5 Biggest SEO Mistakes

Search engine optimization is extremely powerful when implemented right by a reputable, ethical company. However, many business owners have learned the hard way that when it is done by an unethical contractor, the damage can be very costly to repair. Tens of thousands or millions of dollars can be flushed down the drain. Many business owners in the Minneapolis St. Paul area and across Minnesota have told us that they wished they had made better decisions. Here are some of the most costly and most common SEO mistakes.

1. Building the Website first, Optimizing It Later

Web design and search engine optimization are not the same process, but they are closely connected. Search engine friendly web design is the foundation of search engine optimization. Many business owners consider SEO as an afterthought and hire a web design company that has no clue how this complicated process is done. Very often, the result is a website that can’t be understood by search engines. Optimizing such websites is very difficult or even impossible. To achieve the desired top rankings, many of such websites have to be completely redesigned.

Best Practice – It is necessary to hire a company that has expertise in both web design and search engine optimization. If you truly want to go with a web design company, consult with an SEO expert during the design process.

2. Hiring an Incompetent or Unethical Firm

Choosing the right SEO firm can be a challenge. How do you tell the good ones from the bad ones? Many web design companies offer search engine optimization as an “add-on” service. Such a service is a waste of time and money. Many fly-by-night spammers offer quick fixes which employ unethical techniques that can lead to serious penalties by search engines.

When you evaluate an SEO firm, here are some of the questions you must ask:

Best Practice – Look for an SEO company that can provide top ranking samples and outstanding references.

3. Falling for SEO “Guarantee” Scam

Any “#1 Ranking Guarantee” is nothing but a scam. Many con artists make you believe that they know the ultimate secret of search engine rankings, so that they guarantee you top 3 rankings in no time. The truth is that no one can directly change the search engine rankings. All these scammers apply so-called “blackhat” techniques that attempt to trick search engines. These banned techniques can cause serious penalty by Google, Bing and Yahoo. You can be sure about one thing – you will never get your money back.

Best Practice – Stay away from any companies that offer any sort of guarantees.

4. Lack of Patience, Involvement or Long-Term Commitment

It is understandable that every business wants to see quick results. It is every search engine optimization company’s goal to get their client websites to top rankings as soon as possible. However, many factors contribute to the rise and fall of search engine rankings, including the web design, content, website history, and competition.

Many business owners assume that the SEO company is solely responsible for their rankings, without realizing that it takes a joint effort to make that new way of marketing truly work. The entire process is like training an athlete. As long as the athlete is still competing, training can never stop, otherwise he will lose muscle strength and speed, and therefore his competitiveness. This training process takes time and commitment.

Best Practice – Make SEO a priority of your business marketing, be patient and get involved.

5. Relying on SEO, but Ignoring Visitor Conversion

Getting to the top ranking positions at search engines doesn’t automatically translate into sales or leads. Since every business competes for the same traffic, it can get more and more expensive to attract new visitors. Focusing on search engine rankings while ignoring conversion is like cranking up the air conditioner on a hot summer day while leaving all the windows open. Failure to convert visitors means lost sales and revenue, plus a lower return on investment.

Best Practice – Web design, search engine optimization and web conversion need to be integrated into the overall marketing strategy.