By Darren Gilbert

In fact, as Turswin Koeberg, search analyst at 360eight points out, many companies look at SEO as a checklist that needs to be created, assuming that SEO is done once all the boxes are ticked. This isn’t the only mistake that companies make.

SEO isn’t a once-off

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that once you’ve implemented SEO, you can move on to something else. However, that isn’t true. You’d only need to look at Google and read up on how often they change their search engine algorithms to find out.

Instead, SEO is a living, breathing thing that needs constant attention. Stuart McGarrick, search lead at Rogerwilco explains; “SEO is not like building a website where it’s a once-off project.” Rather, there is a constant need for dynamic activities that will improve brand exposure online.

Koeberg agrees; “SEO needs to be seen as a process,” he says. Like playing chess. “By implementing a series of moves, you help yourself to set up for the next phase of the game.”

After all, Google uses 200+ unique signals in their algorithm to rank sites and make regular updates. The last thing you’d want to do is not be ready.

Incorrectly chosen keywords

When choosing keywords, it’s important to understand why you’re choosing one over another. At the same time, you must ensure that your keywords aren’t too vague. If they are, you’re effectively cutting out your opportunities to convert visitors into customers.

“This most often happens with people using generalised keywords when they only offer specific services,” says McGarrick. An example is a doctor in Malmesbury focusing on the keyword ‘doctor’ when he should in fact be on localised keyword terms, adds McGarrick.

Having said that, it needs to be pointed out that duplicating keywords across multiple pages is a no-no. “What you are doing is confusing search engines in regard to which page on your site is most relevant for that keyword.” You are thus increasing the possibility of reducing the ranking potential of these pages.

Instead, use unique keywords for unique pages and not the scattergun approach.

Forgetting the power of Social SEO

If you really want to improve your bottom line from your digital marketing platform this year, you need to focus on a number of things. This includes ‘Social SEO’. At its core, Social SEO is the blending of social media and SEO strategies to create exposure, rankings and traffic for your online business.

Shane Joseph, head of Search at World Wide Creative is an advocate of Social SEO and with good reason. “Forty six percent of web users look to social media when making a purchase,” he says. Meanwhile, 72% of stores who sell to local markets rate SEO as their best return on investment (ROI) strategy or preferred ROI tactic.

Koeberg is just as adamant about the role that social can play. “Social elements are factors that can play huge roles in how users engage with your brand as well as affect your ranking.” Therefore, ensure that you have a social presence and that you use it correctly.

What are your thoughts? Do you see or notice any other SEO mistakes that brands are making? Log in and tell us in the comments below.