Search engine optimisation is constantly evolving and because of this, a lot of small businesses make mistakes based on a common misconception. Here are 10 of the biggest mistakes SME’s make, and how YOU can avoid them with a simple solution.
1. Thin Content
Since Google introduced ‘Panda’ and ‘Hummingbird’ to the online world, thin content is a big no no when it comes to SEO. Make sure you have a lot of well-written content on your website and if you are more image based, make sure you optimise your images with descriptive alt tags.
2. Expecting SEO Results to Happen Immediately
The reality is, SEO results do not happen overnight. It is one of the biggest misconceptions that changes will take effect immediately, however it can actually take months. If you want results almost immediately, think about running a PPC campaign to boost your search engine visibility.
3. Too Much Flash Content
It’s common knowledge that search engines find it difficult to read content that is not in a HTML format, which means that flash content cannot be read easily, meaning a dip in search engine results. Make sure your content is in HTML format or that which can be read easily by search engines. You can use HTML5 techniques, as opposed to flash functionality.
4. Having SEO as an Afterthought Once a New Website Has Been Built
Your search engine optimisation should not be an afterthought. Having keywords in your page URL’s, organising your sitemap and using basic HTML tags (title tags, meta description and header tags) are all things that need to be considered WHILE building your website. Create a basic SEO checklist to make sure you are not missing anything out while building your site.
5. Confusing PPC with SEO
PPC, otherwise known as Pay Per Click, is not the same as Search Engine Optimisation. Because Google have made their advertisement sign less obvious, small businesses get confused and think that the PPC ad they are clicking on is actually an organic search result. To avoid losing out on your competition because of a user making the above assumption, bid on your brand term so that you ad will be displayed over theirs, as you have more relevancy.
6. Not Addressing Duplicate Content on Your Website
Most SME’s don’t actually realise they have a lot of duplicated content on their site. The best way of addressing this is making sure that you aren’t duplicating content, or to go down more of a technical route by assigning the rel=canonical tag for pages that are similar in content.
7. Doing SEO on the Cheap
Quick and cheap SEO solutions do not work and that is because they do not follow search engine guidelines. Link buying, keyword stuffing and using a lot of hidden text are three techniques you need to avoid. If you are being promised quick results, for a cheap price it is too good to be true.
8. Skipping Keyword Research
It is often easy to forget doing your keyword research for your SEO when you already have so much to think about. Without doing this, you might not find the right keyword to have implemented on your website. Give adequate time when doing your keyword research and using the right tools, will help you get the right outcome.
9. Not Budgeting for SEO Activity
If you want an engaging website that ranks highly on search engines, you will need to spend money on your SEO activity. As we all know, you will show up in search engines regardless of whether you spend money or not however, this will only get you so far. You might need to come up with a budget based on working with a consultant or agency that can help you achieve long term results in SEO. Doing it quickly and cheaply, like I said will not help your business.
10. Ignoring Social Elements
Make sure that you have a social presence and you are sharing content from your website, on your different networking platforms. This can increase your ranking hugely as social media is now a crucial part of search engine ranking.