8 top SEO mistakes & some common sense

Search Engine Opimisation (SEO) can command high consulting fees which may prove well worth it when your website is finally found on the top page of Google listings. But SEO is not a dark art – it’s much more common sense and the incremental changes Google makes to its search algorithms make it ever more so.

The name of the game for Search Engine Optimisation is extremely simple. Once you’re up and running with the right tools and systems, all you need to do is publish new GOOD content on new pages on your website REGULARLY.

People get so confused about SEO – and it’s hard to see the wood for the trees at times. But, if you want to do SEO correctly, there’s one thing that you will spend the majority of your time doing: writing good content. 90% of the time you spend doing SEO should be spent writing about you, your industry, your business, your products, your services and the problems you solve for your clients.

Alternatively you could fall victim to one of these mistakes.

Top SEO Mistakes (and Common Sense)

  1. You’re optimising your website/blog around really common (probably really popular) keywords that you’ll never be able to rank for. In the last week, don’t pick common words such as ‘Leadership’, competing against Wikipedia and About.com you will never rank.
  2. All of your title tags has the same keyword phrase in it. And it’s your company name. The title tag on a page is probably the most important on-page SEO factor to consider when creating new pages. You probably already rank well for a search on your company name, so you can leave that out and still get that traffic. So, make sure you pick appropriate keyword phrases for each page that are phrases that someone is going to type into a search engine in order to find a product or service like yours.
  3. Dynamic URLs without your keywords in it. You bought a fancy shopping cart or content management system (CMS) that uses dynamic urls with all kinds of random numbers and random letters in the url. Your URLs should be readable by humans because search engines read words like humans too. These days good open source CMS like WordPress or Umbraco just do this – though you can also control urls manually. The words in your URLs is another very important signal to search engines what that page is about. So, get yourself a CMS that allows you to control your urls or get yourself a URL rewriter. Include your keywords in your URLs.
  4. You used images as headings. Headings are usually the big bold letters right above the content at the top of a page usually below your navigation. If these are “words built with images” (designers do this to control the font of the text), search engines aren’t reading them. These should be text. Pick a web safe font that’s close to what you want.
  5. If your navigation is built using image buttons instead of text, you’re giving search engine one less signal about what that page is about. Use text.
  6. Doing SEO after the website is designed and built. For some reason, people think SEO should start afterwards. Plan in the SEO requirements at the start. SEO done right allows you to determine what content to write in order to get traffic from search engines. And you shouldn’t design a site before you know what content will be on it. You may end up with a site that allows you to publish new pages and does not allow optimization of your site around your keywords without paying a designer or agency £££/hour to make the changes and additions for you. Someone that knows SEO will launch your website in a system that allows you to easily do SEO on a continuous basis.
  7. Our design firm “DID” the SEO for us. It’s great that SEO has been planned in but there is no such thing as “BEING DONE” with SEO. It’s an on-going thing. Doing SEO once is like your salesperson saying “I called prospects last month” as a reason for not calling any new prospects this month, what would you say to them right before you fired them?
  8. You built your website entirely in Flash. You might as well put an invisible shield up between you and the search engines because they don’t see you. It is not possible to do anything with SEO on site of this type. It’s back to the beginning with a CMS site.

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