Small Business SEO: A List of Don’ts

Kevin Dean – Tuesday, August 31, 2010

For entrepreneurs marketing an Internet business, understanding and implementing the basics of search engine optimization, as well as general marketing strategies, is an essential part of creating a successful online presence and a positive balance in your company’s bank account.  

The ultimate goal of any marketing effort, SEO based or not, is to widen your reach and increase your audience. If your company’s name isn’t the first one potential clients think of when they need the service you provide, it’s your competition who will get their business. So, how do you make sure that doesn’t happen? 

Last week we began a two-part series on the do’s and don’ts of small business SEO, offering a list of 5 do’s for successful Internet marketing strategy. This week we offer the don’ts: 

  1. Don’t Spam. Not now, not ever. Spam includes bombarding customers and potential clients with unsolicited emails and materials, as well as inundating unrelated blogs, guest books and the like with links to your site.
  2. Don’t procrastinate on implementing SEO efforts. No matter whether you’re launching a brand new site or upgrading an existing one, it’s never too soon to think SEO. Early on, develop a process to manage, monitor and upgrade your SEO efforts and stay up to date on current Internet marketing practices. Keep in close touch with the needs and wants of your client base so that you can focus your SEO efforts on what matters the most.
  3. Don’t let an SEO company fully take the reins. In many cases, hiring a professional SEO company to manage your marketing is your best bet in maximizing the potential of your SEO efforts. However, don’t assign the task and consider it “handled.” Participate in the process and stay in close contact with your SEO advisors. They may know Internet marketing, but you know your clients. It is your job to make sure their needs and interests are kept at the forefront of every strategy implemented.
  4. Don’t over-Flash. By now you are well acquainted with the search engine robots commonly known as spiders. Spiders are the ones in charge of assessing your site’s content and reporting it back to the search engines to establish your ranking in the results. If your website is completely designed in Flash or Java, the spiders won’t be able to read it and all the keyword research in the world won’t help you.
  5. Don’t forget the importance of keywords. If you use overly general or inappropriate keywords, your site will be incorrectly assessed by robots and placed in the wrong search engine results lists. Also, remember to use keywords with an emphasis on buying over research-based ones. For example, “plumber” implies as search for someone to do plumbing tasks, “plumbing” implies more of a do-it-yourself search. (For more on this, see our post Target Potential Clients Using Keywords) 

In an industry as complex and individualized as search engine optimization, there are literally thousands of specific strategies and practices to maximize your marketing efforts. Hopefully this list of don’ts, as well as last week’s list of do’s will get you started on the right path to your Internet business’ ultimate success.

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