The need for search engine optimization is arguably more pronounced than ever. In a crowded online marketplace, SEO can help your business stand out from the crowd and show up prominently in relevant search results.
However, SEO can be quite complicated. And if you aren’t careful, you could make one of the following SEO mistakes when marketing your small business. Here are just a few missteps you’ll want to avoid.
Using Outdated Techniques
Undoubtedly, SEO has changed considerably over the years. What once allowed websites to rank easily in search engine results pages (SERPs) may now have little to no effect.
That’s because Google has gotten better at understanding what web users are looking for. Above all else, Google wants to provide relevant and useful information. As such, sites that offer that information will be rewarded – while those that try to game the system may be penalized.
It used to be that putting as many keywords as possible on a given page would yield great results. Not anymore. If you get caught keyword stuffing (or using any number of other “black hat” SEO techniques), your business could pay the price.
Make sure that any SEO techniques you use are aligned with current industry best practices. Even if the tactic you’re using is only a couple of years old, remember that technology evolves rapidly. It’s best to consult with a professional to ensure your strategy is up-to-date to avoid any unintended consequences.
Forgetting About User Experience
User experience is extremely important to both search engines and real users. Your website might contain some great information, but that won’t matter if no one can access it easily!
User experience factors into website search rankings, so don’t neglect UX. That means your site needs to be fast, secure, and accessible across all devices. Make sure you’re providing a consistent experience for all users and that you make it easy for them to find what they need.
If you fail to consider user experience in your web design or your SEO strategy, your rankings will undoubtedly suffer. But if you prioritize the needs of mobile customers and remove any barriers that exist, you’ll see better results in SERPs.
Optimizing For Overly Broad Keywords
As a small business owner, you might be frustrated by your inability to compete with larger corporations. But your lack of success might be due to your SEO strategy itself.
If, for instance, you’re targeting overly broad keywords, there’s no way you’ll be able to outrank a competitor with a much larger budget and a more well-known brand. That’ll simply result in wasted time and money for your business.
Instead, you’ll want to think local. Being more specific with your keyword targeting can allow you to reach customers within your community who are ready to make a purchase. Once you align your optimizations with customer intent, you’ll start to see real progress.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t include more generic keywords for context and relevance. But your keyword selection should absolutely be more specific and location-based if you’re trying to reach customers within a given geographic area.
Don’t Fall Victim to These Common SEO Mistakes
Developing a marketing strategy is a full-time job. Simply put, most small business owners won’t have the bandwidth to devote to SEO. By avoiding these mistakes and trusting the professionals, you’ll maximize your marketing success online.