You may have a beautiful website with hundreds of blog posts, but it will not bring results unless you optimize it.
Sure, there are a plethora of Search Engine Optimization resources online. However, what breaks an SEO campaign is the mistakes that we commit. And this is true for many startups.
In this post, we will share ten common SEO mistakes you should avoid.
1. Ignoring Website Audits
If you own a startup and have a dedicated website, you must conduct regular audits. Doing so allows you to monitor your website’s SEO health.
This includes the following:
Checking whether your organic traffic is increasing
What keywords your visitors commonly use
Checking if your bounce rate is high
Where they usually bounce off
When you know these things, you have an insight into which parts of your website need fixing. You also get the idea of how you can best promote your startup.
If you are not tech-savvy enough to audit your website, do not worry. There are marketing agencies that include website audits to their small business SEO services.
2. Using Black Hat SEO
It is tempting to believe promises like, “We will make your website rank on the first page of Google within two weeks.”
But as they say, when something is too good to be true, it probably is.
We are not saying that ranking on the first page within two weeks is impossible. However, tactics used to achieve this result is likely Black Hat SEO
It is any digital marketing practice that violates the search engines’ guidelines to influence search results. This includes keyword spamming and unethical link building.
Thus, do not expect that you will enjoy your search engine ranking for long. That’s because search engines are likely to penalize your startup website as soon as you are caught.
Instead, go for white hat SEO practices and aim to outrank your competitors slowly but surely.
3. Keyword Spamming
If you want to do SEO right, one of the first things you should avoid is keyword spamming. It is when you mention your target keyword too many times on your online content.
For one, keyword-stuffed content does not sound natural. This can compromise your website’s usability. Because who would want to read spammy content, right?
This explains why keyword spamming can raise red flags. When they see that you have a high bounce rate, search engines will manually check its reason.
This can result in a decrease in search engine ranking. Worst, your website will get de-indexed on search results.
4. Ignoring Web Analytics
Similar to website audit, ignoring your web analytics is a huge no-no.
If you do not check your web analytics regularly, how would you know if your website is performing well or not?
In addition, web analytics can show you which parts of your startup website are popular among your visitors.
If you are seeing more and more people are reading your case studies, perhaps you should feature use cases in your marketing campaign.
Doing so will enable you to attract warm leads and convert them into clients or users.
5. Duplicating Content
Sure, there is content that is popular among your website visitors. But that does not mean that you will repeatedly publish it in different parts of your website.
What happens when you keep on publishing duplicate content?
The quick answer is that you will suffer a drop in search engine ranking and organic traffic. Here’s why:
Search engines will choose which content to index and rank based on various factors. This is to provide the most relevant results to their users. As such, a duplicate content’s value and visibility will be diluted.
Link equity (or “link juice”) will be diluted as link builders have to choose which content to link to. You might as well get all the equity by publishing high-quality and link-worthy content.
6. Neglecting Internal Linking
Linking one web page to another is called internal linking.
For example, you wrote a blog post about the benefits of your startup product or service. From your blog post, you can link to your homepage or pricing page.
You might be wondering why you should do internal linking.
The reason is simple: You want to keep a visitor on your website. The longer they stay on your website, the more usable it looks in the eyes of search engine bots.
And a usable website gets rewarded with a better search engine ranking.
7. Letting Broken Links Stay Broker
It may not look like it, but broken links can hamper your startup website’s usability.
Imagine walking in an alley only to meet a dead end. That’s what happened when a site visitor encounters a broken link. Thus, it is safe to assume that broken links can also hinder usability.
Over time, this can hurt your search engine rankings and online reputation. As a result, you will lose clients or app users for your startup.
That said, ensure that your website does not contain any broken links.
8. Non-Responsive Website
First announced in 2016, Google uses mobile-first indexing. It is when the search engine giant uses the mobile version of your website for indexing and ranking.
That said, you must have a mobile-responsive website. After all, more than 50% of online traffic comes from mobile devices.
Imagine what you are missing out on if you do not have a mobile-friendly website.
9. Neglecting User Experience
A site visitor lands on your website to accomplish something. It can be to download your app or look for an investor relations document.
But if your website visitor took a while to accomplish his tasks, do not expect him to stay. That said, you should keep the user experience (UX) in mind.
Here are some factors that you should consider:
Website architecture or how your website is organized.
Pageload speed. A three-second delay in page load speed can increase your bounce rate to 32%.
Mobile responsiveness. Your website should provide a consistent experience regardless of screen size.
Web security. This is vital if you are acquiring web visitor data and using it for other marketing purposes.
Excellent UX makes your website usable and the reason your visitors are likely to stay. As a result, it can help improve your search engine ranking.
10. Not Thinking Ahead
The problem with many startup founders and website owners is that they cling to the status quo. That’s why they are like deer in the headlights when search engines update their algorithm.
But, you do not have to drive yourself crazy to ensure that your startup will rank well for your target keywords. That is if you can keep yourself abreast of the latest digital marketing trends.
Another is to keep on producing high-quality content and ensuring your website’s usability. That way, your rankings will not be shaken every time an algorithm update is rolled out.
A robust SEO campaign can help you establish your startup’s online presence. It is also vital in acquiring clients, users, and investors.
But the keys to developing a solid SEO strategy are:
Do not game the system. The more you think that you can trick search engines that you are worthy of a ranking, the adverse the effect to your startup
Prioritize usability. When you have a user-friendly website, your visitors are likely to stay. And this can impact your SEO efforts.
Provide value. This is another reason your site visitors will stay and opt to hire your services or buy your products.
And remember: When it is too good to be true, it probably is.