Published on: March 26, 2013
Can you believe that spring is almost here? We are experiencing a sunny day while writing this, and we hope that you are too!
Last blog, we started diving into the top 10 mistakes that SMB (Small and Medium-Sized Business) owners make. We listed five common mistakes and gave reasons as to why they are detrimental and how to avoid them. Some of them involved SEO, while others involved advertising and marketing. In this blog, we will give the other five mistakes that SMB owners make way too often.
Make sure to memorize our last blog and this blog, unless (for whatever reason) you want to run an unsuccessful business!
Note: These mistakes are in no particular order.
6. Not keeping your website content fresh!
This common mistake is very similar Mistake #5, but can be even more devastating because this affects to your whole website. When search engines, such as Google, look at your website, many factors come into their decision regarding your search engine result. A MAJOR part of their algorithms is checking to see if you update your website with fresh, unique content. This means that Google expects you to make changes and improve your website before they consider keeping you high on their SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). By not updating your website, it is possible to fall down on the rankings, even if your website happens to be the best and most relevant site regarding your area of business. Do not let this happen to you. All of your SEO and marketing efforts will go to waste if you do not persist with them. If you make a website, check it and make changes every day, rather than glancing at it every six months.
7. Not claiming and optimizing your Google Places page and other local directories
As we made clear in previous blogs and pages, we are HUGE fans of Google and their services. Another one of their fantastic services is Google Places, a local platform for businesses to be found on the internet. It’s free to use and every time someone completes a Google search, businesses from Google Places show up. However, Google Places is ineffective if you choose to do several things:
- Not make one (duh)
- Not fill out all information, use maximum amount of photos, etc.
- Constantly optimize it
None of this should surprise you. However, many SMB owners forget these things. In order for Google Places to be a reliable resource for your possible consumers, it should have as much information as Google allows you to put. Put 10 videos, put 5 videos, and in the information section, try to use the entire two hundred character limit. That way, viewers will stay on your page, make it to your website, and ultimately, purchase from your business!
8. Spamming: Trying to create good back-links without adding any value
Spam is defined as “the use of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited bulk messages, especially advertising, indiscriminately” by Wikipedia. We’ve all seen spam in emails, blogs, and social networking sites. And we all know how truly and horribly annoying it is. The logic behind spam is that the more people receive it, the more people are likely to click on it. Since back-links are so important to your website’s ranking and popularity, business owners will sometimes resort to spamming unrelated blogs and websites to try and increase their business. But you are probably thinking, “Well, I’ve never spammed before, and I don’t plan to.” Hmm…..you may be surprised.
Don’t be confused: we are in no way saying you should not post backlinks to websites and blogs. We’re just saying there is a proper way to do it. If you post your URL to websites and blogs that are not related to your business, it is spam. If you post your URL to websites and blogs that are related to your website but do not contribute anything to the discussion, it is spam. In order to effectively advertise without it being considered to be spam, you must contribute to the website/topic/discussion in a positive manner. This can be as simple as commenting your opinions on the articles, asking a question, or responding to someone else’s comments. Then put your URL. There are also blogs called “do-follow” blogs. These blogs give you link-juice for your backlink efforts.
Don’t be a spammer; be a contributor!
9. Not using good meta-tags and body-tags
When search engine spiders crawl through your pages, they look for several things. They want strong, relevant content; unique, fresh content; and keywords. We have already discussed the importance of keyword research, so you should know what we are talking about. Not only do search engine spiders want to see those keywords in your content, but they want to see them in your titles and tags. These tags weigh heavily on your rankings, so ensuring that you have them there will result in better rankings.
Meta-tags are an easy way to provide search engines with information about your website. They can provide information that can be used as a snippet for your website on a SERP, and they are put on the top of your HTML page. Body tags are used to break your writing into smaller subsections, making it easier to read for your viewers. These tags can have headings, such as H1, H2, H3, H4, etc. H1 tags are generally used for the main title of your page; therefore, they hold the most weight when it comes to keywords. Each H-tag after that decreases in importance. Believe us when we say these tags are important. Many of the websites we have seen that suffer from low rankings are because of their weak tags.
And for our final mistake! *cue drumroll
10. Not utilizing social media sites for your business
Since you are using the internet right now, we are just going to assume you know what social media sites are (if not, you are a little behind). Most of us having personal accounts on one or many of these sites and we use them for communication and/or entertainment purposes. It is a very easy way to share what we feel like sharing and to see what others are doing as well. Keeping all of this in mind, along with being successful for personal use, social networking sites also give great opportunities for businesses to show themselves!
Sites such as Facebook and Google + allow SMB owners to make pages for their businesses so that they can be seen by the sites’ users. These business pages provide many of the same perks typical users have on their pages. You can provide information on your business, status updates to connect with viewers, and post photos and videos as well. Imagine the number of people that your business can reach with this resource! You may have even found out about us through a social media site.
To not use these sites is a HUGE mistake, especially if you have personal accounts of your own!
….And there you have it: the ten mistakes you don’t want to make. We guarantee that if you don’t do these things, your business will fare well. Keep your eyes open for future blogs, and as always, feel free to leave comments or questions of any kind!
– The Team at Wow Page One Now