Left Bay’s Musings on the Media

Searching for answers in sales and marketing

Small business looking into SEO? What NOT to do.

This post came from Search Engine Land’s Small is Beautiful weekly column for small businesses. In it, Matt McGee of Marchex, Inc., lists 20 DON’TS for Small Businesses looking into SEO. I’m not usually a fan of these “list” posts, but his tips were surprisingly relevant and helpful. Some highlights:

2. Don’t wait too long to implement SEO. Matt notes here that SEO should be a part of your business’ web strategy from day one, but moreover, being involved in SEO sooner will help assure that it won’t become a problem later.

5. Don’t spread your content over several domains. I don’t know what it is about duplicate content lately, but I’ve been seeing it come up a lot recently. Be wary about buying multiple domains and creating the same or similar content – it will affect the rankings of both sites and how robots will view them (spam?). Permanent redirects are the way to go when attempting to migrate a site to a new domain.

8. Don’t target overly general keywords. Mistake number one for PPC first-timers. It leaves them wondering “Why do my bids cost me over $5 each?” and “How come my clicks are so low compared to my impressions?” I strongly encourage small businesses to heed this advice especially, because small businesses benefit way more from long-tail marketing than trying to compete amongst the big guys.

11. Don’t have the same title element on every page. With keyword, meta, and alt tags practically obsolete, there’s little outside of GREAT CONTENT that will help, except for your (relevant and keyword-targeted) h1 tags and title elements.

17. Don’t plaster your link all over blog comments, guestbooks, etc. Besides being greatly annoying, cheap link placing all over forums and blogs is just spam, and will reflect badly on your business.

Next Tuesday they’re going to post the Do’s of Small Business SEO. Hopefully we’ll see some more good tips, and not just the “do” versions of these.

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