SEO tips for beginners

Did you know that when done right, search engine optimisation (SEO) has the potential to drive a 14.6% conversion rate? To put that in context, traditional approaches like direct mail and print ads only drive a 1.7% conversion rate.

With stakes like that on the table, SEO has been like a gold rush for many firms looking for organic traffic. However, with everyone upping their act, you need to cut out any inefficiencies in your strategy that can make you lag behind.

Here are six common SEO mistakes your competitors are making that you should avoid if your strategy is to deliver results.

1. Not Understanding Search Intent Correctly

A vital foundation for any successful SEO strategy you deploy is to satisfy the target user’s search intent.

Search intent is essentially the drive behind a user’s online search. Any investment you make in SEO is meant to position your brand as the right fit for answering this intent.

As such, search engines are looking for pages that best fit a user’s search term.

There are four types of search intent you need to pay attention to:

  • Informational intent where a user is typically looking to learn more about a given subject.
  • Navigational intent where a user desires to visit a particular site
  • Transactional intent where a user is searching for products or services to make a purchase
  • Commercial investigation where a user runs a search to research for purchase in the near future

The better you identify and understand the motivation behind your target audience’s searches, the more effective your SEO can become.

Not only can you craft more relevant content to answer the right questions, but you can also position your content to speak to the right needs at the right time.

2. Not Shaping a User’s Action

Earning organic search traffic isn’t easy, and once you get a user to land on your site, you don’t want them to bounce them to the search engine.

To make your SEO more fruitful, you need to keep users on your site for longer.

Thus, a call-to-action (CTA) is critical for your site. A CTA is a button on your site that encourages a visitor to take further action that keeps them on your website.

For example, it could be a ‘buy’ button on your product page. If you have a newsletter, then you could direct a visitor to the ‘sign up’ button.

However, just because you need to keep users on your site doesn’t mean you should overwhelm them with CTAs. Not having a clear trigger to action is the same as lacking CTAs all through.

Ensure each page has one CTA to make the purpose of that page crystal clear to a user. Additionally, you have to ensure that the CTA stands out from the rest of the page’s design to attract the user’s attention.

3. Treating SEO as a One-And-Done Issue

Many businesses tend to approach SEO as a one-time event. It’s wrong to assume that once you achieve the right optimisation, your site can achieve perpetual organic traffic.

If you are to execute SEO rightly, you need to learn that it’s a continuous project. While it’s prudent to find out when you can expect to begin seeing results, the fact of the matter is that SEO is mostly a long-term strategy.

In the short term, SEO delivers a small impact. Failing to figure out that substantial performance results will take more time can lead you to make the wrong strategic decisions.

4. Ignoring Mobile Traffic

Of all the internet traffic that websites receive, more than 50% now comes from mobile devices.

At this inflexion point, search engines such as Google now consider the mobile-friendliness of your site when ranking it. As such, failing to optimise your SEO to be mobile-friendly is shooting yourself in the leg.

With this in mind, you should pay due consideration to creating a responsive site over various versions. Such a website helps enrich the experience for mobile users by immediately adapting to their device without a lot of extra investment from you.

Try visiting your site from your cell phone and tablet to see how practical the experience is. Can you click all the links and images without any issues? Can you land on it and go all the way to purchase it comfortably?

If you’re still unsure, you can examine your website using Google’s mobile-friendly test to see where you end to make adjustments.

5. Optimising for Search Engines First and Not People

The impact of a search engine on your rankings can’t be understated. That fact has led many businesses to work on their SEO with the belief that if they can influence the search engine, users will fall in line.

However, that could not be further from the truth.

All the search engine does is pair the user’s intent with content that best fulfils a user’s needs. Thus, if you focus your SEO supremely on the user, your site will perform well more consistently in the long run.

Even when the operators of the search engine decide to make changes, the fact that your site meets the user’s needs means that you will manage that change successfully.

6. Inadequate Efforts Towards Brand Building

While SEO is focused on driving organic traffic to your site, the dynamics around that have changed. Part of that change is search engines moving to love brands more than ever.

When you develop a strong brand in search, users will grow to associate a particular product or service with your business.

Consequently, whenever these users need to look up the associated product or service, odds are they will look your business up.

Once the search engine notices that, your ranking will deliver outsize results. If you only stick to driving traffic without a bigger plan for growing your brand in search, you miss out on higher ranking and the potential increase in revenue.

Watch out for Common SEO Mistakes That Can Slow Your Success

As consumer behaviour moves to buying journeys starting online, now more than ever, firms need to draw organic traffic. SEO is the set of tools that can help you present prospects with the right solution at the right time. Before investing significant time and money into your strategy, identify common SEO mistakes your competitors are making to ensure you generate superior results.

Common Ground is a driven digital marketing firm looking to help you exceed your online marketing expectations. Talk to us today for strategies that only deliver exceptional results.

Daniel T

Author Daniel T

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