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  • Rachel Green

Don’t make these 4 common SEO mistakes

I know – SEO is complex, technical and usually chucked in your too-hard basket. That’s why I’ve kept it simple, unpicking four common SEO mistakes I see many small businesses make.

SEO is not an after thought or an I’ll-get-to-it-later element.

SEO is a sales strategy you cannot ignore. This is your push to start working on it NOW. (Or you could skip this blog and head over to my DIY SEO Wins you can make today.)

Doing your SEO after you set up your website

SEO is how you get your brand seen by your ideal audience.

It sells for you. Puts you on the map. And grows your brand’s bottom line, audience and reach.

Setting it up later, when you’re a little down the path of biz ownership, or you’re waiting for dollars to flow instead of drip in, is actually harder.

Because you have to go back and rewrite potentially your whole website, re-upload every image on your site and build backlinks you could have already been piggybacking on to build your SEO profile.

Messy URLs

A clean URL is an SEO-happy URL. When your URLs are illogical and unnecessarily long, they confuse search engines.

As an example, replace this:

with this:

Make them simple, direct and use your keywords. If you change any URL, set a redirect so users following the old link can still get where they need to go. Your web developer can help with this.

Ignoring your images

Size matters, when it comes to your website images. So does speed.

Search engines – and your SEO – like a quick, trim site. Here are two actions you can take to optimise your images.

1. Head over to Pingdom, get a free site speed test and find out exactly which images on your site are too big and slowing your site down. Then resize and re-upload. Image Resizer is a good, free site that can do it for you.

Next, head to SEOptimer and check your image and alt titles. These are text settings that tell search engines what’s in your images so you can appear in image and mixed search results. Every business needs to do this, service or ecomm, for every image on your site.

Include your keywords with a description of what’s in each image.

e.g to optimise this yoga mat image, you’d use: purple yoga mat under woman's arm.jpg (remove .jpg for alt text)

purple yoga mat under woman's arm

Thinking of keywords from your POV, instead of from your buyers' perspective

Keywords are the foundation of SEO. They’re all about matching what your page is about with your buyer's intent - or whatever they're searching for. e.g to find me via search, you'd Google "Australian SEO copywriter" and my site appears in the top few.

A common mistake I find is when a business skips the audience research and sees keyword research only from their brand's POV.

e.g A private Adelaide-based midwife who has her own business might think their audience is looking for “ante natal pain help” - because that’s what she ultimately helps her audience with. But her audience is actually searching for “Adelaide midwife ante natal care” because that’s how the pregnant mama sees her problem. See the difference? The search intent is not the same.

It all points to the need to do the research to understand your audience, where they’re at and how they frame their needs.

Then, it's over to juicy, sticky copy that targets those needs, pains, desires and objections to engage and convert your people.

Funnily enough, that's exactly what I do. 😉


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