Top 14 Mistakes Small Business Owners Make When Using SEO

Top 14 mistakes small business owners make when using SEO

In this post, I'll define what mistakes small business owners make when using SEO, show a few examples of how you can improve your SEO, and provide several ways to get started with SEO to get more search traffic to your blog.

SEO is like dating: there are many ways to mess it up.

SEO is the most effective way to increase your website's search engine visibility. But, it can make or break your website's ability to get discovered by search engines and get high rankings in SERPs (search engine results pages).

During my journey to build this blog, I have read and heard everything in the SEO jungle, and it's the opposite. This leads to multiple SEO mistakes, often due to a lack of knowledge of the subject.

So, I've come up with a comprehensive list of the top fourteen biggest SEO mistakes that destroy your search rankings and ruin your online marketing efforts.

Table of Contents

Top 14 mistakes small business owners make when using SEO

I noticed these are the top 14 mistakes small business owners make when using SEO!

Expecting first-page results overnight

SEO takes time. You can expect immediate results with your blog posts.

Google’s algorithms take time to analyze your content (relevancy, quality, trustworthiness…)

If you keep producing great content, Google will eventually start seeing you as an expert in your field. And once that happens, you’ll start getting traffic from the SERPs…

SEO requires patience, consistency, and perseverance to get results. Moreover, remember Pareto’s law: only 80% of your effort will bring 20% of your results.

Adding too many keywords inside your content

Keyword stuffing is one of the most common mistakes small business owners make when using SEO that I see.

When you add too many keywords inside your content to grab the attention of Google, it will think that you’re trying to trick it into thinking you’re offering something different than you are.

And guess what happens when that happens? You get penalized.

Google wants you to write for the user, not the algorithm. Google is a lot like Facebook in how they think about content. While Facebook cares about what its users want, Google focuses on the user’s needs. This means that the content you create should be designed to help users find exactly what they’re looking for. You’ll be surprised how many people are searching for something on Google without even knowing it.

Users expect to find a relevant answer to informational queries (question – problem-solving type) to help them.

If you want to rank well, you’ll probably find a good balance between providing sufficient information for the Internet user and going too far into excessive optimization to increase your chances of ranking high. You’ll then be able to write a well-optimized (not over-optimized) article that also answers the question and that’s useful for all.

Using the wrong keywords

Not making proper keyword research is one of the biggest SEO mistakes. If you’re starting a new business or trying to make your current business more visible online, you need to know what people are searching for.

If you want your content to be found by Google and other search engines, then you need to know what keywords your target audience is typing and how competitive it is. An excellent place to start looking is in your Google Analytics.

This will give you data on how often your site and your page are being viewed, what people are searching for, when they search for it, and where they’re from. It’s essential to monitor the results of your keyword research so that you can make adjustments to your strategy.

You can also use the Keyword Planner of Google Ads or a specific tool like SEMrush to find long-tail keywords.

Moreover, Google announces about 15% of new requests every day. Out of every 100 searches made on Google, 15 have never been requested before. Knowing that there are about 7 billion queries per day… Google has to understand them and propose the best content, and all this in real-time.

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Neglecting the customer experience

You’ve heard about keyword research and how it helps optimize your site for search engines. But what about customer experience? You know, the part where people use your website?

An SEO-friendly website is just one piece of the puzzle; customers’ experiences also matter. Search engines take this in consideration too, when determining your rankings.

If you have a high bounce rate, for example, it will hurt your ranking and give warnings to Google. It will consider that your content is irrelevant or not high-quality to be in the first search results.

Having a slow website

Slow webite - seo mistake
Having a slow website is a huge SEO mistake!

According to Google, slow loading speeds are one of the most common reasons websites don’t rank high in the search results, and people leave the website before it’s fully loaded.

The good news is that common SEO mistakes can be quickly fixed. You can do many things to ensure your site loads fast. Here are some tips to help you out:

1. Optimize images – Images account for about 70% of the total bytes transferred over the Internet. To reduce the size of each image file, use lossy compression techniques such as JPEG or PNG.

2. Use responsive design – Responsive design allows you to provide different layouts based on screen resolution. This way, your website displays correctly on mobile devices without resizing the layout.

3. Implement caching – Caching helps keep your website fast by storing frequently used files locally. You can cache static assets such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and images.

4. Minimize redirects – Redirects occur when a visitor lands on a URL that doesn’t exist anymore. These redirections can cause problems for visitors since they’re often confused and lose their place while navigating your website. Make sure that you don’t redirect visitors unnecessarily.

Missing meta data

Once you upload your content on your WordPress blog, don’t forget to add the title H1 and the meta description… It gives some context to Google and helps you to rank for the right search intent.

Easy to correct this SEO mistake, isn’t it?

You can do it quickly on WordPress with the RankMath plugin!

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Linking mistakes with SEO

When we come to SEO, content is not everything. And unfortunately, it’s one of the biggest SEO mistakes…

You can have the best content in the world, but if Google only positions popular websites, and your is not, you will never be able to make it to the first page of Google. Every keyword leads to different search results.

Some keywords with little competition will allow you to position quickly, even if you are not very popular. On the contrary, for some keywords that are much more competitive, Google expects you to provide unique content and your website to have high popularity.

On the one hand, that means linking out to other sites. While you add external links to your content, keeping the backlink quality in mind is essential. Don’t just add many links to your blog post’s body, which can look spammy and unprofessional. Make sure the link’s content backs up your point and the content is related.

On the other hand, that means building a high-quality backlink to your blog. To get some, you can guest blogging for example. But, never buy backlinks! Google will penalize you!

Not taking in consideration the mobile and local search

During one of its algorithm updates, Google announced that mobile-friendly websites will get a better chance of ranking higher. These changes mean that it’s essential to make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices.

63% of all online queries came from mobile devices. More importantly, most of those searches are conducted locally, meaning that searchers want to find local businesses. While many businesses already offer a mobile version of their sites, there are still plenty of opportunities to improve your mobile presence.

Another aspect of the move to mobiles is the rise of local searches. People search on the run, so they look up nearby businesses. They’re conducting more near-me searches as a result. That’s a huge opportunity to reach consumers when they need goods and services.

Not being consistent in your posting

You’ve heard about the importance of creating high-quality content. But you might struggle with finding the time to do it. And trying to stick to a schedule — even just once a week — can be challenging.

Consistency is a huge factor for Google. Posting a hundred pieces of content in a few weeks and then nothing will kill your website!

So, prioritize quality over quantity! It’s better to post 1 article per week or month, but a high-quality, well-researched one. You will get better results with it.

In short, to correct this SEO mistake, publishing and scheduling regular blog posts are essential for both your site’s SEO and your audience. They help keep people engaged with what you have to say and give visitors something interesting to read.

Missing the latest news on SEO trends

If SEO is part of your overall digital marketing strategy, then staying up-to-date is key. Search engine optimization, like many aspects of online marketing, evolves quickly. So, relying on old tactics, you might see little to no improvement, and continue doing your SEO mistakes.

Being too focused on vanity metrics

Vanity metrics - seo mistake
Being too focused on vanity metrics is a huge SEO mistake!

Vanity metrics are metrics that may seem appealing and flatter your ego but that doesn’t have anything to do with whether a business is successful or not.

They include the number of times people shared your blog post or how many Twitter followers you have. These are important, but they don’t tell the whole story of what you’re doing or whether your efforts are successful. To see the real impact of your efforts, ask yourself:

  • Is this traffic serving your business performance?
  • Did you generate more sales, or is your brand awareness better?
  • What is your conversion rate?

Not using a copywriting tool

WordPress extensions like Yoast and Rankmath can help to avoid the most common SEO mistake.

But from a semantic point of view, I strongly recommend you also use a more advanced tool:, ClosersCopy, or even SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant.

With these, you get an optimization score, knowing which words to add to complete your writing.

SEO is changing. It’s no longer about stuffing your content with keywords. They are the key to success, but their impact has decreased recently. Google’s algorithm is constantly evolving, with over 500 updates per year. That’s why it understands better and better the context of a query.

This is why SEO experts talk about LSI keywords. Therefore, you must work on everything surrounding your target keyword with the associated lexical field. You need to give Google context to help it associate your content with your target keyword.

Do not audit your website regularly

A website lives, evolves, gains in functionality, in several pages… And not auditing your blog is a big SEO mistake.

Website audits can help you identify areas to improve your site’s performance and reveal areas where it might need a redesign. The right way to approach website audits is by using a tool that will help you get all the data you need to make informed decisions about the state of your website. This includes things like:

  • URL addresses, 301 redirections, 404 errors,
  • Duplicate content,
  • Redirected URLs in the sitemap,
  • Hreflang tag in a foreign version site.

In short, there are so many changes that technically influence the SEO, and that will create problems: start with the improvements suggested by your Search Console and to go further, use Rank Math Pro (the month I switched to the PRO version, my results were multiplied by 30)

Not knowing your SEO competitors

SEO is still king when it comes to online marketing. And that means you need to find out who else is competing for the exact keywords. Start by looking at the domain names of your top competitors.

Once you have a list of domains, look at the sitemap for each page on those sites. The next step is to check the link profile of the pages you just looked at. The pages linked to your competitors can tell you a lot about what they’re doing, and this information can help you improve your SEO strategy.

The other point on this list is the importance of knowing what your competitors are doing and how they’re doing it. SEO competition can be a great way to find new ways of thinking about your business. You’ll have to ask yourself a few questions to determine where you’re missing out: How do they generate traffic? How do they rank on the first page of Google? How do they position themselves as leaders of their industry?

The Solopreneur Powerhouse is turning your solopreneur journey from a roller coaster ride into a magic carpet ride. So, ready to take the fast track to success town? Hang tight, we're jumping into hyperdrive!
Say Goodbye to Empty Promises and Ineffective Methods.

The Solopreneur Powerhouse is turning your solopreneur journey from a roller coaster ride into a magic carpet ride. So, ready to take the fast track to success town? Hang tight, we’re jumping into hyperdrive!

Let’s wrap up the most common mistakes small business owners make when using SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most critical parts of content marketing. You want to rank high in search engines like Google and Bing; if you don’t, your audience won’t find your site. A good SEO campaign helps you achieve that goal.

But even the best people make some common SEO mistakes. And it’s easy to fall into those traps. This post have highlighted those mistakes so that you can recognize them in the future!

Top 14 SEO mistakes that ruin your rankings
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Marlene Konu
Marlene Konu
Here to help you build a business at home to create a life you love! ❤️ But first, you should read this.

Affiliate Disclaimer: I may receive affiliate commissions from any products I recommend or links I put on this page. My opinions are my own but they are truthful and I do my best to recommend products that I have purchased myself.

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