Antonie Meeker of AM Marketing Breaks Down The Top SEO Practices Your Business Needs (And Those It Doesn’t)
In recent years, search engine optimization (SEO) has turned into a mysterious game of digital marketing, due to the ever-changing search engine algorithms and the difficulty at times in conveying exactly how it works. Business owners give up on trying to understand what SEO agencies are doing, while these agencies are taking advantage of their lack of knowledge and proposing unnecessary practices that do more harm than good to their client’s websites.
It doesn’t have to be this way, according to Antonie Meeker, a multi-award-winning SEO expert, and CEO of AM Marketing. SEO is a combination of straightforward, clear steps which need to be actioned in a certain sequence to bring about real results – it’s that simple. Read on to find out which impactful SEO practices every business should invest in and which ones to avoid.
DO: Smart keyword strategy
Keyword research and strategy is where all SEO starts. It’s these aspects that will determine whether your content rises up the ranks or stays at a lower level, or even slide further down.
“Many users, even business owners that try to do SEO on their own, fall into a paradigm where they think they need to choose the most popular keywords that everyone is searching for. While this isn’t untrue, there are some important aspects to keep in mind: The keywords you choose must have high search volume, good purchase intent, and low competition. When you start balancing your SEO in this way, you will see results,” says Meeker.
DO: Invest time and research in content
Creating considered, strategic long-form content for your website really makes a difference for SEO. While you might be tempted to start creating shorter, less informative blog posts that mimic what others in your industry are doing… don’t. Meeker advises:
“We know that a formula for a ‘successful’ and SEO-friendly blog is straightforward. It needs to feature structured text, including keywords and backlinks. While this is true, we still see many doing it wrong. It can seem like an easy solution to write a blog similar to others you see on the web, without going into much depth on the topic. However, over the years we have noticed that the most impactful blogs that companies produce are the ones that really nail the detail on a given topic and provide valuable information to their customers.”
DO: Upgrade UX on your website
User experience (UX) is everything when it comes to your website. No matter how amazing the SEO is, if the website is slow, the font is too small, or it’s just generally poorly designed and users don’t understand what to do when they get there, then all of your hard work has been in vain.
Meeker adds: “In our fast-paced world, website users can’t stand when websites are slow, non-responsive, not adapted to their phones or even if the font is too small or doesn’t change size when they flip their phone. All of these things detract from their overall browsing experience. Before even investing in major promotional efforts, make sure your website is on point and easy to interact with. Making it smooth and easy for the customer really pays off.”
DO: Use smart backlinks
A smart backlink strategy is another important step towards SEO success and bringing your website to Google’s front page. However, as with content, quantity doesn’t always mean quality, and it’s the latte that SEO teams and business owners should really be focusing on.
“Go after backlinks on other websites that have original content and a high domain authority (DA). One backlink from higher-DA website is much more powerful than three from poorly-written, low-DA portals,” recommends Meeker.
DON’T: Fix Ahrefs errors
One of the most common mistakes many do in the SEO world is the endless fixing of Ahrefs errors. The reality is that this practice brings more harm than good as by fixing one error, you most likely will create another one.
“In this situation, you will waste a lot of valuable resources on things that Google doesn’t really care about. That means you’re not getting results. What Google doesn’t tell you is that ALL the Ahrefs errors and issues are the REAL issues. Your best course of action is to investigate the Google Search Console to see if there are any issues present. Otherwise, you’ll just waste time and resources on meaningless activities that don’t help you or your business, and you’ll create problems for yourself by resolving issues that aren’t really issues at all,” says Meeker.
DON’T: Buy directory backlinks
In a hunt for high-quality backlinks, many are tempted to invest in several directory links or even just straight out pay websites to place their link in their older content and think this is effective SEO marketing. According to Meeker:
“This is actually a terrible path that some SEO teams go down when they struggle to generate organic backlinks themselves. However, it is absolutely not recommended. These kinds of low-quality links only leave a negative impact on SEO rankings, which totally reverse the effect you are trying to achieve.”
DON’T: Produce content for the sake of content
Content is king, as they say, and that certainly holds true. Regularly creating blog posts is essential for your website SEO and rankings. But as with many SEO practices, the devil is in the details, and it’s important that the content you are producing is relevant and impactful, rather than just pumping out volume.
Meeker adds: “Having a blog on your website is so important as it’s a great way to promote your business and even attract potential clients. However, from an SEO standpoint, you can’t focus all your content creation efforts on the blog itself. The SEO pages should always have the highest quality content. If your website uses a blog to generate leads, then you must make sure it has the BEST content out there. On the other hand, if your website uses a homepage or service page to generate leads and profit, then ensure that those pages have the BEST content out there. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to SEO, so you have to always take that into account and tailor a solution for every client.