If you’re running a business, search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best ways you can make a name for yourself in the realm of digital marketing. After all, getting yourself noticed by search engines can help propel your website to a position where customers can easily access you. However, in today’s rather flexible and constantly changing business environment, getting to the top of the big leagues means surviving and staying afloat for a long period of time. Naturally, the “faster” you go, the higher your returns, right? This means the best way is to find the fastest ways to achieve good SEO, right? Not exactly – because it turns out, there are actually SEO strategies that can be extremely detrimental in the long run.
It might help to understand just why SEO is important to a lot of companies in the first place. Search engines are one of the best ways people can access your company over the Internet. And considering Google’s desktop search traffic accounted for 79% of the world’s overall traffic, it’s obvious why a lot of people focus on Google instead of other search engines for SEO. In addition, “near me” searches in Google have doubled in 2017, and 72% of customers who do local search end up going to stores within five (5) miles of them. Hence, it’s not that bad to assume that making SEO a priority can actually attract a lot of consumers. Imagine, Google gets 63,000 searches every second of every day. Imagine if even a fraction of those go to your website. That’s a ton of visitors and potential conversions, right?
Fast Isn’t Always Right: What Are You Doing Wrong?
When you want to improve your SEO, you’re going to likely look for ways to meet your needs in one fell swoop. An SEO agency like Decrypted SEO Company can actually be of assistance when it comes to identifying where you should focus and knowing the things you should do to make sure things work out.
The thing is, a lot of companies tend to be impatient with trying to achieve these goals. Some use methods that are “fast,” yes, but are really actually detrimental to their goals. Here are some of them:
- You still use desktop connections to test mobile page speed: Everyone with a stake in SEO would’ve gotten the memo that mobile optimization is a good thing. And while a lot of websites still lack that mobile “friendliness” Google and other search engines are looking for, companies and professionals can’t get enough of advocating for a decent mobile experience. However, a lot of marketers nowadays aren’t exactly testing mobile pages with mobile speeds. This simply means you should stop assuming that people have an Internet connection as fast as that of your desktop, so don’t test your mobile pages in that regard. Always anticipate that a person’s 4G can become 3G, which can then become 2G, and eventually 1G. Try to see where the limits of your mobile pages are in terms of speed. When your desktop loads a mobile page in three to five seconds, that’s usually 15 to 20 seconds in 3G.
- You actually slow down client connections to “speed up” pages: A lot of people think prefetching can “speed up” page loading speed, but this actually sets back users because you’re getting their bandwidth without their permission. Not only does this cost them money, but you’re also slowing down their connection. We live in a world where every kilobyte matters and not everyone can get good connection speeds. As such, if you want to manage the speed of your pages, it really isn’t about increasing the speed of the server or decreasing the speed of the client. It’s about checking how you should optimize your page by making every code of HTML worth the make and that there’s no excess in anything to maximize loading speeds.
- You disavow “sketchy” sites that can actually help your website: One of the most common “advice” out there is to disavow sites that you “don’t trust.” While this is good thinking, this isn’t always helping. What if a site you don’t “trust” is always linking back at you? How do you know which trust is “reliable” or not? Under the premise that you’ll catch spammy websites, you should actually largely focus more on the intent compared to the base appearance of the website before disavowing it. For instance, watch out for links that were deliberately placed in order to manipulate the results of search engines, such as targeted anchor texts. You should also watch out for links that you or a client have paid for. You should also watch out for sites that the spam team of a search engine says are actually hurting your website.
- You rely on search visibility reports too much: One of the biggest mistakes people do when it comes to SEO is relying too much on search visibility reports. While these reports can indeed provide useful data, people shouldn’t think they actually provide a reliable estimate of traffic in terms of search referrals. This is because you’re trying to predict real traffic data you really don’t have. Remember, SEO services that collect referral data from actual websites are obliged to protect the data of their users, the same way you are aware of security risks with data that are coming out on your end. As such, the data that search visibility reports give you are inherently incomplete. Always remember that the search performance of a page of your website can vary because of different factors, such as time of day, locations, devices, operating systems, browsers, clicks, and listings. Hence, if you do plan on “spying” on yourself and others, always think of the long haul – what content should you improve, what keywords should you use, and what’s your current relationship with other websites?
The Bottom Line: Fast Isn’t Always the Best Way to Go
A lot of these methods probably aren’t new to you anymore or you’ve heard of them from your peers. It is a common notion that “outsmarting” a search engine can provide its own benefits, right? Not all the time – especially based on the points above. It’s not a matter of search engines becoming smarter and being “focused on you.” Rather, it’s realizing that getting a shortcut on your way to success often leads to short-term satisfaction; not going through the process of working hard and working smart to achieve a high status means you’re likely to be at a loss when real problems start to arrive. Always remember that going slow sometimes give the best rewards, so enjoy your time improving your SEO, as you’re bound to get that “formula” right.