Without search engine optimization, itís hard to say how businesses and brands could be able to understand the voice of the consumer, reach their target audience, and build trust and credibility in this digital era. SEO has proven to be the most viable and effective digital marketing strategy for businesses of all sizes and, as consumers increasingly shift online, its demands are rising every day.
As a business, investing in SEO is no longer an option. Itís a cost-effective marketing strategy that provides you with the visibility you need to reach your target audience and attract customers to your business. However, itís important to note that SEO is constantly changing, and you must not only use the right tools but also stay on top of the most effective SEO techniques. But this can be too demanding and challenging, especially when youíre just starting out as a company.
As a company, itís important for you to be careful not to make the following mistakes that could hurt your companyís online visibility rather than help your search rankings. Here are common mistakes that companies make:
Not Choosing the Right Domain Name
Many new businesses donít give much attention to their domain name; probably because they think it doesnít matter and has nothing to do with SEO. The truth, however, is that your domain name impacts both your branding and search rankings. According to Saw.com, a domain broker, committing to the right domain can be the difference between having zero visibility online and attracting new customers to your business. Take the time to think about both your online presence and branding before you choose a domain name for your company.
Keep in mind that domain names that match a companyís name or mention a brand and include keywords in them convert at a higher rate, so keep that in mind when choosing your domain. You also want to consider other crucial factors like brand-ability, memorability, length of your domain. Keep it simple and as short as possible.
It also matters the domain extension you choose. The .net, .com, and .org extensions are always preferable since they project credibility and trust that the rest. Ignoring all these considerations could negatively impact your SEO.
Not Having an SEO Plan
Many startup entrepreneurs understand the importance of market research, which is why they take the time to conduct market analysis. However, once theyíve gained a deep understanding of their target audience, they quickly launch an SEO campaign without putting in place a clear roadmap that can help them reach their marketing goals. Thatís a mistake you donít want to make.
As with everything in business, you must come up with a plan to ensure success. Your SEO campaign is no different. Think of an SEO plan as a strategic document that aligns all the relevant stakeholders involved and keep all the SEO-related tasks and milestones on track. Itís a roadmap that points everyone in your company in the right direction and helps you measure the performance of your campaign.
So, once youíve defined the objectives of your SEO campaign, you need to come up with a plan that will make it easy to monitor progress and keep track of your SEO.
Using Black Hat SEO Tactics
Search engines exist for the sole purpose of providing users with the best search results whenever they complete a search. A decade ago, many marketers assumed that search engine optimization was all about Ďmanipulatingí or rather Ďcheatingí the search engine algorithms into thinking a given web page was the best search result, and therefore, used black hat SEO tactics to increase a siteís rankings on SERPs. Well, it worked for sometime but things have since changed, as search algorithms are now more advanced and sophisticated.
To rank your companyís website today, you must follow all the search engine guidelines to the later. Using black hat SEO tactics such as private link networks, sneaky redirects, poor quality content, keyword stuffing, paid links, cloaking, and private blog networks could easily lead to your site being penalized or removed entirely by search engines. Keep off all these tactics and only stick to best SEO practices.
Not Optimizing for Mobile
With 82 percent of people looking up information and searching for products and services online using their smartphones and approximately 56 percent of web traffic worldwide coming from mobile devices, having a responsive website thatís optimized for mobile is no longer an option for brands and businesses in todayís digital world. At least for businesses that are looking to survive and gain an edge over the competition.
Search engines have realized this and have since moved to mobile-first indexing, which essentially means mobile-friendly, responsive websites rank higher in searches than those that arenít mobile-friendly. Unfortunately, many new businesses continue to make this costly mistake, thereby receiving lower rankings on SERPs and making it harder for their customers to find them. Talk to an experienced web designer about making your website mobile-friendly so you wonít have to worry about losing your customers to competitors.
Forgetting About Local Searches
If 50 percent of the people who conduct a local search using their mobile device end up visiting a physical store in less than twenty-four hours and 71 percent of consumers say they first search for a companyís location to confirm whether or not it exists before visiting, doesnít it make sense that every company that operates locally needs to optimize their site for local search?
Local SEO is all about optimizing your site to increase your visibility with a local client base. And that means including accurate contact information about your company. As silly as it sounds, many new companies often fail to include their contact information and location details on their online profiles, thereby losing a lot of money in sales. Itís, therefore, important that you update your company information in local business listings and online directories to make it easier for your business to be found by local customers online.