11. Thinking SEO Isn’t Important

One of the absurd SEO lies that people (including some marketers) tell themselves is that SEO is not important for their business. This is an SEO mistake.

SEO is really about the user experience. Can your prospects and customers find you easily? Not just by your brand name, but by your products or services? Can they find you on their mobile device? Do the words on your web page (and under the hood of your website) tell the Googlebot, and therefore the user, what your page is about?

If you want a good user experience for your prospects and customers, you need to follow SEO best practices.

Hint: This “internet thing” is not likely to go away soon.

In sum, if you have a website, SEO matters.

If you don’t, you are about 25 years behind.

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12. Giving Users a Slow Start

One of the user experience factors that Google takes into consideration is the speed of your website. Slow sites are downgraded in the algorithm. Not only is it an SEO mistake, it’s a poor user experience.

You can check the speed of your mobile and desktop website. The results tell you if your site load time is fast, average, or slow. Furthermore, it spells out how your web developer can fix it.

Your visitors do not want to wait while your website loads. Google does not want to serve up a slow experience to their Google-ers.

In sum, ensure your website loads quickly on all devices.

13. Thinking Change Happens Quickly

You’ve optimized for SEO and the user experience. Your site loads quickly, it’s a responsive design, you have others linking to your site, and you’ve followed all of Google’s best practice.

Awesome!

How long will it take to rank? A 2017 study by Ahrefs delved into the data. They found that only a lucky 5.7% of newly published pages ranked in the top 10 (first page) in a year’s time. Furthermore, it took 2 to 6 months for those sites to achieve that status. That means almost 93% did not.

What we have seen with clients is gradual improvement in keyword optimization. In other words, the keyword ranking goes from being over page 10 (100+ ranking), then drops into the page 5 to 9 range and slowly makes the descent into improved rankings.

I’ve seen these changes ensue as quickly as within the first month. General guidance is that websites will see SEO results in 4 to 6 months.

It’s important to monitor your analytics, and adjust your SEO for success.

Don’t just set it an forget it. Links can break. SEO friendliness can be altered when new content is added.

In sum, be patient. SEO is a long-term investment.

14. Ignoring Voice Search

Voice search is already here.

Be sure your content is not overly complicated. Write as people speak (without the ums, you knows, and so’s). Keep your copy simple. Below the 8th grade level.  Google’s December 2019 BERT algorithm update continues to place an emphasis on natural language.

Often voice search is on-the-go. Therefore, a mobile friendly site (No. 6 in this article) is paramount as well as site speed (No. 12).

Voice search tends to be in the form of questions. Write blogs and other content that can answer the question but do not focus exclusively on a Q&A format.

Research indicates that having a secure site is important in voice search (No. 7).

Schematic markup (No. 8) may be helpful in matching answers to questions for voice search. But not all of the experts agree on this.

In sum, keep content simple, speedy, and secure for voice search.

15. Neglecting Your Google My Business Page (GMB)

Your Google My Business page can be front and center on the local search returns—even if your website is not. This is an important opportunity for local businesses.

First, verify and claim your site. Then optimize it for SEO. Moz offers a complete guide to optimizing your GMB profile.

Be sure to post at least weekly. Additionally, get and respond politely to reviews—even negative ones.

In sum, take advantage of GMB.

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