3 Common SEO Challenges Small Businesses Face (And What You Can Do About Them)


If your business offers some of the best products in your niche, but no one knows about it, did it really happen?

Leaving this existential question aside, putting your small business on the map in this overly competitive digital market is becoming more and more difficult. So, you are playing by the rules: optimizing your website, creating high-quality content, acquiring relevant links, and building a lasting relationship with your leads. But, even if you do everything right, it’s not always a smooth ride.

SEO is a complex discipline that changes and evolves constantly. As a result, you need to revisit your strategy regularly and make the necessary updates. Even then, you may wake up some day to notice a massive dip in your organic traffic. Instead of panicking, learn about the most common SEO challenges, how to face them, and how Calgary SEO services could benefit you.

Duplicate Content

According to one report, around 50% of websites have duplicate content. Don’t get the wrong idea: quoting and giving the right citations is an acceptable practice. But, there’s something unethical about repackaging (or simply stealing) someone’s ideas and presenting them as yours.

The reason the amount of duplicate content is so high is that there is no penalty for plagiarizing. Google isn’t going to ban your site if you are caught stealing content. However, having duplicate content on your website will affect your credibility. Moreover, Google won’t be able to differentiate between you and similar businesses and you might lose your rankings.

So, what can you do about it?

One simple way to address this issue is to set your preferred URL version (whether it’s www or non-www) in Google Webmasters Tools. Next, you should employ the canonical tag and add it to the head tag or meta description. That way, you won’t lose any SEO value from links to duplicate pages. Another way is to use the non-index tag and prevent Google from indexing the page that has that particular tag.

Referral Spam

Tell us if this sounds familiar:

You check your Google Analytics report only to notice that random sites keep sending traffic to your website. In some instances, high-authority pages are the ones that send traffic your way without linking back.

Before doing a happy dance, celebrating the sudden surge in clicks, you need to understand that not all traffic is created equally. It may just happen that a bot visits your website and then bounces immediately without bringing any SEO value. Not to mention that spammy traffic will interfere with your Google Analytics data, making it difficult to review your strategy and decide what worked and what needs to be modified.

So, how can you solve this problem? Log into your Analytics and block all the sites that are sending ghost referrals your way one by one. It’s a laborious task that will take some time to complete, but it’s paramount if you want to receive accurate data about your SEO efforts.

Sudden Loss of Traffic

Traffic dips are normal, and you shouldn’t have a panic attack every time you see one. But, if it’s a recurring problem or you notice a sudden drop in your organic traffic, then that’s something you need to investigate.

First thing first, make sure that Google didn’t just roll out a new algorithm update. More often than not, traffic losses have to do with changes in Google’s rulebook. If that’s not the case, then check if you didn’t receive a manual penalty. Log into your Webmaster tool and see if a page on your site has received a penalty and what to do to address it.

Other reasons that could lead to a sudden loss of traffic may include a broken analytics tracking code, a new CMS theme or web design template or not adding the Google Analytics script.

If none of these apply, then you may just be a victim of negative SEO. So, make sure you monitor social media mentions and backlinks carefully since the only thing you can do now is stay as alert as possible.

These are just some of the most common SEO problems small businesses face. The good news is that if you notice them early on and work on fixing them as quickly as possible, then the damage shouldn’t be that bad. Just make sure you keep your eyes wide open at all times and always monitor your data.