25 Nov 2011 @ 4:53 PM 

When I work on SEO for a company, usually a small business, I frequently encounter these 8 mistakes; not always all 8 in the same website, but a few of them are a constant. Remember that doing SEO is not just a matter of “meta tags”, as I often I hear from customers, but a mindset. Search Engine Optimization is a complex and ongoing strategy, that usually cannot be done by a web developer.

Here the list of the 8 Capital Mistakes in SEO ordered from the most important:

  1. Starting an SEO strategy after the website is published. As I said on one of my old posts, SEO should be a strategy in place even before starting the design of a website. The reason is simple: sometimes SEO requires to change drastically components of a website (just think to navigational links) and a website risks to need a complete redesign or lose an opportunity for improvement. Does not it cost less doing the same thing once instead of twice?
  2. Designing an all Flash website. An all Flash website is virtually invisible to Search Engines whom are all about text. Flash is not text, but rather pure graphic. A Flash presentation here and there, as long as it occupies a small portion of a page, does not hurt. Avoid also the infamous all Flash landing page of a website. I have never seen a single website with a good SERP for that kind of page.
  3. Thinking “I am finally done with SEO”. I am not talking of the pitch many SEO “experts” use to make you believe that you must pay a monthly fee forever. As a website is never really done (new content, pages, catalogs, ideas are created) so is SEO. You will always see areas for improvement and sometimes Search Engines change algorithms, but most importantly, the new content must be tweaked in terms of SEO.
  4. Navigational links all made with images and/or javascript. It’s similar to an all Flash website mistake. Search Engines are all about text, so images and code (yes javascript is code) won’t help you a bit. Also the navigational structure of a website is one of the most important SEO assets, while javascript is seen as clutter in the content of a page. Javascript is a very important part of any website, so why don’t you take it out of the webpage and recall the code? Elegant and SEO friendly.
  5. Having the same title tag for all pages. The title tag of a page is probably the most important SEO detail of all, still I see many absurd things. Sometimes the title is just the name of your company (do you need to be in the 1st page of Google for the name of your company, or a product/service you sell?) Sometimes is “home page”; what kind of information a Search Engine or a visitor will get from that? Or worse, “welcome to our home page”; welcome is cheesy and so 1995. Each page should have a title telling the world what that page is about.
  6. Failing to use headings. Similar to mistake # 5. Headings (h1, h2 , … tags) are important in order to organize hierarchically a page; think of a book with its chapters. Doing a good job with headings can increase easily SERP.
  7. URLs with no keywords within them. Assume I have an URL like this: www.example.com/?item=125. Does this URL tell me anything about the content of that page? What about this URL? www.example.com/shoes/red-tennis.  Anybody (including a Search Engine) can say that the page is about red tennis shoes. Obviously the content must follow suit, so avoid to talk about blue laptop computers in a page with that URL.
  8. Targeting generic and/or too competitive keywords. Yes everybody would love to be on 1st page of Google for a term like best. I tried it now and I got 2 trillion pages competing for that term; try to be in the 1st page, you will probably need a few million dollars budget. Also, best of what? That term (best) is too generic, with an enormous competition and most of all, even if you are first for that term, your conversion rate will be miserable. Finding the right keywords is a crucial piece of the puzzle and do not think “you already know your keywords”; your potential customers are going to disagree.

I talked about The 8 Capital Mistakes of SEO, but remember one important rule. When doing SEO, have your reader in mind, not Search Engines. There is nothing more irritating than a page designed for the robot of a search engine rather than for a human. Your ultimate marketing goal is not much being 1st on Google, but selling your products/services.


Posted By: admin
Last Edit: 29 Jan 2012 @ 08:11 AM

Categories: SEO


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