If you are running any sort of business online you need traffic. Otherwise, your website is really just a business card, right?
When we talk about traffic, there are really only a few kinds that are reliable and consistent:
- your mom
- regular visitors (people who already know you and love your stuff)
- visitors from ads (Google Ads, Facebook Ads, etc.)
- Google Search
The rest are up and down, or kinda hit and miss – like:
- social media (Tweets last minutes, Facebook makes you pay, Instagram is heading that way)
- your site being mentioned on a big blog (I got mentioned by Social Media Examiner last month – that meant 3,000 visitors in a few days, but now… zero!)
Google on the other hand sends me 60-70% of my traffic month over month, consistently (and often growing).
Mistakes That Are Hurting Your SEO (And Google)
Google is a little sensitive these days, so you have to be careful you don’t do anything that could upset them!
[Tweet theme=”tweet-box-shadow”]#Google is a little sensitive these days, so you have to be careful you don’t do anything that could upset them![/Tweet]
But, once you know a few of the easy to avoid mistakes, things start to go a lot smoother.
1. You Have Put Up A Big Fat “No Visitors” Sign
This is a killer.
It is unlikely that you are doing this, but, if you are – Google will totally ignore you.
Don’t stop reading now though, thinking you won’t have made this mistake. I just started working with a client recently and they were doing it. And they are certainly not the first.
Zero Google traffic.
Google takes their cues from what you do on your website. And if you accidentally put up a NO VISITORS (which in SEO is called NO INDEX) they WILL not come by and visit.
This means you will not appear in search results at all.
How do you check this?
1. You can either head to this website and enter your URL
2. Head over to Google and type in the following…
(or site:www.yourwebsite.com) if you use the www.
What you should see is this:
Ignore the first result, that is usually an ad from Google.
But the rest should show your pages. And at the top, the number of pages/posts that Google is currently keeping in their index (showing in search results).
If nothing comes up, then…
YOU HAVE A BIG PROBLEM.
Fixing it means getting someone technical involved to see what is stopping Google from indexing your site. If you use WordPress there is a checkbox you might have checked that does this. Or, it could be in your robots.txt (Don’t know what that is? Don’t worry, your tech guy/gal should.)
2. You Are Not Optimizing Your Content
Sounds kinda complicated, but it does not have to be.
SEO optimization of your content (pages or posts) is quite a simple process. It involves putting your chosen “keywords” in the right places.
[Tweet theme=”tweet-box-shadow”]#SEO optimization is quite a simple process. It involves putting your chosen #keywords in the right places.[/Tweet]
- The Title
- The URL
- The first 100 words
…and maybe a couple of other places in the content, maximum. Don’t do more. Because Google is crushing people for over-optimizing too – AKA too many keywords in your content.
If you want to see what a little keyword optimization can do for you, check out a recent post I did on no follow SEO links.
You can see in this picture above that the main keywords (NoFollow Links SEO) are present in all the right places.
As a result, this post is already on page 1 for a number of keywords on Google.
Tip: Ensure you are keyword optimizing all your pages and posts.
3. Spraying And Praying
The last one is a doozy. I see most bloggers or content creators (including myself in the past) doing this. In fact, I just pulled up a friend of mine doing this the other day. So, chances are, you might be doing it too.
Spraying and praying – what do I mean by that?
You write content, based on what you think is a good idea (keyword), without any research into whether people are actually searching for the topic.
Sure, sometimes you just have to get something off your chest. Or, answer a burning question all your followers have been asking.
However, if you are aiming to be found on Google, and get significant traffic as a result…
You have to check if anyone is searching for what you are about to write.
There are a bunch of ways to do this, but the simplest is to get yourself a Google Adwords account and use the Keyword Planner.
Then, you can jump in and see if there is any “volume” (ie. searchers per month) for the idea you are thinking of writing about.
That is the first step in any decent keyword research.
You also need to go a little deeper too (find related words, find out if you can even get to the top of Google, etc.) but that is way too much for one blog post.
(You can read even more about creating the perfect SEO optimized content on my blog if you are adventurous!)
Putting It All Together
A lot of the big secrets of SEO are actually pretty simple.
You just have to spend a little time doing some keyword research, optimizing your content, and making sure your website is on solid ground.
This is a guest post by Ashley Faulkes of Mad Lemmings.