Small business owners often take a DIY approach to search engine optimisation (SEO) in order to save money. However, this approach can leave them vulnerable to common mistakes that can have a negative impact on their online presence and result in long-term financial losses.
Mistakes can be costly for small businesses. This is why it’s important to hit the ground running and quickly see the benefits of your efforts.
How can you ensure that you avoid rookie mistakes and leverage SEO to your advantage? Let’s explore some of the key mistakes that should be avoided when optimising a website.
Choosing the Wrong Keywords
SEO is all about choosing the right keywords that you want your website to rank for in search engines. But how do you know which keywords are the right ones?
One of the most common mistakes that businesses make is choosing keywords that are too broad or irrelevant. It’s important to recognise that the keywords you perceive as suitable may have entirely different meanings for others or prove too generic for your target audience.
In either case, you run the risk of optimising your website for all the wrong keywords, missing out on valuable traffic and potential customers. Before you choose any keywords, you should do some research to see how many people are searching for them and how competitive they are. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush to help you with your research.
Duplicate content is a major issue in SEO. When the same content appears on multiple pages, it can be difficult for search engines to determine which page is the most authoritative version. This can lead to lower rankings for all pages, or even the pages being excluded from the search results altogether.
There are a couple of situations that can cause duplicate content issues. First, there are cases where different versions of the same webpage are shown to search engines. This confuses the search engines, and sometimes they make mistakes in choosing the right version to index. Second, there are instances when similar web addresses (URLs) are used inconsistently, which also confuses search bots. This can make your web address less valuable in search rankings. Implementing good SEO practices can help prevent content duplication and ensure that search engines find and display your content correctly.
Let’s talk about “keyword stuffing.” In the past, it was a common practice to stuff a webpage with lots of keywords to try and improve search rankings. However, with the advancements in search engine technology and their algorithms, keyword stuffing can actually harm your search rankings rather than help.
The key to success now is to prioritise your website visitors when creating content, and consider search engines as a secondary factor. A good rule of thumb is to read your articles out loud. If they sound unnatural or forced, it’s a sign that you might be overdoing it with keywords. Quality content that resonates with your audience will always prevail over outdated tactics like keyword stuffing.
Treating SEO as a One-Time Fix
SEO is not a one-and-done task. It is an ongoing process that needs to be constantly updated and refreshed. What may have worked to improve a website’s ranking one month may not yield the same results the next month. The behaviour of searchers changes as their needs and preferences evolve over time. Consequently, business websites must be nimble and adjust their strategies to address these changing needs effectively.
For example, a website that ranks well for a certain keyword today might not rank as well for that keyword tomorrow if the search landscape changes. This is because the way people search for information changes over time. Treating SEO as a long-term commitment ensures that your website remains relevant and visible to your target audience.
Having Unrealistic Expectations
One of the easiest mistakes to fall into is expecting immediate results. It’s easy to assume that once you’ve optimised your website and improved rankings for specific pages, you’ll quickly secure the top spot in Google searches and witness a flood of traffic pouring in.
In reality, it can take months or even years to see significant results from SEO. This is because search engines like Google use a variety of factors to determine the ranking of websites, including the quality and relevance of content, the number and quality of backlinks, and the overall user experience. Focus on maintaining a strong online presence and offering valuable content to gradually improve your website’s ranking over time.
SEO is a Changing Game
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is constantly evolving. Every time Google rolls out a new algorithm update, businesses need to keep optimising and tweaking their websites to stay in the game. This can be a challenge for small businesses, which often don’t have the resources to keep up with the latest trends.
If you are a small business owner unsure how to get started with SEO, partner up with a professional agency like Creativ Digital. We have the expertise to help you achieve the results you want while avoiding common SEO pitfalls. And the best part? We offer competitive rates that fit your budget.