Search Engine Optimization

Common SEO Mistakes that Small Businesses Make and How to Fix Them

October 23, 2018

Search engine optimization or SEO continues to be one of the most powerful tools in digital marketing today. It is one of the most effective ways to increase your search engine rankings and as a result, draw more traffic to your website.

SEO is especially instrumental for small businesses that are trying to build a brand name within a budget. SEO that is strategically implemented can drive more traffic to your website, aid in profitable conversions, and best of all, it helps you in creating user-friendly websites.
Despite the fact that SEO is popular, a number of businesses are still not quite aware of how to implement SEO. Many small businesses tend to make mistakes that can jeopardize their business.

Here are some of the most common mistakes made by small businesses in SEO and how they can be fixed.

Not defining your audience

The base for executing an effective SEO strategy is to understand your target audience. A number of small businesses fail to properly define their customers. They take a broader, more general approach that includes people who have no use for your products.

Fix: Focus on the desirable characters in an ideal audience and appeal to these characters. You may need to define certain aspects like gender, location, wants/ needs, marital status, age, and so on. The more you define your customer, the easier it becomes to narrow down a highly receptive audience.

Snowballing with keywords

Time and again our favorite, trusted blogs have tried to define the difference between keyword stuffing and using just the right ratio of keywords to content. However, many small businesses still do not understand this concept. Most people think that higher the number of keywords in a piece of content, more the traffic. This is a wrong approach. Your keywords should fit naturally within the context of the content and should not appear as though it has been forced into it for the sole purpose of gaining traffic.

Fix: Remember that in every case, your customer is the top priority. Traffic comes later. Your content should be made for users first and search engines second. Practices such as keyword stuffing, especially when forced can be unappealing to users and search engines do not prefer these practices in SEO as well.

The ideal ratio is a 1-3 percent ratio of keywords to text but it can be higher or lower as long as the keywords fit naturally into the context.

Inconsistency with your contact details

You might have observed that a number of small businesses have no proper form or structure when it comes to their contact details. In some cases, the given contact numbers and location are even invalid. This is a big mistake, especially when it comes to local SEO. Search engines like Google are very meticulous when it comes to checking the consistency of your contact details because this is a proof of your reliability and credibility.

Fix: Go through all your online profiles. Make sure that the contact details are consistent across all these profiles. Also, always update your location and contact numbers if any of them happen to change. Failing to update your contact details means losing a number of potential leads.

Pay attention to your title tags and meta descriptions

After all, it is the first thing that a user sees on the search engine results page. Many small businesses fail to optimize these tags and as a result, does not stand out enough to catch a user’s attention.

Fix: The title tag and the meta descriptions are descriptive text. You need to summarize what’s coming in your website in just 160 characters, so it calls for some creativity. The title tags and meta description tags should contain the most relevant keywords and should not exceed 160 characters. You should be able to give a peek into your website in the most interesting way possible.


Not paying enough attention to internal linking

Most people are aware of the importance of external linking and go above and beyond to get as many external links as possible. What most small businesses ignore is the importance of internal linking. Internal linking is an essential aspect of SEO that helps people find information that is helpful on your website.

Fix: Do not ignore the importance of internal linking. These links can help search engines find more of your pages resulting in better search engine rankings. One of the best ways to add more internal links is to ask your in-house content writers to write blogs that contain links that direct back to one or more of your past posts and services. While giving internal links, make sure that the links are updated and that the information is not outdated.

If there are any broken internal links, make sure to fix these links as well.

Ignoring the importance of a mobile optimized website

Mobiles are handy devices that are an integral part of our everyday life. Gone are the days when we would sit behind a desktop to browse for information. Today, the world is at the tip of our hands. Anything and everything is available through your mobile. However, business owners ignore the simple task of seeing that your website is mobile optimized. It is not enough to take comfort in the fact that your website is optimized for desktop. Most of your traffic comes through mobiles and that’s where you should focus.

Fix: Use tools like the Google Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool to check whether your website is mobile friendly. You should look at aspects like responsiveness, page load time, and check for any site errors.

Your website needs to have a responsive design because it enhances user experience. If your website gives a user a smooth and effortless experience, there is no turning back. You can be sure that the same user will return to your website another time.

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