SEO Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

If you are thinking about optimizing your website, read this article about the most common SEO mistakes and how you can avoid them…

Ok, so you’re thinking of designing or redesigning a website and you know that Search Engine Optimization* (SEO) is important in improving your ranking in Search Engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. But you’re not quite sure about the next step in optimizing your website. So now what?

Before hiring an SEO company to optimize your website or starting the SEO process yourself, read this article about the most common SEO mistakes made and how you can avoid them.

Optimizing your website after it has been designed: This was a common mistake of websites designed in the last decade but more web producers are starting to realize the importance of working with an SEO company to design websites with an SEO technical infrastructure.

Common mistakes include websites that cannot easily be indexed by Search Engines and use flash or java script technologies and websites that are image rich and text poor. Optimizing your website should not be an afterthought; it should be an integral part of the design process. This may avoid timely and costly mistakes of having to redesign or rebuild a website that is not SEO friendly.

Choosing the wrong content management system: Search Engines give a higher priority to web sites that are actively managed and that are constantly being updated, edited or having additional pages added.

Unfortunately many CMS’s are quite difficult to use, lack even the basic SEO features such as editing your title and description tags independent of article titles and descriptions, creating your own file names and directory structure and supporting Google Analytics and RSS feeds.

WordPress is a great CMS we recommend and has additional WordPress SEO plugins to make optimizing your website easier.

Targeting the wrong keywords: Keywords are the foundation of all SEO strategies; they form the navigation structure, define the landing pages and on page elements for your website. In addition to Search Engine Tools like the Google Keyword Tool, there are other keyword research tools and strategies that can be employed such as focus groups, social marketing and so forth that can be used to find appropriate keywords to help you reach your SEO goals.

Keyword spamming: Keyword spamming or stuffing is a well known SEO taboo. It is important to create rich keyword text but a common SEO mistake that people can make when designing a website is stuffing their website design with keywords that are used too frequently or out of context.

Keywords must be inserted seamlessly and naturally within the text and the title tags, meta description tags and keywords must reflect the content on the page and be SEO synchronized.

Content which is not updated regularly: Creating keyword rich content that is original, engaging and compelling is a very important part of Search Engine Optimization. You can update content by creating new landing pages targeting new keywords, updating your company blog and adding media releases, case studies and testimonials to your website.

Remember that while you want your copy to be keyword rich, you are writing for the people visiting your website and not purely for Search Engines spiders. Search Engines will drive traffic to your website but compelling copy will convert visitors into sales.

Duplicated content: Search Engines love fresh and original content but frown on duplicated content. Not only will you be penalized if duplicate content is found on your website, you may be penalized if content on your website is being duplicated by other websites.

There are tools readily available on the Internet to check whether your content is being duplicated. Copyscape is a very easy tool to use. You just enter in the URL of the page that you want to check and you will receive a list of pages that has duplicate copy. For more detail, you can subscribe to their premium Copysentry service.

Ignoring link building: Search Engines see incoming links to your website as validation of the integrity of your site (almost like votes for your website) and ranks your website favorably. This is why a link building strategy is important in building a link profile with Search Engines.

Ways to encourage other websites to create links back to your website are to create great original content that other websites will want to link to, list your website in credible and relevant directories, make blog comments on related websites and participate in forums.

Internal linking and good use of anchor text is also very important to add SEO value. Research shows however that the first link on a page may have more relevance so place your most important keyword in your link and as high as possible on the page.

Link stuffing: What is worse than not creating a link building profile is paying a website for links back to your website. These are generally known as link farms and is any group of websites that all hyperlink to every other site in the group.

To create your link profile, links back to your website must be credible, relevant and trustworthy. If Search Engines find that websites are linking back to your website to artificially increase your link profile, you may be heavily penalized and your website may be removed from the Search Engine index or drop its rankings significantly.

Forgetting about conversion: Remember SEO is not just about turning up on the first page of Search Engines or driving traffic to your website that will simply chew up your bandwidth.

It is about driving quality and better targeted traffic to your website to keyword rich landing pages whether you want your visitors to purchase your product, hire your service, book your hotel, download your software or find out more about your product and service.

No ongoing SEO monitoring of your website: You may have invested a lot of time and money and even hired an SEO company to optimize your website. Your website is ranking high in Search Engines and you’re very pleased with the result. However, Search Engines change their algorithms frequently to improve Search Engine results for users and enhance the experience for users.

Search Engine Optimization requires ongoing monitoring of keywords, link building strategies, competitive analysis and adding fresh content to maintain or improve your Search Engine ranking and keeping abreast of your competitors.

SEO is about…well, achieving the optimum balance … there is a fine line between creating keyword rich text and keyword stuffing, between genuine link building and link spamming and, in regard to web design, a balance between design features, text and images.

Contact us to help you find that balance. Our SEO experts are trained to share their knowledge and expertise with you. Once you have reached your SEO goals, you will have the confidence and know-how to maintain your Search Engine page rankings and monitor your ongoing SEO activities.

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