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Deadly SEO Mistakes to Avoid in Your Small Business

Almost every business, big or small, invests some time and money in search engine optimization. Whether you hire an SEO specialist or do the work yourself, it is important for any website to have proper SEO work done. Maybe you spent hundreds or thousands of dollars along with hours upon hours of time trying to properly optimize your website. You think you have covered all your bases in following best practices, but you aren’t seeing the results you want. Something is wrong and it is your SEO. No one makes mistakes on purpose, but they do happen. It is unfortunate to hear that something is wrong and will take more work to fix, but SEO is not something that can be ignored. However, instead of needing to fix issues after the fact you can avoid issues from the beginning. This article will lay out the most deadly SEO mistakes you can easily avoid to prevent headaches down the road.

Wrong Keywords
Using the wrong keywords in website pages or posts can lead to disaster for your search engine ranking. Keywords might sound simple to use, but creating a robust keyword strategy requires far more attention to be done properly. Before you start adding keywords you need a deep understanding of your audience and what they are looking for. Thankfully, there are tools and services that make finding the right keywords much easier. A program like Ahrefs will tell you what keywords are worth narrowing in on and which are not. Ahrefs will help you find the correct keywords and even evaluate competitors. It is recommended that you check keywords frequently to ensure you are always using the best keywords for the best results.

While on the topic of keywords, do not stuff a million of them on a page hoping to game the system. Google is well aware of the tactics inexperienced SEO workers use and has set up its search algorithm to detect content created purely for search engine manipulation. Keyword stuffing, or filling a page with the same keywords or slight variations, will cause your site to be penalized by search engine crawlers.

Quality and Relevant Content
No one wants to read poorly written content. Nothing kills a website like low-quality, spam-riddled content. In this case, “poor quality” content is any content that doesn’t offer value to the reader. High quality content provides answers or insight that a user is looking for and treats the user’s time with respect. If you want to attract readers, post content that directly pertains to what your website is focused on. Rather than casting a wide, thin net, post content that is focused and deep with an emphasis on relevance.

As of Google’s Panda update, a website is considered to have thin content if a page has a high proportion of images/menu bars/other elements with excessive blank space and is filled with ads. Additionally, avoid posting clickbait-oriented, irrelevant content simply for the sake of filling the page.

Duplicate content is another content type to avoid. If the exact content appears somewhere else on the Internet, it is counted as duplicate and will negatively impact search rankings.

Basic Cleaning
The wild west days of the Internet, days in which sites could get away with taking advantage of a search engine algorithm’s limitations, are gone, now a bit of sophistication is expected. Not only are keywords important, but a page’s metadata will also have a significant impact on your SEO ranking. The meta title and meta description describe to both users and search engines what your site is about. Google pays attention to the metadata fields and presents your pages to an audience depending on what is in your metadata. Be sure to fill out your metadata appropriately for the best results.

If a website deletes or significantly changes a page, any link to that page will break. Broken links provide no page value as they point to something that is no longer functional. If you link out to other websites, be sure to double check the links every so often as some may have broken. Google views a page with too many broken links poorly, as it gives the appearance  that no one is maintaining the page. Despite the fact that other websites are breaking the links, if you have too many broken links Google will penalize your page for it.

Too Long to Load
It is no surprise that long load times kill the customer experience. The longer the wait for a page to load, the more likely the user is to click on something else. If your website takes too long to load, you will see a sharp rise in your bounce rate which will diminish your overall authority. Even a few milliseconds can make an impact on Google position rankings. A tool like GTMetrix is designed to score your website based on how fast it loads. The tool will then offer a breakdown on what is making the page load slowly and offer suggestions.

SEO is too important to do poorly. Take the time to ensure your website SEO is correctly set up and maintained. SEO truly can make or break your site, so avoid these deadly SEO mistakes.

Meet The Author:

Nick Rojas

Nick Rojas

Nick Andrew Rojas is a business consultant turned journalist who loves working with small and medium-sized companies. He has contributed to many publications such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. In his spare time, he hangs out at the beach with his dog Presto.

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