As SEO is constantly evolving, it is important to stay up-to-date with digital marketing trends to ensure the best results for your advertising strategy. A part of this is avoiding SEO strategies that may seem right but can actually harm your rankings.
Here are some common small business SEO mistakes you want to avoid making.
An in-depth approach to keyword research is essential if you want to rank for the right keywords. Broad keywords might be commercially useful, but long-tail keywords are recommended for small businesses. Smaller businesses generally have unique and specific products that bigger enterprises won’t necessarily market, so capitalise on your niche.
It’s also important to remember that certain words can have different meanings or connotations in different areas of the world. Always use local language and terms when incorporating keywords in your website copy so you’re not inadvertently optimising for the wrong keywords.
On-Page SEO is essential for search engine crawlers to find your website. On-page SEO factors such as title tags, URLs, meta descriptions, headings and image alt text can affect your SEO rankings.
Common mistakes such as going over the character limit (roughly 60 characters for a Page Title and 160 characters for a meta description) and overusing keywords can derail a page’s SEO performance. Web pages that are optimised for search engines should be concise, easy-to-read and enticing; otherwise, search engines will not consider them useful for the user.
Content must be generated to serve users, not search engines. Your website’s content should always be useful, informational and educational to your potential site visitor.
Mishaps such as keyword stuffing your content will be registered as spammy by search engines and will be penalised accordingly. Keyword stuffing comes in many forms, but the most common malpractice would be repeating words or phrases unnaturally in your content.
Another form of content mishap is a lack of originality. Copying other content from around the web signals that a website is untrustworthy and unoriginal. Ensure that your content contains plenty of valuable information peppered with naturally integrated keywords that clearly indicate its unique subject matter.
Good website content that follows search engine guidelines will be all for nought if your website performs poorly, especially on mobile. Always do your research to see where your traffic is coming from, whether it’s from desktop, mobile or tablet. If your community prefers mobile browsing, as is it is extra important to make sure your website loads quickly so your visitors don’t quickly bounce off to a different site.
A poor user experience will discourage potential customers from exploring your website, and even from visiting it again. Online tools such as Google’s Page Speed Insights can help you test your web page on different platforms and suggest areas for optimisation.
Constantly checking your website’s performance reports will allow you to make necessary changes for optimisation. Things such as visitor behaviour, demographics and bounce rates can help you diagnose any areas that need better SEO. Testing different SEO strategies will yield different results, so disregarding analytics is a surefire way to derail an SEO campaign. Google Analytics and Google Search Console are two great (and free) tools you can use for tracking your website performance.
Need more information? Google offers some SEO guidelines so you can stay in their good books. And be sure to download our beginner’s guide to SEO below.