Hiring a freelancer to optimize your site for search engines has many advantages if you find the right one.
Your goal is to rank for your target keywords atop search engines, near the top (page one or two), drive traffic to your website. This, in turn, leads to sales and growth for your company.
Because of this, you hired a reputable SEO freelancer to do the job for you. Or you decided to play SEO guru on your site.
What can go wrong?
In this post are 10 of the biggest SEO mistakes you or your hired freelancer will make when it comes to optimizing your content.
Biggest SEO mistakes that are killing your business
Before we begin, you must know that Justin Zhao is the writer of this guest post.
Below is a short bio about himself:
I started my blog around sophomore year of college. I discovered SEO after finding out that my blog has barely any traffic or visibility to it. That’s why I developed my own SEO tool called Outrankio.
Also, the images used in the post are from the Outrankio dashboard.
From the looks of it, the tool helps you perform keyword research and backlink monitoring with ease.
This is crucial for businesses who need a quick SEO boost without the expensive costs.
To learn more about Outrankio and its features, click here.
Also, before you read the post, you can watch this summarized video created by InVideo:
1. Selecting keywords without a keyword planner
A freelancer may know something about your product. But s/he does not know the whole story with the words and phrases your leads are entering into search engines in order to find your website.
You may have a data analytics program to help you with this task, and then you must share the right keyword phrases with your SEO freelancer.
If not, ask them to use a keyword planner to research the most popular keywords with low competition. Google’s Keyword Planner is a good place to start.
But if you or your freelancer know better, there are much better keyword tools out there. They show you tons of metrics to help you find the best keyword to optimize.
2. Optimizing for the wrong geography
You need to let your SEO freelancer know what geographic areas to target.
Content optimization for local communities can be different than for the global market.
So, if you are targeting a local market, the keywords for your content should include your region.
For example: best philly cheesesteaks new york
Searching this Google shows you local 3-pack results of the best businesses near your location:
Appearing in this section on SERPs increases your chances of driving more traffic to your website.
To do this, you need to sign up for a Google My Business account. This lets you manage your online brand and how it shows on search results.
There are ways to implement a local SEO strategy and campaign. And you or your SEO freelancer should know this as well.
3. Selling more rather than informing
SEO freelancers focus on optimizing your product pages to encourage your target audience to buy.
After all, this is the goal, right?
While generating sales from your products is, in fact, a number one priority for most sites, it should not be the only priority.
That means you also need to develop a blogging strategy for your business.
Now, high-quality articles that sells your products is significant. But what really helps convert visitors are blog posts that educate people and turn them into loyal customers.
An optimized blog that educates instead of sells is one of the best ways to attract and keep clients.
Through information, you give visitors a reason to want your product or services. You can’t sell them if your audience doesn’t know why they need them in the first place.
While you or your SEO freelancer may not be a writing expert, this is where an experienced writer adept in copywriting and SEO comes in hand.
(Hint: I’m talking about myself. Click here to learn more about my services!)
4. Ignoring meta descriptions and image tags
You’ve heard of metadata many times, but is your SEO freelancer using it within your post?
A meta description is simply the 155-character sentence (HTML tag) that summarizes web page.
This tag shows up in search results and helps convince users to click on your page.
As for image tags, they help search spiders to learn more about the image.
Since search engine algorithms can’t process information from images, they rely on alt image tags to tell them what they’re all about.
All your site pages must have these tags to describe the topic of that page.
To improve organic search visibility, mention your keyword in your meta description and image tags.
Here’s more information on how to write your meta descriptions guaranteed to increase CTR.
5. Using anchor text aimlessly
Anchor text refers to the text that is “linked” within your article.
Internal links (those that link to your own pages) and external links (those that link to authority sites) contribute to SEO by pointing readers to pages with the right information.
While there are some rules around anchor text you can brush up on, the biggest SEO mistake is to create an anchor text that does not increase click rates to support website traffic.
Anchor text should include a descriptive word or phrase, so your reader knows what to expect when they click the link.
For example, “click here” is a mistake, but “click to learn more about anchor text” will generate much more interest.
It is also important that your SEO freelancer use different anchor text for all of the links on your pages.
6. Abusing internal and external linking
As most SEO freelancers know, linking is a great way to help visitors navigate, gain credibility, increase customer loyalty, and increase traffic to and from your site and others.
That said, over-linking can result in problems.
Both internal and outbound links within your page should lead to relevant, worthy information.
It is a mistake to over-use links, and certainly to link to inappropriate or illegal sites.
Your SEO freelancer should also avoid linking to your home page or the contact us page.
There are many internal links on the header and footer. But, in terms of additional content links, two to three is often a good choice for the number of internal and outbound links.
Whether you choose to supply appropriate internal and external links or call on your SEO freelancer to do some research is up to you.
7. Duplicating content
A freelancer with a trusted reputation will use articles that writers created from scratch.
While lots of online publications use common words and phrases repeatedly, original content also includes unique words and phrases.
Original high-quality articles will pass a Copyscape.com test. Any user can enter a phrase within quotation marks in a browser’s address bar to show results of duplicate blog posts.
It is not right to duplicate content and claim it as your own. Site owners may pay heavy fines for doing it.
It is important to get reassurance from your SEO freelancer that s/he will send over all-original articles for your website projects.
You would be amazed at how many publishers out there copy articles.
Even self-proclaimed SEO guru Neil Patel copied an article or two!
So, make sure your SEO freelancer knows about this subject.
[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”720″ size=”20″ bg_color=”#333333″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]Editor’s note: Okay, so I’ll say it:
Writing is a bitch.
It’s hard to keep track of articles that are unique before you hit the publish button.
Not to mention, you also have to double- and triple-check the post to make sure that it’s up to snuff.
If you’re not a writer, then this process will only give you a headache!
Thankfully, there are tools that make non-writers feel like there’s Tom Clancy (or Dan Brown. Or J.K. Rowling. Pick your poison, I guess?)
I’m talking about Grammarly Premium*.
This tool checks your post for over 250 grammatical errors to improve its readability and quality.
Best of all, it has a built-in plagiarism checker that compares your articles with millions of published pages online.
Not only will Grammarly help you publish unique articles, but it will also optimize your content and make it error-free!
If you’re interested to learn more, click here to read my review of the tool![/mks_pullquote]
8. Writing website content without structure
It is important to give your SEO freelancer the structure or wireframe for your website.
If your freelancer is writing optimized articles without understanding the structure of your site, it is not probable that metadata and keywords will show in the correct headlines and locations within your page for good search engine results.
Every website has structure, and in fact, the article must fit within the structure.
For example, if you contracted an SEO freelancer to write five articles, every component of each page is critical to search engine optimization:
- service blocks
- calls to action
- and more!
Your SEO freelancer should be asking you for a wireframe or template before beginning your blogging project.
Plain text submitted on a page may work for you, but the developer will have a difficult time figuring out what text goes where on the page.
In fact, a good SEO freelancer should offer articles for all of these elements and be able to work with your developer if you wish.
9. Relying on irrelevant keywords
Keywords that strongly support your products and services are usually the same as those your customers use to locate your website.
Your SEO freelancer may spend a few hours using a keyword planner seeking all kinds of keywords. But if they are not the right keywords, your site will be hard for people to find.
There is good content optimized for keywords related to your products. Make no mistake that there’s competition to be had.
As an advantage, your SEO freelancer must know about your products before s/he begins writing and optimizing the articles for you.
If you sell swimming pool supplies and your freelancer is writing about swimming pool construction, the right audience will be hard to attract.
Find relevant keywords associated with your business and send them to your SEO freelancer. You likely know best what those words are. This may be more effective than having your freelancer search for your best keywords.
10. Biting more than they can chew
This last biggest SEO mistake applies to both freelancers and business owners:
A lot of the contractors you’ll come across will promise you the world.
They would try and sell you services like website content, graphic design, and website development. All of which are different tasks from SEO.
A successful website often requires hiring a writer, a graphic designer and a web developer.
And it makes sense for you to outsource all these services from a single person. This way, you don’t have to talk to different people regarding your website.
But, it’s better to step back and take it one step at a time.
If this person offers you services outside of SEO, then you need him/her to show the latest sample works and case studies.
And even if you have all the information, it’s for the best to let this person show his/her work by doing your SEO first.
From there, gauge and see if their work produced results that helped grow your business. If so, delegate more tasks to this person as s/he’s deserves it!
Are you guilty of the biggest SEO mistakes for your business?
Video summary created using InVideo.
There is a competitive market for SEO, and everyone engaged in eCommerce or an online service offering needs to develop a strategy that will push your business to the top!
Taking SEO into your own hands is doable. But finding a good SEO freelancer can simplify your ranking requirements and lets you focus on your work at hand.
Getting assistance is a great alternative, but make sure your freelancer avoids the biggest SEO mistakes mentioned above!
S/he must be familiar with these topics and knows what you need in terms of optimized articles, whether it is for a website, landing page or educational blog.
The more information you can share about your needs, the better your freelancer can respond.
When you decide to contract with a freelancer, ask some simple questions about these biggest SEO mistakes. This process can help you find the right talent to guide you for success in content optimization.