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5 SEO Mistakes Which Are Costing You A Lot of Traffic And Sales [How to Avoid Them]

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seo mistakes to avoidIf you want to build a profitable blog that makes money, you need a lot of traffic. Especially from search engines like Google.

Without getting organic traffic, it’s almost impossible to make money blogging.

It’s getting harder day by day to increase search traffic because Google is getting smarter. In this Post-Panda world, to increase your organic traffic, you need to learn and implement smart SEO strategies.

I know that setting up a WordPress site is easy but increasing its traffic is not.

If you are struggling to boost your search traffic, try to minimize your SEO mistakes. In this detailed article, we’ll discuss about few of the biggest SEO blunders you can make and we’ll also talk about how you can avoid them to boost your traffic and sales.

Are you ready? Let’s get into the details without further ado.

SEO mistakes to avoid to increase your traffic and sales

#1. Picking short keywords over long tail keywords

Short tail keywords such as “fitness”, “SEO”, “real estate” etc have HUGE competition.

It’s impossible to rank in top 10 search results for those highly competitive keywords unless you have a million dollar budget to spend on ads, SEO, content marketing etc.

Yet, most of the bloggers (especially the beginners) still target for those short tail keywords while creating content. If you are one among them, stop doing it right away. Otherwise, you can never boost your traffic without focusing on long tail keywords.

You may ask, what are long tail keywords.

Long tail keywords are golden nuggets, they are low hanging fruits which can help you boost your search traffic and sales.

  • “SEO” is a short tail keyword
  • “SEO agency” is a medium tail keyword
  • “SEO agency for yoga trainers” is a long tail keyword (with 5 keywords on it)

What are the benefits of using long tail keywords.

If you are still wondering, why most successful SEO experts prefer long tail keywords over short tail keywords, here are few reasons.

  1. Long tail keywords are often easier to rank for.
  2. They send you more traffic because of the usage of 4 or more keywords.
  3. They can help you boost your search traffic quickly.

Apart from the above, long tail keywords help you increase your sales. People who are searching for long tail keywords like “best iPhone apps for business” are more tend to buy than those who are searching for “iphone reviews” (which is a short tail keyword).

So how to find long tail keywords?

There are so many keyword research tools out there to find long tail keywords. Here are few of them.

Keywordtool.io: This is an incredible and most effective tool for finding long tail keywords. It allows you to check up to 750 keywords for any seed keyword you enter. Not only it has a free access but most effective for finding low competitive long tail keywords.

Keyword Planner: Almost everyone who is into keyword research uses this tool. Although it has its own flaws like not giving competitive keywords but it’s a great place to begin your keyword research. It’s also a free keyword research tool developed by Google.

Long Tail Pro: If you are looking for ways to grow your search traffic with long tail keywords, I HIGHLY recommended you to start using this tool. Not only it’s an affordable SEO tool but gives you a lot of features. You can quickly find a lot of long tail keywords no matter what your niche is.

#2. Writing short articles over in-depth content

One of the most asked questions I’m frequently getting asked recent days is what type of content should I create: long or short articles?

Let me be blunt. If you want to build some authority with your site, go for in-depth articles over short content.

If you want to just increase traffic, post lots of short articles. But be cautious, you might never get the kind of traffic you deserve by posting short content frequently.

Gone are the days where you can simply increase your overall Google traffic to your sites by posting 300 to 500 words articles every single day. Now, Google is getting smarter and giving top search results to those pages that are filled with informative and long form of content.

So in this Post-Panda era, if you want to quickly see better search results with your blog, spend most of your time on crafting in-depth articles. I’m talk about 2,000+ words articles that get you results.

If you are new to blogging and struggling to create long form of content, here are few things which can help to boost your traffic and sales with content.

  • Create a content marketing strategy. Don’t write a post just to increase your traffic. Also focus on who will benefit from that content. That way you can target the right products or services to promote. If your audience trust you after reading your content, you can make more sales easily.
  • Write as if you are directly talking to someone who is sitting on your couch. That way it becomes easier for you to write massive content. Also, online people love to read “friendly tone” content over “corporate jargon” filled content.
  • Formatting is the key to write persuasive long form of content. Remember, online people mostly scan your content and they don’t read word to word. That’s why you need to focus on giving importance to the meat of your content by dividing it into sub headings, bold letters, bullet points etc.

#3. Not having access to the right SEO tools

If you are not using any SEO tools, you are doing a BIG mistake. If you are blogging for a while, you might already know how hard it is to increase traffic from Google to your sites.

Without having access to at least few of the most essential SEO tools, it’s almost impossible to increase your search rankings. Here are two tools I recommend for any SEO enthusiast.

WordPress SEO by Yoast: If there’s a plugin that helps you make your optimization process simpler, it has to be WordPress SEO by Yoast. This is a free plugin and a gift for WordPress users.

If you are new to SEO world and don’t know much about optimizing content, I strongly recommend you to install and start using this plugin. You just need to enter a primary keyword and this plugin tells you where to put that keyword (title, meta description, image alt tags etc) to get better search rankings for it.

SEMrush: I personally use and highly recommend SEMrush for SEO. It’s an all-rounder SEO tool which is helpful for finding keywords, spying on your competitors, increasing your search traffic etc.

Here are few benefits of using this tool.

  • You can check website traffic easily.
  • You can spy on your competitor’s best performing keywords.
  • You can increase your traffic by fixing your site issues.
  • You can do SEO audit.
  • Find out long tail keywords with ease.

#4. Website speed affects SEO

Your website speed highly impacts your search rankings. Google started taking website speed into their ranking factors. Google always aims for giving a better user experience and no one likes to browse a site that loads slowly.

Go to Pingdom tools and find out how your website is loading. If it’s taking too much time (more than 3 to 4 seconds) to load, you need to optimize your site for better speed.

If you are wondering how to boost your website loading speed, here are few things you can try for faster and better results.

Clean up your database: Your post revisions, spam comments, test posts, trash posts everything will go into your database and consume a lot of volume. All these unwanted stuff add up and eventually slows your website speed. You can use BJ lazy loading plugin (free) to clean up your database to make your site speed better.

Optimize images: Images take up a lot of portion of your web page size. If not optimized or shrinked, they consume a lot of data. So make sure to optimize your images using online tools or WP Smush it plugin to speed up your loading times.

Use a reliable hosting: NEVER host your WordPress site on a cheap or free hosting. Most of those free hosting providers are often filled with spam, ads or unwanted stuff. Get a good hosting service and you will see better results. Because your website speed hugely depends upon your hosting provider.

Use a cache plugin: Cache plugin like W3 total cache helps you remove unwanted cache from your databases and site. It makes it easier to increase your overall site performance by caching frequently.

Limit your plugins usage: One of the biggest reasons for any slow loading website is the plugins usage. Whether you know it or not, plugins consume too much of space and often creates a lot of burden on your databases and hosting provider. So limit your WordPress plugins usage between 10 to 15 for optimized performance.

#5. There’s no quick win

If you try to build backlinks too fast to increase traffic, you are doing it completely wrong.

SEO takes time. Increasing your Google traffic takes time. Don’t try to build 100 links within a day. It’s the surefire way to get penalized by Google.

Likewise, don’t write too many guest posts just for the sake of getting links. In any case, quality wins over quantity.

Don’t write too many posts just to increase your traffic. Writing 1 detailed and informative post is better than publishing 10 mediocre posts.

It usually takes 6 to 8 months for a brand new site to see traffic coming from Google to their content. So if you are struggling to increase search traffic to a new blog, remember that it usually takes time.

With better efforts and building quality links through guest posts, Infographics or email outreach, you can speed up the process of increasing your organic traffic to your sites. Build an email list using the best software solutions to grow your audience.

Unless you already have a well established site, getting higher search results for any keyword (even if it’s less competitive) usually takes time. So don’t get frustrated if you don’t see results right away. Wait for some time, keep attracting more incoming links and post high quality contents to start noticing great results from search engines to your sites.

Final thoughts on SEO mistakes to avoid

Don’t treat SEO like rocket-science. It’s really not a hard task to increase your search traffic if done right. Make things simple. Give priority to your website visitors over search crawlers.

Prefer writing long form of content over short articles. And grab few effective SEO tools such as Long Tail Pro, SEMrush to make the most out of them.

Never forget to do keyword research before creating content. After all, finding and using long tail keywords is the surefire way to boost your overall search traffic. Spy on your competitors and find out what type of link building strategies they are doing to improve their SEO.

So what are you waiting for? If you are doing the above SEO mistakes, stop those practices right away. What are the other mistakes that you think cost people a lot of website traffic and sales? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Anil Agarwal is the guy behind Bloggers Passion blog where he blogs about blogging, SEO, affiliate marketing, making money online and Black Friday hosting deals related topics. He also owns HostingMonks.com, a blog dedicated to web hosting solutions.

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Search Engine Optimisation

How to Create More Clickable Google Search Snippets

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Google search results are becoming ridiculously competitive. Plus, Google’s search results are becoming incredibly engaging: Many search users prefer to use search results (open “People Also Ask” results, clicks image and video carousels, etc.) that getting a click from search results is getting harder and harder.

With the introduction of new and flashier ways to be seen, you still have to learn how to creatively and dynamically exploit those offered tools. Being seen with so many others attempting the same technique is just as hard as it was when visibility relied only on ranking.

How to get more people click your search listing in SERPs? Here are three really effective ways:

1. Monitor Your Click-Through

The first step to improving your search snippet visibility is to set up monitoring of how your pages are performing right now and get alerted if anything changes.

Finteza is an advanced analytics platform allowing you to keep a close eye on your site performance in search and all the various channels.

To monitor your click-through from organic search:

  • Register an account at Finteza
  • Add their tracking code to your site and give it some time to accumulate some data
  • Click “Sources” and there choose “Search”
  • Go to “Pages” to see how your top landing pages are performing in search:

Finteza

This gives you bird’s eye view on your site organic performance in organic search. It’s a great way to analyze and evaluate your old content. Using Finteza, you can also set up a retargeting campaign to target those search referrals better if they choose to return to your site.

Repeat steps above at least weekly to see if any of those pages start losing clicks from search: These might need some work. Here’s exactly what you may want to do:

2. Use Semantic Analysis

Google uses a variety of analysis methods to identify high-quality content that meets their users’ needs. One of the key components of Google’s content evaluation process is semantic analysis.

Basically speaking, semantic analysis is about clustering your key topic into subtopics and concepts that constitute it. To give a quick example, if we were to apply semantic analysis to [hiking], we’d come up with a variety of underlying concepts including, National Parks, Mountains, picturesque trails, being outdoors, and even birdwatching.

All of those concepts relate to hiking in some way or another.

Broadly speaking, semantic analysis helps machines understand natural language – the way that humans communicate – including context, goals, etc.

When it comes to search optimization, semantic SEO helps:

  • Create more indepth and richer content that meets Google’s expectations
  • Optimize for intent (what’s the end goal behind each search)
  • Give Google enough context for them to create a more clickable search snippet for your listing.

Another example of semantic analysis in action is Google’s results for [where it was filmed]. While the query is seemingly absolutely generic, Google is able to understand this question relates to the movie “It”.

Semantic SEO

Text Optimizer is the semantic analysis tool that goes right to the source, i.e. Google search snippets. For each query you type, it would collect Google’s search snippets and apply semantic analysis to them to come up with the list of underlying concepts:

Text Optimizer

[TextOptimizer’s results for [where it was filmed] – as you can see the tool got the actual context of the query and clustered it into related topics]

Including 20-25 of these concepts into your content will help Google better understand your text, and create richer more clickable search snippets. Here’s a more detailed review of the site I did previously.

3. Optimize for Rich Snippets

Rich snippets have become the new keywords. These little details are what causes your listing to “pop” in a search, catching the eye of the user no matter what place on the first page you occupy. Proper use of rich snippets are a requirement for being seen.

“Rich snippets” are search results providing the user with more answers right within SERPs. To qualify for rich snippets your web page should have rich markup:

Here are the supported types of rich snippets:

Reviews

If you have reviewed a tool or a product, use Aggregate Rating structured data for your search snippet to look like this. This will populate stars in search that definitely draw an eye!

Reviews

Recipes

Recipes will have some nutritional and preparation information, like how long it takes to cook and how many calories are in each serving.

recipes

Events

Events will show dates and times for each event for quick reference. Every event name is linked in search results giving you more clickable links in search.

Event schema

Business

There’s a number of structure data types that allow you to add more details to your brand knowledge graph (NOT for local businesses though).

These include: Official social media accounts, logo, and the corporate contact:

Corporate Contact

Movies and Books

Movies and books will also show off a ranking system, and some product pages have a star rating alongside price.

HowTo

HowTo markup will help Google to locate more information from your tutorial, for example, number of steps, time to complete, etc.:

HowTo

HowTo Schema shouldb’t be used for recipes though. Other than that there are no official restrictions to certain types of tutorials that can have it.

One word of caution here: Only use structured data when it absolutely makes sense. Google frowns upon using Schema just for the sake if rich snippets. If it is not an actual review, don’t use the ratings markup, as it could backfire. Google actually sends manual penalties for a structured abuse, so read the documentation properly to make sure you follow all the rules!

Optimizing for rich snippets relies heavily on whichever website builder and/or CMS you are using. For most of them there are lots of plugins and addons allowing to quickly integrate structured markup.

The above tips will hopefully help you generate more clicks from your current organic positions without having to invest in improving it. See it as a low-hanging fruit opportunity to improving your traffic!

Do you have a tip for optimizing search snippets? Let us know in the comments!

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Search Engine Optimisation

Top the Charts! 5 Must-Know SEO Solutions to Promote Your Managed IT Service

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According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second. That’s 3.5 billion searches a day.

When someone searches for your managed IT service, you have the opportunity to attract them straight towards your website.

All you need is search engine optimization or SEO!

Here are five SEO solutions that can help drive traffic to your website. With these techniques, you can attract new customers and grow your business!

Let’s get optimizing.

1. Topics & Keywords

An effective SEO strategy starts with a list of keywords. These keywords reflect the content your customers are searching for online. Using these keywords, you can create content that matches their search intent.

To start, you can use tools like Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends. These tools will show you the popularity of each keyword.

Once you have this list, you can create pillars and clusters. Pillars give your website visitors the main page of collective content. Then, the clusters break this content into sub-topics with specified information.

This strategy can help boost your SEO plan and attract people to your Managed IT Services.

That way, you’re attracting new website visitors while providing them with an easy, efficient user experience, too.

2. On-Site SEO

Your website needs optimization as a whole as well as on a page-based level. To start, make sure your website’s content hierarchy is well-structured.

Then, there are a number of areas that require review to ensure these SEO solutions work.

Once you’ve studied your target audience to determine your keywords, you also need:

  • Descriptive URLs
  • Keyword-optimized page titles
  • Compelling meta descriptions
  • Content optimization (includes keyword placement in headers, body text, etc.)
  • Good user experience
  • Structured data markup
  • Effective call-to-action language

As part of your overall SEO strategy, on-page SEO is an important component of attracting visitors.

3. Off-Site SEO

An off-site SEO strategy includes local SEO. This strategy helps you attract local customers to your website and business.

To start, make sure your listings are updated with the correct content information.

This includes your Google My Business listing as well.

4. Technical SEO

Technical SEO ensures search engines can find your content. These areas include:

  • Crawling
  • Indexing
  • Mobile-optimization
  • Website speed
  • Hierarchy

Technical SEO solutions are essential for success. Otherwise, how will customers find your website?

5. Content

According to Fit Small Business, search is the number one driver of traffic to content sites. In fact, it beats social media by over 300 percent.

Your content should consider customer search intent. That way, you’re giving visitors content that answers their questions. This can include service content, credibility content, and marketing content.

This content should also add value to your business.

Consider writing blog posts or white papers. You can also post videos or add testimonials to your website.

That way, your SEO content shows visitors you’re a valuable resource.

Bring It in: 5 Must-Have SEO Solutions

With these five must-have SEO solutions, you can attract new visitors to your website. The right techniques will then turn these visitors into leads, then leads into paying customers!

That way, your company grows, one SEO strategy at a time.

Check out our latest posts for more effective tips and tricks!

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Search Engine Optimisation

SEO 101: The Essential SEO FAQ for Bloggers

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I don’t provide SEO services and I am self-taught – which hardly makes an expert. But I’ve been blogging for a lifetime and for all these years I’ve been reading about and implementing SEO practices – which means I know more than an average blogger.

With that said, I’ve decided to put together this SEO FAQ for those who want to quickly understand the concept without going too indepth:

What is SEO?

Simply put, SEO is about making a website easy for search engines to discover, go through and understand.

This includes:

  • creating content (based on search engine users’ needs),
  • making your content “link-worthy” (i.e. attract backlinks),
  • using HTML and structured data to make content easier to understand for the machine, etc.

SEO is NOT trying to “fake” any of positive signals search engines use to rank web pages. Search engine friendliness should be authentic and SEO professionals should work together with website owners to achieve that.

Do Bloggers Need to Know SEO?

Yes!

SEO aims at helping a page rank on top of organic search results, and search engines are known to bring the most qualified leads (people turn to Google when they know what they want).

No traffic source is as effective as search traffic. Unlike driving clicks with ads (PPC), organic search is NOT interrupting user’s surfing the web. Instead, it serves them content exactly when they ask

This makes SEO one of the most important digital marketing channels. It can drive highly targeted traffic and pre-qualified leads to your site on a continuous basis (no need to keep investing in ads)

How Has SEO changed over the years?

SEO is maturing fast and it has been exciting to watch. The biggest driving force behind this evolution is Google that has been working hard on their search algorithm to understand natural language and search intent, as well as penalizing any manipulating tactics.

The result: SEO has become more integrated into other marketing channels. Furthermore, SEO is more about focusing on long-term goals rather than quick traffic gains

If ten years ago SEO was all about creating fake signals (keyword stuffing, link buying, etc.), these days it’s all about creating linkable assets that rank and engage potential customers.

The future of SEO is in voice search, artificial intelligence, more diverse content types and channels.

Can SEO Be Handled “At Home”?

WordPress bloggers generally don’t have to worry about getting SEO help. WordPress is pretty well set up and there’s a variety of free plugins to help.

Here’s a detailed guide to get yourself educated: Google SEO: Should it be your only priority?

What is The Most Important SEO Element?

Content… by far! Content is the foundation of any SEO strategy. Content ranks, attracts links, spreads, engages customers and turns them into believers.

Content is not just an article or a blog post. By content I mean any kind of text you put on your site, from a landing page copy to your “About us” page or a product description.

Many businesses jump into digital marketing without willing to invest in content, and this strategy is doomed to failure. Building on-site content should be everyone’s SEO priority.

Text Optimizer is a great tool that helps you create better content by providing you with the mindmap of associated concepts and questions. It uses semantic analysis to process Google’s search snippets and break any keyword into subtopics.

Text Optimizer for content creation

While it’s primarily search intent optimization tool, it’s also helpful for overall content research showing which topics to cover and how to structure your article.

You can read my own Text Optimizer case study here.

What Are the Most Dangerous SEO Myths?

  1. Keyword density… This is one of the most persistent SEO myths out there. Why I dislike it so much is because it fills the web with trash content. Keyword-density focused strategy spoils the brand image and creates lots of problems which take lots of time to fix.
  2. On-page SEO alone will get you to #1. There are so many SEO agencies there that are happy to keep “optimizing” your website but rankings won’t come. The reality, you still need outbound tactics to gain backlinks and external visibility (branding) to achieve higher rankings
  3. SEO is dying… SEO death has been predicted for years now. These days with Google’s new SERPs features that aim at keeping the user using Google, and the fast growth of voice search, SEO is predicted to die soon again

The truth is, SEO is full of ingenuous tools and people. It is evolving together with search engines and it will survive Google’s death one day.

What’s the Best SEO Advice You’ve Received?

There’s a real human being behind each query.

Really if you stop thinking of keywords as “word strings to optimize for” and start seeing them as a real person’s question, SEO becomes much clearer (and more fun).

This mindset helps build more helpful content, optimize for search intent better (why would anyone type this into the search box? What are they willing to do once they find the answer?)

On top of that, by looking at keyword research as something that helps you serve your customer will help you understand your audience better and come up with better products and offers, on a higher-level.

Answer The Public is a nice free tool that turns keyword research into question research helping you to clearer see your readers’ struggles behind their search queries.

answerthepublic

On top of that, the tool also mind-maps the retrieved keywords / questions helping you in brainstorming.

Where Does a Blogger Start with SEO?

As stated above, there’s not much a blogger can do to start with SEO except for creating useful original content.

Here’s also a nice clutter-free introduction into SEO: SEO Basics: Complete Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization . Here’s a much easier guide but also one that lists the most essential step: 3 Basic Steps to Making Your New Blog SEO-Friendly. Here’s also a helpful writing checklist that will help you handle the basics:

writing checklist

As you may have noticed, I am not listing a ton of tools here as I don’t want this guide to overwhelm the reader. Those mentioned are a good start!

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