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The 1st Step To SEO Success, Avoid These 5 Mistakes

The 1st Step To SEO Success, Avoid These 5 Mistakes

Most of us do understand the importance of implementing SEO into our overall marketing strategy but so many of us still think that a one size fits all SEO program exists and by copying someone else an instant improvement will be achieved in our search rankings.

Unfortunately this is simply not true. A SEO strategy is highly personal and creating a strategy customised for our specific business profile, goals and budget can mean the difference between being featured on the first page or maybe nowhere.

This is especially true for those of us with small businesses because of limited time, resources and a specific audience. We need to be extremely careful of how we implement our SEO program to maximise a return on investment. Many of us make the same mistakes over and over in our optimisation programs and the following 5 mistakes is the worst but when fixed could provide the biggest boost.

Forgetting the importance of Location, location, location

An estimated 1 in every 3 searches on Google are focused on a location or place. Mobile search, which has taken a huge piece of all PC traffic, is increasingly focused on local. Local mobile search is estimated at 27% in a recent study and in order for us small businesses to reach our target audiences, which are specific to certain areas, we must insure that we are ranking the highest in these local searches. There are quite a few strategies for targeting local searches;

  • Listing under the relevant industry as well as the geographical directories or listings
  • Creating keywords combining physical location with your company i.e. “Table Mountain” and “hiking Guide”
  • Mobile optimisation of our websites.

Optimising content and increasing local and mobile visibility is time and energy well spent.

Convincing yourself that you do not need social media

Because Social Media is seen as time wasting and superficial, we often ignore this Media because of time and resource constraints. Unfortunately the opposite is true – we will often set up Social Media accounts to immediately ignore them, leaving outdated and empty profiles.

We are missing out on prime opportunities to increase our search engine visibility. Social Media channels are great opportunities for businesses to add fresh and quality content on a regular basis and search engines have recognised the importance of Social Media links.

No need to be afraid of jumping into the Social media pool  – Do a little research on the competition, see where they are online, where the customers are  and then start with just one profile on the channel that is the best fit. Maybe LinkedIn or even FaceBook. Make sure that the content is always fresh with good quality links and as confidence grows, add on some more channels.

Boring client and challenging Google with duplicate content

As we all know, the key to having a great SEO – optimised website is have a substantial amount of fresh, informative and well written content with the correct balance of keyword usage, user experience and language. Small does not mean that the content is less important than bigger companies.

A good strategy is to duplicate well-written and well optimised content throughout the website to increase the size of the site and the number of optimised sections. Unfortunately, this method is a glorified version of keyword stuffing which could lead to a poor experience for readers causing them to abandon the site.

Google is also cracking down on duplicate content which could cause your site to be removed due to unethical SEO practises. So, this might seem like a quick and easy fix but it is not really worth it in the long run and causes more harm than good.

Suffering from content Amnesia

Forgetting to post contents is just as bad as posting multiple copies of the same content. Finding the time to post fresh and updated content could be a problem for most of us but fresh and consistent content positively increase search rankings as well as user experience – an important factor in rankings of search engines. Some low impact ways to crank out fresh content are;

  • Keep a Blog and maintain it. As deadlines and other work pile up, maintaining a Blog could be the last thing on anyone’s mind. Just keep in mind that a Blog is a SEO priority. Make a commitment and post new and relevant content at least twice a week. Involve some of the other office staff and interns and of course get professional freelance writers if the budget allows.
  • Create a news feed on the company web site where news about the company, clients and other items are regularly updated – by using correct and relevant keywords, search rankings can be boosted.

Thinking SEO is quick fix

If you are thinking that all the suggestions and strategies in this piece seems long term continues projects – then you are right. SEO strategy is a commitment. The job is not done because of researched keywords and website optimising – that is the first step to launching the SEO campaign. This is an ongoing process to generate content, build links to content and website and optimising customer experience with the brand online. This could seem daunting but keeping up the SEO program, means increased visibility, more website traffic and thus more customers.

SEO, like all long term marketing strategies, depend on a solid plan and execution; Constant changes and tweaks, measurements and analysis and avoiding of pitfalls. By devising and implementing a solid SEO plan tailored to specific needs, any small business can perform successful SEO tactics and maximise return on investment.

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