15 SEO Mistakes to Avoid

Search engine optimization is always evolving, making it very difficult to stay on top of the latest rules. But there are core SEO principles that have remained relatively solid over time. Marketers that don’t adhere to these principles are missing important opportunities for visibility.

Here are 15 of the most common SEO mistakes to avoid.

  1. Not optimized for mobile
  2. Slow page speed
  3. Sending all traffic to the home page rather than specific, relevant pages
  4. No call to action
  5. No connection to social media and other online accounts
  6. Pages with less than 300 words of text
  7. Missing meta descriptions
  8. Missing image alt tags
  9. Old content
  10. Boring, unengaging content
  11. Lack of keywords in headlines and the first paragraph of text
  12. Content that is not relevant to keywords
  13. Broken links
  14. No external links
  15. No internal linking

That’s a long list, but making sure all of your website content avoids these mistakes will boost your visibility in search engines and everywhere else online.

Email Marketing Works for Small Businesses

There are over 4 billion email users worldwide. That makes email an even larger audience for marketing and communication efforts than the largest social channels. Email marketing is valuable for any small business.

Data from Statista shows that email is the most common online activity in the US. Hubspot reports that email generates $42 for every $1 spent, making it one of the most effective online marketing options available.

Email marketing is an essential component of any strong marketing strategy. This form of marketing gives businesses the chance to convert their audience members into long-time connections and provide value in a convenient way.

Email Marketing Strategy for Small Business

Successful email marketing is about building relationships. Once you’ve gained a spot in someone’s inbox, you’ll be able to communicate with them on a far more personal and individual level than might otherwise be the case. Email is a channel for one-on-one communication, and the best email marketing strategies take advantage of that.

For long-term success, it’s not just about blasting out content and waiting for sales to begin. It’s a balanced process of gaining subscribers, communicating, analyzing and adjusting.

There are many different formats and opportunities to use email marketing. Here are a few tried-and-true tactics:

  • Greet new subscribers with welcome emails. The most important email a brand can send is a welcome email. It’s typically the first email (or series of emails) that a new subscriber receives and often gets the highest open rates for businesses.
  • Keep people in the loop with newsletters. These regular emails provide an opportunity to share your news about your company, your product, or your industry. It’s also a great format to highlight your latest customer reviews and interesting insights.
  • Incentivize sales through special offers. Email marketing is a fast and effective way to communicate sales and promotions. Or send your best customers a special discount to thank them for their loyalty.

Opening an email is more of a personal commitment than scrolling past an ad on a social media timeline. Someone who clicks on your email is immediately committed to and engaged with your content.

Through email marketing, you can speak directly to each individual customer. You can send them the content, offers, and updates most relevant to them.

Getting Started

There are several tools built to help businesses get the most from email marketing. You will want to research the features, options, and cost of each. Many businesses start with MailChimp because it has an “always free” option until your list grows to a certain size. This can be a low cost way to experiment with email marketing. Lists are easily exportable if/when another tool becomes preferred.

After selecting an email marketing tool, the next step is to build a list. You will want to gather the email addresses of customers and prospects. You may have a CRM or other system that you can export contacts from.

Always add a subscriber form to your website, and make it part of your process to ask new contacts for permission to add them to your email list.

Add parameters to each contact that will allow you to target messages. Typical segments are customers and prospects. You may also want to segment by how you connected with each person. The right segments depend on your business and the type of information you want to share.

Finally, you will want your emails to reflect your brand. Create a template that will let people know each message is from you and that will help them connect your messages to your website and other online locations.

Write Headlines that Work

The success of your online content starts with the headline (or the first few words). If your headline isn’t interesting, few will read on. Focus on writing headlines that work.

A headline is the only impression you can make that can turn an online visitor into a potential reader. The average person will read 80% of headlines, but only 20% will actually read the article. Therefore, you should spend just as much time crafting a great headline as you do on the content that follows.

Great Digital Marketing Headlines

Headlines are not simply used as the title of your work; they are used so that readers can easily identify the content relevance and interest. The headline also affects your content’s readability and searchability.

The right headline can:

  • Gain Readership– If your headline sounds relevant, people will read on. If your article includes really great content, the chances are higher that the reader will return to your site, or possibly share the content with others. A headline is an opportunity to build a readership and following for future content.
  • Search Engine Optimization– The headline is the first thing people see in search result pages. You need to consider keywords when drafting quality headlines. The keywords chosen within the headline play a role in how your content will rank. Your content will never have the chance of being seen by anyone if it doesn’t rank well.

How to Create the Right Headlines

The right headline should have the following effects on your readers:

  1. Build a relationship
  2. Create a sense of urgency and/or emotional response
  3. Generate interest
  4. Offer insight into what follows

There are several online tools that can help you to construct perfect titles and headings.

  • Portent’s Content Idea Generator. Enter a topic into Portent’s Content Idea Generator and get content and title ideas. The site also offers writing tips.
  • LinkBait Title Generator. Enter a subject and the LinkBait Title Generator generates a long list of headline suggestions. There are so many that you are likely to find something that will work, and a few ideas for future content as well.
  • CoSchedule Headline Analyzer. Coschedule is a free headline analyzer tool that scores your overall headline quality, does length analysis, and previews how your headline will look in Google search results and email subject lines. It also offers tips for how to make your headline or title better.
  • Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer. The Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer is a free topic generator tool that helps you reach your target audience. It analyzes headlines, titles, and email subject lines and provides an emotional marketing value (EMV). In general, the higher the EMV, the better the headline.
  • Hubspot Blog Ideas Generator.  The Hubspot Blog Ideas Generator is simple and quick to use. Enter three words related to your content and get five possible headlines. I find that many of the results get formulaic. You may very well outgrow this one.