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Are You Making these SEO Mistakes?

Are You Making these SEO Mistakes?

Today, I am introducing you to a woman I’ve grown to admire and always respected in the field of SEO and marketing – Sam McArthur.  She has given me permission to reprint what I consider to be the most valuable piece of advice to anyone who is thinking about engaging in a successful SEO campaign.  After the reprint, is a brief bio about Sam and her contact information. Of all the people out there giving advice, you can trust Sam knows SEO! (Where do you think I learn it?)

Reprinted with permission by by Sam McArthur of Forty First Marketing.

A successful SEO campaign needs ongoing maintenance, work & commitment. There’s no magic formula to get to the top of the search engines and staying there, without hard graft over a long period of time. Most successful SEO campaigns have been done with a clear objective, long-term commitment and integrating efforts into other online & offline marketing campaigns. Measuring conversions should be at the forefront of a successful campaign, after all it’s the quality of traffic rather than quantity of traffic that’s going to make your campaign succeed.

Despite this, many website owners still fail to grasp this and it’s up to their consultant to make sure they really understand how SEO works and what to expect from their campaign.

These are a few common misconceptions of SEO I’ve come across over the years:

1. Expecting quick results from the search engines
Many people new to SEO still seem to expect that after a few weeks of site optimisation they’ll find their website ranking highly. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like this. Gone are the days of stuffing your keywords into your meta keywords tag, or just relying on luck. There is so much competition out there, you have to give the search engines a good reason to rank you highly, unless you are lucky that your product or service is so niche, you hardly have any competition. Not only does this involve good keyword-rich content on your website, but many quality incoming links. If you want to gain results quickly, you have to pay to advertise.

2. Targeting as many keywords as possible
The key phrases you choose at the time of the site optimisation, can make or break a campaign. It can’t be stressed enough how important this is. If you do target the wrong key phrases, you’ll need to start again or alter your optimisation. Many people still assume that you can optimise your website for as many keywords as you want, either by stuffing them all into the meta keywords tag (which bears no weighting in the search engine algorithms), or stuffing them at the bottom of the web page in greyed out text.

When choosing key phrases, remember it isn’t the volume of traffic you’re after, but highly targeted traffic, that hopefully will further go on to make an enquiry or sale at your website. Choosing terms that are too broad, or simply just too many key phrases, will either not bring in targeted traffic or dilute your optimisation. Make sure you choose highly relevant key phrases for each of your pages, and only a couple of key phrases per page. It’s unlikely each page on your website is the same.

3. Leaving your website to do the work
Probably one of the worst things you could do after optimising your website is to leave it and let the search engines do the rest. Surely your business must have new things happening on a regular basis; news, case studies, new products, industry articles, special offers – the list could go on. All of these need to be updated regularly to make your website more interesting for visitors and to help your sales pitch. Keep on updating your web pages, adding new pages and information etc, and integrate it with other online activities such as email marketing. The more interesting your website is, the more your visitors will return and the more other sites will naturally link to yours. You may even find the search engines will come out and crawl it more often as you regularly update information.

4. High rankings = more sales & conversions
You may find your website ranking highly for your targeted key phrases, which is good news. But it doesn’t necessarily mean more sales. Just because people can find you easily, if your website is not up to scratch, unusable, or boring to your prospects, you may not get many more enquiries. Implementing some or all of the suggestions in point 3 above will help the conversions. Your website must be usable and accessible, and if your visitors are unable to find what they are looking for, they will soon surf off to your competitors. Finally, as with any bricks and mortar business, remember your sales & after sales service – bad experiences soon get told.

Never forget your website is there for your visitors, not to tell the world how great you are or your company is or to just satisfy the search engines! The unique features and benefits of your products or services must be spelled out to convince visitors to contact you.

About Sam McArthur:  Sam McArthur started Forty First in 2002 after working in house for a leading job board and then for an internet marketing agency in Brighton where she honed her skills with projects for The Times, Airmiles and Thistle Hotels.  Sam mostly works with small ethical & e-commerce businesses and has helped many of them get to grips with online marketing and dramatically improve the results from their websites. Follow Sam on Twitter and follow SavvyMarketers too!

Original Article:  Are You Making these SEO Mistakes?.