Thirteen Critical SEO Mistakes That Could Cost You Your Ranking (Part 2)

In the last post, we highlighted five of the most common SEO mistakes that could affect the overall ranking of websites in search engine results. The list consisted of the following bad practices:

●    Over-Optimizing a Website With Keywords
●    Not Publishing Enough Content
●    Website Has Duplicate Content
●    Using Unnatural Link Building Techniques
●    Not Creating a Social Media Account for the Business

As discussed in our previous post, it is highly necessary to steer clear from any of the aforementioned practices because they do more harm than good. An outstanding SEO campaign does not include any of these practices, and business owners who are using these “strategies” are only asking for a Google penalty, which means a lower ranking and a bad reputation.

If you are an entrepreneur with a company website, it would be wise to take note of the following SEO mistakes and ensure that these are not utilized by you or the SEO company you have enlisted to optimize your website.

  1. Ignoring Local Search Trends – If there is one thing every business owner should pay attention to on top of basic white hat techniques for their SEO campaign, it is to keep up-to-date on local search trends. Small, independent business owners would be able to reach out to their target market residing within their area if they are ranking locally.As much as 30 percent of Google searches are focused on a specific location, so if your businesses operates within Scottsdale, then it would make sense to rank for geotargeted keywords with Scottsdale as the location, instead of a broader area such as Arizona, unless of course your business serves the whole state. Many business owners tend to focus on state or national search results, which are extremely competitive, when they can get more profit by focusing on local SEO.
  1. Not Taking the Time to Seek Customer Reviews – One of the best ways to secure your ranking and reputation online is through business reviews made by clients. As the owner of your business, you need to find ways to encourage your customers to create reviews.Google+ pages and other local listing sites offer a way for clients to share their thoughts and opinions on a certain product or service, or the company in general, so take time to capitalize on that.
  1. Not Utilizing Competitive Analysis Tools – The best way to keep track of your website’s status and performance is by performing a competitive analysis. You can also take time to pull out competitor backlinks to compareresults. Study the top five competitors in your industry and see which keywords they are targeting and what kinds of backlinks you need to help your website rank for them.
  1. Overlooking the Importance of Image Titles – There are still a significant number of business owners that have not yet realized the importance of images and the impact they have on your website. File names and alt text for each image should be relevant to the page content. Use keywords that you have assigned to the page and include the location in both the file name and alt text.
  1. Not Optimizing Site Navigation – People expect your website to be easily navigated and search engines reward it. If you do not have a clear hierarchy on your website; how will Google know what is most important on your site? If users can’t find out what services you offer, they are going to leave and look elsewhere. This is going to increase your bounce rate, lower conversions, and let Google know your site is not the best result when people quickly return to the search results and visit another site.
  1. No Contact Information on Your Webpages – Many websites only have contact information on the contact page. If you want people to call or message you, make it easy for them. Including your local address and phone number on each page of your site will help with lead generation and provide better local rankings. Remember to have your NAP data appear the same as it does in local directories and citations.
  1. Your Website is Not Mobile-Ready – This is 2014 and there is no reason to not be mobile ready. Over 50 percent of searches are done from mobile devices. If your site is not compatible, you can kiss traffic and rankings goodbye. If you are on a tight budget, you can switch to a CMS like WordPress and make use of a cheap mobile-ready template.
  1. Not Making Use of Videos – There are several search terms that trigger videos above fold. Simply upload your video to YouTube and include your keyword in the title. Build some links to the video page and voila, express ticket to the front page of Google. You may also get traffic from YouTube directly since it is the second largest search engine. Here is an example of videos appearing for localized terms that did not trigger local results. If local results were triggered, you would see videos in the first-third or fifth result or lower.

Managing a website, along with a business, is time-consuming. With the added responsibility of keeping up with changes in the SEO industry, it’s difficult for business owners to have a clear idea of what to do when it comes to implementing an SEO campaign. It’s easy to understand why business owners commit these mistakes, considering the amount of bad information floating around the Internet. Hopefully this article sheds some light on what things not to do, as well as what tactics will be beneficial.