One of the most important parts of your online marketing is Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.  Did you know that nearly 90% of consumers use the internet to find a business in their area?  And, almost 97% of those consumers use a mobile device to perform their search?  With those numbers, it is detrimental that you take the right steps with your marketing campaign so you can be found in those online searches.  Unfortunately, most small business owners have a hard time keeping up with the ever changing best practices that surround SEO.  The good news, though, is that understanding what practices NOT to do when it comes to SEO is just as important as knowing what to do.

At John Potter Media, we work with our clients to help determine the right SEO practices for their business.  Along the way, we’ve transformed websites to increase revenue, drive website visitors, and improve search rankings.  We know what it takes to help you get found with good SEO.  However, here are some bad SEO practices that can turn into bad news for your business without the help of a professional stragegy.  Make sure you are not doing any of these tactics:

  1. Ignoring business listings
    The quickest way to lose a potential customer is by providing incorrect or no information on business listing websites.  The first thing you should do for your company and website is register with Google Business Listings.  Make sure all of the information is correct.  Also make sure to check listings like Facebook, Yelp, and Yellowpages; correct any misinformation.   Every business needs to register on Google+ and Bing, as well.  These registries will improve your search ranking and help customers find you.  One final place to register is with your local Chamber of Commerce and area business sites where locals may go when looking for your industry and services.
  1. Disregarding mobile navigation
    We mentioned above that over 90% of consumers use their mobile device to search for area businesses and services.  Your website may look great on a computer, but in the hands of a potential customer on their handheld device, if your site has them scrolling back and forth and zooming in just to find your information, then you’ve failed.  This is a HUGE red X!  Mobile devices are designed to make our lives easier.  If your website makes it harder, guess how long that person is going to stay on your site?  Less than 5 seconds!  On top of that, Google docks your site if it isn’t mobile ready making you drop in the rankings.
  1. Neglecting your website
    Your business is a living thing.  You need to nurture it, keep it clean, care for your employees, and make sure it runs efficiently.  This is true for your website, too.  If you create your own site and then do nothing more with it, you’ll find yourself on page 5 of the search engine pages pretty quickly.  You’ll be left to wonder where your customers went.  A website needs to be constantly updated and tended to in order to thrive.  Google loves fresh, engaging content and rewards that content with high ranks.  Utilize news and blog features to draw in customers and to ensure your website performs as it should.
  1. Do-It-Yourself
    If you are a dentist, do you think you could build an office building?  If you are an architect, do you believe you could run a manufacturing plant?  No?  So what makes you think you can build a website that will be properly coded and perform at the top of the search engines.  We all have our own unique roll in life.  An optimized website needs meta tags, UI/UX, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, keywords, and mobile readiness.  DIY sites might get you started, but without SEO best practices, it will be a sitting duck that slowly sinks to the bottom of the pond.
  1. Snub and ignore reviews
    Most local businesses will say a percentage of their clientele comes from word of mouth.  That extends to your website as well.  Check online reviews on third party sites for comments and reviews about your business.  Ignoring a comment, whether good or bad, is a bad omen for your business.  Respond with gratitude, or reach out to an upset customer to see if the situation can be turned around.

When you avoid these 5 bad SEO practices, you will help your online marketing be the success it needs to be.  If you need help transitioning your site into an optimized website that draws in visitors, then give John Potter Media a call.  Reach us at 978-808-3428 to schedule an appointment or visit us at https://www.facebook.com/johnpottermedia to learn more.  We partner with small business owners like you to help you make a powerful online statement.