18 Common Small Business SEO Mistakes You Must Avoid
Updated August 2023
You Need to Stay on The Good Side of Google!
Growing your online presence and reaching your target audience can be an exciting process, but it’s more often frustrating in a world where algorithms change every day. Businesses and product brands face more competition while being told they have more tools than ever to succeed. Both can be true, but it can be disheartening not to get the results you planned for, especially after working for months or even years.
In 2023, search engine optimization must be part of a diversified digital marketing strategy. SEO will push your website toward the top of organic search results. It can rank your website at or near the top if done correctly. But you must avoid making common small business SEO mistakes along the way!
Let’s look at why SEO is so crucial for small business marketing. According to WebTribunal:
- 75% of all online users never scroll past the first page
- 70% of all links clicked on by visitors are organic, not paid
- The top 3 search results get 61% of all search clicks
- SEO-generated leads have an average close rate of 6%
- 91% of all websites never get organic traffic from Google
- 93% of users start browsing from a search engine
- 53% of all website traffic is organic.
- The first page of Google accounts for 92% of web traffic.
- 61% of marketers say that SEO is a central part of their strategy
- 67% of traffic goes to the first five Search Engine Results Pages
As you can see, SEO is an effective digital marketing strategy. But it is also a somewhat complicated process involving several steps. You must avoid making common small business SEO mistakes to get the best possible results!
18 Small Business SEO Mistakes
1 – Ignoring Mobile Optimization
Mobile optimization is no longer an option—it’s a necessity. With more and more users accessing the internet on their mobile devices, Google has long made mobile-friendliness a critical ranking factor that helps decide where your website appears.
58.99% of all website traffic worldwide comes from mobile phones.Statista
In 2023, this requirement is enforced by millions of bots, constantly scouring the internet for more optimized websites.
Solution: Optimize your website for mobile devices, including responsive design, fast load times, and easy navigation to remain ranked and relevant.
2 – Neglecting Local SEO
Neglecting local SEO is a big mistake if you’re a local business. Local SEO involves optimizing your website and online presence for location-specific keywords and phrases. Local optimization includes claiming your Google My Business listing, optimizing your website for local keywords, and building local citations.
76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a business within a day.Think With Google
Ranking high via various keywords without a local designation might be nearly impossible for some small to mid-sized businesses. However, when you factor in location and Google’s disposition to auto-locate its users, you have a better chance of ranking for your chosen search terms. For example, “residential contractor” is more challenging to rank for than “residential contractor in Denver, Colorado.”
Solution: Optimize your website for local keywords, get listed in local directories, and optimize your Google My Business listing.
3 – Keyword Stuffing
Keywords are essential to your overall SEO success. However, recent Google algorithm changes make them less important than before. And using too many keywords will attract Google’s attention and potentially get you de-indexed!
Keyword stuffing is the practice of overusing keywords on your website to manipulate search engine rankings. Using excessive keywords not only looks spammy to users but can also result in penalties from Google.
Instead, focus on creating high-quality, informative content that naturally incorporates relevant keywords. Finding a perfect keyword range of about 2-4% will allow you to rank while keeping your content fresh and engaging to readers. You don’t want to hear the exact words repeatedly, do you? Neither do your readers!
Solution: Use One focus keyword and one related keyword or phrase per page.
4 – Not Optimizing for Voice Search
With the rise of smart assistants like Siri and Alexa, voice search optimization is becoming increasingly important. Voice search queries tend to be more conversational and long-tail, so focus on natural language and answering questions in your content. When building chatbots, make sure that you train the bot to speak as naturally as possible to encourage frequent and worry-free use for your customers.
48% of consumers are using voice for “general web searches.”Search Engine Land
In just a few years, most major websites will have advanced chat features for customer support and even sales, all utilizing natural language processing and voice capabilities. There are some solutions for small to medium-sized businesses, but you should start learning about these things now rather than later.
Solution: Incorporate long-tail, natural-sounding keywords and phrases in your content.
5 – Not Fixing Broken Links
A broken link is a hyperlink not pointing to the intended page or location. Having broken links will earn you a bad reputation on Google and other search engines.
6 – Copying content
Stealing ANY content from a competitor or any other website is not the right thing to do; it is ILLEGAL! Yes, Google and humans may not notice right away. But Google will eventually notice and penalize your site accordingly.
Solution: Take the time and create your own unique and engaging content.
7 – Duplicate Content
I am unsure why you would want to do this but never duplicate a page on your business website. Google and other search engines most often only index one page. Plus, you want unique content on each page to provide the best overall user experience.
Duplicate content can hurt your SEO efforts by confusing search engines and diluting your ranking potential. Ensure your content is unique and valuable, and avoid copying content from other sources.
When writing about a subject that relies heavily on information from the competition, look for outside sources like surveys, industry reports, and trade publications. Most have content available online, and would love a backlink!
Solution: Write your copy and create exclusive content for each page on your site. Unique text content will increase user engagement and time spent on the site.
8 – Poor Quality Content
Only great content is king. Inferior content hastily created to create content will not do well. The same goes for content made by amateurs instead of professionals.
Solution: Create a solid content strategy before creating any content. Identify relevant topics of interest to your audience. Write informative and engaging content, and be sure to proofread it!
9 – Not Updating your Old Content
Everyone is aware of the fact that content is the core of SEO. Without content, you can’t rank on SERP.
Once your website is live and the content posted, it will stay the same forever. Even the website blogs and the rest stay the same once published.
As time goes by and digital trends change, you need to update your content accordingly. When any search engine bot comes to your website, they are looking for new content on the website to give searchers the latest results. Not updating your old content is one of the most common SEO mistakes.
Solution: Regularly review your existing content, update content with new relevant information, and delete outdated or no longer relevant content.
10 – Duplicate Title Tags
Don’t be lazy! Avoid using duplicate page titles on different pages. Be aware that some CMS systems, including WordPress, may auto-generate tags for you. Be sure to use the actual page or post title instead.
Solution: Create unique page titles that allow search engines to index your site correctly. Page titles must make sense to end-users and tell crawlers about your relevant content.
11 – Duplicate Meta Descriptions
Once again, don’t be lazy! Don’t forget that your page Meta description also shows up in the search engine results page (SERP) snippet. Make sure you make it as descriptive as possible to stand out from your competitors.
Solution: Create a persuasive and descriptive Meta-description within the 156-character limit.
12 – Non-Credible Links
Link building is essential to SEO, as it helps establish your website’s authority and relevance. This process includes building high-quality, relevant backlinks from reputable websites in your industry.
Generally speaking, the more backlinks a page has, the more organic traffic it gets from Google.Ahrefs
But only if you use high-quality links! Linking to pages that have a low or non-existent page rank has no value or credibility.
Solution: Think quality rather than quantity! Focus on high PR sites and authoritative industry blogs.
13 – Slow Page Speed
Page speed is a crucial ranking factor for Google, and slow-loading pages can result in a poor user experience and high bounce rates. Ensure your website is optimized for fast load times by compressing images, minimizing code, and leveraging browser caching.
Fast-loading sites have pages that rank far higher than slow-loading pages.Smart Entrepreneur Blog
If you’re using WordPress or another standard CMS, dozens of plugins are available to help optimize your page speed—check reviews and test free ones to see which works best with your site’s code.
Solution: Optimize your site, code, and images for speed, get fast website hosting, and use a content delivery network.
14 – Not Updating your Sitemap
A sitemap is a file that contains website pages in one place. It helps search engine bots to find every page, all in one place.
So, when you add new content to the website, you should update your sitemap after any changes. Sitemaps help search bots and crawlers to crawl and index easily.
Solution: Regularly update your sitemap, submit it to search engines, and check for potential indexing errors.
15 – Not Using Google Analytics
Not using website analytics like Google Analytics makes no sense to me. How can you measure your SEO’s impact on your overall digital marketing strategy without some form of measurement and performance tracking?
Using analytics tools will help you shape and re-shape your SEO strategy and place you in higher positions within your industry. Knowing your audience helps here.
With the help of analytic tools, you can find which page is underperforming and which page is doing well on the SERP of your website. This data helps you strategize your SEO campaign and allows you to save time to not re-optimize the page that is already performing well.
16 – Only Focusing on Google Analytics
Google is the most famous search engine, so Google Analytics is one of the must-have tools to track your website performance on the web.
But competitors of Google like Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex are other search engines. You can use their analytic tools to determine your performance in those search engines.
Why should you use their analytic tools? It is best to use their analytical tools because they are the search engine’s original tools and not third-party tools, ensuring you get the most relevant data related to your searches on SERP.
Solution: Use additional analytics tools, especially those offered by the search engines indexing your site.
17 – Optimizing the Wrong Keywords
Don’t waste time optimizing for keywords that do not relate to your business or the expectations of your audience.
Solution: Use only keywords and phrases that fit the search queries of your target audience. Keyword Research can provide significant rewards.
18 – Only Focusing on Google
While Google is the dominant search engine, neglecting other search engines like Bing and Yahoo can mean missing out on potential traffic and customers. Optimize your website for all search engines, including alternative search engines in your industry.
Solution: Submit your website to Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, Baidu, and other local or industry-specific search engines.
Avoiding Small Business SEO Mistakes
If you are lucky, you did not make any of our common small business SEO mistakes. Good for you, you may go home now! But those of you who made one or more small business SEO mistakes better consider fixing them. The longer you wait, the further ahead your competitors will be.
Fixing many of our small business SEO mistakes is straightforward. If you already do some or all of your small business digital marketing, you should have no problem fixing them. In some cases, you may need the help of your web designer, a search engine expert, and possibly a good copywriter.
Fixing existing small business SEO mistakes is only the beginning. To keep your business website ranking high, you must also avoid these common small business SEO mistakes in the future. For many of you, this will become second nature.
But if you are already uncomfortable with SEO, you may be better off engaging professional help. We are here to help.
Do You Need Help Fixing Small Business SEO Mistakes?
Are you unsure how to eliminate potential SEO mistakes on your website or e-commerce store? Here at PixoLabo, we help businesses and product brands increase website traffic. PixoLabo offers a full range of mobile-first web design and search engine optimization services.
Contact us to learn more about our web design and SEO services and how our team can help you avoid these common small business SEO mistakes.
Did You Make Any Small Business SEO Mistakes?
Did you make any of our small business SEO mistakes yourself? If so, how did you fix them? Did our suggestions help you improve your search rankings? Please let us know so our audience can benefit, and grab our feed so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our post with your audience!
For more content relevant to your business or product brand – check out the range of articles on our web design blog. (This one, listing key factors that affect your search rankings, is an excellent place to start!)
Thank you! We appreciate your help ending bad business websites, one pixel at a time!