If you have a content marketing strategy in place for your business, search engine optimization (SEO) for your business’s website needs to be a part of it. And any SEO expert will tell you that although it’s a timely process and one that requires diligent effort, a properly executed strategy is invaluable to your business.

Search algorithms and SEO best practices are constantly evolving, and you need to make sure that you follow these trends and implement changes within your own website. When your website isn’t optimized correctly, you’ll miss out on search traffic and risk losing new customers to your competitors who have executed their SEO properly.

Don’t get lazy when it comes to SEO for your small business website. Here are some of the more common SEO mistakes that you’ll want to avoid making.

1. Selecting Irrelevant Keywords

Keywords are the words that tell search engines about the content on your website. When a searcher types in a phrase into a search engine, the search engine will populate with relevant web pages based on those keywords. For your website, you want to make sure that you are choosing keywords that are relevant to your business. This will give you the best odds of showing up in search results for items related to your business.

Determine which keywords and phrases you believe potential customers would search for to find things about your business. Conduct keyword research using tools like Google’s keyword planner or the Moz keyword explorer. These tools will help you gain a better understanding of what’s trending, so you can determine the best, most relevant keywords.

2. Posting Duplicate Content

You wouldn’t reuse another business’s logo or tagline, would you? Well, the same should be true of your content. Your customers expect high-quality, original content, and that’s exactly what you should be providing them with. So, copying and duplicating content from other websites is not an option. Not only does it make your website appear incredibly unprofessional, but search engines pick up replicate content as spam and will penalize you for it. Take the time to come up with fresh, unique content ideas that provide value to your customers.

3. Not Utilizing Meta Tags Properly

Meta tags tell a search engine what the content on your website is about. They cannot be seen on a page, but they appear behind the scenes within the code. They are a huge element of SEO and a necessity for performing well with search engines. You’ll want to focus on the following:

Meta keywords attribute – Keywords that are relevant to the page’s content.
Title tags – The title of your page that appears at the top of the browser.
Meta description attribute – A short description of the page’s content.
Meta robots attribute – Tells a search engine what it should do with a web page.

4. Having a Slow Page Speed

Page speed is the length of time that it takes for a website page to load all of its content entirely. It’s simple fact that the longer a web page takes to load, the more likely it is that searches will leave the site, thus increasing your bounce rate and negatively impacting the traffic to your website, as seen below.

As a simple starting point, web pages with large files or images will load slower than those without. In order to avoid this, you can optimize your images and other content. Here are a few more in-depth tips.

5. Not Optimizing for Mobile

In order to succeed in your market, you need to be where your customers are. In 2018, 52.2% of all worldwide online traffic was generated via mobile. Additionally, 57% of all US online traffic comes from smartphones and tablets.

Optimizing your website for mobile has never been more important than it is now, especially with the initiation of Google’s Mobile First Index. This practice means that Google now looks to a website’s mobile version in order to create and rank it within search listings.

To make your website mobile friendly, you’ll need to select a website design that’s mobile responsive. You also want to avoid using flash, as users can’t view those items via mobile. Don’t utilize pop-ups either, as they are difficult to close out of on a mobile device and can impact your bounce rate.

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