Making errors during SEO implementation is normal, and most of them are reparable. However, some SEO mistakes service businesses make are non-negotiable.
It’s not enough to hire SEO experts and let them handle everything, though. Without ample SEO know-how, you might be wasting money instead of gaining organic traffic.
So, let’s protect our website and valuable resources by understanding these costly SEO errors. Apply our suggested solutions, too, and prevent your SEO efforts from going down the drain!
1. Targeting Wrong Keywords
Proper keyword research is crucial in making your site searchable and high ranking. Unfortunately, skipping this step is also one of the costliest SEO mistakes service businesses make.
Some think it’s a waste of time, while others resort to keyword stuffing or guessing. But how does this error make you lose money?
The lack of target keywords makes it hard for potential customers to locate you right away. Worse, your keyword-savvy competitors will find them instead.
Moreover, using the wrong keywords means spending the marketing budget constantly without seeing returns. Inserting irrelevant keywords to rank will only earn you a costly penalty, too.
- Learn how to use keyword search tools. Google Keyword Planner and SEMRush Keyword Research are examples. Keep in mind that some are free, while others offer a free trial. Make sure to identify keywords with logical competition, search volume and cost-per-click rates.
- Choose long-tail keywords related to your business. For example, skip broad keywords like “corporate lawyers” and go for “corporate lawyers for merger agreements” instead. Transactional keywords like “how much do accountants charge for taxes” are excellent for finding conversion-ready clients. Local keywords like “Melbourne doctor for child allergies” is another SEO strategy for identifying your target audience.
2. Poor Quality Content
Search engines like Google are fond of rewarding web articles that answer search queries, educate users or generate positive engagement.
Site owners also gain perks like boosted brand reputation and credibility from loyal readers who follow and share their content.
But then, mediocre content, scraped articles and duplicate content issues are common SEO mistakes service businesses make.
You can check out our previous article which discuss the reasons why your content may not rank well.
If you do not address these, your online presence will drop, and eventually, your visitors and profit will, too.
- Write 1000 to 2000-word articles. Long-form content may have no direct link to search engine rankings. However, it will give you room to strategically insert competitive keywords and quality links that boost SERP positioning. When writing such articles, though, make sure they are original, meaningful, grammatically correct and well-researched.
- Optimise old content. Conduct a site audit to spot pages or articles that need content upgrading. Yes, fresh content is best. But at times, updating outdated content is more cost-efficient.
- Consider WordPress for managing your content. Proper formatting and structuring are crucial in quality content creation. And the WordPress system simplifies the process. Moreover, its SEO plug-ins help you avoid errors and make correct edits when needed.
3. Poor Technical SEO
You may have the best content or most user-friendly website out there. But if search engine bots cannot index your site, all that effort becomes a waste.
Sitemap issues and the presence of broken links or orphan pages can hinder crawlers, too.
These problems fall under technical SEO. But unlike on-page SEO, these issues are not as apparent.
And like other SEO mistakes service businesses make, these only lead to poor organic search visibility and reduced traffic.
- Audit your website for technical SEO. You can use tools to generate an analysis report. It should help you spot issues for your website developer to fix.
- Ensure robots.txt file correctness. The bots work on a limited crawl budget within a website. With your robots.txt file, these crawlers can easily find the essential parts of your site, like fresh content.
- Install the XML sitemap plug-in if you’re using WordPress. This plug-in automatically creates and sends a new sitemap to search engines so bots can crawl your article sooner.
- Fix broken links. Aside from good link building, ensure that links are working using a broken link checker. Also, make sure optimised URLs do not lead bots to a 404 not found page.
4. Not Utilising Internal Links
Why are inbound links important to business websites? There are several reasons. For one, these links grant points to every piece of content within your site.
The more points each article get, the more search engines find it relevant. In turn, it will perform better on the SERPs.
Inbound links also act as a bridge to the different pages and posts on your website. They make navigation easy for your users, encouraging them to stay longer.
And people who stay longer on your site are more likely to convert or make a purchase.
While internal linking is easy to disregard, it’s also one of the SEO mistakes service businesses make that is easy to fix. Here are ways how.
- Publish lots of content. You will have enough materials to add as internal links with plenty of blog posts. Creating a content strategy supported by keyword search can help with this. For example, start with an article on “when to see a chiropractor”. Then, publish a relevant topic like “how much does it cost to see a chiropractor”, then link the two. You can also check out this list of blog content ideas for inspiration.
- Prioritise deeper internal links. Avoid directing your readers to top-level page links like your contact details or homepage. Choose a specific product page or a relevant blog article instead. Aim to increase traffic on pages that are not in your navigation menu.
5. Slow Website Speed
Did you know that 39% leave a website when images do not load fast enough? And in the United States, a whopping 51% abandon their online purchase due to a slow-loading site.
Website speed is perhaps among the most impactful SEO mistakes service businesses make. High bounce rates and poor user experience instantly hurt your traffic and profit.
So, it’s a must to find ways to speed up your website load time without sacrificing website functionality. Ideally, aim for your page content to fully load within 2.5 seconds.
The following suggestions can help.
- Conduct a page speed test. Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to identify your speed score and the factors affecting it. The best thing about this test is that it shows real-time page performance based on Chrome browser data.
- Optimise or remove large content images. Things like hero images and web banners can slow down your site. So, make sure to compress and convert them to smaller image formats.
- Make your site mobile-friendly. This solution should push you to slim down your site and make it load fast no matter the device.
6. Prioritising Quantity over Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are relevant to SEO and search ranking as these represent the accuracy and trustworthiness of your site.
Specifically, these showcase your relations to other websites related to your niche or expertise. In a way, they act like stamps of approval from authoritative sources.
Of course, the more credible your site is, the higher your chances of landing on first-page search results.
However, earning high-quality backlinks takes time. That’s why some would resort to buying lots of external links at low prices for the sake of ranking.
Others even settle on incorporating irrelevant outbound links to their website. This risky practise no longer works, though.
Also, search engines interpret sudden increase of backlinks to spammy links, resulting in penalties. Here’s what you can do instead, aside from being more selective on backlinks.
- Create guest posts on blogs. Keep your articles relevant to your service business, and feature industry-related influencers.
- Remove poor quality links. Use a checking tool to spot questionable links on your site. For irrelevant links directed to your site, you can email the website owner to have them removed. You can also check Google’s instructions on how to disavow unnatural links.
7. Not Tracking Progress
Forgetting about analysing SEO metrics is among many SEO mistakes service businesses make, too. SEO application requires resources to work: money and effort. More importantly, SEO takes time.
Naturally, any business owner would want to see improvements from their hard work. But it’s hard to do that without SEO monitoring.
Moreover, you cannot spot and fix technical issues when you do not check on your progress with the right tools.
- Use proper tools to track SEO success. Your tool choice should measure your search traffic, keyword rankings and backlink count. SEO tools that allow competitor analysis are also vital.
- Hire professionals. Tracking SEO progress may be too technical for most business owners. It will also take too much of their time and energy. In that case, consider getting the assistance of a reliable SEO company. Infinite Ace, for instance, used SEO tools for objectively assessing and measuring Wyndham Physio’s success.
8. Stopping SEO Campaign After Being on First Page
Once you start your SEO campaign, always remember that SEO is a continuous process. So, make it your goal to land on the first page and stay there.
Because if you stop, your page may be applying SEO techniques that no longer work. Over time, new and SEO-savvy competitors may crop up, too.
Without continuous dedication, your SEO strength will dwindle. And you won’t make the most of your investment, either.
- Always keep tabs on search algorithm updates. Check Google’s archives from time to time or read current news on SEO. That way, you can make changes ahead without compromising your traffic, search engine rankings or conversion rates.
- Keep using SEO analytical tools. Make it a habit to check your competitors and update your content. Continuous monitoring lets you act on unexpected issues right away, too.
SEO is multifaceted. With so many techniques and metrics to understand, it’s easy to lose focus on things that matter.
Hopefully, this list of SEO mistakes service businesses make will help reconstruct your priorities. By avoiding these costly errors, you’ll be maximising your team’s effort and boosting your chances of SEO success!