Whether you are a career blogger or work as a content creator for companies with dedicated blog sections, optimizing your original content for SEO ranking is an essential part of the process. According to SEO Tribunal, 93% of online experiences begin with search engine queries, while 72% of marketers agree that brand relevancy is the main deciding factor for SEO improvement.
If your products and services are popular and respected on the market, your blog’s performance and user engagement will reflect the brand reputation you’ve built up. However, it’s not always enough to create content and publish it without additional optimization or regards for global SEO trends.
It’s quite easy in fact to make crucial mistakes which can lower your Search Engine Result Page (SERP) ranking and thus affect your traffic and revenue as a result. With that said, let’s take a look at several noteworthy SEO mistakes which you should avoid in content marketing and optimization going forward.
The Basics & Benefits of SEO for your Content
Before we dive into the pitfalls of SEO, it’s worth noting what the term represents in practice and why its proper implementation is important. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a set of rules and ranking algorithms dictated by shifting trends in content popularity and is globally monitored by Google. According to 99 Firms, Google holds 74.5% of search engine market share, with 44% of website referrals going directly through their SERP services.
As such, it is a de facto model for content optimization when blog content, long-form articles, and multimedia publishing are concerned. Abiding by current SEO trends and making sure that your content is accessible to as many people as possible will help you reach the first page of SERP in search engines such as the aforementioned Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others.
Failing to do so properly will result in adverse effects for your brand as a whole, leading to a decrease of organic traffic which will require you to invest in PPC, affiliate marketing and other paid advertising methods to bounce back up. That being said, there are numerous perks and advantages to integrating SEO properly into your content optimization efforts, including the following points:
- Growth of industry authority, brand reputation, and public awareness
- Higher organic traffic and conversion rates
- Long-term positioning on search engines
- High Return on Investment (ROI) in regards to future sales and ads
Crucial SEO Mistakes to Avoid
Content Production without Planning
Now that we have a clearer idea of why SEO is important we can dive into several mistakes and pitfalls you should avoid at all costs. Most notably, content should never be created or published based on gut feeling. Proper research on current trends, industry news, and audience interests should always be taken into consideration.
Melanie Sovann, a writer at Studicus, had this to say on the matter: “Content which is produced ad hoc, or without planning or clear intentions, can severely impact your SEO and brand reputation. Instead, you should always plan which content, blog posts and articles to publish the next several weeks in advance. This will give your content creators enough time to produce quality content and optimize it for SEO without pressure or blind guessing.”
Creating Content for SEO, not the Reader
The second most important factor in content optimization when it comes to SEO is to understand that the reader should always come first. Content should never be produced specifically for SEO ranking, without taking the reading experience or topic relevance into consideration.
To avoid this, you should research which topics and content types to create, produce those pieces and then optimize them for SEO as the last step before publishing. Never create content solely for SEO and without any regard for how legible, original or relevant it is for your audience. That is one aspect of brand reputation which you will never recover if you lose it once.
Lack of Relevant Keywords
Keywords are one of the most essential elements of content optimization and production as a whole. After all, potential readers and customers will search for “keywords” in their search engines in hopes of finding relevant content.
You should never create content without first finding out which keywords and phrases are currently trending in your specific industry. Platforms such as Google Keyword Planner and SEM Rush are specifically designed to allow for internet-wide research and keyword targeting, so make sure to use them at all times.
Lack of Proper Content Formatting
SEO algorithms favor content which is accessible in terms of readability, formatting and the general flow of writing. Content formatting is a pivotal part of the optimization process since it will effectively help make your posts and media more legible.
In this regard, your content should always be formatted into clearly segmented paragraphs and coupled with additions such as bullet points, bold or italic highlights, images, and other media which will enrich the content, etc. To do this efficiently, you can refer to dedicated writing tools such as Trust My Paper and Evernote which will help you optimize your content for SEO more easily.
Lack of Content Localization
Speaking of accessibility and global SEO ranking, translating your content into different languages is a great way to bridge the language barrier between different audience segments. This is especially important if your blog posts and other published content will be used on an e-commerce platform which inherently attracts an international customer base.
In this aspect, relying on translation platforms such as Is Accurate will allow you to rank high in local SEO in different regions regardless of your original language. Adding an option for a variety of languages will give the customer base a sense of pro-consumer behavior and will work wonders for your SEO as opposed to featuring a single language and hoping that users stick with your platform.
Lack of Internal and/or Outbound Links
Once a piece of content is published, it should become a part of the World Wide Web in terms of hyperlinks and additional value for your readers. What this means in practice is that you should add internal and outbound links to published content to enrich the reading experience as much as possible.
Content pieces which feature different links which lead to authority websites and resources will rank higher than those which rely on keywords and formatting alone. Most importantly, it will speak volumes of the confidence you have in your brand and facilitate a much better public perception of your business as a whole.
No Regular Content Audits
Lastly, once your content is published and available for reading/viewing, you shouldn’t abandon it and move on to new projects altogether. Keywords, links, and trends, much like anything else on the web, can get outdated over time. Once that happens, your content will be filled with low-performing keywords as well as broken or modified links, leading to a decrease in your overall SEO ranking.
Perform a content audit on a scheduled basis every few months to make sure that your published media is at peak performance. This will ensure that you maintain your industry position and update any missing or broken links, as well as keywords and phrases used in your content.
An Ongoing Effort Conclusion
It’s easy to come to the conclusion that SEO and content optimization are a long-term time investment. If you choose to optimize your content and maintain a high SERP ranking in your industry, the same steps and principles should be applied across all of your content pieces. For example, if you localize an article or a product page, every other page on your site should follow suit to ensure optimal search ranking is attributed to your website.
More than anything, however, you should ensure that the mistakes and pitfalls we’ve discussed stay away from your content production and optimization activities going forward. Doing so will allow you to attract a sizable audience to your brand and give your brand the global exposure it deserves as a result.
Bridgette Hernandez is a Master in Anthropology who is interested in writing and is planning to publish her own book in the near future. Now she is a content editor at WowGrade. The texts she writes are always informative, based on a qualitative research but nevertheless pleasant to read.