These 10 Common SEO Mistakes Are Killing Your Local Business
SEO, also known as search engine optimization, is key for your business – but only if you’re doing it correctly. If your website isn’t creating a positive and helpful user experience, then your SEO will likely suffer, ultimately killing your local business. The search engine is looking for users to click on a result and stay there a while. This will prove to Google that the link they’ve clicked on has given them useful and informative content that they’re interested in. If you’re noticing a high bounce rate, however, then your SEO is likely suffering as a result – and it may be due to a mistake you’re making. There are 10 most common SEO mistakes that local businesses make that we touch on briefly below.
1. Poor Quality Content
It can be argued that no content is better than weak content. You can usually tell when content has just been thrown together last minute. It’s much better to have zero content then to throw something together that doesn’t engage or interest users. Google’s mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” If your content doesn’t serve a purpose to the user, or help the user in any way, you’ll end up ranking lower than sites that do. Needless to say, poor content does more harm than good. You don’t want your content to be unreadable, disorganized, or unhelpful or it’ll surely impact your SEO standing.
2. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is when you use the same keywords over and over again in your content. Ultimately, businesses try to manipulate a website’s ranking in Google by overloading the page with the same keyword but this isn’t a good practice to take part in. Keyword stuffing should be avoided because it makes your content look like spam, can actually harm your ranking, and make your content unreadable to users.
3. No Title Tags or Meta Descriptions
Title tags and meta descriptions are extremely important because they tell your audience what content they can expect and why they should click on your result. Look at it as a sales pitch for your company; a first impression if you will. First impressions do count when you’re competing with a handful of other companies for that number one spot on Google. Your meta descriptions and title tags encourage users to clickthrough to your website, so writing them well is key to bringing in more traffic. You should always include your keywords that are relevant to the content so that the search engine will know what your page is all about, and index your page based on the keywords you’ve provided. Using irrelevant keywords will only hurt your SEO in the end.
4. Incorrectly Using Keywords
Incorrectly using keywords or using the wrong keywords are big SEO mistakes you can make. Keywords are a key ranking factor, so you want to choose the right keywords – otherwise, your website won’t rank in the search engine. What you might consider a relevant keyword, might mean something totally different to your audience. Luckily, there are many tools online you can use (or hire an SEO company) that makes the process of finding relevant keywords much easier.
5. Poor Loading Time
According to Google, people often go elsewhere if a website doesn’t load in less than 2 seconds. It’s frustrating when a website takes ages to load, and that’s why users are likely to leave before it finishes loading. In turn, this impacts your search engine ranking because Google views site speed a s a factor in their ranking algorithms. Search engines will end up penalizing your rankings due to poor performance, such as high bounce rates and low conversions. To help increase your page loading time, remove anything that slows your website done. Other things you can do to improve your site speed include:
- Delete Old Plugins
- Clean Up Your Code
- Optimize and Compress Images
- Reduce Redirects
- Leverage Browser Caching
- Improve Server Response Time
6. Not Optimizing For Mobile
For good search engine rankings, you must optimize your website for mobile devices. Mobile-friendly websites show up high on Google search results over websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. If your site isn’t easily accessible on a mobile device, it could drop in rankings and impact how many people are clicking through to your website. In fact, according to Oberlo, over 55% of people who are making purchases online and searching the internet do so on a mobile device. To ensure that your website doesn’t drop in rankings, make sure it is optimized for mobile devices.
7. Missing Quality Links
Poor quality links can be harmful to your overall SEO standing. You don’t want to add links from websites that are considered low-quality, or in other words, deemed irrelevant and not authoritative to your website. If the links you include come from websites that are not well-trusted by search engines and searchers, then your SEO ranking will suffer as a result. The more high quality links you have, the more trustworthy your site appears.
8. Broken Links
Do you have a page on your website that links to another page that gives an error message when you click on it? Broken links can make for a poor user experience, increase your bounce rate, reduce trust towards your business, and lead to low conversions. Ultimately, all of these things can impact your SEO ranking. This is one of the reasons why you should continuously be updating and refreshing content on your page so hopefully you can catch these broken links before it does any damage to your ranking. Explore your website often, just like a regular user would, and check for broken links and typos.
9. Not Collecting Data
If you’re not using data tools, like Google Analytics, then you’re blind to how your SEO strategy is really working! Data helps you understand what keywords are getting the most clicks, what pages are getting the most traffic, what keywords are leading to the most conversions, and so much more.
10. No SEO Strategy
One common misconception with businesses is that when you create your website, you can just set it and forget it. In reality, however, your website is never truly “finished.” If you want to be successful and show up in search engine results, then you must have an SEO strategy in place. Having a good SEO strategy improves your visibility online – and the more people that see your site, the more traffic you’ll receive. Your SEO game is really a long-term strategy that you have to continuously nurture if you want it to be successful. It’s not something you just set and forget and expect it to work!