10 embarrassing SEO mistakes that will bury your business deep in the Mariana Trench of Google – and how to correct them today

IF YOU THINK you don’t need to watch what is happening with your website’s SEO…

…and you’d rather live in denial and continue looking elsewhere…

I’m really sorry but you need to WAKE UP!

I can almost guarantee that you are guilty of at least one of these SEO blunders. I know that because I was, myself! But don’t worry, I will show you exactly the steps to take to get back to being Google’s favorite.

1. Inconsistent Info on Business Listings

Google looks at all the places where your business name, address and phone number are mentioned. If this information doesn’t match exactly, Google determines that your business is less trustworthy and that pushes you down the list of results.

If you’re claiming your business address to be one thing on Facebook, but you decided for whatever reason to use a different address on Yelp, then that’s inconsistent and you will get punished, my friend *insert diabolical laughter*.

Getting your Google My Business listing in order will work like magic when it comes to your company’s local search ranking.

2. Overusing H1 tags

Make sure you structure your content in a logical, helpful and smart way. If you’re overusing heading 1 tags – H1 tags – in your written content, Google might see that as an attempt to pump up your listing with keywords.

Bob from Bob’s Sandwich Store used all these H1 tags in one blog post:

  • How sandwich stores have evolved throughout the history of sandwich stores
  • How we became the sandwich store we are today
  • What you should always look out for when going to a sandwich store to buy sandwiches

That’s just too much!

It’s important to use H1 tags, but DO NOT use them excessively. Always use them in a way that is helpful to the visitor.

3. Keyword Stuffing

Unfortunately, some businesses still believe that a good SEO strategy is to stuff as many relevant keywords into their copy as possible, without caring about readability. Google hates this and will issue severe penalties.

Bob’s Sandwich Store put this introduction text on his homepage: “Bob’s Sandwich Store is the best of all sandwich stores in your neighborhood. Our sandwich store is so unique you’ll never find a better sandwich store. All the other sandwich stores are not nearly as good as our sandwich store.”

Take it easy with the keywords. Focus on using words that make the user experience better and write content that your customers will find interesting and useful!

4. Not Using the Right Keywords

That being said, using keywords IS critical, but you need to use the right ones. Try to think like your potential customer: what words would he or she be using when they try to find your business? The problem might also be that you are trying to use keywords that are too generic or too competitive.

Instead of using industry specific language such as “whole grain artisan nutritional sandwiches”, think of something simple like “the best sandwich store in my town”.

Instead of using general terms like “sandwich” try using a more niche specific keyword, such as “gluten-free sandwiches”.

5. Duplicate content

This one should be obvious, but if you have any duplicate content on your site that you copy-pasted from someone else it’s not only extremely unprofessional, but it’s also much less useful in Google’s eyes and you will be punished.

Write unique content and write it yourself. You can also use tools like Copyscape or CopyGator to find out if someone is copying you!

6. Buying Links

This is a tough one. Some SEO agencies might offer to build you hundreds of backlinks for a cheap price. It might sound tempting, but it’s never a good idea!

If you buy links or use link networks, blog networks, link automation or anything like that, Google will know and will punish those who try trick the system.

Just don’t do! Building backlinks over time is a great way to boost your rankings but it has to happen organically.

7. Not Enough Content

This one might sound obvious, but it’s surprising how many businesses don’t put any content on their website. Guys, you need to have content. If there’s nothing to read or to look at, that will not be helpful to anyone and thus your website is destined to be forgotten by Google and everyone else.

At least put in a decent business description, a FAQ page and perhaps a couple blog posts for visitors to interact with. If you provide helpful content that encourages people to engage and share, all of that will help you improve your rankings!

PRO TIP: If you tie your content to local events and news, Google loves that.

8. No Reviews

People love reviews, and so does Google. The more reviews you have the better!

You can collect reviews on you Google My Business, on Yelp, on Facebook, and on your own website. Start with one place!

If you don’t have any reviews yet, try asking past customers to give you some lovin’. If they had a good experience with you, they will be happy to do it!

You should also engage with the customers and reply to reviews, especially the bad ones. Be very careful: even though you were offended by a bad review, take a deep breath and compose an answer that is not defensive and does not accuse the customer of being wrong. Take the feedback, however unjust, thank the customer for it, and promise you will improve and fix the things.

9. Your Website Isn’t Mobile-Friendly

Did you know that nowadays 50% of people who land on your site are not on desktop computers, but instead on phones and tablets? Google has placed a massive focus on mobile users, and if your site isn’t mobile-friendly… Google will ignore it.

Another thing that happens is this: if your site doesn’t work on a mobile device or is hard to use, people will leave your site immediately (this is known as your bounce rate). If people bounce immediately, Google will think that your site is irrelevant and give you a low ranking.

Check if Google deems your website mobile-friendly here.

10. Broken external links

If you have a lot of broken links on your website, Google will conclude that you really don’t care and you’re happy to provide visitors with various error pages.

Check your links once in a while. There are many WordPress plugins that you can use for this purpose. Make sure to fix or remove the dead links.

Questions? Want us to help you with your SEO and creating an optimized website? Request your free quote and consultation call today!


About Petra Boije

Petra Boije is a web designer, graphic designer & illustrator. She's mixing all of her skills together to form a unique soup of creative rocket fuel to help small businesses in their web and marketing endeavours. She's a Bachelor of Arts and has 10+ years of experience in design, web and art.

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