3 Reasons Your SEO Efforts Are Failing

3 Reasons Your SEO Efforts Are Failing

Implementing a search engine optimization strategy isn’t enough to get you on the first page of Google’s search results.

Even with an SEO plan in place, there is a good chance it isn’t working the way you hoped.

There are a number of reasons your SEO strategy is failing to get you to the coveted front page. Without an understanding of what you’re doing wrong, your content will be stuck in the middle of the pack.

Here are three of the most common—and crippling—mistakes to avoid:

1. You’re not using the right keywords.

Determining the best keywords for you and your organization can be difficult, especially if you’re working in a highly populated category.

The most common keyword-related mistakes include using single-word keywords instead of long-tail keywords, hoping to get noticed using popular keywords, and targeting keywords that are too specific (or not specific enough).

If you’re using single-word keywords or highly popular keywords, you’re bound to get lost in the results that appear after a general search. If you can’t compete with the budgets that many million-dollar companies set aside to ensure first place spots, it’s essential to your SEO strategy that you find a keyword path around them.

In your quest to find the best keywords, don’t be too specific or too broad. If you optimize a keyword that is too broad, potential customers will have a hard time finding you and lost seekers of a different service might find their way to your page.

On the other hand, if no one searches for the keywords you’ve selected, you won’t be found. Either way, don’t make potential customers struggle to reach your page.

Select keywords that are specific enough to describe your organization well, but broad enough that they will be typed into a search bar.

2. You’re not using digital marketing tools.

Digital marketing tools help you see what is working and what isn’t, so you know where your strategy is strong—and where it needs support.

Everything from analytic trackers to goal trackers fall under the data visualization tools category, and all are necessary if you want to see your SEO efforts succeed.

If you are only measuring the success of your SEO strategy by an increase in business, you’re unlikely to see the results you’re anticipating. Optimizing your website’s content takes time, effort and continuous improvements. Treating SEO as a one-time project can only do so much, and it’s likely to be very little.

Management tools give you the ability to track and understand the side of SEO you couldn’t see before and measure results beyond a standard increase in business. The tools you choose can provide you with information from how many new visitors you’re seeing on your website to potential keywords that may work better for your business.

Getting help from computer software/hardware, online programs or other marketing tools is necessary in creating a strong SEO strategy. Constant technological changes require increased comprehension of your site’s effect on the hardware it interacts with.

An intro to networking courses can give you the competitive advantage needed to fully grasp any server related issue flagged on your site. Don’t allow your efforts to fail because you’re not adapting and adjusting.

3. You’re not targeting your customers.

Your SEO strategy needs to revolve around what your customers—or potential customers—look for when they need your product or service. If you don’t understand who your customer is, your SEO strategy is bound to fail.

Targeting the wrong audience will not increase your business even if your SEO strategy puts you on top on the results page. Similarly, if you’re not appearing in the results for the correct audience, those searching for your business won’t be able to find you.

A good way to see if you are reaching the right customer is to check out your bounce rate—the number of individuals who come to your website and leave without looking around. If your bounce rate is high, you are probably appearing in the wrong search results and your SEO strategy will need to be adjusted.

Take the time to understand whom your target customer is and reflect on how they might be searching online. An older customer isn’t going to search the web the same way a teenager would. Your keywords must represent the audience that brings you the most business.

Getting the right SEO strategy takes trial and error. With a lot of attention and a little adjusting, you can find your way to the first page of search engine results and increase your website traffic, leading to your organization’s success.

source: entrepreneur.com

How Backlinks Can Boost Traffic to Your Website

How Backlinks Can Boost Traffic to Your Website

When building a website, business owners often focus so much on keywords and other on-page search engine optimization factors that they overlook the importance of backlinks.

Some industry experts estimate backlinks may account for as much as 80 percent of the weight that search engine ranking algorithms give websites. When it comes to improving how your business turns up in searches, cultivating links from other websites that point back to your own site is too big an opportunity to pass up.

If you aren’t actively building backlinks, here are some basics for getting started:

What are backlinks?
At its most basic, a link is a connection between any two web pages. You might have internal links between different pages on your site or external links that point from your site to other useful web resources. Links that go from another site to yours are called backlinks because they point back to your pages.

Why should you care about link building?
From a search engine optimization perspective, links demonstrate a site’s popularity. Essentially, every time a site links to your pages, it’s saying that it finds them worthy of sharing with its readers. When search engine spiders find a site with lots of other sites pointing to it, they conclude that the site provides quality information that should be rewarded with high rankings.

There are backlink characteristics that matter in rankings algorithms. For example, a backlink from a high ranked site will count more than one from a low ranked site. A link from a relevant site within your industry also will get more weight.

But since search engines can’t manually assess the quality of every site, they rely on the number of backlinks pointing at a site and the relative quality of the links to determine a site’s overall value.

How can you get started building backlinks to your site?
If you publish engaging content, you probably already get links back to your site. But that’s rarely enough to make your site competitive in search results. You should be proactive about developing backlinks.

Keep in mind the following criteria:

  1. Backlinks should come from relevant sites that publish quality content.
  2. They shouldn’t be paid for. It’s a “black hat” strategy that Google doesn’t condone.
  3. Backlinks should be built slowly. If you create them too quickly, you could appear to be manipulating the rankings and trigger penalties from the search engines.

To find sites you might want to target for potential backlinks, first see which websites link to your competitors. You can conduct a search for your competitors’ URLs at sites such as MajesticSEO or the Open Site Explorer. Once you discover which sites are linking to your competitors, visit those sites to find out if your content might be a good fit as well.

Another way is to track unclaimed link opportunities. Suppose another site has mentioned your site as a reference or quoted one of your articles without providing a proper attribution link. By tracking your brand name and other branded keywords with a Google Alert, you can monitor such lost backlink opportunities and contact the site owners to ask them to link to your pages correctly.

Other backlink opportunities include:

  • Guest posting. Offer to write content for other people’s sites. This can help you gain extra exposure and backlinks.
  • Press releases. If you have something newsworthy to share, an online press release can boost your backlink count.
  • Social networking. When you actively participate on social networking sites, you not only brand yourself as an expert, but you also can pick up a number of backlinks.

Although any of these backlink strategies can help your site climb in the search engine rankings, you should track the results to see which techniques have the most impact. Over time, a consistent link-building campaign should yield significant improvements in your search rankings and site traffic.