Search Marketing Mistakes That Can Set Your Growth Back
If you have any idea about online marketing at all, then the importance of using search engines should not be lost on you. Search engines are some of the most widely used platforms when it comes to looking for businesses online and optimizing your use of them can greatly help you grow your brand recognition, relevant traffic, and even customer conversions. However, this can be tough if you’re following the worst of the SEO advice out there. Some can be unhelpful at best, while others are going to actively harm your efforts to get your business seen. Here are some of those mistakes and what you can do to avoid them.
Having the wrong idea of what search marketing can do for you
SEO can do a lot for you. It can help bolster your conversion funnel, make your site and brand more visible, and help you find the customers that are most likely to become repeat supporters of the business. It can’t do everything, however, and the many SEO misconceptions floating around can actually harm your ability to work effectively with it.
For instance, you should know that SEO tends not to be a great short-term strategy for helping you convert customers. Direct marketing efforts such as advertising and social media tend to get more eyes on the business immediately. SEO and other organic methods typically grow your audience more steadily for long-term gain.
Not having any goals behind your SEO use
SEO is effective at many things. However, in order to ensure that you’re getting the very best from it, you should be using it with a specific purpose. There are different ways to use SEO and if you have mixed ideas of what kind of benefits you should be enjoying from it, it can start to make it feel like a less effective venture, overall.
Take a look at some of the goals that SEO can help you with and see which of them best aligns with your business goals. If you want to increase traffic to your website and build brand recognition, SEO can do that by focusing on gaining visibility for the site as a priority. However, if you’re looking to increase conversions, then the strategy is going to change to make the goal more about getting people to visit pages that are specific in their goals to sell certain products or services.
Trying to trick users away from their search intent
SEO typically works by having your website appear to those users who are using terms that are relevant to your business, products, or services. However, it’s not just about playing the keyword matching game. You have to think about the intent of the searcher, as well. If the searcher is typing in keywords that are a direct match for your products or services, then they’re going to want content relevant to those kinds of products and services.
However, some companies will use keywords that are tangentially relevant, such as providing an answer to a question in the keywords. You can do that, but you should make sure that the page that the visitor lands on when they click on your site actually leads to relevant content. If you promise an answer to their question (their search intent) but your page only promotes your product and has no other information relevant to that search intent, they’re going to bounce off of your page before you can enjoy any of the benefits of actually grabbing their attention.
Working with companies that use black-hat tactics
Some of the strategies that we have mentioned above are what are known as “black hat” SEO tactics. Simply put, these are the tactics that search engines like Google have started to pick up and actively diminish their effectiveness. Some companies, however, still use black hat tactics because they can lead to short-term gains, even while tanking your long-term chances of SEO success. If you see any signs that a business is using black hat SEO, you should tick them off the list of companies that you’re willing to work with. They’re not likely to help you reach your goals.
Grey hat SEO might seem a little more nebulous. These are the practices that aren’t exactly how SEO is intended to work, but haven’t actively been cracked down on yet. However, grey hat often becomes black hat over time. It’s best to work with an ethical SEO company. That way you can make sure that the methods you are benefiting from now aren’t likely to come back and bite your company’s search marketing efforts.
Thinking that SEO is a one and done affair
Investing time into SEO is important, there’s no doubt about that. However, you shouldn’t get into it with the intention of only focusing on it this once and then leaving it to the wayside. To get the very best out of your SEO efforts, you need to keep up with it. For one, you’re going to be competing with others over the keywords that you do manage to rank well on. What’s more, some of your efforts, such as specific pieces of content, might become less relevant to customer interests over time.
As such, you should make sure that you’re committing to SEO in the long term. Whether this means learning more about how to do it yourself and making it a part of your regular routine or finding an outsourced partner to work with in the long term, the specifics aren’t as important as making sure that you’re invested in organic marketing.
Don’t let mistakes ruin your chances of great SEO
It’s always a good idea to do a bit of research on any specific strategy or tip that you receive. Never jump into anything before you know how it’s actually likely to affect your ability to meet your marketing goals. Stay on top of what counts as black hat SEO, invest the appropriate attention into making sure your SEO fits your goals, and keep up with it.