As a web writer and SEO and digital marketing specialist for over 15 years, I've learned several things about SEO and marketing best practices over the years. For the most part, they are fluid, which was once considered a best practice, can now be a big hazard to your website's SEO.
However, there are some tactics that I wish I had never taken seriously, even at the start of my web development and SEO career.
5 Ways to Avoid Common SEO Mistakes
In this article, I want to briefly cover the main things I wish I had done differently in SEO marketing so you don't have to learn the hard way.
1. Write for your audience, not Google bots
All too often, SEO marketers write stuff full of keywords and industry-specific jargon that are borderline inscrutable to casual readers. Avoid this as if your website depends on it - because it does.
The top performing websites with lots of organic traffic and high conversion rates usually aren't crammed with keywords in every sentence. Instead, they're clear and value-driven. They don't care as much about appealing to Google's PageRank algorithm as they do about creating a pleasant user experience for the visitor.
This is the golden rule of SEO. If you can create a value-driven website that meets your customer's needs and interests, you should be well on your way to ranking well. Google is able to find out easily!
2. Don't ignore the technical side of your website
Technical SEO is huge, and I've found that it's only become a more relevant ranking factor over time. If you ignore the underlying technical elements responsible for your visitors' user experience, you risk being penalized by Google's algorithms.
• Use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption.
• Optimize your site for mobiles.
• Make your web pages load quickly.
• Make sure duplicate content is not indexed in your website's XML sitemap.
• Use structured data tags as much as possible for each page of your site.
The majority of these optimizations you can do them yourself, otherwise you can either consult a web developer (Who knows about SEO, because the majority focuses on design) for help, or consult SEO guides online like: Learn SEO
3. Diversify your content offerings
An effective SEO content strategy incorporates more than blog posts. While this is undoubtedly the backbone of any SEO plan, you need to tweak things from time to time to drive new traffic, build backlinks, and establish your brand authority and awareness. .
For example, I highly recommend spicing up your posts by occasionally adding one of these alternative content types:
• Infographics (which have strong viral potential).
• YouTube videos .
• Instagram Reels and TikTok videos.
• Quora and Reddit answer questions from the community.
• Podcast guest episodes.
• Guest blog posts on reputable websites.
In other words, throw curve balls into your SEO strategy. Don't be afraid to expand your understanding of “content” and fearlessly explore new avenues of content delivery.
4. Watch your rankings
Google's algorithms are constantly changing in order to provide better content and a better user experience to Internet users. Therefore, your ranking can vary overnight and go from the first position for a keyword to the 10th.
If this happens, don't stress. Focus on your plan and don't make rash changes. Instead, wait a few weeks to see if it fixes itself naturally. More often than not, small ranking adjustments revert to their previous status after a week or two. If not, take the hit on the chin and carry on with your strategy as usual. If you focus on creating great content, you will usually be rewarded in the long run.
5. Earn backlinks
Everyone wants to rank, but few of us want to put in the elbow grease to land a top position in the SERP. To create a rankable website, it helps to have other authoritative websites linking to your website. These are called “backlinks” and without them ranking for a competitive search term is more difficult.
Back then, many website owners colluded by creating private backlink networks in which one website was linked to another in exchange for a link that pointed to the first (link farm). Today, these are considered black hat SEO techniques and will result in a penalty if Google detects them.
Never buy backlinks (especially for beginners) and never cheat to acquire them. Instead, earn them by creating the best content available and sharing it widely with interested readers. This is the only credible way to build a backlink profile for your website. When you start, it is very difficult to have quality links easily. But when your site starts to rank well and has rich content, people start quoting you without even asking.
Taken together, I think these SEO rules are necessary conditions for success, but not sufficient. In other words, just because you follow these rules doesn't mean you'll rank. Whether you rank or not also depends on the quality of your content, your ingenuity and creativity, and the competitiveness of your niche.
That said, SEO strategies should adhere to these rules in 2022 to remain legit. And, if you want to rank in today's increasingly competitive SEO landscape, you should, too.
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