SEO best practices evolve as Google continually modifies its algorithm in the name of creating a more meaningful experience for users. But the more some things change, the more others stay the same — such as businesses making avoidable SEO mishaps. While small businesses without adequate resources to devote to search engine optimization make mistakes, larger businesses aren’t immune to blunders, either.
Might any of the following SEO faux pas be hurting your corporate website’s ability to draw customers and drive revenue?
1. Treating your website as a digital brochure.
John Jantsch and Phil Singleton, in their book SEO for Growth, share that the vast majority of design-driven websites fail in getting organic search engine visibility because they make SEO an afterthought. “Without SEO to glue the code, design and content all together, a new website is destined for the search engine abyss.”
2. Messing up mobile.
Despite the advents of “Mobilegeddon” in April 2015 and mobile-first indexing in 2016, not all businesses have caught up with the times. Regularly, I happen upon businesses both small and large with websites that function atrociously on my smartphone. It’s 2017 — without a mobile-friendly website that displays and works well across all Internet-connected devices, your business is at a disadvantage.
3. Focusing too heavily on SERP rankings instead of conversions.
Having your website rank on the first page of Google has no benefit if no one subscribes to your blog, emails you, buys a product, or completes and submits your online contact form. Visibility in the SERP means nothing if your website doesn’t impel site visitors to take the next step.
4. Ignoring your snail-paced page loading speeds.
Page loading speed influences a website’s ranking on Google and its conversion rates. In the instant gratification era in which we live, slow pages drive users away. Not sure how well your pages are performing? Google’s free PageSpeed Insights Tool will help you analyze them and offer suggestions on how to improve them.
5. Disregarding the potential impact of social media.
Even though the value Google places on social signals hasn’t been clearly identified, there seems to be some connection between social media and SEO. Companies that don’t regularly create content and nurture relationships on social media miss out on something else, too — the increased brand visibility that social media shares, likes and mentions provide.
Get a better grip on the specific options all social networks provide for presenting and promoting your content with the Complete Guide to Social Media Sharing and download a free checklist for your daily social media marketing.
6. Thinking you can handle it on your own.
SEO has a dizzying amount of moving parts, including strategic development of campaigns, keyword research and analysis, content writing, outreach and link building, and website design and development. Yep, it takes a village. Unless your business has the budget to support the salaries and benefits of an in-house SEO staff with expertise and experience in all of the above, DIY could spell disaster. Not only might it not help your marketing and sales results, but it also might hurt them instead.
7. Having unrealistic expectations.
An SEO strategy doesn’t yield results overnight; it requires time and patience. Generally, SEO efforts require up to six months before they begin to move the needle, and a year or more before they gain serious traction. If you pull the plug too soon, you’ll have wasted your money and missed out on the long-term benefits.
SEO constantly evolves, so realize the learning curve you face will be ongoing. To make your corporate website the most productive sales-generating asset it can be, avoid — and learn from — others’ mistakes. And don’t be a hero. If you need assistance in developing, executing and evaluating SEO efforts, enlist the help of an Internet marketing company with a track record of success.