SEO, or search engine optimization, is one of the most essential tools a digital marketer has in their arsenal. A method of targeting and attracting market attention, SEO is a crucial component of driving website traffic, and increasing overall sales. When it comes to creating strategies for search engine optimization, there are some clear guidelines that will improve your success rate. That being said, there are also many common mistakes that will hurt a company’s conversions and negatively impact its bottom line. Looking to do it right the first time? Here are 6 things you need to avoid when making an SEO strategy.

1. Including Irrelevant or Low Ranking Keywords

If you have a working knowledge of SEO, you likely understand the importance of keywords in their effectiveness. Enabling your content to get a wide reach, choosing the correct keywords for your brand and content is an especially important part of ensuring success. However, keywords shouldn’t be selected at random. Research tools should be utilized when picking which words will perform the best. Additionally, keywords should be highly relevant to the content. You’ll want to use more focused keywords, as you’re much more likely to rank higher on specialized searches.

2. Not Claiming and Leveraging Location

One of the things that businesses often make the mistake of making, is not using their location to its full advantage. As a small business with limited funds, it’s hard to compete in the global space. If you have the opportunity of claiming your location through Google or other such search engines, you should absolutely be filling out this information. As priority is increasingly being given to local or “near me” searches, this will automatically generate more traction online from consumers with a better connection to your offerings.

3. Disregarding Your Target Market

The target market is the segment of the market that is most likely to connect with and purchase whatever goods or services your company has to offer. While it might seem like a no-brainer to ensure your content is fresh and optimized for this segment, it can be frequently overlooked. Even if your keywords and links are super effective, disregarding your target market will result in difficulty with customer retention. This may not seem like a pressing issue, but according to the digital marketing gurus at, even a 5% increase in retention can lead to a 90% increase in profit. For such tangible sales figures, it’s well worth the time it takes to make sure that you’re satisfying the needs of your customers.

4. Poor Backlinks and Tags

In the case of tags and backlinks, less can actually be more. Though it might be tempting to cram as many links as you can into your content, this strategy can hinder you more than it will help. The purpose of including these elements is to attract customers and keep them on your various pages. Furthermore, links and tags can help Google understand what your content is. If you add too many things or direct people to poor-quality web pages, you can end up confusing potential customers as well as search algorithms.

5. Making Great Content a Low Priority

There is a science to perfecting an SEO strategy, and a lot of it requires quantitative research and data analysis. However, the intent of SEO is to bring your company or brand to the forefront of searches and increase exposure to potential customers. For this reason, it’s important that you are producing content frequently, and that it is high quality. If your content comes across pushy or sales-y or is transparent in its goal of driving search numbers, it won’t be well-received. To truly pique interests in the digital space, your content should set you apart from the crowd.

6. Neglecting Ongoing Website Maintenance

Lastly, but certainly not least, don’t neglect your online maintenance! This means hiring professionals for your website to make sure every aspect looks streamlined and has maximized functionality. Mobile sites should work effortlessly, with high speeds and easy-to-navigate pages. In addition to this, your SEO strategy should be continuously reviewed and tweaked, using feedback as a tool for making any necessary changes.

In some areas of business, you can learn as you grow. However, with SEO marketing, making mistakes when you’re trying to expand your venture can permanently impact how potential consumers perceive your brand. In order to make sure that an SEO strategy is best serving you, it’s crucial that all keywords are highly relevant, and will capture a large audience. This also means using your location to your advantage, understanding your target market, and ensuring that all links, tags, and general content are of a high caliber.

Remember, while there is a mathematical element to algorithms, the content you put out should always feel natural and centered around the consumer. Pair these suggestions with diligent maintenance and updates for all things digital, and you’re well on your way to creating and implementing an incredible SEO strategy for your brand.