“Top 6 Common SEO Mistakes Made by Local Businesses”
Throughout our extensive years of consulting for local businesses across such strategies as SEO (search engine optimisation) there are 6 common SEO mistakes that local businesses often make.
At the end of the day, every business wants to get the maximum amount of website traffic that it can from the available searches made by people looking for your product or service. If you are not ranking very highly in Google’s SERPS then it means your visibility is low. You are therefore probably making one or more of these mistakes!
So what are the common SEO mistakes?
Not Choosing the Right Keywords to Target
We see this all the time! Local businesses trying to rank for either keywords that are too broad or are not of a buyer nature. As a local business you need to target geo-specific keywords to give yourself a better chance of ranking more highly. It is no good trying to rank for, say, driving instructor you should be trying to target driving instructor (your town/city/suburb). This is called a long tail keyword. If you can also target something with a buyer intent that is even better. This is because your website visitor is further along the buyers journey than just looking for information.
Now within this targeting you must not forget to target your keywords within your images as well. SEO is not just about the words on your pages, it is also about the images and videos too. Image search and video search are growing in popularity so make sure you are targeting them as well.
2. The Need for Speed
One of the biggest SEO ranking factors nowadays is page load speed. The faster your web page loads the better. In fact studies have shown that you have less than 7 seconds to entice your visitor once they have clicked through to your website. So, if your website takes a long time to load, they could be clicking away before they even see what you have to offer. A great place to check your website page speed is at Googles Page speed Insights Tool
As many of the local businesses we work with have found, their page speed is slow. In the main this is usually caused by the images on the site being too big and not optimised properly. If your website is built on WordPress then the plugins can also have an effect as well. Check to see if you need all of them.
3. Writing Rubbish Content or Worse
Google has built itself around one major factor – relevance. To be the No.1 search engine, and to keep their investors happy (!), they strive to be as relevant as they can for every search made on their platform.
So, with this in mind, the textual content that you put on your website needs to be of a high quality. Writing any old rubbish or worse, plagiarising someone else’s work, will see your website ranked much lower. Google’s algorithms which run in the background of everything that happens on big G, read not only the words you write but also how they relate to all the other words on the page. Also how they relate to the tags on your images as well. Write for your visitors and not to try to trick Google into thinking you are something you are not. This is called a black hat tactic – never a good idea! Let’s not forget that alongside Google there are also Bing and Yahoo. Write with the intention of ranking on them as well – they have different ranking factors so are usually easier to rank on!
4. Stopping the Bounce Effect
The last thing you want when someone arrives at your site is for them to click away quickly because their is nothing of interest on your Home Page. The trick is to captivate them from the get go. The use of videos or clickable links that draw them into the inner pages of your website are a great way to keep people on your website for longer. In Google Analytics, bounce rate is a major factor, so you know that they take it very seriously indeed.
Adding calls to action (reasons for the visitor to click on a banner, an image or a link) are imperative and every page of your website should have one. Your website should be working for you like a member of staff, not just a brochure.
5. Mobile First Indexing
This is a biggie and the most recent of Google’s SEO ranking factors. Google now looks at the mobile version of your website before it decides where you should rank in their search engines results page when a search is done.
We see, so many websites that are not mobile friendly. Here is an example :
This particular example will be missing out on so many ranking possibilities because their website is not mobile friendly. Check your website HERE
6. Not Being Inviting Enough
Now, although the meta description within the SERPS is no longer a ranking factor, it is still vitally important to your end result. Without an inviting title and description, nobody will click though to your website and this in itself will affect your ranking. If you are appearing in Googles search results but nobody is clicking through then big G will start to question your relevance to the search term being made. They may then drop you down their rankings. The title meta tag IS still important for ranking so make sure that you put in the effort to make it appealing.
Hopefully you have seen within these Top 6 Common SEO Mistakes that there are a lot of elements that you need to get right to stand a chance of ranking highly. As SEO and digital consultants we come across so many businesses that with just a few tweaks could be getting such hugely different results from organic search.
By making sure that you are choosing the right keywords from the off and making sure that your website is fast to load and also mobile friendly will stand you in good stead with Google. Add into the mix giving your website visitors content that they want to consume and you will be onto a winner.
If you need help with any of this, we would love to work with you. You can start with a FREE assessment of your current digital capabilities and suggest areas that you could improve on. We can also give you some ideas for strategies, some of which involve affordable automation that you maybe don’t even know exist!