Miami, FL--I love Dancing with The Stars. Those dancers make it look effortless. So, you decide to take some lessons. Much harder than it looks, right? It is tough, but it isn’t, if you learn how to do it, and then practice--a lot! Think of SEO (search engine optimization) just like that. If you don’t know how it works, you could fail--but unlike DWTS, failure can seriously impact your business. Here are six pitfalls to avoid:
1. Being out of date. Even big corporations who handle high volume online sales often work with SEO dinosaurs–-experts who learned their craft 10 years ago then stopped updating their knowledge. SEO is fast moving, so you must keep up to snuff. SEO implemented without up-to-date knowledge is a problem.
The most obvious issue is that you probably will not be able to outperform your competitors that are using cutting-edge tactics. A much more pressing issue is using outdated tactics because outdated tactics that were once great are now called “spamming” or “black hat,” which means you could incur penalties that remove one, all, or part of your site from search results. If you depend on aggressive tactics for sales, this becomes disastrous to your business. You need a good SEO practitioner that stays updated and cutting edge.
2. Law Arbitration. SEO can be a costly and a hard to justify expense when you have modest results. When businesses realize the cost and the effect to achieve “great” SEO results, they prefer scaling down their targets and settling for less. Mediocrity is a sure way to fail at search engine marketing. SEO gets more powerful over time. You need an ambitious plan to dominate search results. Better to find a niche like we did with the “Preferred Warranty,” which supplies 25 key phrases to all retailers that become members. Don’t use a “half baked” attempt at securing the top of the page spot on Google with only a few keywords.
3. No stamina. A key component to SEO success is the ability to stay the course. You need a budget that is realistic, adequate, and can be spread out intelligently for the long term. If you start and then stop before you gain traction, you will fail. If you follow a flawed strategy or you do not do what is necessary, you will gradually undermine your search ranking and profit alike.
It is almost like competitive dancing. Do not underestimate your competition and become careless or sloppy, or you will lose. In a way, it is better because you know the outcome right away. In SEO, you won’t know you lost until several months have passed.
4. "Set it and forget it” mentality. First, SEO is not a one-time solution. It is an ongoing process. Misguided web masters or inexperienced “vendors” who over-promise and under-deliver make decision makers (the owners) think about SEO as merely a sequence of steps to be taken once and never repeated. No! That attitude condemns SEO strategy, and once again will bring failure.
The strength of SEO is it becomes more effective over time. You must continue to maintain your SEO. Do not abandon your effort, it will limit your success. Remember your competitors will never stop trying to beat you. SEO tactics that are implemented correctly will bring results for weeks, months, or even years, but you must nurture your success continuously.
5. No tracking or accountability. Any and everything you do for SEO strategy should have impact. You need someone on your team to be held accountable for tracking success. To know if you are not getting desired results or outcome and they should be able to detect this early. Here is where a webmaster comes in who is knowledgeable about SEO. Without analytics data and an ongoing review process, it is difficult to track and measure progress. That is why we use a webmaster who has shown continued success. If you do not have the right person watching your SEO status, that is where most SEO failures happen. You need a clearly defined road map from whomever you use. Tasks should be assigned to specific team members; this should streamline and enhance your SEO plan.
6. Failing to see the big picture. You must have someone who understands a client’s needs. They need to be able to explain to you how SEO can help achieve your goals. We use Blue Star Application. One of the best features of using Bluestar is that they know and have worked in all aspects of the jewelry industry. It makes it easier to express what you need from your SEO when they understand your business. You also need to be reminded that this is all about business objectives, not about higher rankings or having perfectly optimized pages.
SEO strategy is about constantly moving the needle to generate more money for the client, by acquiring more customers. Making more sales, retaining your current ranking and traffic. Sustainable SEO takes time to deliver the greatest impact. You must trust and confide in your SEO team, or you will be tempted to bail out. Don’t do it! Be smart and stay focused and you will see results. --Andie
Andie Weinman, president and CEO of Preferred Jewelers International / Continental Buying Group Inc., was born with the “Jewelry Gene” working in the jewelry industry since she was only ten years old. Her first job was as a cashier in the opening of a catalog showroom doing a fantastic job even at that tender age. Andie holds a B.A. in musical theatre and a B.S. in marine biology from The University of Tampa. When she realized that seawater and marine biology were not good on her hair and she wasn’t quite good enough to make it on Broadway, the jewelry business beckoned. Andie has picked diamonds, sorted color stones, shot waxes and performed a multitude of jobs in the manufacturing of jewelry. Her negotiating experience and prowess has given her the reputation as being tough but fair in her dealings with vendors. In 2012 the Indian Diamond and Color Association awarded Andie the Prestigious Doyenne Award of the Year.