In this breakout session at CMC17, Arnie zeroed in on content optimization beginning with a slide showing perhaps the greatest quote of #CMC17: “The best place to hide a body is page 2 of Google search results.”
While attendees laughed and nodded, Arnie backed this up the fact that 92% of Google traffic happens on page one of search results. He pointed out that when searching via Google, if users don’t see the result they want on page one, they don’t go to page two – they refine their search.
The point of search engine optimization then is not simply to move up through the rankings, but to get yourself on the first page of search results for as many relevant keyword searches as possible. Otherwise, your potential customers will become someone else’s actual customers.
When determining which optimization sins were egregious enough to be included as one of the 7 Deadly Sins, Arnie identified the most common errors he and his team at Vertical Measures encounter when working with new clients.
Part of what makes some of these sins so deadly is how commonplace they are in content marketing. You could be sabotaging yourself and not even know it.
The 7 Deadly Content Marketing Sins
Unintentional Duplicate Content
Arnie explained that most of his company’s clients have no idea they have duplicate content. His remedy for this common error was canonicalization.
Using canonical tags tells search engines clearly and unambiguously which page contains the original content and should be prioritized in search results.
Slow Page Loading Time
Seconds matter. Arnie shared that a 1 second delay in your PageSpeed can cause a surprising 7% decrease in conversions.
He advised attendees that web pages taking more than 2 seconds to load are going to take a hit in the Google rankings.
Mr. Kuenn expressed that poor HTML will impact both user and search engine perception of your site.
He discussed the importance of using best practices for title tags, meta descriptions, H tags, and internal links.
Poorly Optimized Images and Videos
To optimize image on your site, Arnie encouraged reducing the file size and using clear, contextually appropriate image tags.
Arnie had two main pieces of advices to optimize video content: create a compelling title for the video and include the live link, with http://, at the very beginning of your video description. This makes it easy for viewers to go directly to your website after watching your video content.
Not Enough or Bad Backlinks
Arnie expressed that most of his clients believed they have resolved any bad backlink issues, but in his experience, it is always worth another look.
He advised cleaning up backlink files and adding internal links where appropriate.
Next Arnie gave a few succinct tips on providing great content, such as using fresh content and avoiding keyword stuffing.
He explained that content chunking can help your page pass “the scroll test” where readers scan quickly to see if longer content is worth reading.
Not Mobile Friendly
Additionally, he explained that Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are rewarded is search rankings.
While these seven deadly sins may be incredibly common, Arnie made it clear that fixing them is not just worth your time, it is completely within reach.
For more in-depth information on optimization and other steps of content marketing, you can check out Arnie’s book, Content Marketing Works, available for free download from Vertical Measures.