4 Things To Never Do With Your Minneapolis SEO
Now that the world has largely transitioned to the digital space, businesses are coming up with new strategies to ensure their success. One of the most important aspects to consider is visibility.
If your company can be easily seen by target customers, then conversion and engagement are much higher. That’s why, today, one of the most coveted places on the internet is the front page of search engine results.
It’s the prime real estate that ensures maximum visibility.
To reach this, there are many strategies you can try. But, the sure-fire way is search engine optimization (SEO).
Optimizing your website and content ensures that Google, Bing, Safari, and similar platforms will put your company’s site on their front pages.
Of course, every other business is doing this too, so you’re in for some tough competition.
As a small business or new business owner in the Minneapolis area, you're very likely keeping tabs on your competition through Google. You’re wondering what they’re up to, what they’re found for, and what their websites look like.
The biggest question you probably have is what SEO strategy they’re using that landed them on the front page.
It’s tempting to try their ways to bring your SMB to the top, but SEO is complex and ever-changing. So, don’t go making drastic measures or cut corners in the short term to reach the front page.
All Minneapolis SEO consultants will tell you that you need a sustainable plan that will pay off in the long term.
In this article, we will talk about the importance of SEO for a small business in Minneapolis. We’ll also discuss some of the common errors you can make and the better alternatives.
1. What Not To Do: Quantity Over Quality
One of your first instincts might be to create and publish more content on your website.
To compensate for your size, you add more words to your website, upload more blog articles, and rack up your social media posts. While this may look appealing, search engines can usually detect the quality of your content.
The lower the quality, the lower your ranking.
For example, if you add more backlinks that redirect to sketchy or blacklisted sites, your ranking will fall. In addition, stuffing your content with keywords won’t allow Google to pinpoint what exact service or product you’re offering.
Search engines will only link safe and relevant sites since that’s part of their service for users.
The same goes for social media pages, but it’s the real people that will be confused when they see your posts.
A bunch of stock images or fake followers won’t help with your branding and will ultimately harm your online presence.
Incoherent and inconsistent posts combined with overly stuffed content will turn off anyone who comes across your page.
In reality, you don’t need to add so much content to your website.
All it takes is good branding and quality verbiage to improve conversions and increase traffic.
Let’s take a look at Bumble as an example. Their women-first strategy may, at first, seem too specific to garner traffic in an industry where sites like Tinder or Match.com reign. But, even though it’s comparatively a newcomer compared to other dating sites, its revenue has steadily increased. From being a start-up, it now stands as the main competition to Tinder in the US.
So, how did it reach this status?
What You Should Do Instead: Get Hyper-Focused on Who You Serve and Speak to Them Only
Bumble achieved its current status by focusing its branding and message on a specific audience. While it’s a dating site for all genders, Bumble is marketed more towards women, who have to make the first move after a match.
Aside from this, the company made other crucial decisions that made it stand out as a start-up before becoming a major business itself.
A lot of small businesses will want to achieve this level of prestige, but Bumble did a great job of staying in its lane and avoided emulating the strategies of more established dating sites.
To close their gap with the juggernauts, they focused on serving their customers and what they do better than anyone else.
This is one of the most effective things you can do as a small or midsize business.
If you're looking to compete with big business or even other businesses your size, the last thing you should try to do is be someone else. Advice on that and other things by clicking the image above.
The Importance of Good Content Marketing Strategies
Instead of stuffing your website with so much content to cast the widest net, you’d do much better publishing something that focuses on your target audience.
A good content marketing strategy understands the pain points of your prospective customers. That way, you can be easily seen by those who need your service or product during their search.
To help you see the importance of good content marketing strategies, here are some statistics to think about:
- 51% of content consumption is done through organic search.
- 75% of smartphone users turn to search engines first to address their immediate concerns.
- 91% of consumers want to reward brands and businesses for their authenticity.
These numbers show that organic search is still more powerful than paid advertising, referrals, and other strategies. And, as you can see, customers are more receptive to content that’s “authentic.”
They’re looking for something that can empathize with their situation and address their needs.
Approaches You Can Take for Content Management
Content management in marketing is the process of creating, managing, and delivering content on your website and social media pages. It goes hand-in-hand with your content marketing strategy.
To make sure that this process is made more effective, here are a few pointers to keep in mind.
Use Quality Backlinks
A few high-quality backlinks will outperform hundreds of middle to low-quality ones.
So, don’t stuff your content with backlinks just for the sake of it. Be critical of what website you add to your postings to ensure healthy SEO rankings.
Effective Branding Through Social Media
Around 94% of content marketers use social media sites to distribute their content.
This has inundated platforms, making it hard to stand out in the ocean of content.
One way to ensure that you reach your target audience is by differentiating yourself.
Most other businesses use stock photos or generic copy, but these won’t help make yours distinctive. Instead, focus on creating a unique brand that’s memorable and focused on your target demographic.
These two businesses are very different from each other, but they’re similar in how they approach their content. Their curated posts have given them high engagement, especially from customers who need their products or service.
2. What Not To Do: Just Throw Stuff at the Wall
You need to ask yourself why you’re doing SEO in the first place.
Are you doing it for the sake of having it or because your competitor is doing it?
Do you do it to optimize all your products or reach a general target audience?
None of these are good reasons to optimize your website and social media pages, frankly speaking.
Why is that?
First, if you’re doing SEO just for the sake of fulfilling this basic business need, then you’re failing to see its true advantages for online visibility.
If you’re doing it because your competitor is doing it, then you’ll be at a great disadvantage. They’ve probably perfected their own strategy, and you’ll only waste effort and resources trying to reach their level.
Another common error in creating SEO strategies is optimizing all the products you have.
You might be tempted to heighten the visibility of all your offerings, but you need to consider if all these products are worth marketing in the first place. The effort you put in for a specialty service or niche product might not provide the equivalent return on investment (ROI).
Finally, you don’t want to use an SEO approach that’s addressed to a general audience. Even if your products or service tend to lean toward the general consumer, an unfocused strategy will only harm your visibility.
A lot of businesses are vulnerable to these common pitfalls for SEO but you can avoid them by doing the following instead.
What You Should Do Instead: Give Your SEO a Purpose
To avoid the issues outlined above, you need to give your SEO a purpose. It shouldn’t be made to compete with another business nor should it be done just because you have to.
The process has a very specific function in your digital marketing strategy, and failing to execute a good strategy will affect your overall efforts.
So, how do you give your SEO a defined purpose?
Create a Buyer Persona
Speaking to a specific type of person will help you narrow down your SEO strategy to your target audience. The buyer persona is a representation of your target customer based on data and market research.
By keeping this character in mind during your strategy planning, you’ll have a much easier time focusing your SEO content to address their needs.
By having articles, posts, and media that’s meant for this particular demographic, you’ll have a higher chance of engaging customers that need your products or services. You can even see up to a 124% increase in sales leads if you do it right.
Here's an example of a buyer persona.
Focus on High-Margin Products
As opposed to optimizing everything you have to offer, it’s better to create SEO content for your high-margin products. These are the ones that make the most profit for your company, so all the effort you put into these will guarantee a high ROI.
You only need to look at the most profitable smartphone manufacturer today to understand this.
Apple is mostly known for its iPhones, and it’s not just by chance. Before it stopped sharing figures for its advertising expenses, Apple was known to spend most of its marketing budget on its famous products: the iPhone and the Macbooks. In 2021, it reported $192 billion in revenue from the smartphone alone.
Most people aren’t even aware that the company sells computer parts, wearable technology, and other niche items for highly specific needs. They don’t spend much effort marketing these products since they don’t offer the same ROI as the iPhone.
Keep this in mind when choosing the item that you want to optimize.
As we said, you don’t need to compete against another business for its spot on the search engine results page.
For example, we at Agency Jet are well aware of WebFX, one of the largest SEO agencies in the world. They are able to get millions of leads for their clients.
So, instead, we focus on competing elsewhere. We recognize our own limitations, so we scale down our SEO strategy to a small target audience.
This time, it’s SMBs in Minneapolis. We know that WebFX is already good with its SEO strategies, so we’ll make ours stand out by making it more local and personalized.
It’s all about competing intelligently.
Know Your Limits
Let’s say that somehow, your generic SEO strategy results in increased visibility and website traffic. You’re seeing more orders for your product and requests for your services.
Will you be able to handle it all?
Your SEO approach should be on a similar scale as your business. By determining your limits, you’ll be able to easily deliver your promises without any issues.
3. What Not To Do: Create Fake Reviews
You’ve seen the glowing testimonials of other competitors. Not only do they make the business look good but they also boost SEO.
Reviews are free, user-generated content that include lots of keywords. So, you might be tempted to create fake reviews in hopes of building a similar reputation as your competitor.
Don’t do it. Don’t fabricate reviews.
Not only is this misleading, but creating fake testimonials is illegal. The Federal Trade Commission can fine you up to $43,000 per proven fake review.
That’s a hefty price to pay for what seems like an innocuous few words.
In addition, Google and Yelp have their penalties and approaches to handling dishonest business practices. This can be as mild as removing the review or as bad as deleting your listing or eliminating you from search results.
So, as tempting as it might seem, fake reviews will only harm your business. Don’t think you can get away with it.
What You Should Do Instead: Leave Touch Points With Satisfied Customers
There is no shortcut to getting good reviews.
You’ll only get these if your clients are satisfied with your service or products. Even if they found their experience more than satisfactory, they’re not obligated to provide a review. It’s an effort on their end, too.
Still, reviews can hugely affect the buying decision of customers. Most people are more comfortable buying a product that other people have tried.
By reading reviews, they’ll get more authentic content that helps them determine if your product is worth it or not. In fact, 90% of customers check out reviews before they make a purchase.
The coveted review from satisfied customers can be achieved if you leave numerous touch points with them. Whatever industry you’re in, you can use email marketing, phone calls, and even handwritten notes to get a client’s feedback.
You just need to be persistent and polite when requesting these testimonials to avoid annoying them. Incentives are also a good strategy to entice them into leaving reviews.
4. What Not To Do: Trust Your SEO Agency Too much
To improve your business growth strategy in the online space, you might consider hiring a Minneapolis SEO company.
When you’ve made your deal, you just let them do their thing. You’re not sure how it works, so you don’t want to meddle as much. From time to time, you might talk to them for an update and to see the progress they are making.
This isn’t great practice. Just because you don’t fully understand all the work doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be asking questions regarding the process.
That’s exactly how you can get duped into wasting a huge amount of money.
If you’re not observing results or are experiencing issues with your SEO, then it’s better to get your answers and ensure that your investment is worth it.
What You Should Do Instead: Treat Your Agency Like They’re In Review Every Month
You're hiring an SEO agency to do some kind of work for your business — much like how you hire a candidate and turn them into an employee. So, you should look at agencies in this light too.
Treat them like your workers and review them every month, checking if they’re carrying out their roles and responsibilities.
You can monitor them using Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and other platforms where their services can be quantified.
In addition, make sure to assess their communication weekly. You must have consistent correspondence to ensure that everything is going according to what’s agreed upon.
If you’re not sure how to evaluate their performance in the first place, there are more than 380 SEO agencies in Minneapolis that offer free resources.
You can get as much information from them as possible to check and balance the work you assigned to your current SEO firm.
Have Your SEO Checked
SEO is an essential part of digital marketing and you might be tempted to make some uninformed decisions to boost yours. However, this can lead to even more pitfalls that will harm your search engine ranking and your business’ reputation.
Before you make any drastic SEO measures, you want to make sure that your website is in a good spot. This will help you scale your approach so you won’t spend too much and still get the maximum results.
For a free and educational website assessment, turn to Agency Jet, a trusted SEO company in Minneapolis.
We’ll audit your current SEO standing and let you know what all the data and numbers mean. This way, you’ll have the information you need to create a good SEO strategy.