A small business SEO campaign is a detailed undertaking. A successful campaign can lead you to the land of plenty where you are rewarded with streams of visitors that convert to paying clients.
However, if you make too many mistakes, your website could wind up in the Google sandbox. There, it is trapped in a void and struggling to be seen by users.
Take the necessary precautions to avoid the sandbox and you may find yourself smiling at the end of your journey.
There are at least seven deadly sins of small business SEO that you should avoid at all costs. Exercise extreme caution. Change direction at the slightest hint of any one of these factors arising that could thwart your traffic building efforts.
- Failing to implement an email marketing campaign
- Failure to satisfy search intent
- Keyword stuffing
- Misusing the noindex command
- Failure to submit a sitemap
- Linking to toxic websites
- Posting duplicate content
Failing to implement an email marketing campaign
Although an email marketing campaign itself is not directly a ranking factor, it can have profound implications on your SEO if you use it correctly.
The overarching purpose of small business SEO is to drive more traffic to convert more visitors to clients. An email list can not only assist you by driving traffic but also by producing important analytical data to optimize your website.
The open-rate of your email campaign is an excellent indication of the quality of the subject line you use. When a campaign produces a high open-rate you can use the subject heading as a potential title for the content on your site.A great title will attract more clicks in the search results and improve user engagement.Click To Tweet
Additionally, a campaign with a high click-through rate indicates a strong interest in your content. Publish content using this insight. It is proven to generate interest from your target audience.
Email marketing provides one of the best ROI’s in the industry, boasting an average of $38 for every $1 spent. At a 3800% ROI, it would be a sin not to capitalize on a tactic that is still effective in converting visitors to clients.
Learning how to use Mailchimp, Aweber or any similar software that offers similar reporting statistics is a necessity for a small business.
Failing to satisfy search intent
Keyword research should be a huge part of your content creation strategy. Your research is geared towards finding the true search intent behind every query.
When you know the possibilities of the intent behind a keyword, you are able to address those issues within your content.
Publish content that users are looking for that covers all potential intentions a keyword implies. This demonstrates your expertise and the ability to answer search intent.
Identify the keywords that are best suited to what your users are typing and what your business offers to strategize the content you publish on your site.
The act of excessively repeating your keyword throughout your content can restrict your ranking. Although keyword stuffing isn’t considered a reason for a penalty, it won’t pass Google’s algorithmic filter.
Your site will suffer a setback in ranking if it is determined that your page has an excessive number of instances where your keyword is being repeated unnaturally.
There are instances where it makes sense that you would naturally need to repeat a word within your content.
Search engines are efficient at determining whether the use of a single word multiple times is a natural occurrence or whether it has been forced in order to manipulate ranking.
Consider the fact that it’s possible to rank a page for a keyword without even having the keyword on the page (harder, but possible).
This demonstrates the ability of search engines to extract meaning from content, thereby eliminating the need to use your keyword repeatedly.
Instead, focus on providing the highest quality of content for your readers. Include subtopics that are natural progressions to content your customers are already reading.
Use keyword synonyms and LSI keywords to create relevance and connect ideas.
Misuse of the noindex command
This command can be equated with a self-destruct button in small business SEO. It can literally make your site disappear overnight.
Use the no-index command for pages that you don’t want Google to crawl because they serve no purpose for your users. It instructs search engines to exclude the page from the search index.
Pages that are marked with a noindex command are typically pages that are automatically generated to create order within the architecture of your site.
There are many causes of the noindex command mistakenly being used on pages either during the publishing process or a glitch in an update.No-index mis-use spells disaster because your pages are no longer shown in any search engine result. #SEO #contentClick To Tweet
Sudden and significant drops in traffic are a symptom of an indexing issue. Run an audit on your site to list the pages that are marked with a noindex command.
Screaming Frog offers a simple solution that anyone can use by simply typing your URL into the dashboard. A list of your URLs will appear and one of the columns will indicate whether the page is indexed or noindexed.
Running regular audits on your site is an excellent practice for improving your small business SEO.
A sitemap is essentially a blueprint for your website. It informs search engines of the pages you have published so they can index them in their directory.
If you have failed to load a sitemap, the only way a search engine will know what pages are on your site is if there are internal links that point to them. Without either, your pages are “orphaned” and fail to be indexed.
Submit a sitemap to each search engines’ Search Console so that they have the exact map of your website and all of the pages you have published.
Linking to toxic websites
Link building is a strategic practice that is heavily regulated by search engines. Linking to other sites can be equated with choosing the company you keep.Links from well-established sites makes your website look more established.Click To Tweet
You don’t want your site to be linked to websites that have engaged in shady link building practices. The phrase “guilty by association” applies when building links to your site.
Monitor your ranking position after receiving a link from a website. If you notice that there is a dip in the ranking your site receives, you need to take action. Ask the site owner to remove or “nofollow” the link to eliminate the toxic effect it is passing to your website.
Believe it or not, there are many site owners who copy the content of another website and paste it to their own site. This is a big no-no if you aren’t crediting the original author for their work.
The result of posting duplicate content on your site is a decline in ranking. To post content from another site requires the use of a canonical tag that indicates who the original author is.
Search engines use an algorithmic filter for determining whether the content of your site has been scraped or duplicated.
Without canonical tags, you will experience a drop in ranking after posting content in which you’re not the original author.
Improve your content writing skills, host some guest authors or hire a content writer to step up the level of quality in your on-site content.
Of course, there is also the unintentional creation of duplicate content that can arise from system-generated pages. Do a deeper analysis from a technical standpoint to determine what is causing the duplicate pages.
This type of problem, although unintentional, will restrict your ranking if the pages are being duplicated on a large scale.
Enjoy a healthy website
There you have it. You now know of the seven deadly sins of small business SEO that should be avoided at all costs.
If you have made the mistake of venturing into the realm of any unhealthy web practices, it’s never too late to make corrections and get more business from your website.
Protect the health of your website by staying focused on your visitors. Make good decisions about how you promote your website.
The path to the first page of search results can be a long winding road. However, if you’re making the right decisions along the way, reaching your destination is inevitable.
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