The list continues in Part 2 of SEO Mistakes Hurting Your Rankings. If you missed Part 1 you can go back and read it here. The importance of SEO doesn’t change, however, certain techniques that once worked are no longer as effective. Because there is so much overwhelming information out there, it’s difficult to know which tactics apply. In this article, we’ll reveal our next round of SEO Mistakes to avoid.
Ignoring Automation and Machine Learning Tools
SEO continues to evolve with the adaptation of automation and machine learning tools. No longer just buzzwords, AI helps to automate many SEO tasks on your behalf and uses it to provide a more personalized experience for the end user. These automation tools are abundantly available to improve your strategy and the customer journey, and ignoring them can be a big SEO mistake. Here’s why.
Customers browse and search to get the exact products or services they want. Oftentimes, they have certain behaviors or a particular process that leads them to purchase. Understanding this journey can be a tremendous asset in providing customers with exactly what they want when they want it. That being said, it’s a tedious task that humans don’t have the time capabilities to track on their own. This is why automation and machine learning tools are a must in your SEO arsenal.
AI uses algorithms to address customers’ needs and provide more relatable content to meet their expectations. This is done by researching which content and sites they are browsing and in turn presenting more related pages that currently aren’t being linked to. AI data analysis can also generate content in a variety of formats and make technical audits on which content gets a better response. It can then automatically make needed tweaks to the content to gain better response and customer experience. These automation tools can greatly assist in the ‘quality assurance’ of SEO, and many businesses would be wise to tap into this commodity.
Not Applying E-A-T
E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness), has been an SEO factor for a while, but its emphasis continues to grow. The difference between the ranking pages and those ones that don’t often come down to specific types of content. These can be reviews, phone numbers, locations, videos, topics, etc that clearly display what users are searching for. No matter which SEO tactics you apply, avoiding implementing some level of E-A-T to your website content, link-building, and so forth can hurt your rankings.
Beyond this, your website also needs to prove that you are an expert in your niche or subject matter. Nowadays, hiring someone to write generic content for your blog may not be the smartest option. You’re much better off using someone with a passion for the subject matter and who can articulate this knowledge in a digestible format. ‘Content Usefulness’ is at the heart of E-A-T. It means you are consistently providing informative content that the end user finds useful and relevant. And Google will pull from that form of content hand over fist before a generic blog that barely scratches the surface of what the end user needs. Consider adding authors to your blog articles and incorporating more rich snippets. Google loves rich snippets because it helps crawlers better show users the exact content they are looking for.
Not Creating Keyword Clusters
We all know keyword research is the foundation of SEO. However, as Google becomes more sophisticated in understanding natural language processing (NLP), effective keyword targeting has become more important than ever. Gone are the days of optimizing your landing pages and blogs for single keywords. Google ranks landing pages for multiple keywords, which means the stacks are higher.
Keyword clustering is a more advanced keyword strategy that involves using multiple keywords with similar search intent and creating web pages that target those clusters. For example, we could cluster keywords like:
- white athletic shoes for women
- tennis shoes for women
- women’s white sneakers
Even though these are all different keyword phrases, they all represent searchers who want to buy women’s athletic shoes. If you only try to rank for ‘white athletic shoes’ you can limit your reach. Instead, consider getting your web page ranked for not only your primary keyword and all the long-tail variants.
To get started, take a look at your tough competitors and see what keywords they are ranking for. Then use a keyword tool to find related keywords, autocomplete, subtopics, or questions that searchers are using to find products and services similar to yours. This takes some effort, but worth the time to bring the right kinds of searchers to your website, and those who are actually interested in what your offer.
SEO is never-ending. Overall, there are SEO tactics that remain the fundamentals of a good strategy. It’s important to pay attention to tools and technologies that will help you keep up with the evolving algorithms. However, this biggest takeaway is applying an SEO strategy that is user-specific first.
If you need help implementing a strong SEO plan for your business, we’re here to help. Get in touch with our team and schedule a free consultation. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date on all the latest digital marketing trends.