Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid in 2021

KLIK Staff

April 6, 2021

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Tips and tricks to reduce costs and improve your Customer Acquisition Costs with SEO.

Did you know that almost three quarters of online experiences begin with a search, and organic search drives more than half of that volume? Companies that want to take advantage of this traffic can engage in Search Engine Marketing (SEM), which primarily focuses on paid search results or Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which involves optimizing a website to gain traffic and high rankability in organic search results.

With more agencies and organizations approaching lead generation holistically with a paid and organic search strategy, it is more vital now more than ever to understand the common pitfalls of SEO strategies and how to avoid them. We’ve broken down these tips and tricks into two broad sections: tips to improve your user experience, and tips to improve your back-end rankability. Both play equally important roles in all stages of lead conversion. Avoiding these common mistakes can go a long way in lowering customer acquisition costs and optimizing your strategy!

Content and User Experience

Don’t Skimp on Keyword Research

Do you know not only who your audience is, but what they are searching for and in what format they want information? Taking time to answer these questions is a crucial first step in aligning your content with both the search algorithm and audience intent. Using a keyword research tool, like Google’s, and analyzing Google trends can both be helpful ways to discover popular keyword variants and park your site in front of a motivated and interested audience. Analyzing search volume can also expose you to trends or sub-interests you might not have initially considered. Search volume can help determine audience targeting on other platforms, like social, as it provides insights into what users are already looking for on a regular basis.

But Don’t Go Too Far in the Other Direction Either

While attempting to own high search volume areas sounds nice in theory, competition in the marketplace often makes this an exceedingly difficult goal. Focusing too much on general, high volume terms might not be the best strategy in sculpting high-intent, targeted traffic. For example, consider you’re a business positioned in the academic certification space. While a user searching for “marketing” might be looking for an agency, an example, or even a simple definition, a user looking up “marketing class” or “online marketing certificate” has a greater probability of aligning with your offerings. Consider seeking out these niche spaces and carving your strategy around being the most click-worthy offering around a specific geo, product or service or other area of focus.

Content is King

Sometimes the simplest cliches ring the most true! SEO plays a fundamental role at the top of the customer acquisition funnel: garnering leads. To write content that not only attracts leads, but converts, it must do more than offer a simple sales pitch, or an overstuffed mix of page-ranking keywords. It all goes back to asking yourself how you can offer solutions to potential customers. A good acronym to remember is E.A.T: content that speaks from a place of Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. Create content from a user-centric perspective to captive user’s attention.

And so is User Experience

Don’t fall into the trap of focusing on content to the detriment of other elements of your site. Google’s number one stated priority in page rank is sites that provide the best overall user experience. Consider your sites speed, optimization for mobile users and safety, amongst other factors. Google also favors sites with a mix of text, pictures and videos, so look to add variation to your content mix when possible.

Technical Traps

Keeping Up with the Googles (& the Bings)

Major search engine providers, including Google, regularly roll out changes to their algorithm to improve reliability of results and user experience. Google’s last rolled out a “core” update to its search algorithm in December 2020, and although larger than most, it is just one out of hundreds of smaller updates the platform rolls out each year. Just a few weeks ago, on Feb 10, Google rolled out Passage Ranking for U.S. search results. It’s critical that SEO experts stay on top of these trends and updates to ensure their results maintain consistency and don’t see sudden dips in rankings to those who hop on changes quicker.

Let’s Get Meta

Meta tags and meta descriptions help the search engine match your content to the correct results and keywords. View these as an opportunity to position your product/site as unique and relevant to the user as possible. Google will auto-generate keywords based on user queries if you don’t complete this important step, so maximize your site’s impact by tailoring these yourself. Each page should have its own meta title and description, to help the engines determine relevance and ranking.

Hitting the Links

Broken links, unsafe links, dead links— anything that negatively impacts user experience has to go! Another easy way to improve site rank is to correct common issues with internal and external links. Ensure all links contain follow attributes, lead to HTTPS pages if you use an HTTPS site, and contain hyphens in the place of underscores. Google favors multiple internal links per site, so it’s best to build out your content to a point where you can provide a holistic experience within your site.

Captivate those Crawlers

Not seeing the visibility you expected among search results? The culprit could be crawlers. Crawlability refers to the ability of a search engine’s “crawlers” or bots to follow your links on the web and continually index new versions of your site. It’s important to assess your sites technical health as a regular part of the SEO process. Missing or incorrect sitemaps, broken links or images and temporary redirects are just a few common mistakes that can all take down your rank.

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