Nowadays a website is becoming a “must” for all businesses, especially small businesses looking to grow. As websites become more and more relevant, these businesses perform SEO for their websites to rank higher on search engines and to gain more traffic which could lead to more sales and leads. Unfortunately, a lot of small businesses make some common mistakes that make their SEO strategy less effective or ineffective. Here are five of those common mistakes and how small businesses can avoid them.

1. Not Implementing Off-page SEO strategies

First, let’s see what makes up off-page SEO. Off-page SEO is the external factor that you optimize in favor of your website to better rank your website in search engines. Off-page SEO Includes strategies such as backlink building,  social media strategies and social bookmarking. These are very important factors that search engines such as Google take into consideration when ranking your website, usually, they give very little priority for on-page SEO and a much higher priority for off-page SEO. Therefore by ignoring off-page SEO you self sabotage your SEO campaign. In order to avoid this mistake, small businesses must conduct off-page SEO strategies along with on-page SEO strategies by building backlinks from other websites via guest posting or contributing as a source to other authors followed up by better social media strategies and social bookmarking.

2. Ignoring Technical SEO Strategies

Technical SEO strategies can be referred to as all the technical factors of the website that could affect your SEO. This usually comes in two forms, website speed, and website mobile compatibility. Do you like to spend time on a website that is slow? Or would you visit a website that does not properly fit your mobile screen and is not properly optimized to your mobile device? The most common answer is no.

This is how search engines such as Google consider when ranking your website as well. According to some studies, search engines always rank websites that generate a good user experience, websites that are very slow in loading their pages and not properly optimized into mobile devices usually generate a bad user experience, as a result, search engines such as Google will be reluctant to rank your website higher even if you SEO optimize your website. To avoid this mistake, you can have your web developer optimize your website for mobile devices and increase the website’s loading speed. Here are two free tools to measure your website speed and to find out whether your website is mobile-friendly

Bonus Tip: Always try to get your website speed score above 80.

3. Using Black Hat SEO

Most small businesses use black hat SEO techniques as it is easier and much quicker than implementing SEO strategies the correct way, otherwise known as white hat SEO. Some of these small businesses using black hat SEO strategies such as getting paid backlinks are usually unaware that these strategies are a violation of guidelines of search engines such as Google.

Search engines are very strict on the topic of black hat SEO, if you are caught with black hat SEO, your website will be down-ranked which will make it very difficult to get your website back on track again. Most reputable, professional digital marketing agencies, such as Regex SEO in Houston or Inspirenix in Sri Lanka, use only white hat SEO, meaning they’re well within search engine guidelines when they work with clients. They’ll usually often recommend businesses stay away from black hat SEO strategies as a result. To avoid damaging your own rankings and website health, it can be a good choice to hire a professional digital marketing agency that knows how to avoid black hat tactics while still boosting your overall rankings through acceptable SEO strategies.

4. Building Irrelevant Backlinks

Link building is a very important part of off-page SEO and it is one of the factors that search engines such as Google consider the most when ranking a website. Recently the link building process has become more complicated as search engines started to consider only links that are relevant to your business niche.

Most small businesses try their best to get links from any website possible as long as it has a high domain authority. This worked before, not anymore. If there are too many irrelevant backlinks to your site, your site may be down-ranked in your particular niche, and all the time spent on obtaining those backlinks will be wasted. Small businesses can avoid this by building links that are from a relevant website in your niche.

HARO (Help A Reporter Out) can be used in this instance. HARO is a website that sends you emails when there are article topics relevant for your niche that are available for you to contribute in a few paragraphs. If your response is good enough you will be featured in that article for your contribution with a backlink to your website. These articles are usually published on very high domain authority sites. As an added bonus, you will be an authoritative figure in your niche as you are featured on high domain authority site articles.

5. Forgetting Internal Links

Internal links are links that you place on pages of your website to visit another page to get more information on something. Search engines such as Google consider Internal links as an on-page SEO factor, But unfortunately, most businesses don’t know about it and therefore does not use internal links. Having Internal links have proven to be a very successful strategy to keep visitors longer on your website which could lead to a sale. Businesses can pick a good piece of text, for example, worlds like services or products from a page on the website and add a link to your services page or the product page. This may seem like a very simple strategy, always remember “Simplicity Sells”.


These are the five most common SEO mistakes that most small businesses make in 2019 and how you can overcome them to successfully SEO optimize your website and reach your goals.

The views included in this article are entirely the work and thoughts of the author, and may not always reflect the views and opinions of Regex SEO.

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