Investing in SEO is important if you want to appear in local search results for your products and services. But, a bad SEO strategy can often be even more detrimental to your web presence than no SEO strategy at all. Here are three SEO mistakes we often see local businesses making and some tips to ensure your SEO is getting you the results you want.
1. Not Researching Your SEO Provider
One common SEO mistake local businesses often make is hiring a vendor or friend of a friend who says they can get you results but can’t back up their claims. SEO is an investment, and it’s something that is constantly changing. Outdated or unsupported SEO tactics, like keyword stuffing or link farming, can harm your website and your visibility in search results. If your vendor is extremely affordable but can’t prove they have knowledge of current SEO trends or the right resources to do the work needed to boost your website’s SEO, chances are you’re wasting your money. You want an experienced SEO professional who is up to date on the current best practices and algorithm changes, clearly communicates expectations, and can outline what they’re doing on and off your site.
2. Relying on Keyword Ranking to Determine ROI
Say it with me: SEO is not paid search advertising! These are two completely different ways for your business website to show in search results. PPC relies much more heavily on keywords, and bidding on specific keywords enables you to see which ones are helping your ad drive clicks and calls to your business. But SEO is much more complex; in fact, Google takes into account over 200 factors, not just keywords, when determining organic search results. Most often, Google Analytics doesn’t show which keywords are driving visits to your site, since keywords are only one part of the puzzle.
Because search engines look at much more than keyword matches, keyword ranking is actually a poor measure of success in an SEO strategy. Instead, you should look at the traffic, conversions, and bounce rates (or time on site) for the specific pages you’ve focused on optimizing for your strategy, as they should improve over time for your business topics, regardless of the specific keywords searched.
3. Neglecting to Update Your SEO Tactics Regularly
Search engines want to present searchers with the most relevant information, so they change their algorithms and adapt as searchers’ behaviors change. The more frequently users search for products and services, the more information search engines will use to accommodate those searches in the future. So, in order to keep up with the changing expectations of searchers and search engines, make sure you are knowledgeable about what those expectations are, and constantly refresh your SEO tactics to align with those needs. You may even want to consider having a dedicated person working on your SEO that can keep a constant eye on the latest SEO best practices and swiftly adapt to changes.
SEO doesn’t need to be the elephant in the room when it comes to your marketing efforts. It should be embraced and taken seriously to avoid making major SEO mistakes that can hurt your business’ online marketing success. Learn more about developing a successful SEO strategy on our blog.