It’s scarcely an exaggeration if we say that SEO marketing is the lifeline of businesses these days. It generates and leads for your website. But then, as a matter of fact, marketers inadvertently commit SEO mistakes if they are just starting out.
So, to improve your site’s traffic and boost your campaign ROI, you need to make sure that you are not committing any of these errors, which could seriously affect your website’s traffic in 2020.
Here we walk you through 7 major SEO mistakes that could cost you traffic in 2020.
Mistake #1. Not serious about buyer persona
The first step that you need to consider even before starting your keyword research process is to develop a company’s buyer persona. For the uninitiated, buyer personas are fictional characters that form the foundation of your current and future marketing strategies. You will have to keep these fake characters in mind while coming up with your target keywords or phrases.
Here’s the thing: Several companies don’t invest enough effort in developing buyer personas or simply undertake shallow research, which doesn’t help the process either. Because, if you don’t involve in-depth research in the building of these personas, you won’t be able to come up with meaningful content for your website or your app.
This means you need to get under the skin of your buyers to understand their needs, challenges, goals, and so much more. You simply cannot get the desired marketing results if your market research isn’t thorough.
Keyword research becomes easier if you have a clearer picture of your overall content strategy. And personas are the first step to building this picture.
As you carry out persona research, try to find out what kind of questions customers had on their minds when they began their buying journey. What was the first thing they searched for on Google?
You can update these questions continually by requesting your sales reps to document the queries they get. Then you can answer these questions in the form of website pages and articles.
Additionally, you could use tools such as answerthepublic.com, LinkedIn group, and more to get a feel about the topic that your audience is talking about.
Mistake #2. Not focussing on thought leadership content
If anything, long-tail keywords are easier to rank and generate higher quality leads. For example, optimizing your SEO for “Men’s Blue Adidas Running Sneakers” will draw in more traffic over simple “Men’s Adidas Running shoes.
Though it appears tempting to generate articles that revolve around long-tail keywords and customer queries, the approach can cause more harm than good if you don’t focus both on the breadth and depth of the topic you are dealing with.
Google rewards websites that show thought leadership on a particular topic.
Google decides this by looking at the content grouped on a website with internal links consisting of similar or related keywords.
These content groups are called topic clusters, which, when grouped, are called pillars – a content that focuses on the theme or the overarching topic of your website.
Long-tail keywords create topics in the cluster while short-tail keywords directly identify the pillars. In short, the clusters won’t have the same SEO impact without a pillar. You can take the help of Techno Infonet to create thought leadership content for your website.
Mistake #3. Not following customer queries
The keywords that you choose for ranking purposes should not be different from what your customers use for Googling. Meaning, your keywords should match with your customers. For example, if you are into selling party wears, you would, without any second thoughts, start optimizing for keywords like “party wears.” However, your customers are Googling words like “evening gowns” or “Christmas gowns.” So, you won’t be attracting the required traffic for “party wears” as you would have drawn for keywords such as “evening gowns” or “Christmas gowns.”
Mistake 4#. Not focussing on localization
If you think your SEO efforts are not bringing in the desired results, then probably you haven’t being focussing on localization as much as you need to. If you aren’t focussing on localization, then you will never make it to Google’s top rankings or drive traffic or conversion for specific keywords.
Localization means the adaptation of your website’s content and all other marketing materials to the different cultures of your target markets.
This is important because Google will show searchers only those content that is localized. In short, you will have to include seasonality, localization, and more in your localized content.
Mistake #5. Not aiming at practical keywords
Make sure you use practical keywords. As you already know, some niches are inordinately competitive. Ranking for competitive niches is not easy if you are just starting out, and especially if you are aiming at competitive ‘head’ keywords. Instead, you should focus on long-tail keywords that are much, much easier to rank, and have higher chances of conversion.
For example, if you are starting a food blog, expecting to rank for the term ‘food’ would be too much to ask for. So, you need to focus on those aspects that make the blog unique and try ranking for those terms. Maybe you could focus more on “Mexican, continental dishes” or other similar categories. Aiming to rank for “Mexican, Continental dishes” could prove to be a good strategy. You could also focus on ‘“Mexican, Continental breakfast,” “Continental Mexican tortilla stack,” and so on.
And, if you are already ranking for long-tail keywords, you could try ranking for head terms as well.
Mistake #6. Not aiming for Google’s Featured Snippet
Googling these days inevitably leads you to a box where your query gets answered, either in the form of a paragraph, list, or table. This is referred to as a featured snippet. The answer box is extracted from one of the top search results for that query. Almost 40% of Google results are from the featured snippets.
So, it’s more important than ever to get your website optimized for featured snippets if you want your webpages to rank high on Google search results.
Mistake #7. Not optimizing for voice search
Voice search is going to take the SEO world by storm in 2020 and beyond. So, is your site prepared for it?
Some key statistics to take note of:
- According to statista, 31% of smartphone users use voice technology at least once a week
- According to Comscore, 50% of online searches will be voice-based by 2020
- According to OC&C Strategy Consultants, 55% of U.S. households will have a smart speaker by 2022
If you start now, the results will show up in 2-5 months’ time. It takes a hell lot of time for keywords to rank, and more important, which keywords will work for you. Additionally, you will have to optimize the content. All this is going to take time.
Search engine optimization is an integral part of your content marketing strategy today. Regardless of the importance attached to it in driving website traffic, the fact is, marketers still tend to commit tons of errors. So take a look at the above-mentioned mistakes so that you could avoid them while undertaking SEO optimization for your site.