As a business owner, you’ve heard about search engine optimization and how it’s a marketing strategy.
However, there’s such a thing as bad SEO, and many people don’t know about this.
It’s probably because Google’s algorithm is constantly changing to improve user experience and businesses are way behind on this.
It’s important to familiarize yourself with some changes and key components in SEO because, at the end of the day, what you don’t know about it will only hurt your business.
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Not only will they affect your search engine rankings over time, but they’ll reduce the number of sales you get. At that point, you’d either have to reinvest back into SEO or spend a ton of resources on paid ads and social media.
In this post, we’ll be looking at 10 things you probably didn’t know about SEO and how you can use this knowledge to boost your rankings and sales long-term.
1. Your Images And Videos Can Make Or Break Your Search Rankings
If you don’t already know this, your business needs to put out content so that you can rank in search engines.
And while many business owners confuse this for long text, your content could also be multimedia like videos and images. This is especially useful when you’re bidding for highly competitive keywords.
You see, not all website visitors will be interested in reading long text. Some prefer to watch videos or see a step-by-step guide through pictures.
Now, although images and videos help boost your ranking by providing extra helpful content, if they aren’t done right, it can negatively impact your search rankings.
An example might be when you embed a broken Youtube video link or use images that negatively impact your page load time.
Ensure you use only relevant media when opting for visual content. Also, spend time optimizing your images and media for SEO
– JPEGs are the most SEO-friendly image format because they offer better compression levels
– Use image title and alt tags, so that the search engines can understand what the image is about
2. A Google Business Profile Can Get You High-Quality Leads
A Google Business Profile is an online local directory for your business. When someone needs to find a store or business nearby, they usually search on Google Maps or just enter a random Google search.
For example, the key phrase ‘Restaurants near me’ is a pretty popular search term people use.
When they enter this query, they see the results of several businesses along with their contact information. Often, there are directions if you have a physical shop. This is a result of listing their business profile on Google.
By creating a Google Business profile, not only will you put your business out there, but you’d get high-intent leads, and it’ll be easy for them to locate you.
Start by claiming your business name and verifying it as your listing on Google before someone else does.
– Ensure you include pictures of your products and services to help enhance your business
– When you can, add a questions and answers section to respond to inquiries that’ll help you convert leads
3. Your Site Speed Affects Your Revenue
Search Engines consider load speed a very important metric in ranking businesses on search results. And that’s because to Google, the user comes first.
People tend to bounce when it takes long to load, which loosely translates to them being unsatisfied. The average bounce rate increases by 90% when the page load time goes from one to five seconds.
Your website speed not only affects your user experience and SEO but also trickles down your sales. Because if visitors can’t get past the first two pages as quickly as possible, they get bored and leave your website.
So, to know whether or not your website speed is harming your sales, run your website through the Google PageSpeed Insights tool. You’ll get a report on how healthy your business is along with recommendations (if any) on how to optimize your speed.
– Run your website speed for both desktop and mobile to know the overall insights
– Your mobile should typically load faster than the desktop since mobile users have shorter attention spans
4. Local Link Building Will Give You A Ton Of Publicity
Unfortunately, many business owners make the mistake of building their SEO alone.
This includes creating content and visuals and managing everything without using external links. The ones that do use external linking, focus mostly on high-domain authority backlinks.
While this can be helpful, you should also include links from local and small businesses in your area.
Think local media, bloggers, events, businesses, charities, and more. This not only creates publicity for your business, but also gives you the opportunity to understand the constraints in your area.
You’ll then know how to fill the gap or present your product/service as a solution.
– Use a link analysis tool to find high traction businesses within your area
– Link to businesses you think will offer more value to your visitors
5. Strategically Placed Reviews Can Increase Conversion Rates
While this might not seem like a big SEO thing, reviews are a very essential key to driving sales towards your business.
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What is a Good Conversion Rate?
Conversion rates vary by different channels. Amazon sellers usually have an above average conversion rate because Amazon invest heavily into conversion rate optimization. You should aim for double-figure conversions on search engines (10% or more). This will ensure you have a good conversion rate.
97% of consumers read reviews online to search for and choose a local business. Google also sees positive reviews as helpful content and prioritizes websites with reviews.
You’ll see this when you search for businesses on Googe Maps. So it’s important to not only collect reviews but manage them properly.
List your business on third-party sites like Yelp and Trustpilot. Also, ensure that you display these reviews on your website.
Pay attention to your ratings and add them to your Schema markup so that they can display on search results too. See how ratings pop-up on this search result for fitness centers and how you can sort by top ratings
While many other businesses might choose to ignore the negative reviews, it’s a chance to help you build trust with potential customers. Negative reviews are automatically seen as the issue with your business, and so people will want to see how you address complaints or what your perceived customer service is.
– Ensure your reviews appear in text form in the HTML of the product page they are on
– You can use the Google Rich Snippet Markup testing tool to validate your review placements
6. Inconsistent Napw Data Can Make You Appear As A Fraud
NAPW means Name Address Phone and Website. Often there are cases where your NAPW varies from one site listing to another. Some businesses also have these inconsistencies across their social media.
It could be a case where a former employee’s number is still listed as contact information or where there’s a link to an abandoned website. It could also be when you move locations as a physical store or website address. We also have cases where there’s a change in the business name, and some listings still carry the old name while others carry the new name.
Not only does this make your business look unorganized, but it can also make you seem like a fraud.
Top brands have consistent designs, names, content, and even copy. Not ensuring everything is consistent leaves room for other fraudulent people to take advantage of your business vulnerability.
We recommend starting with a solid business name so that there’s no need to change anything in the future.
– Review all site listings and search results for your business to track inconsistencies
– Getting your information right from the start is your best bet
7. There’s Such A Thing As Over-Optimizing
Contrary to what many business owners think, there’s such a thing as over-optimizing your website for SEO. A popular example is keyword stuffing. In a bid to improve the number of keywords they rank for, many businesses make the mistake of adding too many keywords in their content.
So while you think you’ve improved your SEO by adding so many keywords, you’ve hurt the rankings you already have. But now, many other actions are also regarded as over-optimization. One of which includes pointing all internal and external links to top navigational pages.
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Is keyword stuffing good for SEO?
The days of “keyword stuffing” are over. The use of repeating words in your SEO strategy is a confirmed negative ranking factor that can only cause you to rank lower on Google’s search results page.
Remember we mentioned that Google prioritizes the users? Well, too many keywords and other forms of over-optimization means that your content is targeted at search engines and not real people. Ordinarily, it would make the user experience for actual people weird. And so, the search engines you were writing for would then deem it spammy.
To rank, make regular SEO improvements but don’t take it too far. This means using only one H1 tag, only relevant keywords to your business, and not linking to spammy websites.
– Stop using internal links for keyword-rich texts
– Google devalues footer links so don’t waste keywords there – it can be seen as over-optimization
8. Technical Audits Are Like Hospital Checkups For Your Business
A lot of businesses look great on the outside. With the right fonts, colors, and site structure anyone will assume their SEO game is top-notch.
However, there are many underlying issues that you can only discover with regular technical site audits. Some of these issues could be duplicate content, broken links and so much more.
And the sad part is that they will affect your rankings over time.
This is why it’s important to conduct regular in-depth technical audits. Think of it as a regular body checkup. During this audit, you’d be looking out for any technical issues like crawling errors, issues with ranking, indexing, and so on.
If you cannot do this internally, we recommend hiring an SEO consultant.
There are many SEO tools like Deep Master and Screaming Frog you can use to conduct your first site audit. Look out for duplicate websites, content, subdomains, redirects, and other errors.
– Disallow incorrect URLs in robots.txt
– Don’t forget to also look into your Google Search Console for potential crawl errors
9. Localized Keywords Are More Effective Than Broad Targeting
A popular mistake we see with small businesses is that they try to target broad locations and keywords.
Unfortunately, other more established businesses with a strong domain authority are also competing for that same attention. And you can guess who’ll rank faster?
This is why targeting geo-specific locations and keywords have a better chance of driving high-quality leads to your website.
So instead of trying to rank for “best plumbing service” focus on getting leads from keywords like “best plumbing service in LA”.
Over time, when you start driving in enough traffic, you’ll have enough authority to compete with broad keywords in broader locations. Start by identifying what local search queries are working for your audience and then leverage them. Think industry and location keywords.
– Don’t just focus on your exact area. Include all nearby locations you can cover
– Monitor your results and optimize them over time
10. Search Engines Will Always Prioritize Unique And Helpful Content
At the end of the day, your SEO efforts will only be productive when you have unique and helpful content on your website.
So if you want to focus on content marketing to rank, conduct actual research and offer something valuable. Ensure you’re targeting the right people with content they want to read. You can conduct keyword research to identify this.
Next, optimize your on-page content. After writing and using relevant keywords, it’s time to arrange your content in a way that’ll be easy to read for both your users and search engines.
Use your title tags and subheadings, so it’s easy to identify what’s important and what’s not. Don’t forget your meta description to attract traffic from the snippets display on search engine results.
– Add visual content to improve readability
– Regularly update your content to meet up with trends and changes
The Bottom Line
SEO is an essential part of driving your business growth. This is why you shouldn’t just consider adding it to your marketing strategy for the sake of it. Think about the long-term gain and invest in getting it right.
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