Don’t Fixate on the Wrong SEO Goals

Written by Nick Stamoulis

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to see results no matter what industry you are in. If the industry is extremely competitive, it takes even more time. There are various ways to measure the success of an SEO campaign over time, but many website owners make the mistake of focusing on the wrong things which can lead to bad decisions and a campaign that suffers due to those bad decisions. The key is to not lose sight of the bigger picture as an SEO campaign progresses, however slowly that may be.

Here are 3 things that website owners shouldn’t worry so much about when executing an SEO campaign:

Rank

There’s no denying that the website that lands in the number one spot for a specific keyword search term gets the most clicks. However ranking shouldn’t be the primary focus of an SEO campaign while it is being executed because it takes time to see an improvement. Attempting to get to that number one position in a short time frame is typically when site owners make bad decisions and implement black hat tactics that are frowned upon by the search engines. A quick improvement in ranking may occur, but it’s likely that it will be short lived once the search engines figure out what you are up to. Another reason why rank isn’t an accurate measurement of SEO campaign success is because search results are becoming more and more personalized based on factors like location, search history, and social media connections and involvement.

Quantity of links

Link building is still an extremely important component of an SEO campaign, but the link building focus has changed. In the early days of SEO it was believed that almost any link was valuable and could boost your SEO efforts. However, the Google Penguin update came along and forever changed that belief. Google now penalizes sites that have link profiles that are considered to be unnatural so it’s no longer advisable just to get a link because you can. The link building focus should now be on building quality links that will actually provide some value. Focus on building websites that are relevant to your niche and that can help generate traffic to your website. Think of it this way- if a potential customer or client isn’t going to see the link- it may not be worth it.

Traffic from broad keywords

Many website owners that are new to SEO see a potential keyword list and automatically want to go after the broad terms because those are the ones that generate the most search volume. However, the broad terms are also the most competitive. It could take years to gain any traction for the broad terms. That’s why it’s important, in the beginning, to target a mix of keywords that include long tails. Long tail keywords may not have as much search volume, but they also don’t have as much competition. If you find that the majority of your keywords that are generating traffic are long tail or branded, that doesn’t mean that your SEO campaign is a failure. As long as the website is experiencing visitor growth from related keywords, an SEO campaign is on track.

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