content on different pages, you can use several different strategies.
Try to expand each page;
Consolidate two or more pages into one. For instance, if you have a brick-and-mortar shop in multiple locations, instead of creating separate pages for each location, consolidate the two, especially if the content for both locations is identical.
If you prefer to keep different pages for each location, try to collaborate with a team of skillful and creative writers, and ask them to create completely different content.
Use 301 redirect page versions to the original pages;
Learn some of the best URL practices out there. A team of professional SEO experts will help you tackle this part if you are focused on content writing.
Poor Site Structure
Web developers rarely think of SEO matters when developing the structure of a website. Of course, this is an understandable aspect, as web developers aren’t SEO specialists. Most developers overlook the way in which pages link to each other, and the way the overall architecture of the website looks.
According to SEO specialists, marketers should also pay attention to website structure when trying to improve the quality of the content they write – or its visibility, better said. There are more reasons why you should improve the website structure.
Home page visibility. Generally, a website’s homepage will have the highest volume of incoming links and the highest quality of inbound links. Authority is established within a website from high authority pages to low authority pages. The further a web page is placed from the homepage, the less authority it has. And thus, the lower it ranks.
If high authority pages are buried deep in website architecture, the less likely they are to rank high. On the other hand, if pages with less authority are placed closer to the homepage, they will rank higher, although they are less relevant.
In the end, marketers should recommend improving the website architecture to help visitors reach easier the information and content they are interested in.
You Don’t Optimize Your Content for Mobile Use
SEO-wise, you should know that today Google takes into consideration the mobile when ranking sites. To remember in the future why it’s important to have a mobile-friendly website, read the following data.
More than 60% of internet users are likely to jump the boat if your website is not mobile-friendly.
Almost 90% of Internet users shop online and get their information on the way – having a mobile-friendly website is highly recommended.
63% of website traffic comes from mobile users, in the US. The statistics for other countries are similar.
To ensure all users make the most of their browsing experience, Google made it very clear that mobile-friendliness is a must in this day and time.
When consulting your clients, ensure they are fully aware of the importance of having a mobile-friendly website. If it isn’t, there is no point in creating high-quality, insightful content. There won’t be no visitors if the website ranks low due to the lack of mobile functionality. The most affordable and the simplest way to ensure mobile-friendliness is using responsive designs. This will ensure the right level of SEO-friendliness and you can create informational and insightful content that will reach visitors when they need it the most.
You Have Unreasonable SEO Expectations
Sometimes, it’s not that your content is not properly optimized for SEO purposes, it’s just your clients have unreasonable expectations from their campaigns. SEO is not easy, or fast, or cheap. Below is a series of unreasonable expectations you should let your clients know about.
You can’t explore algorithms loopholes like in the past to grow your website’s ranking artificially.
You can’t aim to rank on certain keywords. There are a series of reasons why you can’t use short-tail keywords in your content. People still think like people, and they are unlikely to search for short-tail, competitive, and high search volume keywords, just to make your client happy. People use less targeted keywords and most of the times, they use long-tail keywords. This is why you have to explain to them that a perfect mix between SEO and content marketing would be to use natural, long-tail keywords. Even though this sort of keywords might not be on your client’s ranking list, make sure they understand these perform better than their targeted keywords.
According to Neil Patel, one or two-word keywords don’t convert well and are costly to rank. Besides, according to reputable SEO experts, users have lately become more mature and their searches have become more sophisticated. They started to use more words in their search queries. To improve your SEO ranking in a healthy and sustainable fashion, follow the pieces of advice below.
Measure your campaign success on other factors, such as traffic, lower bounce rates, or longer time visit.
Make sure the website deserves a high SEO ranking. Many business owners aim to improve their SEO efforts just to compensate for poor websites. This is unlikely to happen.
Analyze your clients’ website and ensure it has a responsive interface, well-written, engaging content, before trying to work on SEO-friendliness.
Hiring Poor SEO Consultants
As marketers, you are unlikely to hold knowledge of all areas that can be approached. And SEO is one of those. If you have clients that need a little more work on their websites, than basic content creation, collaborating with a team of reputable SEO consultants will offer you both a big advantage. But ensure that you find skillful and knowledgeable SEO professionals. Otherwise, this will end up being a complete waste of time and money.
SEO and content marketing go hand in hand. And when one of the two lacks from marketing campaigns, the chances to succeed drop dramatically. Marketers and SEO specialists should look forward to collaborating with one another to ensure their clients enjoy high returns on their SEO and content marketing campaigns. They should also look forward to informing all their clients in terms of some of the most common misconceptions when it comes to SEO and content marketing.
And as rule of thumb, ensure that your content marketing strategy focuses on using a low density of keywords, for content of the highest quality.