Why Do Small Businesses Get SEO Wrong?

Owning a small business is like juggling chainsaws on a unicycle—sensational, demanding, and slightly terrifying. Between managing customers, crafting your product, and wrangling finances, SEO often gets relegated to the “maybe next week” pile. But here’s the harsh truth: in today’s digital landscape, neglecting SEO is like whispering your business slogan into a void.

SEO is equally important for all types of businesses, irrespective of scale. Small business owners seem to have more bad experiences with SEO efforts. Many small businesses don’t know how to do SEO, and many larger businesses have SEO departments. However, many small businesses don’t understand what SEO is and why they should do it.

So, why do small businesses get SEO wrong? We are going to explore some of the reasons why small businesses go for SEO in a wrong way.

Misconception About SEO

Many believe it involves gathering together a list of keywords, sticking them into a website, and hoping people will find you. Sadly it doesn’t work like that, which is why so many businesses are getting it wrong.

People also have the view that SEO is incredibly complex and time-consuming. In truth, it’s not. Granted, it takes a bit of getting your head around it, but the on-page stuff is easy to grasp, although you will need a web designer who understands SEO to get all the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff right.

The problem is many can’t be bothered to invest the time it takes to get to grips with what needs doing, and that’s when it all goes wrong. So, what are the most common SEO mistakes that small businesses make?

1. Chasing the Wrong Keywords

Identifying the right keywords is vital. That doesn’t mean stuff like luxury, responsiveness, professionalism, innovation, etc. Keywords or phrases, are the things you type into Google’s search box when you’re looking for products and services. That means it’s time to slip your shoes off and slide your feet into your customers’ shoes for a while.

Imagine shouting “pizza!” in a crowded cafeteria. Sure, you’ll get some attention, but will it be the right kind? Targeting generic keywords might attract some traffic, but it’s like casting a net in the ocean – you’ll catch mostly seaweed. Instead, find keywords specific to your niche and target audience. Think “gluten-free vegan pizza delivery near me” and watch your SEO dreams come true.

2. Broad is wrong

The chances are you have a lot of competitors in the online world. Therefore, ranking for generic keywords (such as copywriter, lawyer, web designer, etc.) is going to be super difficult. The best way to be effective is to keep your keywords and phrases narrow.

Let’s say you sell dog collars. But not just any old collar, expensive Italian leather dog collars. Yours is a very niche market, so optimising for ‘dog collars’ isn’t going to work.

It’s a very competitive term, so you probably won’t rank very high. Plus, you’ll end up with a high bounce rate because the vast majority of the searchers will be looking for cheap and cheerful collars and not niche, uber-expensive ones.

That’s why your main keyword/phrase should be ‘designer Italian leather dog collars’. There will be less traffic for these longer keywords, but that also means it’s less competitive, and the traffic you get will be highly targeted and more likely to convert into paying customers.

3. Website Content

Now that you have the traffic, you have to be able to turn it into paying customers. Check through your content. Have you used the words and phrases from your keyword research list? Are they in your URLs, page titles, and first paragraphs? Has each page been optimised for a different term?

The one thing you must not do is stuff your keywords into every sentence. Above all, your writing should be natural. Use your keywords in your page title, headings, and opening paragraph, but also mix in synonyms. Plus, it’s wise to not only use your keyword/phrase in its entirety, but also break it down – so, yes, use ‘designer leather dog collar’, but also make sure you use each word separately within your text.

Think of your website as your digital storefront. Fill it with engaging, informative content that answers your audience’s questions and showcases your expertise. Blog posts, how-to guides, and even eye-catching visuals can be your secret weapons.

4. The “Build it and They Will Come” Myth

Building a website is just the first step. Think of it as planting a seed. SEO is the water, sunlight, and TLC that helps it grow. Promote your content on social media, guest blog on relevant sites, and build relationships with other businesses. Don’t just sit back and wait for Google to do the work.

5. Site and Content Maintenance

Another big part of SEO, and one that is constantly overlooked, is the maintenance of your website. Small businesses often wear many hats and struggle with limited time and budget. Website maintenance can easily fall by the wayside, especially if its importance isn’t fully understood.

Some business owners might not realize the significant impact website maintenance has on factors like search engine ranking, user experience, and brand image.

Broken links, page load times, duplicate content, and missing tags will all attract black marks and will affect your rankings. Glitches, slow loading times, and outdated information frustrate users and drive them away from competitors. An unprofessional and neglected website reflects poorly on your brand, eroding trust and credibility.

6. Ignoring SEO altogether

For some business owners, SEO is just too much like hard work. There aren’t enough hours in the day, and what’s the point anyway? You don’t sell through your website; it’s just there for information.

If that’s how you think, you’re missing the point. People research before they buy, and that means turning to Google (other search engines are available). By ignoring your SEO, you’re ignoring a vast swath of potential customers looking for what you offer.

Even if you don’t have the time or inclination to do your SEO, there are plenty of companies out there that can help you. Granted, SEO suppliers vary in quality, but provided you do your research, you’ll find the right fit for you, your business, and your budget.

  • SEO means you’ll be more visible.
  • SEO means you will enjoy organic growth.
  • SEO means you’ll boost your sales.

7. The “Set it and Forget it” Fallacy

Forget the “set it and forget it” approach. Search engine algorithms are like fitness trackers: constantly evolving, pushing you to adapt and improve. That’s why successful SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Here’s why:

1. Constant Evolution: Imagine running on a course that changes every week. That’s the SEO landscape. New algorithms, competitor strategies, and user behaviour emerge constantly. Staying stagnant means falling behind.

2. Analyze, Adapt, Conquer: Regular website performance analysis is your compass. It helps you identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities to adapt your strategy. Think of it as checking your running pace and adjusting your stride for optimal performance.

3. Patience is Key: Don’t expect overnight results. Ranking high takes time and consistent effort, just like building endurance. Give your SEO strategy a few months to work its magic before throwing in the towel.

Also Read: Understanding the Importance of Proper Account Planning

Final Words

The SEO process entails a series of steps that are taken to ensure that the right content is being served to the user at the right time. SEO is also important for getting noticed by search engines. A small investment of either your time or money will significantly impact your business.

By avoiding the abovementioned pitfalls and embracing the power of targeted keywords, engaging content, and consistent effort, you can transform your website from an invisible island to a bustling marketplace.

And as a result of SEO, you will get many customers to choose you, over your competitors. So, your site must be placed in the top positions of search engines. So never ignore SEO and have the patience to get the most out of your SEO efforts.

Show More

Raj Maurya

Raj Maurya is the founder of Digital Gyan. He is a technical content writer on Fiverr and When not working, he plays Valorant.

Leave a Reply

Back to top button