If you’ve been in the digital marketing world for any length of time, you’ve probably heard the term “SEO”. If not, it stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it describes a subset of digital marketing and development that emphasizes keywords, website design, linking and other tactics to help gain traction in search engine rankings, and ultimately, result in conversions. This is important because people around the world conduct millions of searches a day, and if your business is the top rank for a particular keyword, then that simple placement on Google’s search engine can earn you thousands or even millions of dollars in additional income.
While the concept of SEO is fairly easy to understand, mastering search engine rankings and conversions is another story. Google wants the most relevant sites to come up first in rankings and uses a complex algorithm to make sure this is the case. At the same time, companies who want to secure coveted positions can implement website optimization tactics to their websites to secure top rankings that lead to conversions. As a result, companies turn to search engine optimization for help in implementing a strategic approach to both SEO and conversion optimization.
Unfortunately, we see far too many businesses executing incorrectly, and succumbing to SEO mistakes. Here are a few things that can harm your SEO rankings, compiled by the team at your favorite Orlando SEO agency:
1. Not Having a Web Page
This is a rather obvious one, but when companies have no digital footprint, potential customers on the web have no way of finding them. While in this day and age, it seems like every business you can think of has a webpage, you might be surprised at the number of businesses that solely rely on sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor as the only means of being found online – leaving these businesses virtually invisible to the Google-searching masses.
2. Paying for Cheap Services
Inexpensive SEO services may actually cause more harm than hurt. Many times, businesses try to “cheat” and end up outsourcing website copywriting assignments to foreign agencies that produce keyword heavy content in broken English. In theory, the notion that the copy is keyword-heavy would produce strong results, but Google’s algorithm is trained to recognize keyword density above a certain level. As a result, businesses are penalized for attempting to employ outrightly obvious SEO boosting tactics. Remember that Google wants to provide the most relevant results, not necessarily the most keyword heavy ones. Therefore, sites that rely on inexpensive services may end up at the bottom.
3. Bad Keyword Research
If you’re in a business that’s highly competitive in the SEO field, you’ll have little chance of competing with companies that have years of SEO experience and are major players in the space. A better tactic is to focus on more narrow keyword searches, but not so narrow people can’t find you. Developing a strategic course of action takes time and effort, but a great place is Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner. You may find you need to stay away from high volume searches due to stiff competition. Instead, you can hone in on more specific searches that don’t get as much volume, but are more targeted toward your business offerings.
4. Link Exchanges / Spam Links / Paid Links in Content / Other Shady Linking Tactics
Google gives a fair amount of credit to legitimate links included in blog posts, but if you’re engaging in shady linking practices, you might have a problem. [quote]There is a multitude of ways people try to manipulate links, but if you think you’re smarter than Google, guess again.[/quote] If, for example, you’re using low-quality blog networks to try to increase ranking in SEO, or are inserting paid links in your content, then you’d better be ready to watch your search engine ranking drop dramatically. SEO experts know that Google doesn’t allow companies to recover from this practice easily, and that it can take years to regain ranking if Google’s algorithm flags you for using shady linking practices.
5. Not Keeping Apprised of Updates and Best Practices
Google is constantly updating its algorithm to help combat shady SEO tactics. Even if you’re someone who’s simply dabbling in SEO, it’s important to be up-to-date with the most current SEO ranking trends and practices. A great resource to figure out whether your SEO needs a refresh is Google’s Webmaster Rules.
Need some help updating your page’s SEO strategy so Google’s search engine can better locate your business? Contact the team for at your favorite Orlando ad agency for assistance, and let us help you navigate the tricky terrain of SEO best practices.