This is a guest post by Tricia Borren.
Search engine optimization (SEO) has become one of the most effective and useful online marketing tools available today. Although most small businesses understand the basic concepts of SEO, many still make some mistakes during implementation. Small businesses should avoid making five of the most common SEO mistakes.
The most common mistake small businesses make is having duplicate content on a site. Duplicate content today is commonly generated by content management systems (CMS) or other tools that automatically create some pages or content. Duplicate title tags can also be a problem. Duplicate content hurts the ranking and quality of a page even if it is unintentional.
Sites That Cannot Be Crawled
A common SEO problem that can be hard to detect is if a site can’t be crawled. A site that cannot be crawled might have only a handful of all available pages indexed. This can occur when links are placed inside of dynamic content, forms or Flash animations. The pages that cannot be crawled are effectively invisible to anyone performing searches online regardless of optimization.
Any business that has a physical presence or interest in a particular city or geographical location should optimize the site for local searches. The benefit of using local online marketing is that the business will appear when people in the area are searching for a nearby product or service. Certain engines perform local searches slightly differently. Optimizing for a local search involves using keywords and phrases relevant to the area along with data like an address and phone number.
Broken links can occur for several reasons. Some sites change quickly, leaving behind broken links. Typos can cause broken links as well. Sites with many broken links will receive a lower ranking. Small businesses should use site management tools to quickly identify, remove, or redirect broken links.
No Tracking of Conversions
Small businesses sometimes make the mistake of not gathering analytics to see what is working and what is not. It is important to track exactly what keywords or pages are converting visitors. The results could be surprising and might reveal new niches or potential strategies. Conversion tracking is essential for all small businesses using SEO.
Every small business with an online presence should dedicate some marketing resources to SEO. SEO has a very good return on investment (ROI) and increases the visibility of smaller companies. Optimizing sites for local searches can even create new foot traffic in regional storefronts.
Tricia Borren is a housewife who enjoys blogging in her free time.