5 Common Mistakes When Starting SEO for your Small Business
In this blog, we’ll cover off 5 common mistakes (if you’re interested in more 5 common mistakes series, click here!!) that small businesses expect when they start Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Most small businesses in Fife (and wider Scotland) have heard about SEO by now, it’s been around since the beginning of search engines and their rise to power. However, most small businesses don’t understand that there’s still a HUGE opportunity for SEO to target LOCAL buyers.
Sure enough, you’re probably not going to rank under “kitchen fitter” at any speed, but why would you want to if you’re not going to be fitting kitchens across the country? “Best kitchen fitter Fife”, “Kitchen fitter Kirkcaldy”, “Reliable kitchen fitter near me” would be better terms to rank for. The two big wins here are that these keywords are generally searched by qualified LOCAL buyers, they’re not targeted by the big corporates that have tens of thousands of pounds to spend on SEO/SEM monthly AND they’re a bit easier to rank high for.
It’ll still take work, but the silver lining on the dark SEO cloud is that with the right strategy, the right partner, the right timing, the right content and the right level of consistency these leads could be delivered to your inbox at almost zero cost out-with your SEO investment!
Away from our sales pitch, here’s what we’d call the 5 common mistakes we see when small businesses try to do SEO.
1) They’re not performing the right level of keyword research.
You can’t start building a house without a plan, and you can’t start a plan without an idea of what you want to achieve in the end. The very same goes for SEO and keyword research. Using keyword research tools like [ahrefs] or [SEMrush] will help you understand the number of searches on the keywords you can rank for before you put the effort into ranking for them. They can be a bit expensive, but it’s so important that you put in this groundwork to see your end goal before starting to just build!
2) They trust the wrong partner to help them.
We hear it all the time. We trusted XYZ agency who promised us rank 1 in 2 weeks, they didn’t get that within 3 months so SEO is a scam!! Sadly, SEO attracted all the sly guisers in the early days where they were promising the world to people, not delivering and then putting small businesses off the idea. With the right partner, enough time and the right content you can rank wherever you want on search engines. It’ll cost you a fortune to target short-tail national keywords but targetting LOCAL long-tail keywords will get you faster results with more qualified buyers.
And by-the-way, no one can guarantee you rank 1. If they tell you otherwise they’re at it.
3) Which leads to them being BRUTALLY inconsistent.
Consistency is everything in SEO. Content, content, content, throw in a few back links, optimise your pages and then start all over again. It takes an immense amount of effort to rank well, but the pay-off is equally immense! Without consistency none of that ever really comes to fruition though, which is what makes SEO such a constant investment. To be totally clear, it’s likely to be 6 months before you start to see any form of results from your SEO efforts, remaining consistent over that is really difficult. Just keep your eyes on the prize of an abundance of “free”, local, qualified leads in your inbox every morning!
4) Not having their website (technical SEO) optimised so search engines can find it.
Most small businesses we speak to understand that writing content is the key part of SEO, but they often overlook that your page itself has to be optimised from a code perspective to help Google index (read) the pages properly. Without using the appropriate H1, H2, H3 tags when phrasing questions to not Geotagging images used and everything else in-between you’re largely wasting your time writing content.
5) They believe that SEO is done by “big” companies that they can’t compete with.
National level, short-tail (one or two word searches) are generally dominated by the big companies because they have the means to invest in it, and deliver the subsequent sales that come from it all while reducing their advertising cost of acquiring a lead. However, it’s generally not worth it for the big guys to target loads of long-tail local keywords (e.g “local kitchen fitter kirkcaldy”) because they get a much smaller return, but for small local companies, this is where the gold mining starts. Think about how many customers are searching for plumbers near me, plasterers near me etcetera etcetera, don’t delay starting your SEO just because big companies dominate a few keywords!
All of that just sound like an unbelievable amount of hassle? It is a bit tedious if you don’t have a proven process to follow and work from. That’s why you should check out our digital lead generation packages, built for businesses of all sizes!