As more and more small businesses turn to SEO as part of their marketing strategy it’s important to be aware of some simple mistakes many businesses make and how you can avoid making them.
It’s also really important when your speak to an SEO agency that you’ve got some talking point and questions to ask about their strategy and they’re plan for your online marketing plan.
Small and Medium business love SEO. They love what it delivers, the type of enquiries it brings, the level of engagement and repeat business. Sometimes though, we see small business focus on short-term goals and they can lack the ‘big picture’ view on SEO, SEM or any digital marketing. That can lead to missing out on things that could really help your business grow.
SEO is about staying current and relevant. It’s not about getting keywords on page 1 any more (or at least not entirely) it’s about growth, its about engaging, creating value, experience, solving customer problems and making your online presence awesome!
Here’s our top 5 small business SEO mistakes to avoid and why.
- Not Focusing On Local SEO Benefits. Location based or local searches now equate to around 1 in 3 total searches through google. That means that 33% of all traffic has a location focused keyword e.g. “Melbourne” or “Bondi” as a keyword modifier.In SEO terms we call that a “local search” and if your small business isn’t setup to accommodate and respond to that customer then you’re missing an opportunity, especially if you’re a bricks and mortar type business.
The logic behind this is that people look for services closest to them starting with suburb and moving further out (region, city, state, country) as part of their search behaviour and research process.
Making sure that your business is listed in local directories, having a relevant keyword strategy with information regarding the area you serve/operate in and making sure your google maps or My Business profile is optimised is essential in optimising for local search.
- You Haven’t Leveraged The Importance of Social Media. Effectively the newest blip on the small businesses radar, social media is often overlooked or ignored due to the perception that it doesn’t have a ‘business focus’, traffic is lower quality than other sources or other assumptions like my clients don’t use it or it’s for kids…The bottom line is that Facebook is designed for advertising or data capture. Ignore it at your peril.
- Not Consistently Providing Fresh Content. It’s understandable that as a small business owner you’re pretty much a one man band, so when it comes to creating content time isn’t always on your side. However, by neglecting the freshness of your content you neglect your customers at the same time.What you shouldn’t forget is that fresh content engages your customer base and keeps the connection between you both alive. You’ve already won them over as a customer so why risk dis-engaging them?
Content can come in the form of your blogs, newsletters, videos, and even on page text. As an expert in your industry writing valuable content should be a breeze. Essentially all you need to do is create useful information that you know your customers will love to see.
- Only Investing In A Short Term SEO Strategy. We all know that SEO is a beast not easily tamed. Even if you get to the point where you’ve achieved your desired rankings it doesn’t mean that it’s going to stay like that forever.Google is dynamic and constantly evolving so that it can serve its users better. To achieve, maintain and more importantly grow your online presence, a long term commitment to SEO needs to be made.
Without investing in a longer term SEO strategy what you’ve worked so hard to achieve in your short term plan will gradually fade away. Not to mention, as you stop working on your SEO your competitors will continue to grow and take over the online market share you own.
What’s important is that you stay on top of that and continuously look for opportunities on how you can grow your online presence.
- Duplicating Content Across Your Website. Using duplicate content is a big SEO ‘No, No’ and will lead to your website getting a rankings slap by Google. What Google hates to see is lazy webmasters either spreading the exact same content across their website or even worse, websites pinching and using another company’s hard worked content. At all costs you should avoid the former and latter!Your website should have unique content on every page and highly relevant to the topic or category. By making sure you have exclusive content on each page you’re not only following Google’s guidelines but you’re ensuring a good customer experience.
That’s a great place to start. You can take this list and start today or speak with your SEO and make sure they value these things as much as we do!