In recent years, search engine optimization (SEO) has been growing in importance as businesses strive to be seen by potential customers. The job of SEO specialists and managers is to help businesses increase organic search rankings to boost traffic and drive conversions. SEO strategies contain a lot of moving parts, and take time, patience, planning and care to be successful. When partnering with an SEO specialist, here’s what “not to do” so that they can transform your strategy.
Don’t Expect Results from SEO Immediately
Think of the SEO process like growing a garden. Once you plant seeds you won’t have fully-grown fruits or vegetables overnight. It takes a lot of careful tending and monitoring to get results. As a rule of thumb, you can expect 4-6 months before you begin to see any tangible results from your SEO activities. However, it’s well worth the payoff. In fact, landing in the top 3 positions for a particular keyword could increase the click-through rate for organic traffic by up to 33%. Hitting that number 1 spot may be a lofty goal, and there are many nebulous factors that impact ranking potential, but as you see your rankings increase you’ll also enjoy the increased traffic to your site.
Don’t Use a Single-Approach SEO Strategy
As mentioned above, SEO strategies have a lot of moving parts. Achieving great results takes more than writing blogs, it takes a combination of on-site and off-site work to deliver results. If you’re working with an SEO specialist, they’ll likely recommend copy and metadata improvements to your site to capture desired keywords, targeted blogs, and an outreach strategy to generate backlinks and positive mentions of your brand across different sources on the web. Technical SEO, web development, and UX also play an important role in SEO. Ensuring you have a user-friendly, well-organized, and mobile responsive website with the best UX your team can create, it will greatly improve your ranking potential.
Don’t Overlook the Importance of Backlinks
So, what exactly is a backlink and why does it matter to your business? Backlinks simply refer to incoming links coming to your website from other sites, and are a crucial component to an SEO strategy. Take for example when you’ve found yourself on a site like Forbes. Articles written on this site tend to feature links to other sources, also known as backlinks. Generating backlinks can be a tedious process, but one that is well worth it.
The Power of Link Juice
To better illustrate the importance of building authoritative backlinks to your website, let’s compare your website to a system of gravity-fed flasks. Your homepage is the largest flask, after all, it contains all the most important information about your business and your branding. Below that you have your business’ category pages, like your products, services, blogs, about pages, etc. The authority of the domain (aka domain authority or DA) (things like the age of domain, the amount of backlinks feeding into your domain, and other factors) gets passed down to the domain’s subpages and category pages. The closer the category pages are to the domain, the more authority they retain.
When you get a “dofollow” link back to your domain from an external site that has a higher domain authority than yours, that link creates a type of siphon or pipe to your domain that transfers some of that sweet, sweet link juice to your site. If you gather enough link juice from external sites, it starts to build up the domain authority of your website. “Nofollow” links, on the other hand, will not pass authority back to your website. They aren’t as impactful as dofollow links are for increasing your ranking. Working with experienced SEO specialists can help you target sites that will get you dofollow links over nofollow links.
So, getting a link from a high domain website like Forbes (has a DA of 95; the max is 99) can actually help increase the authority of your site in the eyes of Google, elevating you higher in the SERP results. Most importantly, don’t set huge goals for the number of links you want for your site because when it comes to backlinks, quality always trumps quantity. It takes time to get links on high-authority, quality sites, but it’s well worth it. Avoid pressuring your SEO specialist to buy in bulk, because that could put your website at risk of receiving a manual penalty which could destroy your ranking potential entirely. Instead, allow your SEO team the time (and budget) it takes to get good placements.
Don’t Expect Quantity When it Compromises Content Quality
One of the biggest mistakes people make when writing content for SEO is creating bland, keyword-stuffed content that’s just meant for the search engines to crawl and index. Since the beginning of SEO practices, Google has refined it’s search algorithm significantly, keyword stuffing and thin content will not help improve your ranking anymore.
However, regularly posting to your blog is great for increasing rankings, but not when the frequency compromises the quality of work that’s being uploaded to your site. Much like backlinks, creating quality blogs and website content is better than churning out high-volumes of low-quality work.
So instead of creating content that just focuses on ranking for one keyword, it’s important to expand on this keyword and think about the search intent behind the phrase. For instance, if the keyword you are targeting is for “high definition TV” think more narrow search terms related to that keyword like “where to buy a high definition TV?,” “best high definition TV,” “cheapest high definition TV,” and so on.
Readability and user experience are actually huge factors that Google takes into consideration, and are the most important factor when it comes to creating content. Quality content entices readers to stay on the page longer and can lead to a high volume of pages visited, leading to high time on site. Nowadays, content needs to also be longer and 300-word blogs just don’t cut it anymore. Creating longer pieces of content that are educational and rich with knowledge will be the goal of your SEO specialist, and pressuring them for high volumes of poor content isn’t a good strategy to follow.
Don’t Forget Your Goals
SEO strategies can be tedious to implement, but don’t let that deter you from your goals. Once your website starts rising in the ranks of the search engines, it can boost your monthly organic traffic and conversion rate. Remember that the small gains along the way and a consistent and strong strategy will help improve your website’s SEO value.
Rising in the ranks takes the skill and precision of an expert. The SEO team at Cape and Bay is tenured in creating optimized content, running site audits, and getting the backlinks your brand needs to get seen. Ready to get your business seen? Let’s chat.