Search Engine Optimization may be technical, but it is not rocket science. So much so that myths are surrounding this digital marketing strategy.
Some of these myths include the following:
1. Snake Oil SEO: Since being an SEO does not require a degree or certification, anyone can make unfounded claims.
2. Keyword Density: This means you need to mention your keywords a couple of times, depending on how long your content is.
3. Link Quantity Over Quality: This leads to link buying, which is against every search engines’ Terms of Services.
4. Content is Dead: Quality content is integral in an effective SEO campaign.
5. Site Submissions: No, there is no need to pay anyone to get your website listed on search results.
The thing is that these myths can cause misinformation within the community and among business owners. And following these myths instead of making an informed decision can hinder the growth of your small business.
That said, we have listed seven common SEO mistakes and some tips on how you can fix them.
1. Using Black Hat SEO
It is easy to fall for promises like, “We will make your website rank on the first page of Google within two weeks.”
But is that even possible? In case it is, what tactics are used to achieve it. It is likely black hat SEO.
Black Hat SEO is any digital marketing practice that violates the search engines’ guidelines to influence search results. This includes keyword spamming and unethical link building.
How to Fix It: Avoid it at all costs.
Sure, black hat SEO can help you achieve your desired results. However, it will not last long. It also risks your website from getting penalized by search engines.
2. Not Adapting To Change
Search engines tend to make algorithm updates from time to time. This is to ensure that they are providing the best and most relevant search results to their users.
The problem, though, is that algorithm changes can come as a shock to many website owners.
How to Fix It: Stay abreast with the recent search engine updates.
There is an abundance of online news websites and digital publications about SEO. You can also connect with Google employees through social networks.
While Google tends to change the algorithm by surprise, you will not run out of reliable sources who can hint you of upcoming updates.
3. Stuffing With Irrelevant Keywords
As mentioned earlier, keyword stuffing is a black hat SEO practice.
What happens is that you mention a keyword as often as possible on your possible. This is in hopes of making that content rank for a particular query.
How to Fix It: Conduct proper keyword research and use latent semantic indexing (LSI).
Conducting keyword research and using them correctly is vital to ranking for the right search queries. This means writing your content as naturally as possible.
Moreover, you should also incorporate relevant search terms. If you are writing about “decluttering,” this means sprinkling your content with “cleaning,” “organizing,” or “KonMari Method.”
4. Building Spammy Links
Aside from keyword stuffing, building spammy links is also a black hat SEO practice
Also known as low-quality links, these are links from irrelevant and substandard websites.
Despite recent algorithm updates, building spammy links is still in practice today. After all, links play a crucial role in your website’s search engine ranking.
But just like many black hat SEO practices, building spammy links can only give you a short-term result.
How to Fix It: Practice ethical link building.
As much as possible, building your links organically. This means producing content that people would love to share and link back to.
Sure, you can email various website owners or do guest posting in hopes that you can link to your content. But ensure that these are relevant websites.
For example, if you are a self-development coach. You would want to acquire links from any known online publications within your niche.
5. Producing Low-Quality Content
Just because search engines prefer new and fresh content does not mean you have to publish as many blog posts as you can. Pumping out content without considering quality can only hurt your search engine ranking.
It does not help improve your business’s online reputation either.
How to Fix It: Use a content calendar.
A content calendar ensures that you only produce content that you need when you need it. That way, you have ample time to create inspiring, informative, or educational content relevant to your audience.
Lastly, a content calendar makes auditing straightforward. This means knowing what content to update because they are making the most traction for your business.
The same thing goes for knowing whether you have duplicate content and what you can do about it.
6. Ignoring User Experience
Here’s the thing: A person lands on your website to accomplish.
It can be to feed his curiosity, buy your product, or download your e-book. But if they cannot do that, they would click the back button and move on to another website.
How to Fix It: Keep user experience (UX) in mind.
When building a website, it is imperative to consider the following factors:
- Website architecture: This refers to how your website is organized.
- Pageload speed: A three-second delay in pageload 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 is what makes your website usable and what gives your visitors the reason to stay. On the other hand, it improves your search engine ranking.
7. Not Thinking Ahead
Much like being a deer in the headlights when it comes to algorithm updates, website owners tend to cling to the status quo.
Just because a website is ranking well for your target keywords does not mean it is the end of an SEO campaign. If anything, it is just the beginning.
How to Fix It: Be in the know of the latest digital marketing trends.
The best way to continuously improve your website’s search engine ranking is to future-proof it. This means that you should always update yourself on what’s new in the digital marketing industry.
Nowadays, voice search, augmented reality, and virtual reality are gaining traction. Thus, it would be best to learn a thing or two about them and experiment on how they can impact your search ranking.
Fix Your SEO Mistakes and Make Your Business Grow
You may have a small business, but it does not mean that you do not have the chance to get ahead of the competition.
When done right, SEO can even help you outrank the popular brands within your niche. What matters is that you know what tactics to apply and how to implement them.
Hence, it would be best to hire a reputable company that provides small business SEO services.
For one, they can point out which part of your website needs work. Second, you can ask them to propose services that would suit your needs and budget.
The key here is knowing what to prioritize to maximize your budget and ensure that your website will rank well.
Which leads us to this question: Which among the SEO mistakes listed above would you tackle first and why?