How to avoid SEO mistakes…!

How can a marketer or SEO agency keep track of changes?

In our last article – Does Anyone Need an SEO Agency – we explored the need for retaining SEO agency expertise and concluded that SEO is still a key contributor to success and that it is essential to do it well.

But SEO is an increasingly evolving and complex area and it’s easy to make mistakes. So let’s look at what we can do to try and avoid some of the most common mistakes, and to keep your SEO strategy in tip top condition.

Mistake number 1: not keeping up to date with SEO

In the article mentioned above we explained – and debunked – some of the reasons why SEO is regarded by some as an area that no longer needs specialist input. It does. And part of this is the importance of those involved in SEO keeping right up to date with all of the latest news, algorithm changes, insider tips and knowledge to ensure that your site stands a chance of organic search results success.

Some of the ways you can keep up to date with SEO are:

  • Online training courses and videos
  • Following SEO experts on areas such as algorithm changes and technical SEO
  • SEO events and meetups
  • Blogs (or vlogs) of experts in different niches
  • Events, conferences and meetups
  • News publications

But keep up to date you must – otherwise you can end up misguidedly putting time and effort into aspects of SEO that are no longer relevant.

Mistake number 2: not explaining SEO effectively to your stakeholders

For SEO to be truly effective you need every part of your business involved. Think of your business as groupings of stakeholders. These will all have different needs and requirements, but need to be educated in the capabilities and requirements of SEO so that SEO can become firmly embedded in every aspect of your business’s online strategy.

SEO will need to be explained in different ways to these different stakeholders in order for them to grasp the concept and adapt it accordingly. Only then will you be able to maximise the impact of SEO on the overall business.

So you need to know who your stakeholders are, what their knowledge is, and what are their priorities. It is useful to have background information such the roles of different stakeholders and whether or not they have worked with an SEO team in the past. This will inform how you talk to people and will help you to keep them on side. It will help to provide just the right level of information and knowledge so that they can focus on results and impact rather than getting overwhelmed by superfluous detail.

Mistake number 3: not being customer-centric

It is all too easy to get wrapped up in the theory and mechanics of SEO and forget why we are doing it all in the first place. Yes, you want to top the SERPs and increase traffic to your site. But beware of that becoming a challenge or a competition in itself. You may achieve increases in traffic and rankings, but it’s the customer who matters.

Whether you are a marketer focussing on consumers, or an SEO agency working on behalf of a client, remember to put the customer first. This means that your content and keywords should not just focus around getting more traffic to the site. It should also be about increasing brand exposure and authority, providing easily navigable links to facilitate conversions, and – above all – creating excellent UX for both new and existing customers.

As a general guideline, no webpage should be more than two clicks away from either the homepage or a call-to-action landing page. But if our SEO strategy involves adding more and more linked pages of content, this simple requirement can easily be overlooked.

So make sure that your content and structure delights customers and clients, and remains the main focus of your site rather than being overrun by your SEO strategy.

Mistake number 4: not logging changes to your website

It is essential to log changes to your website so that it remains fully optimised and encourages visitors to stay on it rather than giving up and clicking away.

A typical scenario is that one part of the business makes changes to the site without informing everyone else. This can lead to:

  • Duplicate content
  • Changed/deleted pages
  • Broken links
  • Slow loading speed
  • Unoptimised meta tags

It is essential to keep a change log, and there are various tools that can help you do this, for example Google drive. This will help you to find content if you need to revert it, or if a page is accidentally removed or you need to revert content or tagging. It is also invaluable to be able to track whether changes in traffic have been driven by site changes.

Mistake number 5: not measuring results

Measuring the effectiveness of an SEO campaign is critical, and it is worth taking the time to set up your analytics properly right from the start. One of the biggest challenges in SEO is to demonstrate value and without the right data in place, this challenge becomes even greater.

It is important to make sure that you’re using the right data from the start. It is very common to find that different teams are using different data points. So when putting analytics in place it is essential to understand the objectives and applicable key performance indicators that are to be measured. This enables you to demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of the online strategy, and to determine whether goals are being met. There can then be adjustments to strategies as needed.

When different stakeholders can see evidence of how SEO benefits their own work, they will become personally invested in playing their part in ongoing successful SEO implementation.

If you can avoid the above mistakes, you are well on the way to keeping your SEO strategy up to date and returning the results that you are looking for. So ensure that you focus that strategy on the things that matter to the business, the stakeholders and the customer, and that you measure its effectiveness to keep it working for you.