Small businesses usually struggle to find a customer base. For small businesses, establishing themselves as a brand is important to their growth. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been the gold standard for creating an organic online presence. SEO best practices have allowed small businesses to scale up dramatically.
SEO helps your online presence by helping you rank higher on search results, and the many companies (and in a survey by the Manifest, majority of them) find that SEO can be a worthwhile investment. By the same token, poorly optimized SEO can inhibit your growth.
A business may prefer hiring an SEO agency for boosting their online presence, while the businessmen focus on the business side of things. SEO requires effort and patience, but if you’re not doing enough or you’re not doing SEO the right way, your online presence may deteriorate. These are some of those things you need to look out for:
Not Regularly Updating Your Website
SEO requires a regular amount of work, and success by SEO can’t be overnight. If you have a website and you’re not maintaining a blog or regularly updating your website with content, the search engines will not favor your presence.
One of Google’s search factors is how much a website has been updated with content recently. Therefore, the more inactive a website is, the lesser chance it has to rank higher.
Not Using Keywords Correctly
When you update your content with SEO in mind, there is no doubt that you’ll have realized that you have to put the keywords in wisely. When researching and analyzing keywords, it’s essential to understand how and where to use them.
Your competitors may be using some keywords in their content, but are you using them? Using your competitors’ keywords is a smart strategy because there is nothing against it. But that shouldn’t be your only goal. If you see yourself being too reliant on others’ keywords, it means that you haven’t done your keyword research well.
However, using keywords doesn’t mean spamming keywords. You don’t need to place keywords just for the sake of having them there. Keyword stuffing is an actual black hat SEO practice that can get your website banned from search engines entirely.
Not Focusing On The User Experience
Your website may have everything that your customer needs for a purchase. But what if a new visitor comes to your website and they’re not ending up at the checkout? It could be because that they weren’t happy with the design of your website.
If your web pages are too clunky or flooded with information, the user might get frustrated.
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Use space wisely and provide the necessary information which the user might need. Design choices matter a lot, and it’s better to get your website designed by a professional than making one yourself. You may not be aware of the intricacies that go into a great user experience.
If the website puts a potential customer off, they’ll go to another website and get what they want from there. If your SEO is optimized enough to have traffic coming to your website but that isn’t converting to sales or leads, your design and user experience could be causes for concern.
Take a look at websites like Amazon and Nike. They provide the necessary information about the products without flooding or annoying the visitor.
You’re not an established brand like Amazon or Nike, so don’t expect immediate results like them either. But you can replicate their design choices. A user will come to you for either researching, purchasing, or both. The experience you give to the user matters a lot in the user’s decision in choosing you.
Assuming That There Are No Technical Issues
If you’re ignoring the technicalities of your website, you’re not optimizing enough. If a customer visits your website and it takes too long to load up, then you have a lost customer. If your website doesn’t load up in 10 seconds, the visitor will take less than 2 seconds to push the “Back” button and look for another reliable website.
It’s more than possible that your website was designed on a computer. Still, if it’s not optimized for mobile (because that’s where the majority of the searches happen), then you’re already losing a huge customer base.
Don’t assume that your website is error-free, and don’t assume that people believe that the best method of making a purchase is to access the website on a computer.
Not Analyzing Your Traffic
It can’t be emphasized enough that you need to work and monitor your analytics regularly. If you aren’t analyzing your traffic, enough using Google’s or Bing’s analytics, then you aren’t understanding your market correctly.
If you believe that your content is optimized, are you measuring your performance? How much of your traffic is converting to sales? Why are some pages converting to sales and some aren’t? Which pages generate the most traffic? Which items are your customers most interested in and where are they located? You’ll get the answers to all of these questions when you keep a close eye on analytics.
Not Focusing Enough On Local SEO
Last but not least, local SEO can be crucial for your business. If you’re not focusing on local SEO, how can you expect your small business to thrive online? You may be targeting the international market, but your local market may be the most enormous untapped potential. Are you optimizing for local keywords? If not, your potential customers might not even know that you exist. Local customers can produce the best sales for you, and not targeting the local market is a bad practice when scaling your small business. If you’re not sure about how to do that, it’s better to hire affordable local SEO services for your business.