7 Fatal SEO Mistakes of Small Businesses

Posted by Guy Edwards on Friday, December 11, 2015

Brainjar Media_Digital Marketeting Agency_7 Fatal SEO Mistakes of Small Businesses_

Small business owners have their work cut out for them due to a high demand on their time, energy and the countless roles they must undertake. One area of specialty that is difficult for most small business owners accomplish on their own is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It’s no wonder SEO falls behind on the priority list for many business owners SEO is tough, complicated and time consuming. Business owners don’t have to become SEO experts to avoid mistakes that can be detrimental to their their search engine optimization. Check out 7 fatal SEO mistakes of small businesses below. 

1. Not using the right keywords

Here is a great exercise. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes for a moment. What would you type in to find your business, your products, your services? Write down all of your ideas in a list. You can even go to Google and start typing in these phrases and auto-complete feature will populate a drop down list of similar searches that users have typed in.  This information is gold!

Now, take a look at the language on your website- how many of the phrases on your list appear on your pages?  How many pages use the phrases in the url, the page title, the first paragraph?  If your website features generic phrases such as “our services” or “what we offer” over of specific terms that people are searching for, you have a big SEO hole to fill.

2. Using keywords that are too broad

Another tough position that too many small businesses put themselves in is to use keywords that are too broad, making them almost impossible to rank for.

Think “leather ankle boots for hiking” instead of “hiking shoes”.  “motorbike sales in [your city]” instead of “motorbikes”.

There may be less traffic for these longer tail key phrases, but you are far more likely to capture a percentage of it than see any kind of results from more fiercely competitive terms.

3. Keyword stuffing

The more times I use a keyword on the page, the higher Google will see rank me for it, right? Ah, wrong. Actually, the effective frequency with which a keyword appears in a piece of content has steadily shrunk over the past few years. In fact, over-optimising your page by using the same keyword too many times (known as keyword stuffing) can actually get you penalised by search engines.

More important is where the keyword is used, not how often.  You should never use the same keyword more than five times per 100 words on a page.

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In a nutshell: make sure your keyword appears early in your page title, heading, and opening paragraph for a strong SEO foundation.

4. Poor maintenance

Running a successful website involves a certain degree of good housekeeping. Broken links, missing images and outdated information can not only frustrate your visitor but can send signals to search engines that your site is low quality.

Imagine your website is a virtual version of your physical office or store. What if the building directory sends people to a stationery cupboard instead of your office? Or items are mislabelled on your shelves? Maybe some sections of your store even contain out-of-date perishables or fashion items from the 1990’s that you haven’t got round to clearing out yet?  Can Google make sense of this chaos? Does it know what is important and relevant?

Keep your house in order by regularly checking your content for errors.  Google’s Webmaster Tools consoles is the ideal (and free) tool to use to help you identify any issues.

5. Content duplication 

When you hear the phrase “content duplication” your mind probably automatically thinks about content stolen from other sites. But it’s not just deliberate plagiarism that can cause duplication issues.

Many small business sites use duplicate content on multiple pages without even realising it.

For example, do you have a stock paragraph or two about your business than features on your homepage, your about us page and your contact us page? (How will search engines know which one to rank for your business name?)

Do you use the same descriptive text on multiple product or category pages? Is your shipping information and returns policy on every single product page? (Can search engines see enough unique content to accurately rank you for your primary keywords for these products?)

Maybe you have written ten blog posts about your gutter repair service that only differ in a few sentences? (Therefor diluting your SEO efforts for this keyword across multiple posts.)

Make sure each individual page on your site is customised with content that is unique, and most relevant to the desired keyword.

SRC: View the final 2 Fatal SEO Mistakes of Small Businesses at: www.business2community.com/seo/7-deadly-seo-sins-small-businesses-01379240#3OUG3Shk2BwbTQpk.99

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