In the world of online marketing, there are so many avenues that one could take to promote their business. One of the most common is SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. With SEO, you are essentially taking several aspects of your online presence into consideration. With these aspects, you are attempting to effectively move your site up in the search engine rankings. Though this may sound like a simple task, there are many mysteries and techniques that can leave you in the dark. In today’s post, we are going to point out some major mistakes that many people make when attempting to optimize their site. While these are not the only things you should keep in mind, they are some of the most common SEO hurdles.

1) Overstuffing Meta Tags

This particular mistake has plagued sites for years. SEOs and online marketers have always struggled to find the best combination of meta keywords and descriptions that will magically help you move up in ranks. Though nobody knows the exact formula, most have come to the consensus that honesty is the best policy. It’s a pretty simple concept really. Just keep things aligned with what is actually on the page. Most Web pages don’t have information about 1,000 keywords. Why tell the search engines about keywords that aren’t relevant to your page? As a general rule, just keep your meta tags aligned with what is on the page. If you do this, you should be in pretty good shape.

2) Flash Website with no HTML Alternative

Though your Flash website may look great to the people who actually find it, it’s going to be pretty hard to convince Google that you are an authority in your industry. When search engines scan over an all-Flash site, they literally see a blank slate. It’s as if you are putting an empty shell and a promise in front of the search spiders. When you include an HTML alternative to your site, Google has a way to properly index it. In addition, the site also captures the market that has slower Internet speeds as well as mobile users. If you really care about your online growth, it is very important to take this into consideration. Don’t get me wrong, Flash sites can still make it to the top, but it’s going to be a long and slow race.

3) Using Un-Crawlable Navigation

This is one in particular that a lot of sites fall victim to. Your Web designer may have gotten your site looking great with attractive hover states on your navigation and intuitive drop-down menus, but this may not be the best choice for getting your site indexed. When a search engine comes across your site, they rely on your navigation to get through and find the rest of the pages. This aspect of your site’s architecture shows search engines the different areas of your business. When you use navigation on your site that can’t be crawled (Flash, JavaScript, Images), you are leaving the other pages of your site in the dark. If you are planning a full overhaul, make sure you talk with your Web designer about this so you can avoid future problems. Also, if your site is already live, there may be some less intense fixes that you and your Web designer can come up with to make things better for the time being.

4) Image Alt Tags

While the real purpose for alt tags on images may be for screen readers, they are very important for indexing as well. Your alt tags define images for search engines. It is very important to fill out these attributes accurately. This way, you have a chance to show off your product or service in photographic form. People may come across your images on specific image searches and use them as a gateway to your site. If you don’t take the time to fill these alt tags out, you may be missing out on more traffic and relevancy.

5) No Content

If you want people to stay on your site once they find it, you better have something to keep their interest. This same concept goes for the search engines as well. When search spiders index your site, they use content to define your site’s purpose and rank it appropriately. If the spiders scan over a page and find minimal content, it equates to minimal relevancy. How can they take that as a serious player for any major keyword? You don’t have to write a novel for each page – just remember to be thorough. If your page is about blue widgets, write everything important about your blue widgets that a potential client may need to know. If you use that rule, you can’t go wrong.

Keep in mind that there is a lot of great information out there to help. Be careful, because there is also some bad information as well. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 6:25 am January 27, 2011
Derek Prinsloo

Your points on SEO mistakes are all valid and true. However, most Internet Marketers forget that there are also other powerful ways of increasing Page Rank and Traffic, without spending a lot of money or time.



    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 2:21 pm January 28, 2011

    Good point. Although, when it comes to Internet Marketing, a long-term strategy is never a bad idea.

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