Search engine optimization (SEO) is an integral part of the success of any online business. But are you using your SEO services correctly?
If you have decided to optimize your website for search (which you should), there are certain common mistakes you must avoid to see your efforts pay off.
Here are five common SEO pitfalls to avoid.
Top 5 SEO Mistakes Small Business Owners Make
Optimizing your small business website and content for search engines is essential to driving traffic. Failing to do the same can result in you losing customers. Below are some of the most common SEO mistakes made by small to medium-sized businesses.
1. Expecting Immediate First-Page Results
This is a mistake every local business owner seems to make. But SEO doesn’t work like that. Unlike paid ads, SEO requires patience to see results because Google’s algorithm takes time to analyze the quality and relevance of your webpage.
Google uses more than 200 ranking parameters to measure the quality of your content. That’s why it needs to be relevant and high-quality for SEO to pull in customers organically. This process can take a few months to show significant results. According to Ahrefs research, the average Top 10 ranking pages take more than two years to rank and the pages at the #1 position are almost three years old, on average.
So, don’t change too much of your website all at once. Instead, see what’s working and what needs improvement. Use the Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor your SEO campaigns every couple of weeks. You can even look at what competitors have done well and then come up with a plan accordingly. You can drive in new leads on an ongoing basis without actively seeking them out.
2. Not Using the Right Keywords
When it comes to SEO, keywords play an important role. That’s why, while researching your keywords, always ask yourself: ‘Does this keyword satisfy my audience’s needs?’ Because keyword-rich content helps deliver the highest results, you need to spend time on the research to find the right keywords to improve your ranking.
Another keyword-related mistake is focusing too much on non-competitive terms; for example, ‘SEO’ instead of ‘SEO in Toronto’. So, customize your research to your company. For instance, if you are a plumber, look for what people are searching for, or find out their pain points so you can provide a solution through your service.
But using the right keywords too many times (this is known as ‘keywordvstuffing’) can also impact negatively your score. Therefore, write naturally for SEO to maintain the readability of your content. Long-tail keywords and search phrases are also in the running, although they are more popular with voice searches. That’s why it is essential to do tailored research. For suggestions, use tools like Google Ads Keywords Planner or hire G Web Pro for local SEO service.
3. Not Including Backlinks
Backlinks are a non-negotiable element when creating your web content. The inclusion of this external resource can organically boost your website’s popularity and rank in search engines. But many small business owners skip this step because of the time it takes to do adequate research. Or, in the worst cases, they add low-quality backlinks.
So, when incorporating off-site resources, be sure to add credible sources. Otherwise Google penalizes bad links and prohibits those that don’t provide helpful content. You can use older pages of your website that are regularly updated as a backlink.
4. Writing for SEO, Not for Users
Search engine optimization is all about helping your website rank high in online searches. But businesspeople in the race to rank highly often go overboard and use keywords so much that they turn readers off.
Remember that SEO traffic is not your only goal. Your ultimate goal is to drive conversions. So, examine your analytics to identify which pages are converting the highest. Then make further improvements to get more leads on these high-conversion pages.
Remember that your website should be a tool to satisfy your visitors and serve their needs. So, don’t neglect the user experience (UX) because search engines like Google take that into account when determining your website ranking.
There are specific metrics to measure UX on your website, including:
- Bounce Rate
- Conversion Rate
- Time on Page (stickiness)
To stay relevant as per Google’s quality guidelines, always cater to user experience. Optimize the website speed, page security, images, and include relevant content to improve UX.
5. Falling Behind Social SEO
Ignoring social SEO is another mistake small businesses make. Being active on social media sites can boost your ranking so never neglect them. Always fill out the “About” sections of your social media pages, for instance, and include links back to your business website.
You can share your website’s optimized pages across your social media channels to drive new traffic. Add social share buttons to your blogs so others can share your content. Also, set your business on local listing sites like Google Business Profile or maintain a Google My Business Page to better reach your local audience.
After going through this list of SEO mistakes, is it time to give your website a fresh start this New Year? We can help your SEO and SEM so new customers can find you and drive increased sales. To learn more, contact us at 416-560-4722.