6 Mistakes Small-Business Owners Make With Their SEO Strategy

6 Mistakes Small-Business Owners Make With Their SEO Strategy
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Many small-and-medium enterprises find it difficult to generate quality leads and organic traffic because their SEO campaign focuses on producing impressive content alone. But the results no longer depend on the information and photos posted on the website as customer behavior and business landscape continue to evolve each day. Optimizing website content and technical components should not be neglected as your capability to drive customers and improve online visibility largely depends on these. To avoid wasting time and capital investment, consider learning the common mistakes that business owners often make in their SEO strategy.

What are the Biggest Mistakes People Make When Using SEO?

As a business owner, you should not just focus on developing marketing and customer build-up strategies when formulating an SEO campaign. The scope of SEO work is wide and this requires a comprehensive marketing approach alongside technical analysis and case studies to drive high-quality leads. SEO typically covers website architecture, technical SEO auditing, and content creation in formulating an effective SEO strategy. However, knowledge and marketing skills are not enough to generate long-term results because you need constant monitoring, dedication, and patience while implementing a marketing plan within a specific period of time. Here are typical mistakes made by business owners that you can avoid from the beginning of your campaign:

Expecting Immediate Results

If SEO is new to your ears, you should not expect real-time lead generation and results overnight. SEO cannot be done quickly because it uses appropriate tools to measure, monitor, and detect any errors and well-performing pages of your website. Additionally, you also need to produce highly relevant and informative content that is specific to the type of audience you want to accommodate. You will only notice the success of your SEO campaign once you generate organic traffic and convert it into customers or potential revenue.

When a newly-created website has just been published, search engines usually validate the relevance of the content for a target industry. There are over 200 ranking factors that Google and other search engines use to analyze and measure the relevancy of any content. Add to this the intense competition awaiting your website since your website will compete in both local and regional markets. Your content needs to build reputation and recognition before it can generate organic page visitors.

Your campaign may take several months before you notice any significant changes. Even a study by Ahrefs suggests that the average age of top-ranking pages is two years or more. This simply means that you cannot stop once your website is published, instead, you need continuous monitoring to determine if your SEO strategy is effective. Expect frequent mid-campaign adjustments, including publishing new concepts, making information updates, and monitoring page speed. You can use some free tools like Google Analytics to receive valuable insight regarding the actual performance of your web pages.

Neglecting Keyword Research

If you have neglected the keyword research process at the very beginning of your SEO planning, you may miss out on important keywords that will help boost your online presence. Self-generated keywords are not enough because you also need to think of keywords that customers may use, in addition to your own list.

Keywords can be considered powerful because they are used by customers to find information and businesses. Fortunately, keyword research tools are now available to help you generate targeted keywords and discover new key phrases that may be advantageous to you. But it is important that the content behind your keywords provides the specific needs of your target customers for your website to rank better. Regardless of whether you want to use general or local SEO for your digital marketing plan, keyword-rich content can definitely give your business impressive search results.

Whenever possible, consider producing content covering different topics, instead of focusing on using keyword variation offering the same topics. If you have two or more articles that contain the same topic, repurpose them into one solid piece of content to reduce keyword cannibalization. Always make sure the topics will be relevant to each other to establish the authority of your page. Google now uses a machine-based search engine algorithm, called RankBrain, to provide more relevant search results to online consumers. Google also gives more favorable results to pages that contain keyword variations and long-tail key phrases.

Internal links

Search engines include internal links when validating a website. Through internal links, search engines can evaluate the organizational structure and page relevancy of your content. However, regular site auditing and page updating should be considered to figure out if there are broken links or non-performing pages, so as not to diminish the credibility of the website. If the page directory of your website is confusing, your visitor may be discouraged to browse the site and just abandon it instead.

Optimizing backlinks is very important as they are considered one of the top-ranking factors by Google, only next to high-quality content. Including external links will help boost the popularity of your website in a natural way. However, this valuable site element is ignored because of the substantial amount of time it requires from content developers and site owners. This process usually requires guest posting, natural linking, and thorough profiling of reputable sites relevant to your business. But it should be noted that search engines prefer websites containing some high-quality backlinks compared to websites that offer low-quality external resources. So when you consider incorporating external links, make sure they are credible enough and may provide answers for customers to avoid getting penalized or given a low page position.

Neglecting the Customer Experience

Having an SEO-friendly and attractive website is advantageous for business owners. But many of them still neglect the importance of user experience. For sure, visitors prefer to browse a website that is easy to use and the overall structure is not disorganized. User experience is also a valuable ranking factor for search engines and you can be penalized when visitors always abandon your website.

In user experience, certain site components such as bounce rate, time-on-page, and conversion rate are measured. You can study their metrics using Google Analytics and other popular SEO suites. These tools can help determine which web pages you should modify or remove. Remember that when your page visitors have a bad time navigating your site, search engines will consider your website irrelevant and untrustworthy.

When you audit or update pages, the user experience will definitely improve. During the adjustment process, you can eliminate non-performing pages and broken links, thus boosting your page rank and lead generation as a whole. You must not only focus your modification efforts on navigation alone, but you should also consider adjusting mobile responsiveness, loading speed, and external linking strategy.

Slow Website

Search engines like Google take loading speed into consideration when they index web pages. Loading speed also affects the overall user experience and some of its components including bounce rate and conversion rate. Customers definitely do not prefer any website to load too slowly. So if you fail to improve your loading speed, you can expect visitors to abandon the website and just open a new search result.

Loading speed slows down when the file size of the images is large or when the website is full of embedded videos.  Unnecessary program codes also contribute to slowing down your site. To improve your page speed, consider deleting cache files, compressing images, and making your website design sleek or minimalist. Regardless of whether you want your website to be accessible on mobile devices or desktop computers, always pay sufficient attention to loading speed.

Not Updating Content

You should not ignore updating your website since market competitors and customer profiles are constantly evolving on a daily basis. Any SEO strategy that worked in your business a few years back may not be effective today. Changes in search engine algorithmic factors have something to do with why you should always publish new content. How can you expect a website to generate traffic if the content is obsolete and irrelevant?

Consider creating a content calendar to remind you when to launch a new post. You should also remove broken links, duplicate content, and low-ranking web pages. Another effective tactic is to combine two or more articles with relevant topics into one in-depth piece of content to enhance site authority. Search engines prefer to index pages that contain updated content but adhere to current algorithms. As a small enterprise owner, it is best to equip yourself with trending statistics regarding the industry you belong to.

Publishing Poor Quality Content

Competition in the digital business environment is absolutely fierce. You cannot just ignore these algorithmic factors that greatly affect the overall traffic performance of your website. If you launch low-quality content with non-performing links, you cannot expect good results from your SEO campaign.

When creating content, always consider the information you want to share with the target audience, which should be highly informative and relevant. As much as possible, your content must provide answers to specific questions of customers regarding the products or services they are looking for. Customers still prefer to read information-dense content supported by research and professional point of view.

Every SEO strategy really needs quality time to be successful. Imagine the borderless opportunities that await your business if you can keep the website frequently updated, fast in page loading, and easy to navigate. By avoiding the common mistakes discussed earlier, you can improve the search capability of your website, allowing you to gather high-quality traffic and convert as potential long-term clients.

Dale Basilla