It’s not your fault, SEO is hard work, but if you’ve committed any of these faux paus, it may be time to call in reinforcements.
1. Your site lacks deep content
You’ve heard blogging is the key to a good SEO strategy, so you blog religiously, but nothing seems to work, right?
It’s time to look at the content you’re putting together, because if you’ve been publishing a paragraph or two and thinking you’re good, I have bad news. Google hardly considers pages unless they have 300 words.
The deeper your content, the better you’ll rank. Some SEO experts claim that many of the top ranking pages have more than 2,000 words!
You don’t have to go quite that crazy, but when you blog aim for 400-800 words.
2. You focus on the story you want to tell
If you are a perfectionist and like everything to be a certain way (read your way) you may struggle with SEO.
The key to ranking well on Google is figuring out that it’s not about you. It’s about the people performing the searches. You have to figure out what search terms you want to show up for, and then you need to optimize your site for it. That may change your messaging a bit, but at the end of the day more people will see it.
3. You don’t have a clear keyword strategy
You work hard on your site, but if I asked what your primary keywords are, could you tell me?
The thing about ranking on Google is that you are ranking for specific keywords. So if you don’t have a clear keyword strategy outlined, you’re not actually working toward anything.
4. Your blogs and pages aren’t optimized
You are blogging, and you are putting together good content – you average 500 words.
Awesome! Now are your blogs optimized? Not sure what I mean?
- Does each blog have its very own keyword?
- How many times have you used that keyword? Have you used the keyword in a headline?
- Do you have images in your blogs? Bonus points if your keyword is in the image description.
5. You have the same meta data on every page of your site
Metadata is the title and description coded into each page (and blog) of your site that the search engine reads to determine what it’s all about. If you have the same title and description for each page, then you’re telling Google that all pages on your site are exactly the same.
Liven these puppies up and make them descriptive so that each and every page on your site is unique.
You should also know that these are the snippets that show up in search engine results, so they can make someone decide whether or not to click on your link.
6. Your page takes 15 seconds to load
No one likes to wait around for slow pages, including Google. They won’t send people to your page if your site takes a long time to load.
I know you can do a lot of cool thing with technology these days, but some of them slow down your page. Figure out what your page speed is and do some optimization to get your site humming along.
7. You aren’t using any images
You know that feeling you get when you land on a page that’s solid text? Ugh. It’s like your back in school and have to read a text book. No one wants that.
Text is boring and hard to read online. Google knows that and they know that visuals go a long way to making the experience better.
So if your pages are all text (even if it’s good deep content and well optimized) throw some images in there. It will help.
8. None of your content is original
If one of your marketing strategies is syndicate content to get a wider reach across the web, be careful. Google is not a fan of duplicate content.
You can also run into problems if you have a lot of guest bloggers (or do guest blogging) and simply reuse posts from other sites.
You can certainly use similar content with some modifications if guest blogging is part of your strategy, but make sure that you have a good bit of original content on your site that doesn’t appear anywhere else.
9. Link spam
If you know anything about SEO you know that links are important as they build credibility into your site. However all links are not equal.
Google figured out a while back that people were buying links, or even creating phony sites just to link to their main site and people started getting penalized for these practices. So you want links, but you want quality links.
If you are linking to a spammy site, or they are linking to you, this can create some serious credibility issues for you in your Google ranking.
10. You’re very mysterious
The more contact information you have available the better. Not only does it legitimize you, having a physical address will allow you to optimize for local search. There’s a lot of focus on local search these days so that can only help you.