3 SEO Dos and Don’ts
Recommendations to start your strategy on the right track
“Get my business to the top of Google.”
When it comes to setting SEO goals, it can feel as simple as that. But your competitors share the same goal, and an industry of SEO experts is lined up with different versions of how to get there. Google offers general guidelines. However, applying them successfully can be a matter of trial and error. It can get confusing.
You’ll soon discover that SEO is an ongoing process requiring a clear strategy. At Cassel Bear, we do our best to remove the guesswork. Based on what we’ve observed, here are a few recommendations to get started.
Don’t: Evaluate your SEO health simply by Googling your business.
Do: Use data and analytics to understand the broader SEO landscape.
Googling your product or service can be a good indication of how you rank. But those results are affected by your location, search history, and – most importantly – the specific search term that you use. To develop an effective strategy, you’ll want to know exactly what your customers are searching for in the locations you are targeting. Track your performance for those specific searches to get a picture of where you stand. Then, research your digital competitors to understand how you can improve your results.
Recommendation: Be informed by the data. Make use of the many free and paid analytics tools that offer deeper insights into search performance.
Don’t: Attempt to rank for all keywords related to your business.
Do: Target high-value keywords that offer the best ROI.
Consider a company that makes custom leather handbags. The broad search term “handbags” has a high search volume and may seem like a good target. But this keyword is also extremely competitive, meaning the company would have to invest heavily in content creation to get noticed by Google.
The search term “leather handbags” has a lower search volume, but is less competitive and more closely related to what the company offers. Perhaps the best opportunity is the search term “custom leather handbags.” While it has the lowest search volume, it requires the least investment in content creation and targets the most interested buyers.
Recommendation: To bring focus to your SEO strategy, research keywords carefully to understand the language your customers are using and where you can most effectively compete. Dedicate each page on your site to a distinct search term.
Don’t: Make assumptions based on a moment in time.
Do: Identify trends by continuously monitoring your performance.
Your position in Google results can fluctuate daily, and sometimes dramatically, especially If you’re going after a competitive keyword. By tracking search position trends over the long term, you’ll gain better insight into what’s working and what isn’t.
Imagine that you launch a site or add content and then check back weeks later to see that you’re not showing up in the top results. But you check back the next day and you’re right where you want to be. For new content, this is often the case.
Depending on which day you looked, you might draw different conclusions about your performance. And neither would give you a clear and accurate picture. It can take days, weeks, or even months for a site to consistently rank in the top positions for a certain keyword. And there may be spikes and dips along the way.
Recommendation: Give your strategy time to work, set measurable and realistic goals, and back up all your decisions with data.