New to SEO? 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid

  •    Marketing Manager at MarketGoo, an SEO application for businesses looking to optimize their websites for search engines.

How to effectively do SEO for your Weebly site is probably one of the first things that comes to mind, after you figure out what SEO means (Search Engine Optimization). It is an activity that can feel incredibly overwhelming and like you’re trying to interpret another language. However, like with most new things, the key is not letting the idea of SEO scare you into ignoring it or leaving it for later. The time is now!

Optimizing with Weebly

Optimizing your site for search engines with Weebly is relatively simple because they have structured the editor you use in order to make it easy to view and edit the technical parts of your pages. You can read articles within their SEO Guide or choose an app to add on to your site from the App Center. To get started, you not only want to know best practices, but you also want to know what to avoid doing - maybe you are already making these mistakes! Here are five common mistakes to avoid.

1.) Social vs SEO

Social and SEO are not the same, although one can have repercussions over the other. The audiences reached by each tactic within an SEO or Social strategy will differ somewhat, but the main goal is the same: drive awareness of your business, increase traffic to your site, and increase your bottom line. Don’t confuse them and definitely don’t use one as replacement for another. Use them together. For instance, the content you share on your social media profiles will probably be shorter and designed to elicit more of an emotional response (perhaps with a visual), while the content you share on your blog will be longer, detailed and well researched because it aims to provide a different kind of value to your audience. Staying active on your social channels is very important to stay engaged with your audience, and it is likely potential customers will find you through social media. However always keep in mind that your end goal is to encourage them to engage by sharing your page and content, and above all guide them back to your site.

2.) Not Scheduling SEO

Not setting time apart every week for SEO is a surefire way to fail at it. If you are using an optimization tool like those you can find on the Weebly App Center, you will be reminded of SEO every time you are on your Weebly editor because you will probably see it on your dashboard. However, it’s not enough to do it whenever you happen to remember - you need to set a time aside. Ideally, you will dedicate at least an hour every day to work on your SEO and learn about it. In reality, you likely have very little time to do this, so if you dedicate three hours a week to your SEO tasks (not including content creation), you should be off to a good start. People always say “SEO is a marathon, not a Sprint”, and it’s cliche but so true. If you are dedicating 15 minutes a week to your SEO, don’t expect to climb rankings anytime soon. You should be disciplined and consistent, even if the results of your work take a while to show. This especially applies to you if you are new at all this. You will have to dedicate extra time to read up on what it means to optimize your website.

3.) Page 1 Myth

It’s great to be ambitious and start out by affirming that you want to be on Page 1 of Google’s search results. However, remember that the journey to Page 1 is a long one and to piggyback on the previous point, if you aren’t consistent at it, it’s not likely you’re going to reach the top. If you are on page 1, you will get the lion’s share of traffic; which is why it is such a coveted position. This leads to expectations perpetuated by shady SEO professionals and agencies, who promise you these kinds of top results. In reality they can never be guaranteed, and lightning quick top rankings can’t really be attained by ethical channels. If you have ever gotten an email that makes promises about page # 1 guarantees, be very weary. Most importantly, don’t be discouraged and stop believing in optimizing your website just because you are not among the first results in search engines. This will take time.

4.) No Blog

This mistake is all too common! You’d think that in this day and age, everyone would have a blog, but we are surprised every day at the amount of small business owners with a web presence that do not have one.

There are a million reasons why you should be blogging, and what we always tell users that want to improve their results is that a blog will increase their credibility as a business, give them an opportunity to position themselves as experts in their business and industry, and boost their SEO! It gives us a smorgasbord of website optimization elements such as backlinks, keywords, influencers, content, popularity, rich media, social content, and the list goes on. You probably recognize a lot of those words because they are repeated over and over in the world of SEO (and for good reason!). Having a continuously updated blog is a channel with which to supercharge your SEO. Furthermore, it’s extremely easy to start a blog on your Weebly site, no matter which plan or theme you currently have.

5.) Generic Keywords

They keyword selection process is one you have to dedicate a lot of thought to. A useful tip is to be as specific as possible. If you are offer emergency and extrication tools (already a very specific industry), what do you think would work better as a keyword/keyphrase: “tools”, “emergency tools”, or “emergency extrication tools in Texas”. This last, most specific keyphrase is the best to get started. Much has been said about choosing keywords, with Weebly having a good guide on getting started.

DIYer? Even better! While not all of us have the time or inclination to do SEO ourselves, a basic understanding of search engine optimization will enable you to make informed decisions for your website and your business. Take the time to learn the basics and apply your newfound knowledge to your site. ​