Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an unavoidable strategy for online business in today’s digital landscape. It is most important for website owners to understand how SEO works before implementing an SEO plan or hiring an agency. Below I’ll list 5 common pitfalls that I frequently discover when analysing a client’s previous SEO strategy.
The first step of an SEO campaign is to research and identify the most suitable keywords for your website. Secondly, reverse engineer your website to cater for those target keywords. The best explanation I’ve found for this can be found here: “How SEO Works”. The objective of the research is to ensure that your targeted keywords are not only related to your business, but also correlate with increasing and high search volume. The right keyword list will therefore generate organic traffic to your site. Yet, people seem to spend the least time on this step and instead focus on going wide with as many different keywords as they can find.
Analogy – to explain this would be applying to University. You’ve got the top Universities that you’d love to apply to, but you know it’s a long-shot such as ranking for the big-head keyword “hotel”.
Next you’ll look at safety Universities, a sure-bet just incase and look for long-tail keywords (the really juicy high intent ones). i.e “cool hotels with rooftop bars in bangkok”. These are golden opportunities especially if you can find long-tail terms with little to no competition. They will be the easiest to rank for, provide the highest quality traffic, but as you guessed they normally have less search volume than their counterparts.
Lastly, you’ll look for a few school’s in-between the achievable and the unachievable to provide better options than your safety schools. i.e targeting keywords such as “5 star hotels bangkok”.
Onsite SEO should be implemented after the focus keywords are settled, before moving forward to off-site or the link-building process. Do not forget that your website is the core of your success. You can read more about 3 Fundamental SEO Tactics to conduct in 2016 to see a more comprehensive checklist for Onsites’ that include canonical tagging, sitemap submission and robot.txt.
It is healthy to be referred from other websites, as it shows that your site is reliable and credible, like it is cool enough to be talked about. However, there are some points you need to think about before starting link-building plan;
The number of backlinks pointing to your website in a certain period of time
Google’s algorithm is adverse to websites in which their referral traffic comes unnaturally. It credits websites that gain organic backlinks, which logically, should not be skeptically too many in a period of time. If Google found that your website gets thousands of backlinks in a first couple months after the website started, it will imply that you are implementing tricky tactics for SEO, which could be penalized by Google.
The credibility of the referring website
If the website that links to yours is spammy, it will consequently affect your ranking performance in a bad way. On the contrary, if you gain backlinks from famous reliable website, your ranking performance will be positively affected by that as well.
How they talk about your website
If your site gains backlinks from a website, but the content around it does not relate to your business or focused keywords at all, you may as well consider this an invalid link, disavowing the link may be on
What do you think about this content?…
“Book our hotel today. Our hotel is the best hotel in Bangkok.
The hotel is locate in the best location and better than other hotels
in terms of hotel’s facilities and services. This is the hotel you are looking for.”
Did you spot too many ‘hotel’s in the sentences? To write good SEO content, you don’t have to mention your target keyword in every sentence. The best amount of focused keyword in the page should be around 2-5% of the whole text. For example, if your content is around 1000-words long, the keyword should appear about 20 times to avoid keyword stuffing. This is a surefire way to get your site penalized if it hasn’t been already or limiting the potential of the page’s ability to rank higher.
Many link builders have gone on the wrong path by trying to get as many links as possible, no matter what value that particular link holds. The quality of the website that you get the link from is ALWAYS important. As mentioned above, in point 2, one link from a high-authority website is worth more than it’s weight in gold than a hundred links from low-authority and irrelevant websites.