5 Critical Small Business SEO Mistakes That can Destroy Your Rankings

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SEO marketing is incredibly helpful in boosting your business’s success, conversions, and brand recall. Not only can it significantly increase your website traffic, but it can also take your business revenues and profits to the next level.

Optimizing SEO for your small business website can seem like a minefield where anything can set off a chain reaction if you don’t know what to avoid.

In this blog, you will learn about the vital, costly mistakes to avoid as a small business owner in SEO marketing to succeed. You can work with an affordable SEO service specifically for small businesses to eliminate the following issues and mistakes in your SEO strategy.

1. Solely Focusing on On-Page SEO Efforts

On-page SEO covers all the aspects of your native website itself. Implementing on-page SEO means making sure all these on-page aspects are working efficiently. Part of on-page activities incorporates your target keywords in your web pages, meta titles, meta descriptions, and other details of your native website to ensure it shows up on Google’s SERP.

While on-page SEO is essential when working with SEO for a small business website, you cannot ignore off-page SEO if you want to skyrocket your rankings. Off-page SEO includes incorporating solid backlinks from third-party websites within your niche. Not all backlinks are the same quality, so your small business SEO service must ensure your business receives high-quality backlinks.

What is a backlink, though?

A backlink is a link on an external website that links back to a page from your website. Backlinks can also come from guest posts, social media posts, local SEO practices like Google My Business posts, business listings both locally and internationally, and more.

Backlinks are important because they transport users to your website when they click the links. Therefore, backlinks improve how much traffic your website receives. This more significant traffic indirectly enhances your website’s rankings on Google’s SERP for your target keywords.

Secondly, backlinks are essential because they also directly improve your rankings.Why do they improve your rankings? Backlinks from reputable websites with high domain authorities that receive regular traffic indicate to Google that your website is affiliated with that website. It’s like a contact who is “in the know” can get their friend into an exclusive event or club. The connection, in this case, will be the reputable website that has a high domain authority, and the “club” will be high rankings on Google’s SERP.

A single, high-quality backlink can also send your website’s rankings higher in a shorter time than when you focus solely on on-page SEO marketing for small business owners.

A black tablet showing SEO ranking factors on its screen with data points to help small business owners with SEO marketing

2. Not Paying Attention to Competitors

Operating your small business SEO in a vacuum will not serve your rankings, conversions, or business well. You must look at how your competitors are performing, what strategies they use, what keywords they rank for, what SEO marketing tactics they use, and more.

3. Ignoring Search Intent

Search intent is an essential aspect of ranking on Google’s SERP because it helps you gauge your website’s relevancy. You must use small business SEO services to compare how your website stacks up against your competitors in search intent.

A man is working on his laptop for small business SEO services with a cup of coffee nearby

For example, if all the results on the first page for your target keyword are commercial, will your non-commercial page fit in with them? No! Due to instances like these, your SEO marketing for small business owners must be well thought-through.

Additionally, Google introduced a BERT update that looks at search intent strictly. The BERT update means that the search engine will critically evaluate whether your website’s page fits in with the searcher’s intent for that keyword.

For example, if a keyword is “buy cookie mug near me,” the user’s search intent is clearly to find a cookie-themed mug near them. If your hypothetical cookie recipe were to come up for this search term, the BERT update would punish your web page with lower rankings for that search term.

Conversely, if you sell cookie mugs and your website is optimized for that keyword, the search engine’s BERT update will reward your website with higher rankings.

4. Not Prioritizing Creating High-quality Content

Content truly is king when it comes to SEO for small business websites. High-quality, helpful content builds authority and attracts regular users through specialized organic traffic suitable for your small business’s niche.

What Kind of Content is Considered “Good?”

Helpful content is considered good, because users will continually come back to it when they need it. Also, if your content discusses topics salient for those in your industry and particularly your target customers, they will undoubtedly read your content and become familiar with your small business.

5. Ignoring Technical SEO

A person is doing technical SEO for small business SEO services on his laptop to improve the website's rankings on Google

Technical SEO helps clear the path for website visitors to read your business’s high-quality blog content.

Technical SEO and content marketing work in tandem with each other. The two have a Yin-Yang-like relationship because website visitors want to read the content,but they can’t find said content unless a small business website handles all its technical roadblocks for SEO.

The good thing is that they can do so with affordable SEO services for small businesses.

About The Author

Joseph Dyson is a Senior Account Manager at the acclaimed digital marketing agency Search Berg. As his specialties, he offers small business SEO services and backlinking services. Over his long career, Tyler has helped thousands of businesses skyrocket their conversions and rankings. He helps them by enacting actionable SEO strategies. He regularly writes digital marketing blog posts for the Search Berg blog.