If you’re just starting, it’s perfectly reasonable to make a few mistakes here and there during the initial stages. But continuing to make these mistakes for an extended period can cost you greatly in the long run.
In this post, we’ll discuss the ten rookie SEO mistakes that kill your content marketing efforts and how you can avoid them:
Poor niche and audience selection
When it comes to getting the results you want, one of the essential things to take into consideration is targeting the right audience. Your ideal audience usually depends on what type of business or organization you have. Some companies have narrow demographics while others have very broad.
Here are some basic demographics to consider when targeting the right audience:
Age: Are most of your audience teens, young adults, middle-aged, or senior citizens?
Gender: Is your audience primarily male or female?
Income: If you’re selling high-end products, your ideal market should be people who can afford them.
Geography: Your products should specifically target people that live in particular regions.
Interests: Is your ideal market interested in sports, fashion, fitness, travel, photography, pets, etc?
If you want to boost your e-commerce rate, you need to have a defined target demographic so that you can implement your content marketing campaigns effectively.
Not repurposing old content
It’s quite easy to think that the world of marketing goes fast. But in content marketing, it doesn’t ‒ especially if the type of material that you create are evergreen.
Instead, you’ll find great success if working with what you have already.
Always producing new content is a waste of time.
The existing content that you’ve already invested a lot of time, effort, and money could potentially drive thousands of organic visitors if you update it.
Here’s the thing ‒ Google sees regularly updated content as “fresh,” and is a ranking factor in their algorithm system.
Posting horrible user-generated content
Opening your site to contributors can be a great way to create content on a regular basis. However, if you’re not too careful with the types of content that are being published in your network, your SEO strategy could be in deep trouble.
It’s because contributors of your site could be publishing:
Content that’s optimized for a long-tail keyword that’s targeted elsewhere.
These types of content are frowned upon by Google, and you could be penalized for this. To prevent this from happening, you need to enforce stricter contributor guidelines. Don’t be afraid to reject content that doesn’t fit your standards.
You’re more focused on creating more than promoting
How much time do you spend creating content rather than promoting it? If your answer is a lot, you need to adjust your content marketing strategy accordingly.
Most businesses make the mistake of focusing on creating content rather than promoting it, much to their detriment.
Self-promotion is the key. By generating awareness for your content, you’re directing users, encouraging them to stick around for an extended period. As a result, you’re enhancing critical on-site metrics such as time on site, total traffic, and even reducing bounce rates.
To help you get started, follow the 80/20 rule. Ideally, spend 20 percent of your time creating content and the remaining 80 percent promoting the material.
Ignoring internal links and 404 errors
Internal links are vital in SEO. It lets SEO spiders crawl and index pages and influences a site’s organic rankings. So keep in mind that every content that you publish must have internal links, but don’t forget to monitor the internal links that you’re building. Consider a trip specialty site with hundreds of articles; if they have a successful Travel SEO strategy, they would undoubtedly employ internal links to empower their site as a whole and deliver much more value to Google crawlers.
For instance, you might delete a couple of pages, change your URL address, and transfer the content to your site. But if you forget to redirect your old URLs to your new page, those old URLs could lead to 404 errors.
People that will try to access to those links will not be able to open them, creating a poor user experience. That’s why, you need to ensure that there are many internal links on your new content, and always try to redirect your old URLs to the most relevant page.
Inconsistent publishing of content
Consistency is crucial. You need to keep up with the existing strategy that you’ve already laid out. You simply cannot publish four new blogs in a week, and then abandon it for the next ten weeks or so. Over time, both your visitors and Google will notice your inconsistency.
Remember that Google is always looking for fresh content. You won’t land on the top results if you’re not sticking to a consistent posting schedule.
A helpful tip is to create a content calendar so that you can organize your content better.
Not tracking and measuring your SEO campaigns’ success
Some marketers tend to do SEO without tracking their tracking their results. But just like any other form of marketing, SEO needs constant measurement.
That’s why, you need to discover metrics that you need to focus on, such as setting specific KPIs and measure your performance against them. That way, it’s easier for you to spot loopholes in your strategy, and correct them if necessary.
Using irrelevant keywords
You need to target the right keywords, usually, the ones that are searched by most users. Otherwise, your website will simply be lost in a sea of listings on search engines.
It’s vital to use keyword planning tools to know what are the most searched keywords that are relevant to your niche, improving your rankings.
Not having call-to-actions for the readers
You may spend hundreds of hours guest posting, engaging your followers on social media, and formatting your website for SEO.
However, all of these can go in vain if you’re not asking your readers to take action. Sure, they will come to your site, read your information, and never come back.
That’s why you need to spell it out for them. If you want your readers to subscribe, or write down their email address, then you need to tell them in your call-to-action.
Even if you have the right set of keywords, you cannot just stuff them in your content and expect that it will push up your ratings.
Remember that keyword stuffing is considered as a ‘black hat’ SEO practice and goes against Google’s ranking algorithm. Therefore, you need to ensure that your keywords have the right proportion to avoid being penalized.
A lot of people make mistakes when it comes to SEO because they’re not exactly aware of what it involves. SEO is vital if you want to establish a strong presence online.
For some, it can be a complicated topic, but it didn’t need to be. By better informing yourself and applying the tactics you’ve learned, you’ll start soon start reaping the rewards of having a solid SEO strategy that will boost your content marketing efforts.
Andi Croft is a frequent traveler and freelance writer. She’s passionate about covering topics on travel, business & technology. In her spare time, she enjoys baking and spending time with her dog Akira.