Search engine optimization is the number one way for small businesses to attract more traffic to their websites and to ultimately make more money.

Too often, however, small business SEO just does not work, leaving the owners frustrated and discouraged. It does not have to fail.

Here are ten of the biggest reasons small business SEO fails and how to fix those shortcomings in your own campaign:

1. You’re impatient.

Search engine optimization is not a magic wand that you can wave and suddenly get your website on the first page of Google.

It can take weeks and even months before you start to see significant results.

Many you undertake their own SEO will not see the results they want in the first couple of weeks and will become discouraged because of it.

This leads them to stop optimizing, to stop writing new content, and to stop moving forward, which guarantees failure, even if the campaign eventually would have been successful, had they stuck with it.

Even if you’re not seeing immediate results, stick with your SEO.

 

2. You’re not blogging.

It is perhaps impossible to overemphasize the importance of having a blog for your small business.

You might think you don’t have anything to write about—that’s just not true.

You have a story to tell and telling it enables you to post fresh, relevant, useful content that your target audience is interested in.

Google’s algorithm favors fresh contentse over old content. It loves blog posts.

You can share blog posts on social media.

There are just so many reasons to blog, that it doesn’t make sense that you wouldn’t want to use this strategy.

If you’re not doing it because you don’t have the time, find a freelancer or a web developer to do it for you.

 

3. You do not have a plan.

Like any marketing campaign (or campaign of any kind), in order to make progress and measure that progress, you need to have a plan.

If you don’t have a plan, you’re going to have a very hard figuring out what you are supposed to do, why you are supposed to do it, and whether or not you are succeeding.

Making a plan can also ensure you have a list of topics for content and where and when you are going to post them.

 

4. Your content is not unique.

 If you’re copying and pasting content others have written, stop that right now.

Most small business owners know better than to simply steal someone else’s content.

The bigger issue is simply looking at what your competitors are posting about and posting the same opinions, on the same topics.

If your content isn’t unique, if it isn’t remarkable and interesting and something that your potential readers cannot find somewhere else, you probably aren’t worth reading.

That might sound scary, but in reality, all it means is that you need to find your own voice.

You can write about non-original topics, as long as you do it in an original way.

 

5. You don’t know who your audience is.

Every piece of content you create for small business SEO, whether it is for your website or for your blog, should be created with your specific customer in mind.

If you don’t know how that customer is, you are not going to be able to write content that they care about.

Ask yourself who buys your product or service and why they buy it.

 

6. You are not using the right keywords.

There is a big different between the right keywords and the wrong keywords.

The right keywords for your competitors are probably not the right keywords for you.

You need keywords that reach out to your audience—these are search terms that they are actually likely to search when looking for a business like yours.

 

7. Your content and posts have no personality.

People may come to your website or blog because they want the information you have, but they’ll stay because they like you.

Today’s consumer wants to spend their money on businesses that they like.

The best way to show your potential customers or clients who you are is through your website content and your blog posts.

Take this opportunity to give your content some personality and punch.

 

8. You aren’t consistent.

Consistency is key, for both maintaining an audience and keeping Google happy.

This goes for social media marketing, but is perhaps even more important when it comes to blogging for SEO. The more consistently you post, the more likely you are to have a dedicated audience.

When you stop posting consistently, your audience will forget about you.

That means less traffic.

The consistency of your posting schedule will deeply affect your ability to rank—so stay as regular as possible.

 

9. All you’re trying to do is sell your services.

It’s fine to include a call to action or a mention of your specific business in a blog post. It’s also obviously fine to try to sell your products or services on your website—that’s what it’s there for.

But if you are always and only ever trying to sell, page visitors are going to feel bombarded.

Content that’s only focus is selling isn’t interesting to read and it drives people away, which makes it unlikely that you will be able to rank with Google.

Tone down your sales pitches and focus on providing value.

 

10. You aren’t flexible.

If you’re not willing to change your strategy when one fails to work, you’re not going to be able to keep up with small business SEO trends.

You need to be flexible enough to make real changes to your strategy when what you are doing right now just is not working.

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