Common small business SEO mistakes turn an otherwise great website into an inefficient marketing dud. Competition on the internet is fierce in most industries. Having the right search optimization elements in-place and executing effective strategies both on-site and across social media platforms are necessary components.
Regularly published, original, quality content is just one of several SEO needs. For beginners, the basics of search optimization are an absolute must. But there are also practiced business owners who do not incorporate certain components. It’s common small business SEO mistakes which make a website ineffective, even if it’s exceptionally aesthetically appealing and fully functional.
Common Small Business SEO Mistakes
Most business owners understand the importance of search engine optimization but are skeptical about turning it over to an agency. It’s important to know what is essential to rank for keyword search terms and how consumers will find your website. This means there is no one-size-fits-all approach to SEO as every business, making it highly personalized.
Most businesses understand the importance of implementing SEO tactics into their overall marketing strategy. However, many executives still think that there is a one size fits all SEO program, and by simply copying the same methods as their competitors they will see an instant improvement in their companies’ search rankings. Unfortunately for these misguided professionals, a SEO strategy is highly personal. Creating a tailored SEO strategy customized for a specific business’s profile, goals, and budget can mean the difference between first page results and search engine oblivion. —Search Engine Journal.com
In addition, small businesses should know the most critical SEO trends because algorithmic changes occur as consumer behavior changes. For instance, Google recently released its top ranking factors, which include content, links, and RankBrain (the company’s machine learning technology). Notice content comes first because it’s what consumers want most. Links are a top ranking factor since this is how search engines crawl and evaluate websites. RankBrain is the technology which helps to quantify content, links, and consumer interaction. So, if these are necessary elements, what are the most common small business SEO mistakes?
- Not localizing. Since most businesses serve a particular area, localization is essential. Being registered with business directories, Google Maps, Google My Business, Yelp, and more. Local geotagging and keywords are part of good search engine optimization. If you’ve already verified your business and claimed profiles, it’s useful to occasionally revisit these to ensure up-to-date accuracy.
- Failure to link properly. There are three types of links to include on your website pages and blog posts: inbound links, outbound links, and internal links. Inbound links come from other properties on the web, outbound links point to external platforms, and internal links go to other pages on your proprietary site. Without proper linking, your site will not perform well in organic search.
- Poor social media marketing. While there is no direct SEO impact from social media marketing, it has substantial marketing power. There are two graphs on the web: the link graph and the social graph. These are increasingly becoming intertwined, so it’s very important being active on social media networks as these are heavily-visited, go-to consumers platforms.
- Not incorporating essential SEO. Metadata, including meta tags, permalinks, site structure, image alt tags, sitemap, and more are all necessary SEO elements. Without these, a website simply will not perform well in organic rank or rank at all. Remember, search engines are software and require specific website components to quantify what’s crawled and indexed.
- Publishing low quality blog content. Google Hummingbird, Panda, Penguin, and RankBrain share one key component — quality content. If a site publishes low quality content across its static menu pages or on its blog, it will harm the property’s rank ability. There’s simply no way around this because the internet itself is content. If it’s not original or unusable, it will effectively kill a site’s SEO.
By avoiding common small business SEO mistakes and combining localization, proper linking, social media marketing, optimization essentials, and high quality content, a website will be an effective digital marketing tool.
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