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Avoiding Top SEO Mistakes

Following are the 9 Biggest SEO Mistakes which Web Designers & Web Developers should avoid.

Splash Page

I’ve seen this mistake many times where people put up just a big banner image and a link “Click here to enter” on their homepage. The worst case — the “enter” link is embedded in the Flash object, which makes it impossible for the spiders to follow the link.

This is fine if you don’t care about what a search engine knows about your site; otherwise, you’re making a BIG mistake. Your homepage is probably your website’s highest ranking page and gets crawled frequently by web spiders. Your internal pages will not appear in the search engine index without the proper linking structure to internal pages for the spider to follow.

Your homepage should include (at minimum) target keywords and links to important pages.

Non-spiderable Flash Menus

Many designers make this mistake by using Flash menus such as those fade-in and animated menus. They might look cool to you but they can’t be seen by the search engines; and thus the links in the Flash menu will not be followed.

Image and Flash Content

Web spiders are like a text-based browser, they can’t read the text embedded in the graphic image or Flash. Most designers make this mistake by embedding the important content (such as target keywords) in Flash and image.

Overuse of Ajax

A lot of developers are trying to impress their visitor by implementing massive Ajax features (particularly for navigation purposes), but did you know that it is a big SEO mistake? Because, ajax content is loaded dynamically, so it is not spiderable or indexable by search engines.

Another disadvantage of Ajax — since the address URL doesn’t reload, your visitor can not send the current page to their friends.

Versioning of Theme Design

For some reason, some designers love to version their theme design into sub level folders (i.e. domain.com/v2, v3, v4) and redirect to the new folder. Constantly changing the main root location may cause you to lose backlink counts and ranking.

“Click Here” Link Anchor Text

You probably see this a lot where people use “Click here” or “Learn more” as the linking text. This is great if you want to be ranked high for “Click Here”. But, if you want to tell the search engine that your page is important for a topic, than use, that topic/keyword in your link anchor text. It’s much more descriptive (and relevant) to say “learn more about {keyword topic}”

Warning: Don’t use the EXACT same anchor text everywhere on your website. This can sometimes be seen as search engine spam too.

Common Title Tag Mistakes

Same or similar title text:
Every page on your site should have a unique title tag with the target keywords in it. Many developers make the mistake of having the same or similar title tags throughout the entire site. That’s like telling the search engine that EVERY page on your site refers to the same topic and one isn’t any more unique than the other.

One good example of bad Title Tag use would be the default WordPress theme. In case you didn’t know, the title tag of the default WordPress theme isn’t that useful: Site Name > Blog Archive > Post Title. Why isn’t this search engine friendly? Because, every single blog post will have the same text “Site Name > Blog Archive >” at the beginning of the Title Tag. If you really want to include the site name in the title tag, it should be at the end: Post Title | Site Name.

Exceeding the 65 character limit:
Many bloggers write very long post titles. So what? In search engine result pages, your title tag is used as the link heading. You have about 65 characters (including spaces) to get your message across or risk it getting cutoff.

Keyword stuffing the title:
Another common mistake people tend to make is overfilling the title tag with keywords. Saying the same thing 3 times doesn’t make you more relevant. Keyword stuffing in the Title Tag is looked at as search engine spam (not good). But it might be smart to repeat the same word in different ways:

“Photo Tips & Photography Techniques for Great Pictures” “Photo” and “Photography” are the same word repeated twice but in different ways because your audience might use either one when performing a search query.

Empty Image Alt Attribute

You should always describe your image in the alt attribute. The alt attribute is what describes your image to a blind web user. Guess what? Search engines can’t see images so your alt attribute is a factor in illustrating what your page is relevant for.

Hint: Properly describing your images can help your ranking in the image search results. For example, Google image search brings me hundreds of referrals everyday for the search terms “abstract” and “dj”.

Unfriendly URLs

Most blog or CMS platforms have a friendly URL feature built-in, however, not every blogger is taking advantage of this. Friendly URL’s are good for both your human audience and the search engines. The URL is also an important spot where your keywords should appear.

Example of Friendly URL: domain.com/page-title Example of Dynamic URL: domain.com/?p=12356

These things are the pillars of Search Engine Optimization and so to your web site’s success path.

About the Author: Robin Dale is the publisher for www.teeky.org, we offer useful & quality articles and news about Search Engine Optimization, Internet Marketing, Dedicated Server Hosting, Windows VPS Hosting UK, Linux VPS Hosting UK, e-commerce hosting, cPanel Hosting, hosting tips & UK Web Hosting.

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