Creating a successful SEO plan is key to driving more traffic to your website, increasing online brand awareness and generating a new list of potential customers – and raise your hand if you’d like to see some more of that in 2017.
But if you’re not focusing your time and effort on the right SEO activities you could find yourself wasting a lot of your time on things that don’t have much of an impact. So here are six of the most common mistakes businesses make when they are creating an SEO plan.
1. Are you neglecting the website basics?
A quick search online reveals that any top class SEO plan includes the creation of interesting, unique and helpful content. And while sitting down to write a blog post or ebook with a fresh cup of coffee might seem like a more interesting way to spend your time don’t forget the smaller (and admittedly duller), website tasks – like optimising page titles and re-writing H1 tags.
These little SEO activities may seem small, insignificant and repetitive, but they do matter. Save yourself the hassle of manually what needs work by running your website through this SEO tool to create a simple to-do list with step by step instructions on which SEO activities will help boost the performance of your website.
2. Have you forgotten about user experience?
Google has one main goal – to offer it’s users the best possible search experience. What this means is that once they’ve clicked on your site from the search results, it matters whether or not they find what they were looking for, and easily.
SEO industry heavyweight, Moz state that
“[User experience] provides an indirect but measurable benefit to a site’s external popularity, which the engines can then interpret as a signal of higher quality […]. Crafting a thoughtful, empathetic UX helps ensure that visitors to your site perceive it positively, encouraging sharing, bookmarking, return visits and inbound links–all signals that trickle down to the search engines and contribute to high rankings.”
3. Have you been picking the wrong keywords?
It makes sense that in order to drive the highest volume of traffic to your website as possible you should target the keywords that are the most frequently search for, right?
Well yes, but when you’re picking keywords for your SEO plan you also need to take into consideration how hard it is to actually appear in the search results for those particular keywords.
If you’re trying to appear above big brands for frequently searched for keywords then you’ll need to invest a hell of a lot more extra time and money into executing your SEO plan. Instead look to identify targeted and specific long tail keywords that may be less popular but may convert better. There’s a great guide with more information on this here.
4. Are you just relying on human effort to come up with your plan?
Technology changes what we are able to accomplish every single day, and carrying out the task of generating a comprehensive list of SEO activities for your website is no exception.
If you’ve done any research into how to promote your business on Google you’ll know that results can’t be guaranteed, and basing an entire SEO plan on the basis of what worked for someone else isn’t the solution. Every business, keyword and industry is unique – and the SEO activities you plan should reflect this.
But hold onto your hats, there are solutions like Glasshat, that don’t require you to spend days collecting and analysing data, endless strategy meetings and research online. Algorithms and platforms have been designed to crawl your website, and those of your competitors to auto generate a customised list of things you need to do for your website – based on heaps of data analysis. Now that is smart.
5. Do you still just think that ‘mobile’ is a trend?
48% of consumers now start searching for new products or services on their mobile and 88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours.
Mobile first is the practice of ensuring that any webpage on your website looks great and functions well on a mobile device and if it’s not part of your SEO plan then you’re lining lining yourself up to miss out on new customers in 2017.
6. Are you spending too much time on promoting your business via your own website?
It’s easy to get caught up with creating an SEO plan that only plans out SEO activities that take place on your website. But what happens on other website also matters. A recent study of over 1 million websites found that the number of links a website has is still extremely important. If your current SEO plan doesn’t factor in acquiring new links back to your website through natural means then it’s time to review what you plan to do in 2017.
Get started by generating a list of low cost and organic ways you can more links back to your website here.