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Common SEO Mistakes

We’ve all heard the phrase “you get what you pay for,” and it’s probably one you’ve used in exasperation when pushed by a client to match the price of a competitor who’s offering an inferior product or service.

But, when it comes to website design and search engine optimization (SEO), sometimes you DON’T get what you pay for.  That is the most common SEO mistake.

The truth is, there are a lot of SEO-ignorant or just flat-out unscrupulous web design and SEO scammers that bank on the fact that you know very little about SEO. So when you ask for a new site that’s optimized for search engines or ask a provider to optimize an existing site, you take for granted that they will, regardless of whether the price they quoted is $5,000 or $500,000.

Reputable B2B SEO companies understand that it’s important to have good quality links from relevant sites.

This is the scenario from which we get most of our clients — hard-working businesses, most in the industrial or B2B space – who put their faith in some web design or “SEO company” and realize months later they’re left with bubkes for all the effort and dollars invested.

It’s not their fault. These industrial and B2B companies asked for the right thing.  They wanted a website that would perform on Google. The problem is, they don’t have the knowledge to determine whether the solution being proposed really is the right way to do SEO or potentially is an outdated version of SEO that no longer works or is no SEO solution at all.

Here are the most common mistakes a web design or supposed “SEO” company will make that cause your site not to perform well on search engines:

  • Offering to optimize just your meta tags. This is a way outdated tactic.  There are now hundreds of elements that go into Google’s algorithm.  Having good, unique page titles and meta descriptions are important, they’re just not the magic bullet that some companies want you to believe.
  • Equating a beautiful site with having a beautifully performing site. You’ve probably wondered how it’s possible that some po-dunk manufacturing business that built their crappy little website in 1999 is showing up on the first page of Google, ahead of your expensively and artfully redesigned site. The fact is, Google treats ugly and beautiful sites the same way, by ranking them based on the quality of their content and how well they match up to the keyword that the Internet user has just typed in.   But having a nice-looking site that also performs well on the search engines is important for another reason. Once site visitors click on your link in Google, you want to be sure they view your site as being an expert in your industry – credible and large enough to handle their business needs. The key is making sure that your web design firm understands that beautiful is important, but performance is more important.
  • Using “state-of-the-art” technology that’s not search engine-compatible. Boy, does it frost  our new customers when they find out the reason their website doesn’t show up well in the search engines is that their former web design firm built it using whiz-bang technology that the search engines don’t support.
  • Ignoring off-page SEO. Having a well-optimized website now is only about half of the equation for good performance on the search engines. If your SEO company hasn’t talked to you about off-page SEO and content marketing to develop high-quality back links to your site, then you need to run far away, very fast, and find a new SEO firm.
  • Failing to do research. SEO is keyword-driven and not all terms are alike. In order to have a website that can be seen by the broadest number of potential customers, your site needs to focus on the terms that searchers use to find companies like yours. If your SEO company hasn’t done keyword research it can show you, then you’re not with a credible company.  
  • Linking in bad neighborhoods.  For the last several years, there’s been a clamor about getting back links to your site for SEO.  Many businesses sprang up from the idea of developing automated link submission platforms or link-buying schemes.  Unfortunately for them and the clients they coaxed into going along with these strategies, thousands of links doesn’t necessarily equate to good SEO.   Reputable B2B SEO companies understand that it’s important to have good quality links from relevant sites.   And, supporting that premise, Google has begun penalizing websites that have an outrageous number of spammy or paid links.  

So, how can an industrial or B2B business needing a great-performing site avoid these common SEO mistakes?  The best way is to look for a credible web design or SEO company by doing the following:

  • Don’t tell them what you need, ask them what you need. If the SEO company can’t tell you what’s wrong with your site, how they will fix it and how the search engines work to rank websites, then they don’t know industrial or B2B SEO.
  • Ask if they do keyword research. You’ll need to pay your SEO company to do the keyword research as part of your SEO plan, but it’s very worth it. It helps guide strategy for button names, page names and topics you’ll need to cover on your website to ensure potential customers can find you and know what you do once they get to your site.
  • Ask for results and references. Any credible SEO company will be able to cite examples of their success and refer you to clients they helped.
  • Don’t base your decision on price. After 20 years of developing and optimizing industrial and B2B websites, we feel pretty comfortable with our quoting process. We’re not the highest priced company out there and we’re not the lowest. We tend to fall somewhere right in the middle. And, among the clients we work with, some spend way more money on their sites with other developers to have them fail, and others spent significantly less and got very little in return before coming to us. Either way, like Goldilocks and the three bears, once they’ve landed here, they find out we’re just right.

For a FREE assessment to determine how to improve your industrial or B2B website’s performance, contact us or call 877-799-9994 ext. 2104.