By Olumide Samuel

As a small business owner, you want to gain more customers for your business through your website. To achieve this, you need more traffic to your website. Without website visitors, it becomes almost impossible to capture leads and turn them to loyal customers.

One of the best sources of traffic for your website is search engines. Because it’s targeted traffic as search engine users visit your website after searching for relevant keywords to your business.

Having said that, getting traffic from search engines is a difficult task. Your business may be struggling to gain organic traffic, no matter what you’ve tried. But what if you have not done search engine optimization properly on your website?

These are 5 mistakes you should avoid to give you a better chance of ranking high on search engine results page.

1. Focusing on the wrong keywords

When search engine users type a keyword into the search box, they get results of pages related to those keywords. The truth is that you can’t target every keyword related to your business.

However, many businesses target the wrong keywords. Visitors through these keywords will rarely pay for your product or service. While thinking of keywords to target, you need to define the problems your business helps people solve. Do you help people fix their toilets or offer laundry services?

The next step is to think of search terms potential customers will put into search engines. When you target these keywords, you attract people who need your product or service.

2. Having a poor mobile experience

About 60% of Google searches are done on mobile. Most people visiting your website are on their mobile devices. This has affected how Google index website pages.

With its mobile-first indexing, Google will index the mobile version of your website before the desktop version. Unfortunately, some businesses still have websites that are difficult to access on mobile phones.

In this case, users from search engines will abandon your website. Consequently, this will lead to lower search rankings for your website due to a high bounce rate. You can use the Google mobile-friendly test to see if your website is mobile-friendly and follow its recommendations for improvements.

3. Having a slow website

How frustrating can a slow website be? It can drive many visitors away from your website. For many websites that try to cram as many images and videos into their pages, it increases their page size and the page load time.

This will serve as a bad user experience for search engines users when they have to waste their time before accessing your website. Research shows that 25% of your visitors would have abandoned your website if it loads for more than 4 seconds. A slow website will lead to lower search rankings for your website.

Some steps you can take to eliminate this problem are:

  • Use a fast web host.
  • Compress your images and videos.
  • Use a content delivery network.
  • Implement accelerated mobile pages (AMPs).

4. Producing watery content

There’s no SEO strategy that can work without great content. Many small businesses see content as just an afterthought. This means that they usually fail to provide the right information that their visitors need to do business with them. Due to this, search engines will rank their pages much lower than great content.

Without a content strategy, businesses just produce content without an aim to solve visitors’ problems or convince them to buy your product. For your business to produce great content, you need to approach writing your content with the aim of satisfying your visitors’ needs with detailed posts. When you achieve this, search engines will rank your pages higher.

5. Trying to rank for ultra competitive keywords

For every small business, there’s a hope of having big results. And many businesses forget reality because of this. Businesses try to target competitive keywords and fail.

This is because of the high level of competition from more authoritative websites. For instance, a small insurance agency trying to rank high for the term “insurance” will usually fail.

A small business should target long-tail keywords (more than three words) like “insurance agency in Miami” to have a better chance of ranking high. Research shows that long keywords are popular as more than 50% of search queries are 4 words or longer. Furthermore, fewer websites are looking to rank for them and fewer people are searching for them.


To improve search engine rankings for your website, you need to avoid these mistakes that may lead to drop in search rankings. By eliminating these mistakes, you can serve your potential customers better and turn them to loyal customers.

Olumide Samuel is a freelance copywriter and content marketer. He helps businesses to write content that boosts their sales and visibility. Visit his Copywriters Now blog to see how he can help your business with effective content. Follow him on Twitter @Olumide_Fab