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Mistakes Small Business Owners Make When Using SEO

What mistakes do small business owners make when investing in or executing SEO? What can you learn from their mistakes to ensure you don't suffer the same fate? Read our article to find out!
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There are several mistakes small business owners make when using SEO, and we will discuss them in this article. If you want to get more customers through your doors, website, or landing pages, you'll want to grab a coffee and keep reading.

One Of The Biggest Mistakes Small Business Owners Make Is Not Seeing SEO As A Form Of Marketing

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By far, small business owners' biggest mistake is not seeing SEO for what it is - an opportunity to improve your visibility and get in front of your target demographic. If you want more customers, search engine optimization is dollar-for-dollar the best way to do it. Most business owners are paying $400-$1500 a month to websites like Thumbtack, Angie's List, etc., but the issue with leads from these websites is that often they aren't verified, and they aren't "yours." You share these leads with your competitors. However, with SEO, while the typical campaign is between $1500 - $2500, you're improving your actual website. Not only are you getting an expert to publish content to and improve your website consistently, which will get you more organic traffic and, therefore, customers, but more importantly, your asset ( your website ) is building trust with search engines. 

Why does it matter whether or not search engines trust your website? When you pay for an SEO campaign, you're paying for improvements to your website, and if you ever decide to cancel your campaign, your website will keep its improvements and the trust it has earned. Meaning your website will still benefit from more organic traffic and leads long after your campaign ends because your website doesn't leave when you close your campaign. Websites are an online representation of your business, and so increasing their value and their effectiveness is huge to growing any business.

One Common Mistake Small Business Owners Make Is Not Giving SEO Enough Time 

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You've all heard the phrase that something isn't a "sprint." It's a "journey," right? Well, SEO is no exception. If you're a small business owner and you either have or want to invest in search engine optimization, you've got to be patient. While you can see some improvements almost immediately, the huge revenue-driving results every business owner wants will not come until at least 6-12 months of consistent work being done to improve the website.

Search engines aim to serve their users the best, most trustworthy content possible. They are looking for websites that publish consistent, niche-specific content with quality links from other trustworthy, reliable websites within the same industry. Not only that, but search engines - mainly Google - are very slow to pass around traffic because their algorithm understands that, more often than not, the most reliable websites are those with a proven track record. A proven track record takes time to build. Because of this, you need to invest in 6-12 months of consistent improvements before you can expect to start seeing the types of returns you're after.

What Is The Main Mistake Of SEO That Companies Make?

A photo of a plate dropping to demonstrate an accident. This illustrates the mistake business owners make where they don't monitor their SEO progress.

There are many ways to mess up in search, as Google is always changing their algorithm. Giving out spammy signals to Google is the main thing you'll want to avoid. However, as long as you invest in a quality search engine marketing that practices white hat practices, you shouldn't have any issues with that. Make sure that the SEO you hire does monthly updates where they will walk you through the improvements made, and show you - with real metrics - the successes and failures that have occurred. Doing this will help you understand where you're at, and what you have to look forward to in the coming months. It will also allow you to understand what you can do to help - if anything. It's especially helpful to tune in to your progress if local competition is a huge aspect of your business.

What Are The Common Mistakes In SEO

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The most common SEO mistakes have got to be over optimizations. Over-optimizations can occur in many forms, but the most common is having a keyword density that is too high. Keyword density is a fancy way of saying that you're using your keywords too often. For example, if you have 1000 words on a page, you only want to use your target keywords - at most - 30-50 times. You can get away with more, but you don't want to risk it.

The benefit to using your keywords in abundance is that search engines will see your content as more relevant - assuming you've done everything else right. In reality - when setting out to rank a page - any SEO will inspect the number of times your competitors are using your keywords as a blueprint. When they find out that the average number of times is 150, they'll need to write enough quality content to ensure that they can use your keywords at least 150 times without going over the 3-5% keyword density threshold.

What Negatively Impacts SEO?

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So by now, you might be wondering what negatively impacts a search engine optimization strategy.

Many things can negatively impact SEO, so you need an expert if you want the best chances of improving your online presence. With Google's algorithm changing constantly, you'll need to always be on top of new developments in search engines to ensure that you don't accidentally cause your website to get penalized. 

You can be penalized for overusing keywords, building spammy links, keyword cannibalization, slow site speed, lacking local citations, poor Google reviews, etc. The list goes on and on, but one thing that Google never punishes - writing user-focused quality content.

What Are The Most Common SEO Mistakes Small And Midsize Business SMBs Make?

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The most common SEO mistake SMBs make is failing to secure enough quality backlinks. There is a vast difference between gathering smaller, low-value backlinks and putting in the work to gather quality ones, whether writing too much content before securing backlinks or just not securing enough relevant backlinks in general. It's entirely understandable, though, as gathering backlinks is a process of reaching out to thousands of relevant websites in hopes of getting - maybe - one quality backlink. It's a huge outreach process that takes a lot of time, so it's no wonder most SMBs make this mistake. It's not their fault. They just don't have the time required to do enough outreach!

Which Are The Most Costly Mistakes In SEO?

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The most costly mistakes in SEO have got to be anything that leads to a penalty. Penalties can sometimes happen, but for the most part, they're entirely avoidable, assuming you're using white hat practices. However, in 2023, the most costly SEO mistakes have got to be anything regarding link spam. With new updates to Google's algorithms, anything even remotely similar to link schemes will put your website in danger of a potential penalty. The best way to avoid this is to either do enough research into SEO to understand how to avoid these penalties or hire an expert that has already.

What Is The Most Difficult Part Of SEO?

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By far, the most challenging part of SEO is building quality backlinks. It's an ordeal and a half. Not only do you need to write quality content worthy of linking to, but you've got to develop an outreach strategy that will help you reach thousands of people each month in hopes of gaining 1-2 backlinks a month. It's not an easy feat to build up a solid backlink profile, but when it is done, it's an amazing boost in strength for any website. Even just one solid link from a relevant, quality and trusted website will be enough to bring some of your pages to the first page, let along building an entire backlink profile built around websites just like that.


Hopefully you found this article helpful! If you want to learn more about SEO, check out our blog, as we are always adding new content to keep people just like you updated with the latest developments in SEO. 2023 is shaping up to be a powerful year for SEO, so if you want to schedule a free strategy call, you want a quote or if you just want a service, to give you a comprehensive SEO audit, you've come to the right place!

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