- Posted January 26, 2014 by
Austin SEO Company: Is Your Business Making Any Of These Common SEO Mistakes?
As a search engine optimization consultant I have done many website audits during my internet marketing career. Over time, I began to see the same mistakes demonstrated over and over.
I’d like to share what I have found to be the most common SEO errors that small business owners seem to make on a regular basis. These apply not only to new business owners, but established ones as well.
If you recognize any one of these – they should be addressed immediately by your SEO.
1. Not Understanding Your Target Market. I’ve found that most clients with a new business haven’t really taken the time to sit down and do a discovery session about who their market or markets are and most importantly where they can be found on the web. This is a vital component of your online marketing strategy. Knowing the who’s, where’s, what’s, why’s and how’s of your target market’s behavior on the web is priceless information.
2. Not Doing Keyword Research. Proper keyword research can make or break your SEO campaign. It will prevent targeting the wrong keywords and not targeting the right ones. This is a mistake that many people make by targeting keyword phrases that sound good to them, but may not be relevant to their site content; targeting seemingly pertinent keyword phrases that are not actually used by searchers is another common mistake.
3. Keyword Stuffing. This term defines over-repetition of keywords in the meta tags and content of a web page. So, not only are some sites targeting under-performing keywords they are also over optimizing their content by repeating keyword phrases too many times. Keyword stuffing can harm your rankings and may even get you penalized.
4. Not Having Your Site Optimized. Your site needs the proper meta tags and image tags so it can be crawled and indexed accurately by the search engines. I see a lot of sites where the title tag just says "Home" or "Home Page". That's fine if you want to rank for Home Page. Your meta tags are the first place that the search engines look to determine what your site is about.
5.Duplicate URLs. How many home page URLs do you have? Duplicate versions of the home page will all be accessible to the crawlers and the search engines will think this is all duplicate content. Why confuse the search engines about which link is the real one? It gets really bad if you have internal links pointing to different versions of the home page as well.
6. Duplicate Content on Multiple Pages of the Same Site. Duplicate content usually occurs when an SEO consultant was not involved in the content-building phase of a site. Duplicate content is not only multiple versions of the same page (as in duplicate URLs), but also in using the same content on different pages within a site. E-commerce sites using a manufacturer’s description will need to create unique descriptions for their products to avoid this. Having duplicate content on your site can get you penalized by the search engines.
7. Poor Website Structure. Your web developer may not have integrated the best SEO practices into the website structure. Site structure is the way your site is laid out and how the pages connect to each other. How your site looks correlates to how your site performs. Ask yourself a few questions: Is it easy to assess what the site is about within 5 seconds? Does it have a logical structure and flow? Does it have visual appeal? Is it easy to navigate for visitors? Can visitors find what they need easily? Is the checkout process smooth?
8. Not Having a Responsive Site. Responsive means the site can automatically adjust its size to phones, tablets and various pc screens. No question… this is a requirement for today. Most people click to a competitor if they can’t read your site on their screen.
9. Poor Content. After recent Search Engine updates such as Google’s Hummingbird, content that gives value to a visitor is more crucial than ever. Understanding your market gives you the ability to recognize what kind of information they are seeking about your product or service. Responding to search queries with content that offers value to a visitor is the way to go. Anticipate and answer questions in your content instead of delivering boring, dry content that’s all about you and how you got to be you.
10. Not Having an Internet Marketing Strategy. You need some kind of online marketing strategy in place, so that everything you do has a purpose and goal. Know your market; how they search for your products and services; what information they need to know before they buy; where they hang out on the web and what your competitors are doing. If a company has a small marketing budget, they need make every move count. For instance, you don’t need to be on every social network – just the ones that relate to your market.
11. Not Understanding How SEO Works. Search Engine Optimization requires consistency, patience and focus. It’s a long-term objective that will enhance your site’s “crawlability” and relevance for search engines each time you add fresh content. Our objective at Swan Digital Marketing is to create trusted and customized SEO programs for our clients. SEO isn’t easy, fast, or cheap. Gone are the days of easy tactics that exploited loopholes in the algorithms.
12. SEO Can’t Work Magic. Good SEO can take a site far, but it can’t make people buy or pick up the phone. Take a good hard look at your site and your business. If your website layout sucks, your design is dated, it’s difficult to check out, your prices are too high, your content is self-centered and boring or your customer service is lousy, fix those kinds of issues first. Then do SEO to get you where you should be.
13. Hiring the Wrong SEO Consultant. I’ve seen it time and again – business owners who get burned because the SEO firm they hired hasn’t produced any results and they’ve wasted money and time. Sometimes it’s a simple case of unrealistic expectations, but most of the time it’s laziness and incompetence on the SEO they hired. Good SEOs will explain your issues and discuss how they will correct them, keeping you updated the entire way.
Review Your Own SEO
These are the most common SEO mistakes that business owners make. Keep this list handy and use it to check your own site. Of course there are more types of SEO errors out there, but if you can get a handle on these you’ll be in good shape.
Carla Smith is a Search Engine Optimization Consultant and an Online Marketing Strategist with Swan Digital Marketing. For more information you may contact her on her website.