Search engine optimization (or SEO) needs to be important to business owners when they are trying to grow their business and working on a marketing campaign. You need to make sure that your business gets in front of as many people as possible, but be careful that you don't overdo it.
Unfortunately, Google seems to change their SEO rules often, making it hard to know what you should and should not be doing. However, it is easy to make some mistakes that could be costing your business precious traffic!
Here are some common SEO mistakes that you need to avoid.
Choosing The Right Keywords
One of the most common SEO mistakes made is choosing the wrong keywords. When you are choosing your keywords, you need to think about your customers, not you. Think about what they are searching for when you want them to find you. You might also choose keywords that are too generic. There is nothing wrong with using long-tail keywords. This can actually help you find the right customers for your business. In order to find the right keywords, use tools that can help. Google AdWords Keyword Planner is one common tool that could save you a lot of time, while helping you grow your business.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is another big mistake that is often made. Many business owners think that using their keywords as often as possible will help them with their ratings. That is called keyword stuffing and it can hurt your ratings because it is considered spammy by search engines. By making sure that your content sounds natural, you are less likely to stuff your content with keywords.
Beware of Free Hosted Websites
One mistake that many business owners make in the beginning is to set up a free hosted website and blog. While WordPress and Blogger are great for many people, they can really hurt small business owners. For a couple of dollars every year, you can get your own domain, with all of the extras that come along with it. Not only can you design your website the way that you want, you can also use plugins that can really improve your SEO.
Register Your Site with All Search Engines
While most business owners register their website with Google, many forget that they should do the same with Bing and Yahoo. By ignoring Bing and Yahoo, you are potentially missing out on a lot of traffic. In order to get your business in front of as many people as possible, you need to register your website at Google, Bing, and Yahoo. A few extra minutes can really help you grow your business!
Only use high quality links
To ensure that your content catches the attention of search engines, you need to include links. Though most business owners don't include links because they want their readers to stay on their own website, this mistake could really cost you! When using links, you don't have to go overboard. A few relevant ones will go a long way to increase your SEO. You just need to make sure that you use websites that have good reputations.
Keep internal links to a minimum
You also need to use caution with your internal links. Internal links to high performing content can really help with your SEO. However, many business owners add internal links just to add them and this can be the mistake. Each link that you add must match your content. If you add too many, search engines will steer clear.
Don't use business jargon
Since your customers don't always use your language, it is important that you talk to them so that they can understand. Many business owners write their content in their jargon and this can be hard for customers to understand. They will end up searching for pieces that they can easily read so they may skip right over your content. They may also never find it because they won't be searching for large technical terms. They will be using more generic terms when they search online, skipping right over your website.
Remember the Title tags and meta descriptions
If you forget title tags and meta descriptions, your website and blog is probably not doing as well as it could. Title tags and meta descriptions are necessary for proper SEO. By filling them out, your website and blogs are more likely to be seen by the search engines, improving your reach.
Fix any 404 errors
If your website has too many 404 errors, Google may think that your site is not good enough. Your website will start to come up less and less in search engines so it is important to redirect any unused pages to pages that are working. Many business owners feel like this is a lot of work, though you can use Google Webmaster tools to help you. By looking for crawl errors, you will be able to see pages that are not found.
The worst thing that you can do for your SEO is choosing the wrong keywords. Because of this, you must really think before you decide which keywords you want to use. You may also want to think about long-tail keywords to help your website be found. Once you find the right keywords, you need to use them naturally. If you stuff your content with keywords, not only will it sound funny, Google may decrease your rating!
Linking is also important for SEO. You need to include internal links, though you need to only use those that make sense, as well as external ones. Make sure that you only link to reliable websites. Otherwise, you may actually be hurting your SEO.
Your website may also be hurting your SEO. For just a few dollars a month, you can choose a self-hosted website. Then, you will also be given the option of using plugins which can really help with your SEO. Many are designed for that very reason! You also don't want to forget to include title tags and meta descriptions. These are essential for better reach.
It is also important to keep up-to-date with your website. If you have too many missing pages and 404 errors, you are not going to look as professional. Google may look for other websites before pointing people to yours so make sure that you redirect any 404 errors right away!
To learn more about how to improve your marketing strategies, give us a call at 661-702-1310!