We are in something of an SEO red scare lately; SEO black hatters are ending up on Google’s Blacklist, while the benign white hatters are rewarded for smart digital marketing strategy by more clicks, page visits, conversion and customer engagement. SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it is a tool that Utah content marketers, digital marketers and advertising agencies have learned to incorporate into their marketing plans in the past decade. But along with the emergence of any new marketing strategy, there are common flaws Utah businesses make with their SEO game plans.
1. Using the wrong keywords. It’s not enough to make an educated guess about what clients will type in search engines to find your products. Anybody claiming they know keywords without research is just another monkey throwing a dart at a stock list, one who may on occasion beat a seasoned financial expert in his predictions. Utilize tools like Google Ad Words to find essential keyword information.
2. Keyword stuffing. In Google’s nascent years, this was a common practice. Nowadays, not so much. Why? The Google bots who crawl a keyword stuffed page will consign it to the bottom of their search engine results. Don’t believe us? We wish you the best on Google’s 230th page of the search result.
3. Link stuffing. It’s OK to place several links in your content that send page visitors to additional content that is relevant to your business, but do not stuff your page with links in the same way you should not stuff your page with keywords.
4. Cloaking. This is another black hat SEO tactic where the page content a user would view is different from the information a Google bot would see while crawling the page. The bot is the new sheriff in Internet town, and you do not want to anger him or your Utah business will be dragged to the depths of content marketing and digital marketing hell — being banished from Google’s spotlight.
5. Failing to put keywords in URLs. Not a great idea. If a potential customer cannot roughly tell what your page is about from the URL, then your SEO visibility won’t be as clear for a Utah-based customer as it should be.
6. Link buying. This involves purchasing links to well-developed SEO content that relate to your product. In the end, link buying is a lot like buying a Gordon Hayward jersey and trying to pose as him before a Utah Jazz paparazzi; nobody will believe you.
7. Links from non-credible sources. If other companies with less-than-credible clout are linking back to your page, you are guilty by association. After all, who wants a vote of confidence from a source that Google throws by the wayside?
8. Failing to measure analytics. Keeping track of your SEO efforts is crucial, and there’s no shortage of Utah-based companies who aren’t realizing this. Do you think Arnold Schwarzenegger pumped iron without measuring his biceps? Forget about it. And remember, lots of web traffic is a good thing, but converting customers is the gold standard of SEO success.
9. Duplicating content. This is a lazy way to make keywords and page links relevant. Better yet, Google has never had an easier time detecting this artifice.
10. Keyword dilution. Putting too many of the same keywords or combinations of sentences containing keywords can make it obvious to readers — and Google bots — what you’re doing. Be sure to utilize as many different yet relevant keywords as possible.