Making SEO mistakes is costly for your business.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the practice of optimizing a website to increase its rank on search engine results pages. In simple terms, SEO is the process of making your website more visible to potential customers.
Too many small businesses struggle with SEO – in fact, nearly half of small businesses don’t implement SEO efforts in their businesses at all. If you’re not implementing SEO, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities to reach new customers.
So – what are some of the most common SEO mistakes that small businesses make?
Here are ten major SEO mistakes that we often see when new clients come to us – and how to avoid them.
SEO and ROI: How Much Does SEO Really Help?
The most common complaint we hear from small business owners is that they don’t see a return on their investment for SEO. They’ve been told by other agencies or consultants that “SEO takes time” and that they need to be patient.
And while it’s true that SEO can take some time to show results, the reality is that SEO should be providing a consistent return on your investment. If you’re not ranking high on search engine results pages, you’re missing out on valuable traffic, leads, and conversions.
After all – how often do you really click through the second or third page of Google?
A June 2013 study performed by Chitika Insights reported that 91.5% of Google traffic stays on the first page, and only 4.8% of users click through to the second page of a search. More than 90% of searchers never click on the second page of Google search results.
If you’re not seeing results from your SEO efforts, it’s likely that you’re making one (or more) of the following SEO mistakes:
One: Not Optimizing for Local Search
If you’re a small business that relies on local traffic, it’s essential to optimize your website for local search.
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages for searches related to your geographic location. For example, if you own a coffee shop in Seattle, you’ll want to optimize your website for keywords like “coffee shop seattle” and “best coffee seattle.”
If you’re not optimizing for local search, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities to reach potential customers who are searching for businesses like yours in their area.
Two: Not Optimizing Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Title tags and meta descriptions are two essential elements of SEO. Title tags are the text that appears in the search engine results pages (SERPs) as the title of your website, and meta descriptions are the brief summaries that appear below your title tag. If you’re not optimizing your title tags and meta descriptions, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities to improve your click-through rate (CTR).
What do effective meta descriptions look like?
Meta descriptions should be clear, concise, and convincing. They should entice searchers to click on your website in the SERPs.
Here’s an example of a meta description that effectively uses persuasive language to entice searchers to click:
“Looking for the best coffee in Seattle? Look no further than our list of the top ten coffee shops in the city. From local favorites to hidden gems, we’ve got you covered.”
In this meta description, the searcher is given a specific reason to click on the website – “looking for the best coffee in Seattle?” – and a preview of what they’ll find on the site.
Three: Not Using Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are three or four-word phrases that are highly descriptive and specific to what you’re selling. For example, if you sell coffee beans, a long-tail keyword might be “best free-trade organic coffee beans” rather than just “coffee beans.”
Using long-tail keywords is a great way to improve your chances of ranking higher on search engine results pages.
Four: Ignoring the Human Element of SEO
One of the most common mistakes that marketers make is forgetting that there is a human on the receiving end of their content. We often get so caught up in optimizing for SEO that we forget to optimize for readability and the user experience.
Make sure you’re creating content that’s easy to read and relevant to your audience. Write for humans first, and search engines second. Don’t stuff keywords for the sake of keyword optimization – this will only hurt your chances of ranking higher in the long run.
Five: Not Creating Enough Content
If you’re not creating enough content, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities to rank higher in search engines. The more high-quality, relevant content you have on your website, the better your chances of ranking higher for the keywords you’re targeting.
Make sure you’re regularly publishing new blog posts, articles, and other types of content to keep your website fresh and relevant.
Six: Not Promoting Your Content
Creating great content is only half the battle – you also need to promote your content if you want it to be successful.
There are a number of ways to promote your content, including social media, email marketing, and paid advertising.
Make sure you’re taking advantage of all the channels available to you to get your content in front of as many people as possible.
Seven: Not Tracking Your Results
One of the most common SEO mistakes marketers make is not tracking their results. It’s important to track your SEO progress so that you can see what’s working and what’s not.
There are a number of tools you can use to track your SEO progress, including Google Analytics and Search Console.
Make sure you’re regularly checking your analytics to see how your content is performing.
Eight: Not Keeping Up With The Latest Trends
SEO is an ever-evolving field, and it’s important to keep up with the latest trends if you want to stay ahead of the competition.
Make sure you’re regularly reading industry news and blogs to stay up-to-date on the latest SEO trends.
Related Reading: Here’s How to Take Advantage of Google’s 2022 Algorithm Update
Nine: Posting Duplicate or Redundant Content
There is a lot of online advice about avoiding duplicate content, but it’s also vital to emphasize that it isn’t always duplicate content that gets you in trouble with Google; rather, it’s the fact that spam-like material is frowned upon. If you’re worried about duplicate content, make sure that the majority of your website’s content is original and not reused or copied from other sources.
Ten: Overlooking Mobile Optimization
In today’s world, it’s more important than ever to make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices. In 2021, mobile devices and tablets accounted for 63 percent of organic search engine visits.
Make sure your website is responsive and mobile-friendly to ensure the best possible experience for your visitors.
Bonus: Not Asking for Help When You Need It
If you’re not an SEO expert, it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. There are a number of agencies and consultants who specialize in SEO and can help you get the results you’re looking for.
Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed. The sooner you get started, the better your chances of success.
Avoid these common SEO mistakes to stay ahead of the competition and improve your chances of ranking higher on search engine results pages.
For more information on how to improve your SEO and avoid SEO mistakes, contact our team of experts today. We’re here to help you get the most out of your online presence.