By Ryan Malone

SEO_Pitfalls_to_AvoidWhen potential customers do a Google search for your products or services, will they find your business in the results? Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a tactic that can help your business to show up in relevant search results to attract more customers online.

SEO is a vital channel for organizations looking to increase lead generation and sales. Hubspot found that SEO leads have a 14.6 percent close rate compared with outbound marketing leads, which have a 1.7 percent close rate.

Successful SEO involves using the right information and keywords in your website content to attract and retain visitors within your target audience. This tactic is not just as simple as putting a bunch of keywords on your web pages. In order to increase organic search traffic and get potential customers engaged online, marketers need to take a more nuanced approach to SEO.

To build a more successful SEO strategy, avoid these three common SEO pitfalls:

1. Keeping SEO Siloed From Other Channels

Many businesses mistakenly treat SEO as a separate initiative from their other marketing efforts. If you are using paid search, social media, or blogging, then you need to integrate these other channels with SEO. Keyword research and historical SEO data can improve marketing efforts across the board. For example, copy from Google AdWords campaigns should match up with the keywords and content on ad landing pages. When landing page and ad content match up well, it can elevate your AdWords quality score, which leads to improved ad placement and lowered costs.

2. Overlooking Buyer Personas

Start with your buyer persona, then consider keyword optimization. Keywords are important to SEO, but leading a searcher to a keyword optimized page may not be enough to convert that visitor into a lead or customer. When potential customers search online, they are likely researching to make a future purchase or looking to answer a specific question. Think about your buyer personas. What kind of web content can you provide to help solve a problem or answer a question for your personas? Starting with your personas and working backwards helps you create content that will be useful and valuable to your target audience.

3. Lacking A Content Strategy

There are big SEO benefits to marketing with on-site content such as blogs and ebooks. An active blog or ebook strategy enables your business to add fresh pages for search engines to index. The more pages search engines can crawl on your site, the better your visibility in search results. Freshly updated, relevant online content is also appealing to customers. According to Hubspot, 57 percent of businesses that blogged monthly acquired a customer through their blog. When businesses blogged on a daily basis, however, 82 percent reported acquiring a customer through the blog. With the right content marketing mix, you can increase visibility and engagement with both search engines and customers!

Is your organization highly visible in search engine results for its core products and services? Find out more about how SEO fits into a cohesive inbound marketing strategy.

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Ryan Malone

About the author

Ryan Malone is the founder and CEO of SmartBug Media and is a veteran of Deloitte & Touche, Seagate and several venture-backed technology companies. When he's not leading SmartBug and helping clients build high-octane marketing organizations, he's loving his wife and daughters and unsuccessfully learning the guitar. Go Terps! Read more articles by Ryan Malone.

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