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Do you ever wonder why you can’t seem to get your SEO program off the ground and start ranking better in search results? You might be making one or more of these five common mistakes in content marketing for small businesses.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is of the most critical parts of any business today. As more consumers start their search for products and services online, showing up at the top of search results can drive more business through your door.

But it’s not as simple as just putting up a website. SEO requires the right tools and knowledge to beat out your competition and claim the top spot in searches. Here are some mistakes often seen in content marketing for small businesses.

1. Not optimizing the back end of your website

There are more than 5.46 billion websites online right now, and another 576,000 that go online each day. Search engines have to “crawl” all these sites to find information, and they use bots to do that. Search engines will prioritize websites that are easy to crawl, so effective content marketing for small businesses starts with having a good site structure.

That includes an XML sitemap, meta tags, meta descriptions, quality H1s, fast page load speeds and mobile-optimized browsing. It’s all pretty technical, so it’s usually best to engage a professional to help with this part.

2. Choosing the wrong keywords

keywords-lettersThere are two types of keywords:

  • Short-tail: These are short keyword phrases that most companies think they should target, such as “cars” or “weight loss.” While these account for about 60% of all search demand, they are harder to rank for because of their popularity.
  • Long-tail: These are longer phrases that have a lower search volume, but most searches online are actually very specific. In the Ahrefs database, 92.42% of all keywords had fewer than 10 searches per month. If you include keywords with fewer than 100, it’s almost every search online (98.43%).

While you can focus on some shorter keyword phrases, don’t forget to include some more specific long-tail keyword phrases as well.

3. Creating poor-quality content

A well-designed website is important, but even more so is having good content on your site. In addition to the right keywords that help search engines identify what you offer, content should be readable to meet the needs of humans (potential customers) who are browsing your website.

4. Focusing on content only at the beginning

Too many small businesses think of building a website as a one-time deal. Instead, it should be an ongoing activity where you are constantly refreshing your content, posting on a blog, and generating quality links to and from your site.

5. Trying to do it all yourself

Unless you are an expert at SEO and your small business is specifically designed to help others improve their own SEO, chances are you could use some assistance. Small business owners sometimes think that by doing all these tasks themselves, they can save money.

The reality is that engaging with an affordable and effective managed content service provider will present you with quality SEO today and drive more business through your doors tomorrow. Cutting corners or trying to take it all on yourself is leaving money on the table by letting your potential customers go to a competitor who has better SEO.

SEO can either make or break your program. After all, if you don’t optimize these strategies, the likelihood of ranking on search results pages is slim to none. Talk to Tempesta Media today to learn more about our SEO services and how easy it can be to get started with content marketing for small businesses.

Then check out these 100 mistakes businesses make in their content strategy to ensure you give your program the best chance at success.

Madison Gridley is a customer success manager here at Tempesta Media with expertise in search engine optimization. She loves helping customers optimize their content to assist them in ranking higher on search engines. Besides her passion for content marketing, Madison loves hiking with her dog, kayaking, reading and watching scary movies! Her favorite books are "Ghost Story" by Peter Straub and "Harvest Home" by Tom Tryon.

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