Avoid common search engine penalties that could hinder your SEO and learn which factors you should be on the lookout for when consulting an SEO agency.
With the correct use of SEO, businesses can find they gain a great competitive edge over their rivals by being able to successfully compete for customers. However, with subpar use of SEO, many businesses can find themselves in a worse position than before, falling below their competitors in search engine rankings and, in some cases, even permanently harming their ranking.
Below are five easy tips to ensure that you can avoid poorly optimized SEO and maintain a successful SEO campaign.
Optimize your images
When it comes to maintaining the interest of visitors to your site and having a successful SEO strategy, image optimization is crucial to success. Visitors enjoy content that uses visuals that enhance the website itself. According to SEO Shark, companies that use visually significant content are rewarded with more click traffic, increased likes and shares.
However, the issue with using visuals in content is that search engines, such as Google, don't see the images with their algorithms or methods. From the search engine's perspective, images come up blank. Instead, search engines rely on captions, or attached text to the images, to understand what the image is and its relationship to your content. If successful, the search engine will identify the relationship and reward you.
It is recommended that you design a relevant file name for each image on your webpage, a description of the image, image title, and a caption that is attached. Satisfying each of these steps should effectively optimize your images for search engines. It is important to note that if you do include visual content, ensure that the visuals are optimized and compressed so they do not negatively impact the loading speeds of your website's pages.
Don't be fooled by the number of followers
There is a common belief that a high number of followers in social media boosts your SEO. However, this could not be more wrong. The amount of followers you have has no effect whatsoever on the success of your SEO. Rather, what will have a significant impact on your SEO is how engaged your company is with your followers.
If your followers are proactive, interested in your content and sharing it with people they know, it will increase brand awareness and the website authority you have on a search engine. This awareness and authority can also lead to more traffic for your content. These effects are examples of social activity, which is what search engines like Google are primarily concerned with. Google does not care about the number of your followers, but it is very interested in the amount of attention you generate through engagement with your followers.
Failing to optimize the right keywords
Keywords are one of the fundamental pillars of SEO. Poor keyword optimization can lead to a complete waste of resources, while excellent SEO will exponentially increase the amount of traffic you receive.
When it comes to keyword targeting, there are quite a few mistakes companies make. If you are only a local service in your area with a relatively small presence, then optimizing for global keywords could be one of your fatal flaws, as it would lead to traffic that is physically unable to benefit from your services.
Similarly, if you provide specific services, then optimizing with generic keywords will only lead to visitors that aren't likely to be interested in your services.
One of the last fatal mistakes is optimizing for broad keywords. It's very likely that multiple SEO agencies are competing for these same keywords to defend their rankings (which isn't necessarily bad to do), but this strategy will consume your resources extremely fast compared to conducting smart SEO.
The best way to optimize for keywords and successful SEO is to be specific in what you are targeting. You should be interested in addressing the demographics of your service, not generic, random visitors that, although they may navigate to your website, have no intention of purchasing your products or services. Specific phrases and long tail keywords are, in more cases than not, much easier to target and will lead to faster rankings. These keywords should never be forced but should naturally flow into your content.
Avoid search engine penalties at all costs
The cost of performing SEO poorly or incorrectly can be detrimental to the success of your business. One of the worst case scenarios is to be penalized by Google (or any search engine and their strict algorithms). It is crucial when performing any form of SEO that the content adheres to the guidelines of the search engine. You do not want to spam links, or worse, plagiarize content. Otherwise, you could lose your rankings and be unable to climb back into a favorable position.
The recovery from a penalty is expensive and costly when it comes to time, money and resources. A professional will have to use their expertise to refurbish the website and determine the best course of action. In some cases, it may not be possible to recover from a penalty, and it will be necessary for the company to restart on a new domain instead, losing all of the potential SEO they could have had if they did not incur the penalty in the first place.
Don't let price be the only factor
If you are considering launching an SEO campaign, which you should be, price should definitely be a factor when determining which SEO agency you should use. However, price should not be the main consideration. If you instead hire an amateur SEO team, it could cost you significantly far more in the long term than hiring a reputable SEO team that is a bit more costly. An underperforming SEO agency will not only sink your funds but also ruin your rankings. On the other hand, a highly successful SEO agency can boost your rankings and direct significantly more traffic toward your website.