As a business owner, you likely understand the importance of a quality online presence. Too often brands suffer due to a poorly made website, ridden with SEO mistakes. Small business SEO is the determining factor in terms of consumer engagement and web visibility. As you work to build your brand and market your business, it is imperative that you set your website up for success through effective SEO practices. We have compiled a list of the top 10 most common SEO mistakes that businesses make on their website to get you started.
10 Common SEO Mistakes on Your Website
1. Not Prioritizing Google My Business
Of the 167 billion Google searches conducted annually, the average business profile receives only 1,260 of these views. Of the 1,260 views, only 59 actions typically result. This meager percentage is a grim reality for most businesses registered on Google. Fortunately, as a business owner, increasing your visibility and engagement is largely in your power.
Google places utmost importance on “near me” searches, and consequently prioritizes business listings with adequate geolocation information. Ensure that your business profile contains specific contact information, up-to-date hours, relevant photos, and promptly answered questions. All of these factors will consistently increase your brand visibility on the search engine.
2. Not Optimizing for Mobile Use
Have you have ever created a website on your browser and wanted to show it to someone while on the go? You excitedly open your mobile device and search for your page URL, only to find your once visually appealing website to be awkward and inoperable. Not structuring your website for mobile phone use is a common SEO mistake for businesses. With most users conducting business via their phones these days, optimizing your site for a smartphone is a critical step in website creation. Most web builder platforms offer a “mobile preview” option when building your brand site.
3. Disregarding Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
Ensure that your website has the appropriate page titles and meta descriptions to create a user-friendly experience. Page titles, URL slugs, and meta descriptions serve as guides within your sitemap.
Many websites make the mistake of using the word “Home” as a generic page title. Keep your labeling brand consistent and unique to your site by using specific phrasing for each page title. Take filler words such as “you” and “the” out of your URL slug and replace them with specific keywords.
Keep meta descriptions between 50 and 60 characters, including relevant keywords and brand names organically within the copy. Write meta descriptions with readers in mind and provide a concise description of the contents of each page.
4. Neglecting the Right Keywords
If you are a new business with minimal virtual authority, it is a major SEO mistake to focus on highly competitive keywords. Even if you use such keywords extensively, your site still will not rank effectively among major competitors. It is a better SEO tactic to focus on less competitive keywords that remain highly searchable.
5. Overusing Keywords
If you have ever read a piece of copy that is so saturated with keywords, you understand there are times when less certainly is more. Keyword stuffing is a real thing and businesses often use this tactic to rank as high as possible. Websites that are too keyword-dense read as cheap and lifeless. Focus on readability and adherence to brand voice and the keywords will seamlessly integrate into your copy.
6. Poor Google Reviews
If your Google My Business profile has poor quality reviews, there is little chance your website will receive any traction. This often happens when you neglect your Google profile. Make it a priority to monitor incoming reviews and questions. Additionally, ask loyal customers to review your business online to maintain quality control for your business.
7. Slow Site Speed
Websites often unknowingly have oversized images, low-quality hosting services, and too many plug-ins. These factors, among other things, can negatively impact site speed, which in turn hurts SEO ranking. Utilize Google’s PageSpeed analytics to get an idea of the operating speed of your website. This website grader software ranks your pages on a scale of 0-100. A score of 85 or above is ideal and indicates that your website is user-friendly and easily operable.
8. Not Conducting Regular Audits
The SEO work does not end once your website is live. Conducting regular audits is an important part of ongoing site maintenance. Audits examine the web experience from a customer’s perspective, from page navigation to the checkout process. Important factors to consider here are user-friendliness, loading speeds, content quality, and information relevance.
9. No Internal Linking
Broken links and lack of internal linking are common SEO mistakes, even by the experts. As a web builder, you have complete control over the number of internal links your web copy contains. Internal links connect your page content and give Google more of an idea of your website structure. Be sure to use descriptive and relative anchor text when connecting your site pages.
10. Repetitive or Duplicate Content
When designing your website, keep every page unique and purposeful. Make the extra effort to write engaging and brand-specific copy. Repetitive content, whether within your own site or on another domain, tends to rank poorly on search engines. The duplicates often confuse search robots and hinder what pages should be indexed.