Many small business owners want to give online marketing, especially SEO, a go themselves to save money, a little knowledge is often dangerous though and the intricacies of running a SEO, or PPC, campaign are often missed.
1. Choosing the keywords you assume are right for you
Be it SEO or PPC the keywords you need to get in traffic aren’t always that obvious, they aren’t always even going to be the most searched for. A lot of the time though you will find that people choose the keywords that seem obvious for their site and this has two problems. Firstly the obvious keywords are the same ones that your competitors will use meaning a lot of competition, secondly people don’t always use obvious keywords: sometimes they only vaguely know what they are looking for they may search based on the problem they have rather than the solution you offer for example.
2. Assuming that the design of your website is unimportant
For many people SEO is an afterthought and therefore they already have a website in place so just try to apply SEO techniques around it. One problem is often that their existing websites aren’t easy to update and add content to, see point 3. The biggest problem though is that without on page optimization search engine robots will be unable to read the website properly and therefore won’t list it in results, or they may find problems with the site suggesting the site is poor quality or hasn’t considered accessibility, for example alt image tags for the blind. All of these and other on page optimization techniques improve rankings and mean that other SEO work is wasted.
3. Not using Content marketing techniques
Content is more and more important to SEO, it has always been important but now good quality content is more important than it has ever been. Google like to see sites that are live and therefore they keep an eye on how often your site is updated, once a week should be your minimum. Google of course also look for keywords in articles but are getting better and better at judging the quality of articles; Google are very good at spotting duplicate articles too and ignoring them. This has all been the case for some time but only recently have Google been looking at how long people actually spend on pages and using this information to rank sites in their results. Video is a great type of content as it keeps people on the page for longer but well written interesting articles that are relevant to the keywords that are being used can also, by keeping people on the page, and hopefully on your site, improve search engine rankings.
4. Building only low quality, irrelevant links
Search Engines don’t judge all links coming to your site in the same way. For a start there are bad neighborhoods, links from which can actually harm your rankings but will usually just be ignored. Then of course there is the Google Pagerank of a webpage, the higher the better of course but the number of links going from a page is also important so a link from aPpagerank 4 directory page that links to 40 sites is not as valuable as a Pagerank 2 link from a blog with no other external links in the page.
Google and other search engines consider relevancy as well so where possible build links from pages on related sites and if possible put some of your keywords into the description and anchor text of the link to your site, if you have control.