Despite constant evidence that SEO is way more complex than you might think – companies constantly convince themselves that they know how to bamboozle the system.
Sure, there might be a few nifty tricks out there that will help you to speed your way to the top of the list without doing all that hard work – but it’s hard to manipulate an algorithm that’s constantly changing beneath your fingertips. In other words, the more you sneak your way to a higher rank, the harder you’ll fall when Google catches you out.
While there are a number of SEO mistakes that can put a damper on your digital marketing efforts – some of which we’re going to address here – the biggest factor you should take away from this article, and many of my others – is that gimmicky services, underhanded solutions, and out-of-date methods don’t work.
What does work? Incredible content, constant promotion, and a comprehensive plan for the future.
SEO: You’re Probably Doing It Wrong
As a freelance writer, and business consultant, I frequently see companies searching for shortcuts that might help them to manipulate the search engines into giving them a higher spot on the ladder – without them having to put in any time, effort, or patience. While tricks like this used to be very possible – the truth is that Google is way smarter than you think – they’re building cars that drive themselves, after all!
Chances are – as smart as your business might be – you’re not going to trick the big dogs at Google, which means you need to go about things in a more legitimate way. Sorry.
Plenty of the SEO “tricksters” you see on the web today made a fortune a few years ago, when search engine optimization was all about hiding important words on pages and repeating the same thing hundreds of times through keyword stuffing. But the things that used to work no longer make sense to Google, and as such – sticking to old ideas could hurt you, and your business.
Everything Takes Time
As much as you might want to jump head-first into online success – who doesn’t? – the truth is that if you start a new website, on average it will take around 6 months for Google to even begin to trust you. Before then, you’re going to be placed in your own box until Google figures out what you and your business is all about.
Even after the six months have passed, it’s going to take time to start making an impact. If your first few months in the limelight are riddled with SEO mistakes – then success could take even longer.
So what are the most common SEO mistakes out there today – and what can you do to avoid them?
SEO Mistake 1: Assuming Everything Going to be Easy
When’s the last time that something really important was handed to you on a silver platter?
Just because SEO doesn’t have a place in the physical world – doesn’t mean that it’s any different. If you take the time to understand SEO, then you’ll quickly figure out what it means to rank on the first page – and usually, you’ll be able to recognize that the road ahead isn’t going to be easy.
First of all, you need to figure out how to create incredible content that’s going to draw in your readers. This is going to take time, and money to craft – no copy and pasting your favorite quotes from other articles allowed. Once that’s done, you need to work on making sure that people read the content you create – and that means promoting it – through social media, PPC, or any other method you like.
All the while, when you’re trying to make a splash in your industry – you’ll be competing with a range of other national companies that generally have huge audiences, spend a bundle of their budget on content, and even have access to influencers in almost every field. In other words – you’re starting with a huge disadvantage.
So what can you do about it?
Not much – the best way to avoid this mistake is to be realistic about the challenges that you’ll need to face when crafting your digital presence. At least that way, you won’t be disappointed when you’re not ranking first on Google within a couple of days, or weeks.
SEO Mistake 2: Living in the Past
As I already mentioned above, there were plenty of things that used to work in the SEO world that simply don’t work today. Not only will trying to make the easier options produce results for your company leave you with a wasted budget – but it will also raise your chances of getting penalized for your poor-quality content.
When businesses approach me today asking for a piece of work that contains so many keywords or phrases in a very specific way, I need to look at that content and see whether keywords can be implemented naturally, or whether it’s going to look messy and “stuffed”. If the second eventuality is true, then I talk to my client, and work to convince them that what they’re trying to do, isn’t going to get them the results they want.
It’s time for companies to start catching up with the changes that Google have made over the recent years. Yes, the frequently fluctuating algorithms can be hard to follow – but remember that not all content writers will be willing to inform you when you’re doing something bad for your business.
SEO Mistake 3: Buying the Wrong Services
If you see a website that claims it can get you to the first page of Google within a number of days, then avoid it at all costs. It’s not realistically possible for anyone to tell you that you’ll achieve such a result within such a specific period of time – particularly when there’s so much uncertainty surrounding Google, and your website.
Many of the SEO services that seem too good to be true – are – and Google will be all too happy to penalize you if the efforts of your new partners seem to indicate that you’re attempting to manipulate the system.
SEO isn’t about buying your way into the top of the club – it’s about thinking on what your customers want, and need – and serving their interests. The only services you need to buy for SEO, are those that can improve the content you produce, and help you to promote that content in an effective way. Everything else isn’t worth the cash.
Feel like being more awesome? Get in touch to learn more about how you can maximize your online success with high-quality content, and content management.