5 Common SEO Challenges and Their Solutions
If your brand offers the best product ever to hit the market and nobody knows about it, is it really there? Fake existential questions aside, your website really is only as good as traffic it receives, just like brick-and-mortar businesses depend on attracting a steady flow of consumers in order to keep their doors open and lights on. For savvy internet marketers, the answer lies at least partly in search engine optimization, or SEO, but that approach isn’t without its challenges. Here’s how to tackle some of the most common issues companies face with their business.
Creating Original Content
Sure, your landing pages for the free and pro version of your new software might contain similar information, but they should be written in entirely different ways. Why? Search engines such as Google not only recognize duplicate verbiage, they downgrade the rankings of sites that regurgitate content. Copy from someone else or even yourself and you’re doing far more harm than good.
Finding Target Keywords
Doing keyword research is sort of like picking fruit. The lowest pieces are the easiest to get, but everyone’s reaching for them. The highest pieces, on the other hand, are so hard to reach that almost no one bothers. For example, if you’re a yoga studio here in Seattle, relying solely on generic keywords like “yoga classes” will almost guarantee that you’re lost in the crowd, but refining keywords to include more personalized descriptors (“yoga classes for kids,” perhaps, or location-based options such as “yoga classes in Ballard”) will help the right customers find your business. Avoid going too specific, though; no one’s typing “yoga classes on Tuesdays with a 30% discount for cat-owners” in their Google search box.
Leaving Off Alt Attributes
Almost anyone can upload a photo, but if you’re not adding alt tags to your expertly edited photos of last night’s dinner or last week’s trip to Aruba then you’re doing your page a disservice. Alt tags – also referred to as “alt attributes” – are basically text alternatives that describe an image for search engines or the visually impaired. Simply adding a “Click here to email Bob’s House of Motor Repair” tag to your “Contact Us” button doubles its effectiveness.
Messing Up the Meta Description
Think of meta descriptions like an introduction at a cocktail party. This is your chance to make a great first impression and draw in readers – use the same introduction for every guest you meet and people are going to start getting turned off. Incorporate keywords, make sure your meta description has value to the reader, and never, ever use the same meta description twice.
Missing Out on Local SEO
Local SEO is bigger than ever. With half of location-based searches translating into real-world store visits within 24 hours, it’s incredibly important for brick-and-mortar businesses to include plenty of relevant keywords both on their website and in their ads. List information such as:
- The type of business, including the industry (for example: “drywall contractor” as well as “construction company”)
- Phone number
- Physical address
- Map and/or driving directions (embedded options work well)
- A list of products and services
- Special offers (people frequently search for things like “happy hour coupons” or “Mother’s Day spa deals”)
- Hours of operation
Including a button (with an alt tag, of course) will also appeal to the 68 percent of searchers who like to click a “call now” or “get directions” option included in a mobile ad.
SEO challenges may change as optimization techniques evolve, but they’ll never disappear altogether. Thankfully, having an SEO expert as part of your internet marketing team will help make these challenges less daunting. For more information, check out Chair 10 Marketing’s search engine optimization services or drop us a line.