SEO Mistakes That Will Waste Your Time And Money
If you run a business that offers digital marketing services to your client base, then you should be well aware of the ever-growing demand for search engine optimization services. Unless you’re specifically in the business of one kind of marketing service (which few are) then you may feel inclined to include SEO amongst your offerings. However, SEO is a complex range of different techniques all combined into a single discipline and, as a result, you can end up making mistakes that cost you time, money, and clients.
You’ve probably heard the saying “content is king” in regards to a dozen different subjects. However, when it comes to SEO, it’s undeniably true. Website content is going to be at the center of most of your efforts. It’s why offering SEO services alongside content writing and content marketing services makes a lot of sense for online marketing businesses. It’s keyword-rich and relevant content that should be at the center of any SEO services that you offer.
However, a lot of businesses get it the wrong way around. Instead of putting content at the core of the service, they put keywords first and foremost. Finding high-value keywords that aren’t being used by competitors is undoubtedly a benefit to your SEO efforts. However, making sure that the website has great content should be the focus. You can combine both approaches by writing content around those high-value keywords, first of all.
Linking, both external and internal, is important when it comes to optimizing your content. The better you build links within the website, the better your site architecture and the search engine’s ability to catalog the website. It also highlights the relevance of the page you’re trying to optimize by showing how it connects to other pages on the site. External inbound links can also help build a sense of trust and validity in the content.
However, one mistake with internal linking that is made constantly is that marketing teams will link new pages to older pages that have no relevance to them. It’s a common practice to link pages to the best-performing pages on the website. While this is a useful practice, in isolation, it needs to be used properly. Doing it too much is known as link stuffing, and this is often caught by search engines, reducing the effectiveness of the optimization efforts in general.
Try to keep any inbound links as relevant as possible. This might mean having to write new content that connects two pages together more organically.
Not taking the audience of the client into account
Before you start to try to help a client make their website easier to find, you need to make sure you get a good understanding of who you’re trying to target. It’s essential that you take the time to figure out the right target audience or else you can start using keywords and writing content that doesn’t have much relevance to the aims of the client in the first place.
To put it simply, content can’t be for everyone, so you need to pick which audiences you’re going to be targeting and make sure that you’re looking at the analytics of which keywords they use when they’re searching for specific kinds of content of services. Keyword research tools can help you ensure you’re sticking to the right track when choosing which to use.
Handling it yourself when you have other responsibilities
You might be personally responsible for delivering a range of online marketing services, such as content marketing, social media marketing, ad copywriting, and so on. It’s natural for online marketing teams and freelancers to offer multiple services, but you want to make sure you’re not taking too much time away from the services that you excel at in order to offer something that you’re not certain you can do well. However, that doesn’t mean you should simply not offer SEO services. Instead, you can rely on white label SEO. This effectively means partnering up with another team that would take care of the SEO services, delivered through your company and in your name. You’re still responsible for them from the perspective of the client, of course, so you need to choose a partner that can reliably deliver.
Allowing a white hat SEO provider to take over your SEO services allows you to prioritize and focus on working on what service you know you can deliver with. As mentioned, since you still carry the final responsibility for any services that you charge for, it’s crucial that you check any work done on your behalf for a client.
Not being upfront about your practices
There are two general categories of search engine optimization. One is known as white hat, one is known as black hat. White hat SEO is, effectively, the kind of practices that Google and other search engines would recommend, using the systems as intended to organically improve your results. Black hat SEO can be considered a “shortcut” to better search engine rankings and clicks, but they are practices that search engines do not recommend or condone and, as a result, are likely to be shut down by changes to algorithms and other means. Grey hat is another term, but really, grey hat SEO is just using black hat SEO techniques that have yet to be cracked down on.
Black and grey hat SEO aren’t necessarily “incorrect” ways of doing SEO. There are benefits to them, limited though they may be. However, if you don’t offer white hat SEO, you should make that clear, or else customers might be under the impression that you’re hiding that fact. This can lead to some pretty nasty interactions after you’re done working with that client.
How you decide to handle SEO services in your business, if at all, is up to you. However, make sure that you’re avoiding the mistakes above in whatever capacity you do offer them. Otherwise, you will start to pay the price.