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3 SEO Mistakes Small Business Owners Should Avoid At All Cost

You’re ready to build the perfect website for your brand new business idea, however, you realize that paying for a custom website can be expensive.

Thankfully, you find cheaper alternatives through site builders like Wix and Squarespace and put something together that looks great.

This may not be the final design of the website, but at least you have something up and running right?

While this is certainly true, in my experience working in SEO, I’ve see many business owners think that a website that at least looks nice is enough to gain attraction from Google.

Unfortunately, it’s never that simple.

Here are 3 of the most common issues I run into that small business owners should avoid at all costs when building their website (whether it’s the final product or not!)

1. No Title Tag Edits

The number of times I’ve seen a homepage that has the word “Home” and nothing more as their title tag is daunting.

Even though Google is smart enough (sometimes) to figure out what to put in the homepage’s title tag if all it says is “Home”, you definitely don’t want to make Google think too hard on this.

They should be able to grab your title tag and nicely plant it in their search result.

So, make sure you don’t just have “Home” in your title tag – have it look more like this:

[Brand Name] – [Tagline]

For example, my homepage title tag looks like this:

Thomas F. Adams – Reading Google’s Mind Since 2014

Also, it probably goes without saying, but the “-” can be replaced by a “|” if that’s more your style.

As for your other main pages, make sure their title tag reads as follows:

[Page Title] – [Brand Name]

For example, on my about page the title tag reads as follows:

About Me – Thomas F. Adams

Short, sweet, and to the point.

Some people like to cram keywords into title tags to spice things up a bit, and that’s fine if you don’t overdo it, but don’t underestimate the power of simplicity in title tags.

2. The Good Ol’ “One-Pager”

In contrast to the simplicity I recommend for title tags, a big mistake I see people make is not having enough pages on their website.

They think they can house all of their website’s information on one page, but unfortunately, this doesn’t always work that well and has many drawbacks.

Probably the biggest issue with having all of your content on one page is that Google won’t know where to rank your site as all of the content will dilute their understanding of the page.

If you have individual pages for each service, it’s easier for Google to categorize your site’s pages appropriately.

For example, if you are a plumber and you do residential plumbing, commercial plumbing, drain cleaning, and trenchless sewer replacement, you want to have individual pages for each service with in-depth content on each service.

At a minimum, you want at least 500 words per page.

Anything more than this is great, but you want to make sure the content is helpful and would answer a searcher’s intent.

3. No SSL Certificate

SSL certificates, the magic “certificate” that gives a website its “https” functionality, are very important in Google’s eyes.

Specifically, because it encrypts user’s data when they enter it on your website, making it less susceptible to hackers.

Most business owners aren’t even aware of what these certificates are, which is understandable as there’s a bit of tech-savviness involved with getting one set up.

Thankfully, it’s not too difficult and can be done quite easily following a tutorial like this one.

These certificates are incredibly cheap to buy, so it’s definitely worth grabbing since they have been shown to build trust with Google.

Always Keep SEO in Mind

When building a new website, one should always keep SEO in mind if they want to attract free organic traffic from search engines like Google, Bing, etc.

While there’s a lot to cover to ensure your site’s organic success, crossing off these 3 major pitfalls even for a cheaper website will help things substantially.

If you are looking for SEO assistance for your website, or perhaps need a brand new website but aren’t sure where to start, feel free to reach out and I’ll be more than happy to help!

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