Implementing a search engine optimization strategy can often be overwhelming for many organizations. On one hand, SEO is a powerful way to increase traffic to a company's website. On the other, it requires patience, an investment of time and effort and some technical expertise in the area of Web development. With limited or overextended staff, it's very easy for mistakes to crop up when attempting to present an SEO strategy. Whether an organization wants to jumpstart its lead generation results or build brand awareness, search engines are a unique tool to reach buyers.
Here are three fixable mistakes that negatively impact SEO:
- Ignoring the importance of images
What most people fail to realize is that search engine crawlers generally don't see images in the same way that Web users do. Instead, Google and Bing scan for text (1). As a result, ALT tags play a major role in ensuring marketers get the most out of their images in terms of boosting SEO. The reason is that the individual placing images alongside any text on a website has the chance to integrate keywords using the ALT tag. With many content management systems, such as WordPress, it's a pretty straightforward process to add the text when placing an image. By doing so, marketers can potentially improve the performance of their websites in search engine results.
- Trying to measure everything
When integrating Web analytics tools, many marketers want to measure as many variables as possible, but this can ultimately be damaging (2). The reason is that only the most well-staffed marketing departments will be able to devote the time and manpower necessary to track everything involved in SEO on a single website. Especially if the company is looking to track performance over an extended period of time, too many metrics will end up obscuring the impact of major factors amid the massive amount of data. Instead, it's important to isolate a manageable list of items that can be accurately tracked and analyzed.
- Neglecting keyword strategy in page titles
It may be that the marketing team is looking for a creative outlet or the sales team wants to emphasize the company's brand message, but following these strategies can lead to page titles that perform poorly in search engines. Keywords should align closely with terms and phrases that buyers are likely to use (1). If the page title includes wording that's too much of a hard sell or strays too far from the page's content, it's probably not going to correlate with buyers' actual needs.