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An estimated 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine and more than 1 billion people use Google every month. Have you ever wondered why some results land on the first page and others on the tenth? When I type “books” in the search tab, why does it show Wikipedia and Google Books on the first page? There are a number of reasons for this that go beyond the usage and density of keywords. In short, there are many marketing mistakes people are making. If you are an entrepreneur and you have not had this talk with your marketer or SEO expert, then you may have a few things to reconsider after reading this.

Search Engine Optimization is a set of practices that helps your webpage land on the first page of Google. The ranking on Google can depend on more than 200 factors. The most significant being the domain age, website usability, speed of the page, frequency of publishing, and grammar. However, the SEO knowledge of most entrepreneurs does not go beyond on-page and off-page.

Here are seven common marketing mistakes entrepreneurs make that marketers don’t want you to know.

1) Engagement > Impression

Customer engaging with food entrepreneur at local grocery
Customer engaging with food entrepreneur at local grocery

The marketing dollars you have been spending on SEO experts and tools, the chatbot, the Facebook ads, and so on, everything leads back to the landing page. You can create a million-dollar ad, but if your website looks unworthy of someone’s time, it is not going to translate into revenue. Zuckerburg created Facebook, but Musk influences the crypto market.

Organic search drives more than 50% of your traffic while paid drives only 10%. Moreover, 70-80% of users focus on organic search results. The focus must always be the content and the entire journey that leads up to the purchase. Good, honest content targeted towards the right set of audiences and a website with an intuitive user journey can take you places Facebook ads won’t.

2) Off-page vs On-page

According to Google, almost 80 percent of its search engine algorithm relies on off-page factors. As much as tools like Yoast can help you find a good SEO score, the actual ranking is determined by the strength of the backlinks. This is tedious work, but needs to be done manually and effectively.

3) The Skyscraper Technique

Skyscrapers with connecting points between them
Skyscrapers with connecting points between them

Google’s webmaster policy emphasizes strong backlinks that are earned and editorially placed. The easiest way to do so is by creating content that can be reached organically by users. Such content is of high quality and may not need any additional push to drive traffic. This is something that can be done effectively using the skyscraper technique.

This technique was devised by Brian Dean of Backlinko and has been really popular amongst young marketers. It involves finding pieces of content that are popular and relevant to a certain target audience, creating a better piece of content on the same topic, and further promoting your content to the right people. This is an easy method to drive both impressions and engagement.

4) Geo-targeting

Geo-targeting is imperative when your target markets are classified on the basis of their locations. Most retail businesses benefit from geo-targeting. This involves local listings that can help the website be found in the relevant target locations.

5) Black Hat SEO Practices

Black hat on rack
Black hat on rack

Google’s webmaster guidelines are the gospel for anyone who wants to understand how ranking on Google works. However, many platforms benefit from practices that do not regard these guidelines. The black hat SEO practices are the ones that may be allowed on a website, but are not ethical to grow organically. The most common black hat SEO practices are publishing poor quality content, spamming the comments, and using redirects/hyperlinks that are misleading.

6) Technical SEO

SEO may be more technical than it seems. There are a number of elements on the web development front that marketers may not be able to handle. The most basic element that affects the quality of technical SEO is the page loading speed. If it takes more than 4 seconds for your page to load, you might need to look into it. There are other important things like optimization of JavaScript, checking web crawlers, submission of websites to search consoles, sitemaps, XML files, and so on.

7) Effectiveness of SEO

Art concept of SEO optimization and marketing mistakes
Art concept of SEO optimization and marketing mistakes

SEO offers an embarrassingly low 14.6% close rate. Yes, that is the average. You spend way more on being noticed than you do on being approached and engaged with. This is a big problem. Search Engine Optimization can get you the traffic and maybe some of that ad revenue. However, if you are an eCommerce platform trying to hit a stable revenue, the catch is to optimize conversions. You can do this by optimizing the user interface as well as experience on the website. Subtle changes can make a whole lot of difference.

Some Takeaways on Marketing Mistakes

You will see SEO-based terms being thrown around a lot these days. When marketers see something two days in a row on the internet, they make content out of it. The content usually fails because it hits the screens on the fifth day as the topic becomes irrelevant. The bottom line is spending your marketing budget on outdated content sucks. The best and the easiest way to get a taste of virality over the internet is simply by creating or curating quality content. Just like good marketing can not push a bad product in the market, good SEO can not drive bad content on Google.

Have you made any of these marketing mistakes? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.