Every small business owner should read up and learn ways to avoid SEO pitfalls, even if he or she plans to outsource the function to an agency. Since we’ve already provided some up-to-date strategies for SEO in 2020, it would now be a great time to look at what not to do.
In the following article, we’ll be discussing the mistakes you could be making with your SEO. We’ll also be talking about some ways to fix them. Let’s get started.
1. Being a Pushy Salesperson
Sometimes what turns people off in the virtual world is the same thing that turns them off in the real world. We’re talking about pushy sales tactics. How does that look from an SEO perspective?
Spammy Guest Blogs
This can be both the giving and the receiving. If the content you produce is self-serving, people and search engines will notice. The same is true if you’re accepting low-grade guest spots on your blog.
Transparent Anchor Texts
Anchor texts are the words that are hyperlinked within the body of the article that takes you to another piece of content. If they’re too on-the-nose, then search bots will assume you’re trying to black-hat those keywords.
Failing to Offer Any Content of Value to Others
Making every piece of content a sales call-to-action is a mistake. People don’t want to make you rich; they want to fix their problems.
Doing any of these will make your small business fall into one of the top 10 traps. Avoid them at all costs.
2. Making It About Numbers Instead of Quality
One of the popular SEO myths you don’t need to buy in to is that the number of backlinks to your site that you can get is most important for your ranking. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
One backlink from a site like Entrepreneur.com is worth a lot more than thousands of low-quality links. If you’re focusing on quality content creation, this will keep you from falling into the empty promises of “dozens of backlinks” that so many so-called SEO experts will promise you.
3. Spamming Keywords
Don’t try to Jiu-Jitsu an exact keyword phrase into the body of your content if it doesn’t sound correct. Let the language flow naturally. Then, go back and take advantage of any sections where you can reword something to fit with the keyword.
Remember that keyword usage must sound natural when it is used in the body of the text. If it doesn’t, then Google and other search engines will assume you’re trying to game the system and will penalize you for it.
4. Using Your Homepage As a Link Receptacle
Any SEO manager worth his weight will tell you that links must return to a variety of places on your webpage. Novice SEO people, which often describes small business owners, think getting a link to their homepage is good enough.
Not so! For search bots to find value in your content, they need to see multiple pieces of content that are being linked. Homepages are often stationary and noninformative, making them a wasted space for the backlinks you’re getting.
5. Not Being Involved in Your Content
Many small business owners trip themselves up when they hire an agency by removing themselves from the content equation. They think it’s not their job to do it, that’s what we’re paying the agency for.
If this describes your outlook, it’s time to change it. No one knows your business better than you do, so you automate your content to your own detriment.
An alternative to this is actually providing in-depth input to your freelancers or agency, telling them the granular details to focus on. You can let someone else write the content, but you should be taking an active role in developing and executing it if you want to add value to your audience.
6. Too Much Short Content
Studies have routinely shown that longer content does better with search engines. That’s likely because the longer pieces tell search engines how comprehensive your content will be in answering commonly asked questions on your topic.
Longer form content also improves your likelihood of getting noticed, making it one of the better link building techniques out there. Short content can’t get into the details of a topic the way it should, and it does nothing to increase dwell time with your audience.
7. Letting Links Die
Dead links happen to the best of websites. If you’re doing things correctly, however, you’ll know when a link goes down, and you’ll be able to quickly replace it.
This also tells the search engines that your pages are routinely updated, so users can expect fresh content. While it may seem like SEO 101, it’s actually one of the most common mistakes those in the digital marketing space make.
8. Ignoring Your Offsite Presence
When we say “offsite presence,” we’re primarily referring to your social networks and directory listings. There can be no contradictions in branding, addresses, phone numbers, and other contact information.
Otherwise, you can confuse the search engines as to where and how you’re operating the business. As a result, the search engine will likely move onto a competitor, who has their ducks in a row.
9. Failing to Keep Your Audience
It’s not enough to get the audience to your page. You need to keep them there. That’s why it is vital to keep up with and improve upon things such as bounce rate and dwell time.
One of the things that can make a bounce rate unusually high is a negative keyword. How are negative keywords different from other keywords?
With a negative, you could end up ranking well for it, but the keyword or phrase has nothing to do with the intent of your business. When a user finds that out, they abandon ship rather quickly.
10. Annoying Your Audience
Nothing will turn your audience off more than intrusive ads or confusing site architecture. Failing to properly tag and set up your metadata makes it tougher to find things on your page. Keep this in mind as you’re monetizing and indexing your site.
Learn How to Avoid SEO Pitfalls
When you can avoid SEO pitfalls such as those listed above, you end up standing out from the competition. Best of luck as you build your site into a traffic-getting powerhouse! If you need any help whatsoever, you know whom to contact.