The Most Commonly Overlooked SEO Issues (and How to Fix Them)

SEO is essential if you want to grow your online presence and your business. But it’s also complicated and multi-faceted. It’s taken me years to get to the level of SEO expertise I have now, so if you’re just starting out, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re feeling a bit daunted. 

Perhaps you are brand new to SEO and want to avoid the common pitfalls and mistakes before they happen. Or perhaps you’ve been doing it for a while, but you haven’t seen the results you want – or, worse, you’ve incurred a Google penalty! Either way, this article will help you. Read on to learn about the most commonly overlooked SEO problems and how you can fix them. 

Keyword cannibalization

Do you have multiple pages or posts on your site that are targeting the exact same keywords? It’s amazing how often I identify this as a problem for my clients’ websites.

“But Matt,” you might be saying, “surely more content optimized for the same keywords means more chances to rank, no?” Yes, it’s technically possible to rank twice in the same Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for the same keywords if you have two pages or posts targeting it. But more likely, you’re hurting your SEO efforts rather than helping them.

This problem is called keyword cannibalization. In other words, two (or more) of your pages are directly competing for the same keywords. Why is it an issue? Because you want to be competing with your competitors, not with yourself. 

The easiest way to spot keyword cannibalization is using Google Search Console. Click on “Search Results”, then click on a query. I’ll use an example from a friend I helped out recently.

You will easily see if you have multiple pages competing for the same keywords. If this happens, you need to de-optimize one (or more) of them as much as you can. Go through the titles, headings, and content to ensure each page is unique. Alternatively, you might delete and redirect one of the pages, to the stronger page.

You should also check your internal and external links and anchor text. Make sure you’re not sending links to the page you’re trying to de-optimize using the cannibalized keywords as anchor text. Doing this tells Google you want the linked page to rank for those keywords, which is the opposite of what you’re trying to do. 

Once you’ve de-optimized the problem page, you can re-optimize it for new keywords. Remember to focus on long-tail keywords and aim for those which are high-volume and low competition. When you’ve re-optimized the page, you might need to step up your content marketing efforts for a while to get it to rank again. 

Weak or non-existent offsite link building strategy

Your onsite SEO efforts are essential. However, if you want your content to rank highly, you need to develop a robust offsite link building strategy, too. Waiting for other websites to link to you organically is not enough. 

Besides not doing it at all, the two most common link building mistakes are:

  • Pushing to build too many links, too quickly.
  • Targeting the wrong sites.

There are several ways to build links organically, but by far the most effective is to implement a guest posting strategy. Guest posting means supplying a piece of content to another website in exchange for a link back to your own. 

But before you rush out and target every site you can find, slow down and be strategic. Your ideal target site will be both relevant and authoritative. However, these are likely to be few and far between in most niches, so it’s fine to aim for authority sites in related niches as long as you can provide relevant content for their audiences. I usually recommend aiming for those with a Domain Rating (DR) of 50+. You can check a Domain Rating using Ahref’s free tool

When you’ve identified some sites you’d like to write for, send a friendly enquiry email to the editor and ask if they would consider a guest post. A few guest posts on high DR websites can go a long way. 

As you write your guest posts, make sure you pay attention to effectively optimizing your links’ anchor text. Which brings us on to the next common SEO problem: 

Over-optimized anchor text

It might seem counterintuitive to say that you can optimize something too much, but hear me out. 

When you insert a link into a piece of content, the anchor text is the bit of text this is clickable. It’s one of the ranking factors that Google and other search engines use to determine what your site is about. For example, if your website got lots of backlinks using the anchor text “running shoes,” Google would reasonably come to the conclusion that your website was about running shoes. 

Penguin, a Google algorithm released in 2012, aims to weed out something called “backlink manipulation.” In other words, if you have too many backlinks with the exact same target keywords, you’ll end up getting a penalty. Which is the opposite to the effect you’re looking for!

Therefore, as you build links, make sure a range of anchor text types are used. In between targeting your exact keywords, you should aim for a mixture of topical anchor text (related to the subject matter but not the exact target keywords,) branded anchor text (your brand name and related branded terms, and generic anchor text (phrases like “visit site” or “click here”). 

If you want to get more in-depth, you can work out an ideal anchor text ratio. This ratio will vary depending on your niche. Find one of the top-ranking sites in your niche, and use Ahrefs to download that site’s anchor text data. Here’s an example:

From there, you can analyze the distribution of the different types of anchor text. Here’s the breakdown I got for the hypothetical example above: 

Repeat this process for several more of the top ranking sites in your niche, and you’ll start seeing a pattern. Use this to calculate the ideal anchor text distribution for your backlinks. 

Page speed problems

Did you know that site and page load speed has a direct impact on your SERP ranking? Google has confirmed that it considers page speed a ranking factor in order to provide a better user experience. This is one area where milliseconds count. The difference between a 1 second load time and a 3 second load time increases the probability of bounce by 32%

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to optimize your site’s speed:

  1. Make sure you’ve chosen the right hosting provider and server. Switching to one with a faster response time might be a little more expensive, but you’ll reap the rewards. 
  2. Optimize your images. Image size should be no larger than 100kb and they should be in jpeg format. A plugin like WPSmush can optimize your images as you upload them. 
  3. Get rid of any unused plugins or themes you have installed. 
  4. Compress your HTML, JS and CSS code. There are tools online like HTML Compress that can help you to do this, or you can ask your web developer. Be careful if you’re using a pre-built theme or you could accidentally break your site. 
  5. Enable browser caching. Browser caching is a kind of temporary storage. It means that, if someone returns to your site more than once, their system does not have to re-download all the various elements. A plugin like W3 Total Cache makes this process easy. 
  6. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN.) A CDN is a global server network. When a user visits your site, the request is sent to whichever server is geographically closest, reducing response time. Cloudflare is a great CDN service:

Optimizing your page speed boosts your SEO and improves the user experience at the same time. As a rule of thumb, anything below two seconds is an acceptable load speed – but the faster the better! 

Internal redirects

A permanent internal redirect, also called a 301 redirect, is what happens when a user tries to visit a page that has been permanently moved. The redirect instructs the server to send the user to a different URL. 

Too many 301 redirects slow your website down and have a negative impact on the user experience. Therefore, it’s a good idea to remove as many as possible. Keep them only if they are absolutely essential. 

A 302 redirect has a similar effect but is used when the page has only moved temporarily. With a 302 redirect, Google will continue to index the old URL, while with a 301 redirect it will index the new one. 

If you must use internal redirects, make sure you’re using the correct kind. 

Easily overlooked SEO issues

If you’ve overlooked any of these SEO issues or made any of the common mistakes I’ve listed, you will be missing out on valuable traffic to your website. Fortunately, with a bit of time and know-how, none of them are too difficult to fix. 

In our increasingly competitive and digitized world, you cannot afford to ignore SEO or do it half-heartedly. So if you’re not getting the results you want, try these solutions. You may well find one – or more – of them is the culprit. 

Good luck! 


Matt Diggity is a search engine optimisation expert focused on affiliate marketing, client ranking, lead generation, and SEO services. He is the founder and CEO of Diggity Marketing, The Search Initiative, Authority Builders, LeadSpring LLC, and host of the Chiang Mai SEO Conference.

6 Ways to Incorporate Content into Your Digital Transformation Process

More and more companies experiment and implement digital technology to improve their businesses and ensure growth. What many fail to realize is that the first step to digital transformation is actually transforming their content strategies. 

This article was crafted to help you make sense of the connection of content to the digital transformation process. After reading, you’ll learn the best hands-on ways you can incorporate content into your digital transformation efforts. 

What is the digital transformation process?

Digital transformation implies a process of integrating digital technology into different business aspects to improve or renovate existing services. When employed correctly, digital transformation can bring fundamental changes to the ways your business operates. Also, it has the potential to transform your corporate culture, customer experiences, and business operations. 

Why does digital transformation matter? 

Digitizing existing services is not the same as implementing a digital transformation, though. Digital transformation is a process of enabling strategic and planned organizational change with the help of technology.

So, why would you want to start a digital transformation in the first place? After all, why fix something if it isn’t broken? The answer is long-term benefits. 

Replacing manual and often slow processes with easier and more efficient automated alternatives will benefit your business in the long run. Besides improved efficiency, you will be able to improve customer experiences, and consequently increase your profits. 

How to incorporate content into your digital transformation process? 

Content is central to digital transformation processes. If you’re looking to improve your content to fit into your digital transformation process, this list is a great start. We’ve gathered the best six ways to incorporate content into your digital transformation process. 

Put your customers’ needs in front 

A common mistake many professionals make is pouring all of their resources into the tools and technology they think they need. The problem with this approach is that it lacks the customer perspective. 

Make sure to put your customers’ needs in front when incorporating content into your digital transformation process. Get to know your audience, their needs, pain points, and knowledge gaps. Then, use this information to create the content your audience actually wants. 

Keep track of the metrics to measure the performance and effectiveness of your content efforts. Make sure you measure traffic, ROI, social shares, customer retention, CTR, and other key performance indicators

Evaluate your content strategy 

Put your content in the center of your digital transformation efforts. Here’s what many professionals fail to realize when they start their digital transformation process – if you keep putting the same old content into the new technology, you’re not going to end up transforming much. 

If you want to actually transform your business, start with evaluating and adjusting your content strategy. Following these tips will help you assess your content strategy and bring in the change you need for digital transformation. 

  • Start with technical content analysis. Evaluate URLs, taxonomy, crawlability, and metadata. 
  • Evaluate your SEO practices. Use digital tools to uncover all of the keywords related to your product or industry, and then create keyword-rich content pieces. 
  • Assess your social media content. Are you leveraging the power of social media to its fullest potential? 
  • Assign each content piece with a grade based on the quality and campaign’s objectives. Keep track of the content quality score, evaluate each individual content piece, and the overall campaigns. 

Inspire collaboration between departments 

    Digital transformation starts with empowering teams with opportunities for collaboration and responsive data-driven strategies. 

    For many companies, the content creation process happens in a vacuum. Assigning a content team that is responsible for all content production is a typical scenario that happens in companies throughout all industries. 

    If you want to improve your content game and make it a part of the overall digital transformation process, partnership and collaboration are key. Have different professionals from different departments work on your content pieces. You’ll be surprised to learn that most of them have something of value to contribute. This diversity of ideas should be the basis of your content strategy. 

    Create relevant content pieces for each stage of the sales funnel

    Deliver the right content to the right audience at the right time. Make sure to understand your customers’ journey and their knowledge gaps corresponding to each stage of the sales funnel. This way, you will be able to anticipate the content they’re looking for on every stage. 

    Besides choosing the relevant topics and channels, consider the format and structure of your content. Experts from Ivory Research suggest that identifying relevant formats and structures will help you answer the audience’s questions, nurture their opinions, and ultimately convert more leads into paying customers.

    Become an authority in your industry 

    Creating relevant and helpful content is the right way to build a long-lasting relationship with your audience that is built on trust. Establish your brand as an authority in your field by tailoring meaningful and valuable content. 

    Create research-based and credible content pieces. This way, users will start turning to you for answers as they’ll perceive you as a reliable source of information and a leader in the industry. 

    Priming your content 

    When you think about it, every department of your company, from product development to sales and marketing, is affected by the content. For that reason, you must acknowledge how content contributes to all processes happening within your organization, and identify whether it’s ready to play the central part in your digital transformation process. 

    Use this content maturity model to identify whether your content is ready to be placed at the heart of your digital transformation efforts. Make sure all of your content matches the characteristics of strategic content. This means that all of the content pieces you produce should be recognized for their complexity and the impact on user experiences. 

    As you make your way to creating fully strategic content experiences for your market, focus on building understanding with your audience. Customer experiences must be central in all the decisions you make on media, tools, communication channels, and technology you implement. 

    Wrap up 

    Changes can take us personally and professionally further away from what we know and understand. Yet, changes remain the most powerful drivers of progress and growth. 

    This principle is particularly important as you make changes to your content strategy within the digital transformation process. Even though changing is sometimes uncomfortable, it can result in the advancements your business has never experienced before. 

    To ensure your business’ growth, let’s wrap up what you’ve learned today about digital and content transformation. 

    • Digital transformation is highly beneficial in the long run. 
    • Digital transformation starts with the reevaluation of your content strategy. 
    • Put your customers’ needs, desires, and knowledge gap in the center of your content strategy. 
    • Constantly evaluate your content efforts and search for the areas that need improvement. 
    • Ensure your content strategy is communicated across all departments. 
    • Create opportunities for professionals from different departments to contribute to the content creation process. 
    • Identify customers’ needs during each stage of the sales funnel and deliver relevant and tailored content pieces corresponding to each one of the stages. 
    • Create research-based content to become a leader in your industry. 
    • Use the content maturity model to identify whether your content is ready to be placed in the heart of the digital transformation process. 


    10 Content Marketing Mistakes Sabotaging Sales

    Did you know that content marketing efforts cost 62% less than traditional marketing and produce 3 times as many leads? Given the numbers, there is no wonder so many entrepreneurs use content marketing to their advantage. It has the potential to generate leads, convert more prospects into customers, and drive more sales. 

    Creating a content marketing strategy can involve some trial and error. A poorly-developed strategy can sabotage your sales. That’s why you want to make sure to follow the best content marketing practices. 

    As we all know, learning from others’ mistakes minimizes the risk of us running into the very same failures. To help you improve the trial and error process, we’ve gathered the top 10 sales-sabotaging content marketing mistakes you should avoid. 

    Sacrificing quality over quantity 

    Content bombing is a sign of a poorly developed content marketing strategy. Publishing five new daily uninformative blog posts won’t bring you the results you wish for. Instead, it will annoy and drive away your audience. 

    Instead of screaming for attention, offer your help. Compelling content will help establish your brand as an expert in the field. When people see how professional and competent you are in your industry, they trust you more. As a result, you will get a spectrum of potential customers and buyers. 

    Not including a call to action 

    Not including a strong call to action (CTA) is another common mistake sabotaging sales. When users land on your website, they need your guidance on what’s next. If you fail to provide further instruction, the newcomers simply have no motivation to move further into the sales process. 

    Include relevant CTAs in your blog posts, social media posts, and emails. When you add a simple CTA, like “Join today”, “Read more”, or “Add to cart”, there is no confusion around what is the next step. 

    Leaving out user-generated content 

    By definition, user-generated content (UGC) is any brand-related content (from testimonials to memes and fan videos) that has been created and posted by social media users. Statistically, UGC proves to be amazingly effective. Studies show that 86% of Millenials say that UGC indicates a high brand quality. Moreover, 90% of shoppers buying decisions are influenced by UGC. 

    Among marketers, it’s common to oversee the importance and effectiveness of UGC. Don’t make the same mistake and use the benefits of it to your advantage. Encourage your customers to post their take on your product on social media. You can run social media contests, and require entrants to post a photo of your product with a branded hashtag. This will help you increase engagement, build brand awareness and credibility, and, as a result, drive more sales. 

    Overlooking the four steps of the buying cycle 

    Not understanding the stages of the buying cycle is another mistake that can cost you sales. To avoid it, let’s learn more about the first four stages of the buying cycle. 

    Awareness. The prospects understand they have a problem that needs to be solved and start looking for solutions. 

    Consideration. The prospects clearly define their problem and continue searching for solutions and consider different options. 

    Intent. The prospects oppose different alternatives against each other and intent to make a purchase. 

    Purchase. The prospects are turning into paying customers as they make a purchase. 

    Different types of content are relevant for each part of the sales funnel. To buy from you, prospects need to understand what they’re buying. During the awareness stage, create blogs, videos, and social media posts to give prospects enough information about your product/service. During the consideration stage, you want to provide more free content, like how-to guides and webinars. When prospects are intending to buy from you, give them a little confidence by offering free trials, samples, or product demonstrations. If prospects did make a purchase, send a thank you email to let them know how much you appreciate them buying from you. 

    Failing to consider the target audience

    Failing to consider your target audience will result in low engagement and poor sales. If you want your content marketing strategy to succeed, you must take your time to identify and research your audience. 

    Think of your target audience as real people with real problems. Research them to develop client personas. This will help you identify customers’ pain points, needs, expectations, and knowledge gaps. Then, use these insights into customer behavior to tailor more personalized content. 

    Hard selling 

    When building a relationship with your audience, sharing useful information is king over hard selling. Your content marketing efforts should be all about sharing useful information that will educate your prospective customers. 

    Create a content library with helpful information addressing customer pain points and knowledge gaps. Avoid being too salesy as you craft your content pieces, as this can result in prospects leaving you for someone more informative and less commercial. 

    Not reusing content 

    Not reusing your content pieces is another common content marketing mistake. Ensure the content you create is universal and can be reused in the future. For example, you can adjust content pieces to reshare them on social media. 

    Also, it’s important to keep your blog posts current. Make sure to update your content pieces with relevant information to keep them up to date. This way, you don’t have to create new blogs every time, as you will be able to update some of your existing copies. 

    Sometimes, it’s useful to delegate some of your responsibilities to professionals. If you’re struggling to create reusable content, use dedicated writing and grammar services, like Grammarly and Essay Tigers, to improve the quality of your pieces. 

    Failing to create mobile-friendly content 

    When it comes to user satisfaction, responsive design is everything. In fact, 57% of users say they wouldn’t recommend a brand with a poorly designed mobile website. If you want your prospects to actually examine your content pieces, they must be mobile-friendly. 

    All of your content must be displayed properly across all devices and browsers. If you create an explainer video, viewers with all kinds of smartphones must be able to watch it. If you’re launching a blog section on your website, your copies must be aligned concerning various screen dimensions and browsers. 

    Relying entirely on text 

    Oftentimes, marketers make a huge mistake when putting text in a center of their content strategy. However, what they fail to realize is that humans are biologically more predisposed to visual information. In fact, human brains process visual information 60,000 times faster than text.  

    You can increase engagement by adding visual elements to existing content. Add relevant images and videos to grab customers’ attention. 

    Overlooking the importance of gathering data 

    Your content marketing strategy is destined to fail if you don’t know how to measure its performance. Gather and evaluate data to identify which content pieces are performing better than others. Use this information to adjust your content strategy and make further improvements. Use the following metrics to keep track of your performance: 

    • Traffic 
    • Social shares 
    • Click-through-rate 
    • Customer retention 
    • Post engagement 
    • Backlinks 
    • Time on page 
    • Bounce rate 

    Besides monitoring the content marketing metrics, employ A/B testing to identify which content pieces resonate better with your audience. 

    Final thoughts 

    Content marketing is absolutely crucial if you want to drive and maintain high sales. When creating your content pieces, make the customers’ experiences central. All marketing textbooks and publications tell you to aim for the target audience. However, the quality of your customer engagement is more than just a number. To resonate with actual people (who are the real people with real problems) and encourage more sales, your content must be relevant, current, and specific to their pain points and knowledge gaps. 


    The Perfect Strategy to Winning over Google

    The Mystery of Google. Solved.

    We’ve been working on understanding how Google works for years across hundreds of clients from different industries and niches. We now think we’ve developed a strategy to best maximize your SEO and crack the Google code.

    We call it the DBL AUTHORITY TRIANGLE.

    We’re conducting an in-depth training session on this in which we’ll expand on this topic plus:

    • What Google wants to see in 2018 and beyond
    • The strategy behind ours and our clients’ Traffic and Ranking
    • The ‘Gold Mine’ Strategy
    • The ‘Fill in the Gaps’ Strategy
    • A 4 months strategy for how to easily apply this to your website

    Here’s the deal:

    We want to see you on this LIVE – click on the below time slot that works for you:

    Webinar Timings:

    Wednesday, December 27, 2017

    11:00 AM GMT | 3:00 PM UAE | 4:30 PM IST

    But you have to hurry, we only have a limited number of spaces available. This webinar is going to be JAM PACKED with awesome, groundbreaking strategies, so this is not something you want to miss!

    Why is Personal Branding Important for Agencies – Interview with Leonard Kim

    Personal Branding for Agencies

    In today’s competitive business landscape where everyone claims to be a ‘wizard’, ‘specialist’ or an ‘expert’, it can be extremely difficult to carve out a name for yourself and become a key influencer in your niche. We spoke to Leonard Kim, Managing Partner, InfluenceTree to understand why personal branding for agencies is an important area that shouldn’t be overlooked.

    Have a listen to the podcast interview by clicking “Play” below.

    Read More

    You’ll be surprised by the top 10 questions being asked on Google. [Infographic]

    Ever wondered what are the most asked questions on Google?

    Being marketers, don’t we constantly seek to leverage the data in our possession to attract traffic, generate leads and drive sales volumes?

    I tried to do something similar with the 1.6 Billion Keywords we had in our database at Mondovo, and the results surprised me, to say the least.

    most asked questions on Google

    One fine day—driven by curiosity—I just slacked our data scientist and asked if he could get me a list of the top asked questions on Google—that is, all those keywords that begin with Why, What, How, When, Do, Does, Is, Are, Was, Has, Can, Shall, Will, etc. (You get my point.)

    Minutes later, our data science guy replied. And to my utter surprise, I found myself staring at over a million question keywords. Read More

    10 Sample SEO Proposal Templates & SEO Sales Pitch Decks That Convert!

    Coming up with great SEO Proposal Templates & Sales Pitch Decks isn’t an easy task. It demands considerable time and effort to put one together.

    SEO Proposals/Sales Pitch Decks must capture the needs of your prospects and address their pain points in a clear and cohesive manner.

    To help you with this onerous task, we scoured the web and found the best SEO Proposal Templates & Sales Pitch Decks that you can use to convert more clients. We have compiled the list of the Top 10 SEO Proposal Templates we could find online and linked to all of them out here. At the end of this post, you’ll also find a summary outlining the best points that you can take from each of the suggested templates to possibly come up with a unique proposal of your own.

    Read More

    Rapid Fire #4: Making Money by Blogging; Future of Blogging; Standing out from the Crowd

    Another rapid-fire episode where Bala Ayya shoots questions at Sameer Panjwani. This time the topics covered relate to blogging, content and making money from blogging.

    Read More

    Rapid Fire #3: Inbound vs Outbound; Quick Conversion Tips; How to get Leads?

    Bala Ayya fires away some quick questions at Sameer Panjwani on business, conversion tips and marketing.

    Read More

    Rapid Fire #2: Black Hat SEO Examples; Unheard of Google Ranking Factors

    Bala Ayya fires away questions at Sameer Panjwani on SEO and covers interesting topics on various aspects of SEO.

    Read More

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