Winning at SEO requires developing a robust marketing plan that includes many different parts. You have to have a great web design that balances the user experience with page speed and the firm’s brand identity. You have to have compelling and informative content and blogs. You have to be relevant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You have to have a solid plan for link building and a clean link portfolio…and so on. It isn’t for the weak at heart.
Oftentimes, companies take the In-n-Out approach to SEO, focusing heavily on one aspect of their website in the hopes that it will shoulder the rest of the site’s limitations. At SLS Consulting, Inc., we believe that you are only as strong as your weakest link. Relying on one tactic to boost your rankings is a dangerous strategy, which is why we have broken down the common mistakes companies make and how to optimize a strategy for the best results.
The Need for Speed
Page speed is one of the biggest pitfalls when it comes to SEO. No one will disagree that a modern website should load quickly and efficiently on both desktop and mobile devices, but many businesses simply hear “faster page speed = better rankings” and run with that idea. In the pursuit of speed, they make huge sacrifices in other areas, such as image quality, website design, chatbots, and internal plugins. Some go as far as removing all images from blogs or stripping down their website to a minimalist design.
Will doing this increase rankings? It’s unlikely, and the tradeoff is not worth it.
Rather than focusing on arbitrary page-speed numbers, look at how your competitors are doing. Google does not select the fastest website and rank it the highest on all search results – instead, it systematically goes through each search result and compares every website’s speed to find the one that is offering the best user experience. If a user can quickly access a website AND the content fulfills their needs and search query, then it will see higher rankings. But just relying on speed will leave your website in the dust.
Tending a Garden Rather Than Farming for Content
It is very easy to look at a competitor’s website and see dozens of infographics, videos, and blogs, and obsess over producing more content than them, especially when you have a fresh website. Many businesses falsely believe that the more content they have, the more traffic they’ll pull in, but that is far from the truth. Google and Bing do not simply look at a website with a ton of pages, graphics, and blog posts and automatically boost its rankings – especially if that content is not informative, relevant, not optimized for quick loading, or offers a poor user experience.
Instead, search engines want to showcase content that fulfills users’ needs and answers their questions as accurately and thoroughly as possible. If you can answer a specific search query that few other firms are talking about, you can pull ahead of the pack. The best option is to look at your competitors’ content and see what questions they are not answering. If you focus on producing a handful of high-quality blog posts or videos, you may see your website producing higher traffic than if you had farmed out a massive amount of low-quality content. To win the rankings game, quality always beats out quantity.
Building Links to Nowhere
Alongside content, link building is another major factor in an SEO campaign – but only when done right. Many websites rely too heavily on the quantity of links they have when quality is much more important. On paper, quantity makes sense. By having a large number of links leading back to your website, you assume that you would see an increase in traffic. But this is only true if the sources of those links are also seeing a high amount of traffic. This trickle-down approach is extremely unreliable and oftentimes hurts a website’s rankings in the long run, especially if you have to take time to disavow bad links.
Any agency that offers you hundreds of links at a low price also has a bridge to sell you. Instead, it is better to focus on the natural links around you and work on your internal linking efforts before branching out to harder-to-attract links. Chambers of Commerce, certified and reliable directories, and local sponsorships all hold great value when you are trying to rank in a local market and are often easier to acquire without devaluing your website. You should also make an effort to optimize your anchor texts for internal links and make sure that the linked content is relevant and useful to the user. Doing so will not only help improve the user experience of your site, but it will also outline a clearer hierarchy for Google.
Always Remember the Big Picture
Starting out with SEO on your own can feel like you’re juggling a bunch of unrelated tasks without any real goal. In many cases, companies decide to pick one or two tasks and go all-in on them before moving on to the next set of tasks – all the while worrying about achieving results. Prioritizing is important, but it is also important to remember how each task plays into the other. Strong links help users easily find your website, while page speed allows them to engage with your content more quickly. Optimized keywords give a strong reach for your pages, but those pages still need to answer user questions.
Remember this: SEO is not a race; it’s a marathon.
At SLS Consulting, Inc., we go one step further: SEO is a triathlon. If you’re training to rank in the top five, you wouldn’t focus solely on running and ignore your swim and cycling times. In the same manner, you wouldn’t spend days creating content without also investing time in link building and on-page SEO. Every action plays into the other, which is why it is important to have a comprehensive SEO marketing plan.
For over 20 years now, the digital marketing experts at SLS Consulting, Inc., have crafted custom-made marketing strategies for our clients. We have seen in real-time how the SEO landscape has changed, while making note of what strategies produce results and which ones should be left behind. To that end, we focus on everything from website design to page speed to content marketing to local optimization – all in the pursuit of improving our clients’ rankings and conversions. By working with SLS Consulting, Inc., you can trust that we will always keep the big picture in mind while fine-tuning each aspect of your SEO marketing strategy and not letting a single element go by the wayside.
If you have any questions about how to optimize your website’s rankings, call our office at (323) 254-1510 to receive a free case evaluation.
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