Whether you’re new to optimizing your web site for search or if your an experienced pro, everyone makes mistakes—especially when it come to SEO. The bad news is that mistakes can have a significant effect on your search results page ranking. But the good news is, you can correct most of them by being informed and investing just a little effort.
After all, the requirement to continually create valued content for your customers and prospects is no picnic. So after you’ve invested all of the time and effort to create great content, do all that you can to ensure that people will find it on the web. With help from Michael Torbert of All in One SEO Pack (one of the best WordPress plugins ever!), we offer this list of tips for avoiding mistakes that will yield better results with your SEO strategy.
1. Forget the Flash.
Flash is a great presentation tool and can be dramatic and effective if used sparingly. It’s particularly appropriate if you have a media related web site and want to demonstrate your industry savvy. However, for most web sites or blogs, it’s just not necessary and can actually harm your page ranking. Search engine spiders cannot read content embedded in Flash files, which means they’re not recognized or indexed.
2. Lose the Splash Page.
A splash page is a web page with a large graphic or company logo, and a link to enter the site. Unfortunately, it’s an ineffective strategy for a number of reasons:
- No keyword rich text on the page, nothing for the spiders to index
- Only one internal link on the page
- These pages often have a redirect which often causes spiders to ignore them
If search engine optimization is important to your business, forget the splash page. Your home page should do the heavy lifting to brand your organization and present its value. It should also be easy to navigate, content rich, and link visitors and spiders to other main web pages.
3. No fooling, don’t try to fool the spiders.
Search engines are a lot more sophisticated than most of us realize. They recognize hidden text, keyword spamming, and cloaking, which is showing different content to the search engine spiders than to your visitors. All of these practices only serve to hurt your page ranking and can in fact, penalize your website by banning it from the search engines. The result, no one will find you or your content.
4. Include more than your company name in the Title Tag.
For better page ranking, your company name shouldn’t be the only element in your title tag. It’s ok to include it but it’s also important to use your primary keyword for each web page title tag. This is more useful for your customers and helps the search engines identify the various pages on your site. What’s more, your prospects will more likely find the value that you’re offering them too!
5. Don’t stuff, just use keywords naturally.
If you’re concerned about being banned from the search engines for keyword spamming or stuffing, be sure to limit the use of keywords on your web pages. As long as your content sounds natural and reads easily, the chances are you have not overused your keywords.
It’s also a good practice to make sure your keywords are included in the first and last paragraphs, in your headings and in your title and meta tags.
Now that you’re more informed, it’s time to reflect if you’ve made any of these mistakes with your SEO strategy. By taking the time and effort to address them, it’s surprising how you can increase your page ranking almost immediately.
If you’ve got any other tactics to avoid for better search results, please share them and we’ll include them in our post.