SEO is a vital component to any inbound marketing campaign; however, there are certain activities that can actually harm your SEO efforts. The following are six activities that you need to avoid to ensure that your SEO strategy succeeds this year:
1. Using content as a vehicle for your keywords
Regularly publishing content that is properly optimized for SEO is a good way to boost your search engine ranking. However, you have to make sure that your content is relevant to your audience and of good quality. You shouldn’t be using your content just as a way to add keywords to your site – doing so will only hurt your ability to capture leads.
2. Not doing the proper keyword research
To properly optimize your content, you need to make sure that you’re using effective keywords. This requires doing research to identify the strongest possible keywords. Keyword research includes:
- Identifying your target audience in order to determine what they are searching for.
- Use PPC ads to test how effective your chosen keywords are before using them to optimize your content.
- Use keyword tools to determine the search volume of your chosen keywords.
- Use keyword tools in order to identify the keywords your direct competition is using.
3. Not optimizing your images
As you probably know, using visual content is a good way to not only break up the monotony of text, but also to attract the eye of your visitors. Audiences are also more likely to engage with visual content, such as images, by commenting, liking or sharing them on social media. However, those images are going to go to waste if you don’t optimize them for SEO.
Google and other search engines can’t identify images, which means that you need to use strong keywords for your image ALT text that describe what the image is.
4. Attempting to beat the system using black hat tactics
Google is too smart to fall for black hat tactics, whether it’s the use of keyword stuffing, link farming or cloaking, just to name a few common practices. While these black hat tactics may have worked back in the day, Google has ways of identifying them and will penalize your site for using them.
5. Ignoring local SEO
Local SEO is important if you have any desire to attract customers to your company’s physical location. Local SEO includes the use of local keywords (which include the name of a location), locally-optimized landing pages and NAP (name, address and phone) submissions to local directories like Yelp or Angie’s List.
6. Ignoring mobile users
Not optimizing your site for mobile use will result in your mobile raking being demoted, making it more difficult to attract mobile users. This also ends up hurting your local SEO efforts since many people perform local searches on their mobile devices.
Be sure to avoid these six activities in 2016 if you want your SEO strategy to be an effective part of your online marketing efforts.