Small businesses engaged in SEO in the hopes of building up their profile and increasing their sales. However, because these businesses are often less informed about how SEO works and what the best practices are, they tend to fall short and commit serious mistakes that end up negatively affecting their website and their business.
These mistakes range from having simple domain issues to committing ethical blunders. If you are not completely acquainted with SEO yourself, take note of the following mistakes that you can definitely avoid.
Getting Free Domains
Most people online fall for the promise of freebies, which are becoming more and more common these days. This is completely understandable behavior especially for new business owners because getting free stuff helps cut down expenses. The problem is that using free things for your business can impact your reputation. A good example of this is using free website domains.
Having your own domain is a sign of independence and authenticity. It also gives your website a better reputation and makes your online business more legitimate. Another important advantage of an independent domain is its high standing with search engines. If your site has its own domain, search engines will give it a higher priority than other websites.
In many cases, sites that do not have their own domains are ignored by search engines and tend to rank low in the results page. So if you’re in the business of SEO, it’s best to pay for your own domain. An example of this would be if you’re site is mysite.websitebuilder.com.
Poor Site Content
In SEO, content is truly king. The success of the campaign can rely on your content, so it should always be of great quality. The goal is to build up your site’s reputation, and you simply cannot achieve this if the content you create is done in poor taste. Many small businesses fail to recognize this function of SEO, and so they end up posting sub-par content, without realizing that this can actually harm their website. When search engines detect the poor quality of your content, they may end up undermining your website and giving it a low ranking.
Not using Local on-page SEO
SEO (search engine optimization) is what the search engines look for on your web pages in order to determine if your page has the information that the searcher is looking for. The more relevant your page the better chance that your page will be displayed. Adding meta tags, title tags, and h1 tags with your keywords will help your pages get listed.
Take some time and learn how to best optimize your pages for maximum search engine results.
Engaging in Unethical Practices
Oftentimes, business owners are the ones that go into the dark side of SEO. Unethical SEO practices are commonly observed among small business owners who do not know any better. Because they know little about this marketing strategy, they are often unaware about the consequences of unethical SEO tactics, which can be as dire as getting banned from search engine databases. Small business owners are also more eager to receive traffic and attract potential customers. This makes them vulnerable to the appealing prospect of unethical practices.
Some examples of unethical practices:
- Text or links that are hidden – e.g.: white text is “hidden” on a white background, text can be “hidden” behind images or a size zero font can be used.
- Making use of automated queries without the permission from search engines.
- Too many keywords and hidden text are used on a website which is known as keyword stuffing.
- Using duplicated content.
- Plagiarizing or using auto-generated content with a high keyword density